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Federer wins 10th Basel title

Roger Federer won his 10th Swiss Indoors Basel title, defeating Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-2 to secure what the Swiss legend described as "an unbelievable" success at the home-town tournament.

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Federer to play 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Roger Federer will go for gold in 2020. The Swiss star confirmed that he will compete for Switzerland at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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Federer wins 10th Halle title

Roger Federer made history in Halle, defeating David Goffin 7-6 (2), 6-1 to win a record 10th Noventi Open title. It is the first time that Federer has earned 10 crowns at one tournament.

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Federer wins fourth Miami Open title

Roger Federer produced a championship masterclass under the Florida sun, dominating reigning champ John Isner 6-1, 6-4 to win his fourth Miami title.

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Federer makes history in Dubai, wins 100th title

Roger Federer made history at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, defeating reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to win his 100th tour-level title.

Federer: "The Greatest Player of All Time"

During the 2012 Australian Open an online poll of over 46,864 tennis fans voted Roger Federer the 'Greatest Ever' men's player of all time.

Federer, the 16-time Grand Slam tournament champion, was the emphatic winner of the poll as more than 71 per cent of people chose him as their greatest ever player. In total he received 33,624 votes.

A distant second, with less than a fifth of the votes of Roger, was Rafael Nadal, who has received just 5,743 votes.

Former American ace Pete Sampras was third with six per cent of the vote, and Australian legend Rod Laver, who is at Melbourne Park this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first Grand Slam, was fourth with just under four percent of the total count.

Date: 28.01.2012

Roger Federer's Twin daughters at Australian Open

They may seem a little young to appreciate a game of tennis - but Roger Federer's twin daughters loyally turned out to support him at the Australian Open.

Two-year-old Myla Rose and her sister Charlene Riva looked adorable in matching pink dresses and white cardigans as they cheered Roger on during his warm-up.

Luckily for Federer though, the girls left as the match got underway - and were nowhere in sight when he lost out on the title in the semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

The girls were not with their mother Mirka, a former tennis player who married Federer in 2009, who did attend the match but sat elsewhere - later burying her head in her hands as she watched her husband in frustration.

Federer versus Nadal remains one of sport's great rivalries but the 30-year-old Swiss player was this time defeated.

Nadal, however, secured his place in Sunday's title decider against Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray - his fourth consecutive grand slam final - despite suffering a sudden and crippling knee pain on Sunday which threatened to end his tournament. He recovered after intensive medical attention.

Perhaps family life has slowed Federer down.

The world No.3 told said in an interview with the Independent: 'Before, I guess, mum and dad were everything, but now, in my case, I had two new girls and all of a sudden they're completely dependent on you and there's a third generation.

'It's a funny shift. You have the babies, you have yourself and then you have your parents. Unfortunately I don't have grandparents any more.

'All of a sudden it makes you realise even more what your own parents did for you and how much you owe them.'

Date: 27.01.2012, Source: Dailymail

Federer: "Don't Feel Too Sorry For Me"

Despite losing to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open semi-finals on Thursday, Roger Federer says, "Don't feel too sorry for me. You look at that I haven't lost in five months or something - it's not that bad."

"Obviously I would have loved to have come through and gotten a crack, a chance, at winning the title here again. It's been one of the most successful tournaments in my life here. It's the ninth straight time I am in the semi-finals.

"Clearly I'm disappointed. But then again, what's important is the reaction from now... 'Where do I go from here?' I need to have a good reaction like I showed after the US Open."

The fact that Nadal is now 18-9 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series and 2-8 in Grand Slam championship matches, is not lost on Federer. But it doesn't concern him. Titles matter.

"I respect it," admitted the 16-time major champion. "I think he's doing great against me. It is what it is. At the end I care about my titles, if I'm happy or not as a person. Head to heads for me are not the most important. If I beat Andre Agassi 10 times in a row or Lleyton Hewitt many times in a row, at the end of the day I don't care.

Asked whether Nadal saved his best tennis for Federer, the Swiss said, "I don't know if it's true, but it's my assumption.

"I feel he plays really good against me... I always think he plays a bit better against me than against other players, but that's good for him.

"I was slightly disappointed, obviously, leaving centre court, because I felt like my game was good and I could have done something in the final potentially. But I don't have to worry about that now anymore. It's fine. I feel okay now. It's in the past already."

The former World No. 1 is next scheduled to compete at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, an ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard-court event in Rotterdam, from 13 February.

Federer drops to a 63-9 record at the Australian Open, where he is a four-time former champion. He was bidding to win his 500th tour-level hard-court match. In the Open Era (since 1968), only Andre Agassi has more wins on hard courts (596 wins).

Date: 26.01.2012, Source: ATP

Federer lost to Nadal in the semis of Australian Open

Roger Federer suffered a 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-7(5), 4-6 loss against Rafael Nadal in the semi-final of the Australian Open today. It was an incredibly intense match, offering the spectators a true tennis-spectacle.

It was only the seventh time in their 27 meetings that the player who did not win the first set went on to clinch the match. It saw Nadal extend his FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Federer to 18-9.

"I am very happy about my results these two weeks," said Nadal. "I did much better than I thought I would, than what I dreamed about three weeks ago. So I'm very happy for everything. It's a fantastic victory for me. I'm very, very happy playing against the greatest player in tennis history in semi-finals. It's one of the victories that's going to stay in my mind forever. It's a fantastic way to start the season."

n their 27th meeting, it was Federer who made the faster start, punishing Nadal with his forehand and he was quick to close out the points at the net. He was rewarded with an early service break and quickly opened up a 4-1 lead. Nadal responded, though, imposing himself from the baseline and hurting Federer with high forehands into the Swiss’ one-handed backhand. He drew level in the eighth game and forced the set into a tie-break. Federer took an early lead in the tie-break and did not relinquish it. Nadal saved two set points at 3-6, but Federer converted his third chance as the Spaniard over hit a backhand long after 56 minutes.

"I think he started playing aggressively," said Nadal afterwards. "A very, very high level at the beginning of the match. But I really felt that when he plays like that, it's almost impossible to rise there to that level. But after the first three games I started to have the chance to hit balls, to play with a little bit of my rhythm, so I started to hit a few good forehands. After that moment I felt that the level started to be closer and closer."

Federer looked to be taking charge of the match as he capitalised on his momentum by breaking Nadal to love in the opening game of the second set. Nadal’s response was immediate, though, breaking Federer straight back to love for 1-1. "After the first game of the second set, I think I started to play aggressively," said Nadal. "I started to play my game finally. I had the chance to move him around a little bit more. Open the court up from his forehand after changing to his backhand."

Federer squandered a break point chance in the fifth game as he framed a forehand long, and rued his missed opportunity when Nadal went up 0/40 in the following game, converting the break on his third chance with a forehand passing shot back behind Federer. There was a 10-minute break after Nadal opened up a 5-2 lead, as Melbourne celebrated Australia Day with a firework display. It was the Spaniard who responded better at the resumption, breaking Federer to love to clinch the set and level the match.

Federer would lose 11 straight points after the break for the fireworks, and as such found himself 0-1, 0/40 down at the start of the third set. The 16-time Grand Slam champion produced clutch tennis to hold serve, though, and went on to break Nadal in a seventh game lasting more than eight minutes, converting his fourth break point chance to lead 4-3. However, for the third time in the match, Federer was unable to hold on to his break advantage, and immediately surrendered serve as Nadal levelled at 4-4. Federer saved a set point on serve in the 12th game to force a tie-break, but quickly fell behind 6-1 to Nadal, who capitalised on forehand errors that had troubled Federer for much of the set. The Basel native rallied from 1-6 to 5-6, but Nadal clinched the set on his fifth opportunity after 67 minutes as Federer netted a forehand under pressure.

Federer was threatened early in the fourth set as Nadal looked to impose his momentum quickly. The 30 year old fended off break point in the third game, and rallied from a 15/40 deficit in the fifth game to hold for 3-2. He then missed a break point chance of his own in the eighth game, teeing up on a short forehand, but missing the court by millimetres. Nadal made his breakthrough in the ninth game, converting as Federer hooked a backhand wide. The Spaniard then served out a nervy final game, saving two break points before triumphing on his second match point as Federer hit a forehand long after three hours and 42 minutes.

When asked whether he plays his best tennis against Federer, Nadal admitted, "I think sometimes. I play my best tennis against him when I am ready to play my best tennis. I don't play my best tennis because it's Roger.

"It's true I played a lot of good matches against him during my career, so it is something fantastic. But I believe that he played a few fantastic matches against me too during his career, during our rivalry. I enjoy playing against him. It's always a special feeling because our matches always have been special, and especially today."

It was the 10th time the pair had clashed at a Grand Slam championship, and the first time in a major semi-final since 2005 Roland Garros, when Nadal won in four sets.

"I thought Rafa played well from start to finish, really," said Federer. "I started really well myself.  It was obviously a big set for me to win, and I missed obviously the opportunities in some of all the sets maybe. But Rafa did well to hang in there. At the end I was a bit better. It was a tough match physically as well, but it's only beginning of the season. I'm feeling all right, so it's okay."

World No. 3 Federer was contesting an Open Era record ninth consecutive Australian Open semi-final and was bidding to reach the final at Melbourne Park for the sixth time. He won four titles in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray), and was runner-up to Nadal in 2009. He also fell at the semi-final stage last year against Djokovic.

Federer finished the 2011 ATP World Tour season as the form player, clinching titles at the Swiss Indoors Basel (d. Nishikori), the BNP Paribas Masters (d. Tsonga) and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (d. Tsonga). He came into Melbourne bidding to win his 17th Grand Slam championship.

Date: 26.01.2012

Federer and Nadal to clash in the Semifinals of Australian Open 2012

A dominating win by Roger Federer in his 1,000th career match and a more difficult workout for Rafael Nadal set up a rare Grand Slam marquee semifinal between the former top-ranked players.

Four-time Australian Open champion Federer advanced to his ninth straight semifinal at Melbourne Park with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 quarterfinal win Tuesday over Juan Martin del Potro, the man who beat him for the U.S. Open title in 2009.

Federer's 1,000th match was similar to most in his career -- no-nonsense, dominating from the start, and with some incredible shots.

"It's a lot of matches and a lot of tennis," said Federer, a record 16-time Grand Slam champion. "Either I have been around for a long time or I'm extremely fit. You decide which way you want to describe it. But I'm happy."

“I’d like to get a chance to play him again here,” Federer said, speaking before Nadal’s latest Melbourne marathon was done.

In an often tempestuous night match at Rod Laver Arena, Nadal advanced with a tough 6-7 (5), 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-3 win over Tomas Berdych.

“For everything, for what represents the match, all the matches against Roger are special,” Nadal said. “And they will be special even if we are 20 against 25.”

After health scares in the buildup to the first major tournament this year — the back for Federer, a shoulder and a knee for Nadal — both men radiated vitality in Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

"Happy with how I finished the match physically. I was able to keep running with high intensity," Nadal said.

Federer and Nadal -- they were ranked 1-2 for many years -- have been on opposite halves of the draw since the 2005 French Open. That was the last time the pair met in a Grand Slam semifinal, won that year by Nadal in four sets.

Federer's career can be enhanced even more if he wins the title this year at Melbourne Park. With a 232-34 record in Grand Slam singles matches, he can overtake Jimmy Connors' mark of 233 wins if he collects the title here.

Del Potro, who has recovered from the right wrist injury that sidelined him for most of 2010, played well in flashes. But Federer was at another level, hitting lobs, drop shots, cross-court winners and generally negating del Potro's big forehand.

"We have played some big matches against each other, so just knowing how well he's been playing as of late, I was just hoping that I would get off (to) a good start," Federer said. "I was able to mix it up well and control the ball, and right away sort of felt confident."

The quarterfinals on the other side of the men's draw are Wednesday -- Andy Murray plays Kei Nishikori of Japan, and top-seeded Novak Djokovic takes on David Ferrer.

Date: 24.01.2012

Federer beats del Potro in his 1000th match

Roger Federer, playing his 1000th tour-level match, reached his 30th Grand Slam championship semi-final on Tuesday.

The third-seeded Swiss defeated No. 11 seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 at the Australian Open to advance to the last four at Melbourne Park for the ninth straight year. He improves to an 814-186 lifetime match record.

"I wish it was 1000 wins, but I'm happy with 1000 matches in total, too. It's nice to win this one. I do not remember my 500, and that was the [2005] US Open final against [Andre] Agassi. It's a lot of matches and a lot tennis. Either I have been around for a long time or I'm extremely fit."

Federer took a 3-0 lead in nine minutes, before del Potro fought back. The Argentinean fell to 15/40 at 4-5 and hit a double fault to conclude the 43-minute opener. Former World No. 4 del Potro came under pressure again in the fourth game of the second set, when he saved one break point, but he hit a backhand wide on Federer's second opportunity to gift the Swiss a 3-1 lead.

At 5-3, Federer saved four break points to clinch the set and went onto take a 2-0 lead in the third set. Del Potro hit a forehand into the net, at 30/40, 2-4, to give Federer the initiative. Minutes later he became the first man aged 30 or over to reach the Australian Open semi-finals since Andre Agassi in 2004 (33 years, 278 days).

"I really knew how important that game [at 5-3 in the second set] was for me," said Federer. "But I was able to come through and it was big."

"I'm moving well. I'm serving well. I'm hitting the ball clean. Today, I thought it was a very hot day with fast conditions. From now on basically it's only night sessions, so it's going to change now. It's going to be more athletic and tougher. I'm ready for that."

Federer hit 38 winners and hit five aces in the pair's 10th meeting (Federer 8-2), which lasted just under two hours on Rod Laver Arena. The 23-year-old del Potro, who also lost to Federer in the 2009 quarter-finals, committed 27 unforced errors and converted one of his six break point opportunities.

Federer is bidding to become the second man in tournament history to win five Australian Open singles titles. Roy Emerson lifted his sixth trophy in 1967. Federer tasted silverware in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray).

He will next play either second seed and 2009 champion Rafael Nadal, his great rival from Spain, or No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

Date: 24.01.2012, Source: ATP

Federer to face del Potro in blockbuster QF clash

Four-time former Australian Open champion Roger Federer set a blockbuster quarter-final clash with Juan Martin del Potro after ending Australian teenager Bernard Tomic’s campaign with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 win at Melbourne Park on Saturday night.

Federer and del Potro clashed in the Australian Open quarter-finals three years ago, when Federer dealt the Argentine his worst Grand Slam defeat with a 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 victory. Later that same year, though, del Potro edged Federer in a five-set epic in the US Open final.

"I think it's going to be a good match," said Federer. "Look, I think he's coming back awfully strong again. Injury came and things obviously changed, and now he's had to have a great year to get back in the Top 15, and now he's making his move to the Top 10. I think it's going to be a tough one. He really came through convincingly in the last two especially. We know the firepower."

The 30-year-old Federer advanced to the quarter-finals in Melbourne for the ninth straight year as he hit 45 winners to just 13 from Tomic, and broke serve six times from 10 opportunities. The last time Federer failed to reach the last eight of a major championship was at 2004 Roland Garros, when he lost to Gustavo Kuerten in the third round.

"I figured he was going to play a bit aggressive, that it was going to be a tough match, which it was, I thought," said Federer. "Maybe the score suggested differently, but I thought we had a lot of long games, tough points, and I thought he did actually really well."

The Swiss triumphed in Melbourne in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray). He also finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the 2009 final. He is bidding to win his 17th major title, and first since lifting the Australian Open crown in 2010.

Former World No. 4 Potro advanced to his first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2009 US Open when he dismissed Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 6-1. "I can say I'm very happy to be in quarters," said del Potro. "It's amazing for me to play another quarter-final at a Grand Slam after three years, so it's good signal for my comeback.

"Roger is the best tennis player in history, and of course he's the favourite," added del Potro. "I remember three years ago I played in the quarters against him and I only won three games. So if this time is something different and I win more games is going to be okay for me."

Date: 22.01.2012, Source: ATP

Federer passes Karlovic test

Four-time champion Roger Federer advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open Friday, topping Ivo Karlovic 7-6(6), 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 17 minutes. With the win, Federer improved to a 10-1 record against the Croat.

The two were deadlocked in a service battle in the opening set, with neither seeing a break point opportunity. In the ensuing tie-break, Karlovic served for the set up 6-5. Rushing the net and carving a drop volley, Karlovic seemed to be in a winning position, but Federer did the near impossible, scooping up a lob that the 6’ 10’’ Karlovic was unable to handle. The Swiss won the next two points to snatch the momentum, winning the hard-fought set in 53 minutes. "Thank God, he gave me a second serve and gave me a slight chance," said Federer.

"I might have had a little bit of a lucky volley, but I also had quick reflexes at the net... Then after that, I maybe relaxed a bit. I got a bit of a better read on his serve potentially and just knew what I also wanted to do on my own service games."

From there, Federer slowly began to impose himself on Karlovic’s serve and finally earned break point opportunities in the 12th game of the second set, capitalising on his second chance to take a two set lead. The 16-time major champion went on to convert an early service break in the third set, and maintained his lead, finishing the match by winning 78 per cent of his service points. "Overall I feel good," Federer said. "It was a good match for me and a good last week or so. No back issues at all today. I didn't even think about it, to be honest. So it was a good day at the office."

Federer and Karlovic were meeting for the first time since the 2009 Wimbledon quarter-finals, a match Federer won in straight sets en route to lifting the trophy. Karlovic has only broken Federer once in the 28 sets that they’ve played.

In the fourth round, Federer will square off against the winner of a night-session match featuring No. 13 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov and 19-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic.

Date: 20.01.2012, Source: ATP

Federer walks through to third round

Roger Federer has been given free passage to the third round of AO2012 after Andreas Beck pulled out of their Wednesday match. The German Beck was forced to withdraw due to a back injury, just hours before their scheduled clash at Hisense Arena.

The withdrawal means Federer advances to the third round where he will meet the winner of Wednesday's match between Ivo Karlovic and Carlos Berlocq.

Federer said the withdrawl came as a surprise. "I didn't know anything about it. It came as a surprise. He said he had a lot of painkillers and pain in the last match. I guess it's the smart decision for him to take."

"I would have loved to have played. I feel sad for the fans at Hisense who would have loved to come and see me play," Federer said.

The third seed said he hoped the walkover would not affect his preparations for the third round. "I'll just relax this afternoon and have an intense hit tomorrow," he said.

Date: 18.01.2012, Source: Australian Open

Federer sweeps past qualifier; Notches 60th match win in Melbourne

Third seed Roger Federer, who is bidding to become the second man in Australian Open history to win five titles, got his campaign off to a strong start with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over Russian qualifier Alexander Kudryavtsev on Monday.

It was the Swiss superstar's 60th match win at Melbourne Park (60-8 overall). Federer hit 14 aces and 43 winners in the first-time meeting, which lasted one hour and 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena. Kudryavtsev, making his Grand Slam championship debut, committed 42 unforced errors.

"I'm always excited," said Federer on returning to the Australian Open. "I felt it actually walking down that Walk of Champions, getting out on court and feeling like, you know what, I have good intensity and I am really excited to see the Aussie crowd. I was anxious to find out how I was going to play, how my opponent was going to play me. I was really excited and a little nervous actually going into it, which was a good feeling to have. I'm looking forward to the other matches."

Federer won his four titles in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray).

Date: 16.01.2012, Source: ATP

Federer: 'I Feel Like I'm Ready To Go'

World No. 3 Roger Federer believes the finish he had at the end of the 2011 season gives him an advantage at the first Grand Slam event of the year, the Australian Open. Speaking at a pre-tournament press conference on Saturday, the four-time Melbourne champion said, "I think it's only helpful that I finished so strong. I've had so many great finishes to the year. I remember every time it has helped me to have a good mindset on vacation, during the buildup, then at the beginning of the year. [I've often taken] this momentum into the following year.

"I hope it's going to be the same again. For this, I need the Australian Open to start well for me, win the first few rounds, get hopefully on a roll, see how far I can go."

The Swiss capped off last year by winning three straight titles, including a record-breaking sixth Barclays ATP World Tour Finals trophy. He started 2012 in great form at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, but was forced to withdraw with a back injury prior to his semi-final clash with eventual Doha champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Having recuperated for nearly a week, Federer is ready to begin his quest for a 17th major title. "I feel my game is really right where it needs to be, even though now the last few days have been pretty much of a waiting game, seeing how it goes," said Federer.

"I still feel that I was able to hit the ball enough. The day after I arrived, I went out for 20 minutes at least. I don't feel like I'm coming from way back. I feel like I'm ready to go. If matches were to start tomorrow, no problem. Even today would have been fine."

Federer did not win a major title in 2011, ending a streak of eight seasons with at least one piece of Grand Slam hardware. Though defending champion Novak Djokovic is the player to beat at Melbourne Park, Federer highlighted the level of depth in this year's field. "I still feel like the top four guys are going to play well again," Federer said. "The question is just whom.

"I think we have a good year in store because also right behind us we have very good players at the moment who can really break through. Some of them really showed again how good they were at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

"I think all the other guys in the top are going to play a good year. I think it's an interesting year ahead of us. I don't quite know what's going to happen yet. I feel good about my own chances. But then again, that doesn't mean much because the others are really playing well at the moment."

Date: 14.01.2012, Source: ATP

McEnroe: Roger Federer will win Grand Slam

Former tennis great, John McEnroe still believes that the 30-years, Roger Federer will surely win another grand title in his career at Australian Open or Wimbledon.

Former American tennis legend and Commentator, John McEnroe has predicted the Australian Open draw, which was released on Friday has said that, he believe Federer will win another major title in his career and added that, Federer will either win his 17-grand slam title at Melbourne or Wimbledon.

Federer’s coach while speaking about the draw has said that, Federer has got the toughest drawn at the season opening grand slam tournament, as he faces No.13 seed,  Alexandr Dolgopolov and later battling with  Argentina’s No.11, Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Australian Open. Swiss will be facing his favourite rival, Rafael Nadal in the semifinals and added that, at 30 years old, the enjoyment he gets from tennis is second to none.

Meanwhile, Federer aiming for his fifth title at 2012 Australian Open is complete recovered form the back injury, which made him to withdraw form the season opening tournament Doha.

16-times grand slam champion has said that, my back’s better. I had a bit of a back issue but I’m perfectly fine now and ready for the Australia Open.

Date: 14.01.2012, Source: Live Tennis Guide

Australian Open 2012 Draw

Next week, Roger will start his quest for a fifth title at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Seeking to extend his record of 16 grand slam titles, he will start against a qualifier. He could then meet Eric Prodon (ATP 96) or Andreas Beck (ATP 98). Possible opponents in round three are Jürgen Melzer or Ivo Karlovic, before he could challenge Alexander Dolgopolow or Fernando Verdasco in the round of the last eight. Mardy Fish or Juan Martin Del Potro could follow in the quarters.

Roger and Rafael Nadal have been placed on the same half of the draw for the first time in any Grand Slam since 2005.

Date: 13.01.2012, Source: RF Official

Roger Federer: Fearless At 30

Roger Federer is now 30 years old – typically the tipping point year for a professional tennis player. But dare call Federer "typical" at your own peril.

December in Dubai
               The coach issued a suggestion: try this drill.   
               Now let's try that one.
               Here's one that ends the point sooner.
               How 'bout this one that makes the point last longer?
               This time you get to hit only one serve.
               Come in on the return. 
               Stay back on the return.

The coach was Paul Annacone. More than 30 years into his tennis life, Annacone had honed his game at fledgling Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, reached a career-high No. 13 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, played Davis Cup and gone on to coach Pete Sampras.

So here was Annacone on a December afternoon in Dubai, putting yet another player through the paces, looking for ways during tennis' short off-season to enhance his charge's tools.

And the player was incredibly happy, eager to soak up every one of Annacone's words.

"Roger has the enthusiasm of a 20 year old."

That he happened to be Roger Federer hardly mattered. What Federer does in Dubai has long intrigued. Away from tournaments and rivals, fans and cameras, surely this spot in the Arabian desert is the place where the secrets are stashed; where the genius that has triggered swooning in everyone from literati, like the late author David Foster Wallace, to glitterati, such as Vogue editor Anna Wintour, to zillions of tennis aficionados, is concocted in an elaborate laboratory.

But the recipe was marked by utter transparency. Here Federer was, age 30 – the tipping point year in the life of a professional tennis player – spending anywhere from two to four hours a day hitting ball after ball under the eyes of Annacone and Severin Luthi. Add to that a few more hours with fitness trainer Pierre Paganini and physiotherapist Stephane Vivier. The picture emerged of a man simply conducting business. As another all-time great graced with genius, Rod Laver, recently said, "There's really no substitute for hard work, for putting in all that practice and time."

"I love this game more than anybody, so I'm not all of sudden going to wake up in the morning and say I don't like it anymore," says Federer. "It's a lot of sacrifice. It's a lot of effort I have to put in every day."

But in this case, Federer might be mistaken. Based on the pleasure he took in Dubai, it would be inaccurate to call something Federer enjoys so much a sacrifice. Says Annacone, "For Pete there was more wear and tear by this stage. Roger has the enthusiasm of a 20 year old. There is no need to motivate him. He's relentlessly studious about trying to improve."

If more memorable chapters emerge in the Federer saga, mark 10 September, 2011 as a good day for his prominent last phase to commence. That day there had been a brilliant US Open semi-final versus Novak Djokovic. Despite holding two match points against the Serb, for the second year in a row in New York, Federer had come up empty. His 2011, became the first year since 2002 he’d failed to win a Grand Slam singles title.

There followed a press conference where Federer described Djokovic's dazzling forehand return winner at match point down as "the lucky shot". A backhanded compliment that did not do justice to the victor. Dare a man who has struck as many breathtaking winners as Federer reduce himself by speaking this way of a rival's good fortune?

Later that afternoon, a trip to the ground – that is, Federer is on the floor of the US Open's day care center, playing with two-year-old daughters Charlene and Myla.  And as he simmered and frolicked, Federer began to concoct his plan.

With the diamond-cutter's focus practiced by such longstanding World No. 1s as Sampras and Jimmy Connors, Federer has long been meticulous about his competitive schedule. After mid-September, Federer took six weeks off, skipping the ATP World Tour's Asian swing. He emerged incredibly fresh, winning 15 matches in a row to take the titles at the Swiss Indoors Basel, the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris – his 18th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown – and, for a record sixth time, the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour finals.

"I've always been an emotional tennis player."

The London run was highlighted by a comprehensive 6-3, 6-0 dismantling of Nadal and two sparkling three-set victories over the man who'd beaten Federer at Wimbledon, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Said Federer after the final, "For me it was important to step and sort of have that bird's view from up top and say, 'Where am I right now in my year?' It's been a good year. I know I've been playing well, I've been healthy. When is all this hard work going to pay off?"

Having worked with Andre Agassi into his 30s, ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert is quite familiar with the evolution of an aging champion. "Last year I was selling Roger's stock a little bit," says Gilbert. "But what he showed me late last year, I'm buying. That was as aggressive as I've ever seen him."

Like all of us, Federer marches to his own seemingly contradictory yin-yang. What's less frequently seen, but quite important to Federer, is the line that goes from his head to his heart, the deep-rooted passion that has publicly revealed itself only occasionally – such as at the 2006 Australian Open when Federer accepted the champion's trophy from Laver, or at the same spot three years ago following a loss to Nadal.

But as Federer points out, don't think all those fluid shots are issued from an automaton. "I've always been an emotional tennis player," he says. "I used to be so emotional when I used to lose. But I try to keep my emotions in check while the tournament is going on because I like to save it in case there is something more. It can't be an emotional rollercoaster throughout the whole career, season, or match."

"He never gets hurt, he’s sharp, he doesn't overplay."

Paired with Federer's subdued but present emotions is a remarkable tranquility. Watch Federer around a tournament, and you will see a man consummately at ease, never rushed no matter if about to conduct a series of interviews in various languages, in a line for food, killing time in the locker room, on his way to practice, or for that matter, about to pull out a new racquet deep into a match. Says Annacone, "It's like he's at a cocktail party. He's just enjoying every part of the tournament."

And so, as he has so often with his racquet, Federer has his own distinct ability to manage time on his terms. Week after week, he conducts himself with constancy, precision and reliability. Says Gilbert, "He never gets hurt, he's sharp, he doesn't overplay. You see him play a tough match and he’s right out there the next day."

"I'm shocked every time that I've reached so many finals or won against so many players or whatever record it is," says Federer. "It strikes me and makes me obviously very happy and very proud that I've been able to do it for so many years at the highest of levels."

It's that sustained level of excellence that has always made Federer popular with marketers all around the world. According to Forbes Magazine, Federer is the second-most trusted athletic brand in the world – a testament not just to logos and ad campaigns but to sustained performance. Federer's current endorsement portfolio is tidy but significant, including such tennis brands as Wilson and Nike, as well as Rolex, Lindt Chocolate, NetJets, Gillette and others. "It's not just that Roger's arguably the greatest tennis player," says Greg Via, global director of sports marketing for Gillette/P&G who has been part of advertising shoots with Federer in such wide-ranging places as Barcelona, Dubai, Orlando and Shanghai, "but that he stands for something even bigger - a grooming icon, a man who looks good, a man who conducts himself with class and works with us in any number of ways." In Shanghai, for example, Federer went on-stage to teach 1,000 young men how to shave.

The last time Federer entered a year without a Slam title, Barack Obama was a state senator. Like the President of the United States, Federer enters 2012 eager to prove a point. Three major chances for Federer take place in London – Wimbledon, the Barclays ATP World Tour finals and the summer Olympics that this year take place at the All England Club. The Olympics have often been a wellspring for Federer. At the 2000 Sydney games he commenced his romance with a touring pro named Miroslava "Mirka" Vavrinec. Eight years later, taking the Olympic gold medal in doubles with countryman Stanislas Wawrinka helped propel Federer to his fifth US Open singles title.

Even beyond the Olympics, Federer is poised to make his share of major runs in 2012. After all, can Djokovic – quite tired by the end of 2011 – compose another year-long masterpiece? How well will Nadal's body carry him anywhere but clay? Others such as Andy Murray and Tsonga remain more intermittent nuisance to Federer than sustainable rival.

So what are keys to capturing big titles well into one's 30s? While a world-weary Sampras was able to eke out one last run at age 31 when he won the 2002 US Open, such former World No. 1s as Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and John McEnroe were unable to find the winner's circle past 30. Even after the great Laver swept all four Slams at age 31, he never made it to another major semi-final.

Then there were those who succeeded significantly at this stage – Connors and Agassi with two Slams apiece past 30, Ken Rosewall with four. Study this trio closely, and you will see that Federer shares much: superb footwork, driven by incredibly-alert eyes that send the feet into ballerina-like motion. Tempting as it is to call this a gift – which it might well be – it also clearly a skill, one Federer continues to hone year after year, month after month, day after day, hour after hour, minute to minute.

Over the remaining years of his career, Federer will listen and read to all sorts of conjecture and commentary. There will come losses, at once sobering, at once frustrating, certainly those that signal a possible curtain call. But it's likely the words he'll respond to most will be two that come from Annacone: try this. Knowing that all he can do is control the process, Federer in 2012 figures to do all he can to generate more memorable outcomes.

Date: 13.01.2012, Source: ATP

Gillette’s Olympic Program

I am pleased to join Gillette and a team of global athletes to support Gillette’s Olympic program. The program includes Olympic-themed products and the opportunity to help inspire and encourage a future generation of athletes to achieve greatness through great starts in athletics – and in life.

I will be working with Gillette to determine the organization we will work with as part of the program.

I will be involved by participating in a series of activities ranging from coaching, training sessions and workshops at the organization leading up to and immediately after The Olympics to help give future generation of Olympic hopefuls a similar opportunity to the great start I received early in my life.

“I have seen firsthand how a program with early involvement positively impacts a young person’s life,” said Gillette athlete Roger Federer. “The athletes working with Gillette have a great opportunity to inspire young athletes to greatness.”

Date: 10.01.2012, Source: RF Official and PG

Federer withdraws prior to Doha Semi-final due to back pain

Defending Doha champion Roger Federer pulled out of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open Friday prior to his semi-final match with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The World No. 3 cited a back injury as the cause of his withdrawal. “I hurt my back in my second-round match against Zemlja and just got a little bit better for the match against Seppi,” said Federer.

“I don't feel a whole lot of improvement for today, and I just don't think it's the right time to risk anything more right now. I still have pain, and that's why it was the only right decision, a difficult one for me.”

It’s only the second time in 996 matches played that the 16-time major champion has withdrawn during a tournament. “It's a sad moment for me and for the tournament and for the fans, but health goes first, like everybody knows, unfortunately, and I hope I can recover quickly,” Federer said. “So that's No. 1 on the agenda right now.”

His only other withdrawal came at the 2008 BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, when he withdrew from his quarter-final match with James Blake. The 30 year old has never retired during a match in his career.
Federer will remain in Doha through Saturday, sticking with his original schedule to stay for the duration of the event. “I was always going to stay till tomorrow night, regardless if I was going to lose first round or win the tournament, so those plans don't change,” said Federer.

“I think I'm going to say something on the court later on, and I might be back again tomorrow for the 20th anniversary for the former champions. I'm here, anyway. So I'm happy to help the tournament.”

From Federer's facebook: "Unfortunately, I had to take the decision to pull out of semi-finals today in Doha. I had back spasms which I don’t want to aggravate. I am confident that with some treatment and exercise my back will recover fully."

Date: 06.01.2012

Federer, Tsonga to play in semifinal at Qatar Open

Defending Doha champion Roger Federer will clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, after the World No. 3 topped Andreas Seppi 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 on Thursday. The victory marks Federer’s 20th straight win, and sets up a replay of the 2011 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title match. "We've played very often, and now there's no more such secrets out there, especially having played three straight times basically at the end of last season," said Federer. "It's going to be pretty much straightforward for both of us, and I hope we can live up to the expectations and show a good match to the fans."

The second-seeded Federer had dominated Seppi in their previous seven meetings. But after winning the first set with relative ease, the Swiss fell behind 1-5 to the No. 8 seed in the second set, before rallying to even the score at 5-5. Seppi regained his composure, breaking Federer in the final game to win his first set in 17 attempts against the 16-time major champion.

The 30 year is looking to win his fourth title at the event, having lifted the trophy in 2011, 2006 and 2005. He’ll play the third-seeded Tsonga in a highly anticipated semi-final on Friday.

“I thought I started well. I was able to play aggressive, not giving too much rhythm. He was obviously missing more shots due to that,” said Federer, who improved to 26-3 in Doha. “I thought he was a better player in that second set and deserved that set, and then the third set was close.”

"Federer is the best player in the world, probably ever, and it will be difficult to play him," Tsonga said. "You have to be perfect. I have to play my best tennis."

“But it’s all the time difficult anyway to play against this guy because when he plays his best level, he’s better than every player.”

Date: 05.01.2012

Federer reaches Doha quarters with ease

Roger Federer continued to impress at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha Wednesday, defeating Grega Zemlja 6-2, 6-3 in breezy conditions to win his 19th straight match. "It’s important not to get frustrated in the wind," Federer said in an on-court interview. "I used to be very emotional when I was younger. It was a tough part understanding how to win in the wind. But today, it doesn't bother me anymore. You get used to it."

The defending champion broke the Slovenian twice in the first set, winning 62 percent of his second serve return points. Zemlja settled in on his serve in the second set, hanging with the Swiss until the eighth game, when Federer broke for a 5-3 lead. He served out the match at love to claim the second-round victory in one hour. "I'm happy to come through matches easily at the beginning of the season," said Federer.

"It can be tricky when you enter the first tournament of the season, and right away you play an incredibly tough three setter, let's say. The body feels that, and that's why I'm happy to be through into the quarter-finals without too much trouble."

Federer has not lost since falling to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the 2011 US Open, and will look for his 20th win in a row when he takes on Andreas Seppi in the quarter-finals. He holds a 7-0 record against the Italian, and has not dropped a set in their FedEx ATP Head 2 Head series.

Date: 04.01.2012, Source: ATP

Federer defeats Davydenko in battle of Doha champions

Defending Doha champion Roger Federer opened his 2012 ATP World Tour season with a commanding performance, cruising past Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 6-2 in a replay of last year's Qatar ExxonMobil Open final on Tuesday. "It was a combination of me playing really well and Nikolay not finding his range like we're used to seeing in the past," said Federer. "This is obviously an important step to get used to the conditions."

Federer stormed to an early lead, breaking Davydenko's serve at love to begin the match. The World No. 3 converted an insurance break in the seventh game, and clinched the set in just 23 minutes, firing 90 per cent of his first serves in play.

Things didn't pick up for Davydenko, the 2010 champion, who tossed in three double faults at the start of the second set. Federer continued to press the Russian's serve, breaking for the fourth time to move ahead 4-1. After Davydenko held in the seventh game, Federer shut the door, claiming the first-round clash in 54 minutes. The Swiss did not face a break point, and won 51 per cent of his return points to defeat the Russian for the 16th time in 18 meetings. "I thought my forehand and backhand were working. I think I had good variation on my serve," Federer said. "So I'm happy I was able to pull myself together and make that happen. Things have obviously changed here and I'm happy the conditions suit me."

Federer is riding an 18-match win streak, having finished 2011 with three straight titles at the Swiss Indoors Basel, BNP Paribas Masters and Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. He is aiming to win his fourth title at the event after triumphing in 2011, 2006 and 2005. He'll take on qualifier Grega Zemlja in the second round.

Date: 04.01.2012, Source: ATP

Pain makes me stronger, says Federer

Grand Slam record-holder Roger Federer believes that his capacity for playing through pain is one of the reasons why he can challenge for the top titles again in 2012.

Speaking the day before starting the defence of his Qatar Open title, Federer cut an optimistic figure as he contemplated life on an increasingly taxing tour well into his 31st year.

"I'm happy to see I'm holding up well. You know, I definitely think that's a key to success, as much as playing well and being well prepared," Federer said.

"But also one looks at the big picture, longevity, not just thinking in the very moment."

"I didn't panic after some really tough losses through the summer."

"I was able to actually not only just maintain a good level of play but I almost increased it towards the end of the season," he added, referring to the sequence of 17 wins and three titles with which he ended last year.

"I never worry at moments like now that I won't hold up for the entire season, because I do, I think, plan decently and well, so I manage all the expectations for myself.

"Sometimes you just go through tougher moments."

"It's also part of a good player, being able to put that aside and still play good tennis. I promise you I had a lot of pain throughout my career, and I've managed to play with it."

Federer also made hopeful noises about being able to continue his unbeaten run, citing geography, conditions, and mindset as reasons why he can start the year well.

He felt that the distance from his last tournament, in London, was not that great, and that his confidence levels are high enough to adjust to the difference between playing indoors in Europe and outdoors here.

"It takes a little bit of adjustment, but you can definitely take confidence from the end of the year and just carry it over because you're in a good mindset," Federer said.

"You know, you just believe you're doing the right things in the court. You're not second guessing yourself."

"Confidence is a huge part of our life sometimes as a tennis player."

"I'm ready for a good season. I feel energized, ready to go. Even though the (2011) season was long and tough, I had a nice break and great preparation, and I'm really eager for another season, so that's good."

It is two years since Federer won a Grand Slam, which is feeding his hunger. So are his memories of how close he came to glory on a couple of occasions last year.

He beat Novak Djokovic, the standout player of 2011, before playing a fine four-set final with Rafa Nadal in the French Open in Paris in June, and held match points against Djokovic in the US Open semis in New York in September.

But Federer may need to be near his best on Tuesday.

"It couldn't have been more tough," he said of a first round draw against Nikolay Davydenko, the Russian who caused a sensation by beating him and Nadal to win the title two years ago.

"Even though I don't know the level of Nikolay at the moment, knowing the potential of him as a world class player for many years makes it difficult and dangerous," Federer added.

If Federer does win he could go on to a semi-final with Gael Monfils, the fourth seeded Frenchman whom he beat in the 2006 final here. He might then have a showdown with Nadal.

Two seeds came through in Federer's half on Monday.

Date: 03.01.2012, Source: AFP

Federer says busy start will be a physical test

Roger Federer is hoping his ageing body will be able to stand up to a hectic start to 2012, the former world number one said on Monday. The 30-year-old Swiss begins the countdown to the first grand slam of the year at the Australian Open later this month by defending his Qatar Open championship this week.

“I do hope I can defend my title here and then go to Australia and make a move there,” Federer told reporters in Doha. I’ve also got a lot coming up in February as well. “It’s going to be an interesting two months for me because I’ll be playing a lot of tennis. I hope I can hold up well physically.”

Federer wants to find some good early-season form to make sure his confidence is high for the targets he will chase in the middle of the year.

“I hope I can really find a groove to give a good direction for later in the season when things are going to really pick up especially with the French Open, Wimbledon, the Olympics and the U.S. Open,” said the 16-times grand slam champion. “That is going to be a key sort of swing.”

“Djokovic was definitely the most consistent player last year and it looks like he’s in good shape again,” said the Swiss who meets 2010 Qatar champion Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in the first round on Tuesday.

“It’s obviously Djokovic who is going to be followed very closely not just by the media but also by the players. It’s going to be interesting to see who’s going to have the best start to the season,” added the world number three.

"You’ve got to play your best tennis against the best players in the big matches but one good match is not going to necessarily guarantee you an improvement in the rankings."

“World rankings are based on play over 365 days of the year … so you need consistency,” added Federer.

Date: 02.01.2012, Source: Reuters

Federer and Nadal light up 2012 season

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal launched the 2012 ATP World Tour season in style on Sunday by playing tennis at sunset in the spectacular Katara amphitheatre in Doha, surrounded by more than 4000 burning Roman candles.

Nadal and Federer kick off their season campaigns at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tournament, which begins on Monday. Elsewhere, two other ATP World Tour 250 tournaments also mark the start of the 2012 season – the Brisbane International in Australia, and the Aircel Chennai Open in India.

‘It was a very special atmosphere playing in the amphitheatre with all the candles lit up,” said 16-time Grand Slam champion Federer of today’s season launch activity. “It was a mixture of dramatic, romantic and Arabian Nights. It felt very much alive. I really enjoyed it."

“Every year we have done something special in Doha and this is a very, very beautiful place,” said World No.2 Nadal.

The Spaniard and Swiss enter the Qatar ExxonMobil Open as the No.1 and No.2 seeds respectively. Celebrating its 20th edition in 2012, the Doha tournament has been won by the likes of Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg (twice), Jim Courier, Marcelo Rios, Andy Murray (twice), and Federer (three times). It is the fourth consecutive year that Federer and Nadal have kicked off the new ATP World Tour season in Doha.

Both Federer and Nadal start the season with their sights set on reclaiming the World No.1 ranking from Serbian Novak Djokovic. Following a record-breaking year in which he won 10 titles, including three Grand Slams, Djokovic enters the 2012 season as the man to beat. World No.4 Andy Murray begins his campaign at the Brisbane International. The Brit, who advanced to the semi-finals or further at all four of the Grand Slams last season, will be looking to capture his first major in 2012.

The world’s Top 4 players will face stiff competition at every turn throughout the season, from the likes of David Ferrer, 2011 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro and Gael Monfils. And plenty of interest will surround the younger generation of players such as Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori, Bernard Tomic and Ryan Harrison who will all look to build on encouraging results from last season.

The 2012 ATP World Tour comprises 62 tournaments in 31 countries, culminating with the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London, featuring only the world’s top eight singles players and doubles teams, from 5-12 November.

Date: 02.01.2012, Source: ATP

Federer draws Davydenko in Doha

If World No. 3 Roger Federer wants to defend his title at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, he’ll first have to get past the player he defeated in the 2011 final, Nikolay Davydenko. “There is a bit of pressure on my shoulders being the defending champion,” admitted Federer. “But I’ve been in this situation many times before, so I hope it goes well.”

Federer topped the Russian 6-3, 6-4 last year to claim his third trophy at the event. “It’s strange to have played him in the final last year and now the first round this year,” said Federer. “But other players also have tough draws.”

Davydenko, whose South African Airways ATP Ranking has slipped to No. 41, is just 2-15 against Federer. He did however knock off the Swiss in the Doha semi-finals two years ago en route to lifting his 20th singles crown, upsetting Rafael Nadal in the 2010 title match. “Knowing Davydenko’s potential, that he’s been a very consistent Top 4 player for many years, it makes him dangerous,” Federer stated.

The 30-year-old Federer is riding a 17-match win streak following an impressive display of form to close out the 2011 season. He won titles at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Basel, BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, and a record sixth year-end championship at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. His run enabled him to overtake Andy Murray at No. 3 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. “I am feeling good. I had a great end to the season last year and I usually have a good start to the next season as well,” said Federer.

“Then again, the player field is really tough here. Like in past years, Doha is able to get the top players to come.”

Date: 02.02.2012, Source: ATP

Federer aims to extend winning run to Olympics

Roger Federer believes the momentum he achieved from his finest finish to a season can launch him to a successful defence of the Qatar Open title and a flying start to Olympic year.

The Grand Slam record holder has gone 17 matches unbeaten and won three titles since the US Open in September, bringing hopes of five more wins and a fourth title in Doha to celebrate the arrival of 2012.

"It was my strongest finish and I'm proud of it," Federer said. "I'm already looking forward to the new season."

During this winning sequence Federer was back to somewhere near his best, raising hopes of ending a two-year Grand Slam drought at the Australian Open in a fortnight's time.

Federer has even allowed himself to talk about his chances of regaining the world number one spot, even though he is currently ranked behind both Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal.

"All of a sudden you play well and you win 17 matches in a row and you're back where you feel if you win a Slam or something, you're right in the conversation again, so that's interesting and excites me," Federer told the New York Times recently.

If his words sound rather optimistic, that is because Federer has a special incentive. Just one more week at the top would enable him to equal the record 286 weeks at number one achieved by Pete Sampras.

However Federer's greatest remaining ambition is an Olympic singles gold medal in July, which may be why he has dropped next month's Dubai Open amidst an extra full and exhausting 2012 calendar.

The other mushrooming Arabian Gulf city - Doha - remains very much in Federer's plans. Next week it should provide a launch-pad for his ambitions, with good warm-up opposition for the Australian Open.

The top seed is Nadal, and the third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who not only beat Federer at Wimbledon but gave him a good tussle for the title in the ATP World Tour finals in London four weeks ago.

Date: 01.01.2012, Source: AP

Nadal too strong

Roger suffered another defeat in Abu Dhabi today as he lost to Rafael Nadal 1-6, 5-7 in the match for third place.

"It's about getting ready and feeling fine out there and enjoying a great atmosphere here and having the chance to play world class players," Roger said. "Trying a few things, see where you are at and see where the other guys are at. Obviously, I could tell Novak and Rafa are playing really well. That is not a surprise to me. I expected them to be in good shape for next year and they proved that to me this weekend."

Date: 31.12.2011, Source: RF Official