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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 eases past Benneteau; One step closer to milestone

Second seed and 2009 titlist Roger Federer is one match win away from 900 career victories after easing his way into the Roland Garros fourth round on Friday. He goes on to challenge No. 15 seed Gilles Simon or No. 18 seed Sam Querrey.

"I'm happy because I have not used much of my energy so far," said Federer, who is yet to drop a set. "I'm still there in the tournament, and therefore, I think I can perhaps go deep in the tournament. I feel totally relaxed. Mentally I'm okay. I'm quite confident. I can feel it, which is what you need to be if you want to go deep and have good results here at Roland Garros."

Federer recorded a 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 30 seed Julien Benneteau to ensure there was no repeat of last year’s Wimbledon third round clash, which lasted five sets. It also avenged his loss to Benneteau at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in February.

Benneteau got off to the best possible start, breaking Federer to 30 in the opening game. Despite taking a 2-0 lead, the World No. 32 was clawed back. Federer won six of the next seven games, with Benneteau looking physically flat in the latter stages of the 28-minute first set. Federer won 76 per cent of his first service points.

In the second set that lasted 31 minutes, Federer slid across the clay gracefully and produced some fluent strokes that left Benneteau – who battled hard – motionless. Federer hit 18 winners and won 80 per cent of his second service points to control the match. Federer broke decisively at 5-5 in the third set to move closer to another major milestone.

"You are so nice to me," Federer said courtside with a smile. "I'm sorry for Julien, he looked diminished," he added after a 91-minute tennis masterclass.

''He beat me at Rotterdam this year and he was incredibly ready at Wimbledon,'' said Federer, who improved to 5-2 against Benneteau. ''But he wasn't in the best of form today, and you could see that he was a bit hindered by the leg problem he's had for the past couple of days.''

"I felt that I was not at the best level, given all the efforts I made during the first two matches," said Benneteau, who has been nursing a groin injury. "My shots were not as heavy, I was not moving enough."

Date: 31st May 2013, Source: ATP

Federer to face Benneteau in third round

Roger Federer will square off against a familar foe at a Grand Slam event after cruising through his second-round match at Roland Garros on Wednesday.

In brushing aside qualifier Somdev Devvarman 6-2, 6-1, 6-1, Federer set a third-round clash with 30th-seeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau, the man who nearly eliminated the Swiss superstar in the round of 32 at Wimbledon just a year ago.

Benneteau won the first two sets, but failed to close out the eventual champion, having been within two points of victory on six occasions. Federer then won a re-match in convincing fashion at the London 2012 Olympics, but Benneteau made the latest statement, ousting Federer in Rotterdam this year.

“He doesn't need to change his game. It worked back then, so it's up to me now to change something and to see what didn't work during that match and to see how I can change it,” stated Federer. “I'm going to work with my coaches and try to see what I have to change in my game.

“It's true when I play against him he makes it difficult for me. I have some problems and I have to find a solution. Anyway, I like that kind of challenge. I'm looking forward to it. We haven’t played often on clay.”

Against Devvarman, Federer broke the Indian to begin the match, and never looked back, capitalising on seven of his 14 break point opportunities. Federer was equally as effective on serve with a 74 per cent success rate. The World No. 3 finished off Devarrman in 82 minutes to improve to 2-0 in their Head 2 Head series.

"I felt like I was playing wheelchair tennis and he was just playing on a PlayStation," Devvarman said, showing as much sensitivity to political correctness as his groundstrokes had bite.

"Nobody out there is excited to see Roger on the other side of the net," was how Devvarman analyzed the occasion.

"You feel like he can really hurt you from any part of the court. Whenever I felt I was ahead in the point, he hits a big slice or he a forehand that you don't see coming and the next thing you know you are back on neutral terms."

"Then the guy's offense is probably the best in the game and he has no holes. His record speaks for itself and I don't think I have to boast for him."

For Federer, it was more than anything a test of concentration rather than an opportunity to iron out creases in his game.

"I'm happy that I have played offensive and aggressive tennis in the first two matches, because I had the opportunity. I didn't back off and start to play passive tennis and wait for mistakes. So I took it to my opponent, and I think that's what's good about it."

With the win, Federer secured his 898th tour-level victory. Only three players in the Open Era have won 900 matches. Federer is the only active player other than Rafael Nadal to triumph at the second major tournament of the season in Paris, having lifted the trophy in 2009 (d. Soderling).

Date: 29th May 2013, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer makes emphatic start at Roland Garros

Roger Federer posted an emphatic first-round win at Roland Garros on Sunday, defeating Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in 80 minutes.

"I think I started all three sets well, was able to get in the lead," said Federer. "Then playing from the lead against a player like him, it's always easier, and so I put a lot of emphasis on that."

Federer is bidding to win an 18th Grand Slam championship and second title at Roland Garros, having lifted the trophy in 2009 (d. Soderling). The Swiss has a 55-13 match record at the French Grand Slam, also reaching the final in 2006-08 and 2011.

“I thought it was a good match for me,” said Federer. “He's played many matches and won a lot this year. That really helps your confidence. And he's played a lot of matches on clay, in comparison with me. I knew it could be tricky if I didn't sustain a certain level of play and certain aggressiveness and got caught up in long rallies, which is maybe what he was looking for. Overall, I thought I did well on the serve, on the return and movement wise, as well. So clearly I'm very pleased.”

Federer hit 33 winners and converted all of his seven break points against his 21-year-old opponent.  World No. 164 Carreno-Busta was making his Grand Slam debut. The Barcelona resident has risen from No. 654 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, winning seven Futures titles and reaching the semi-finals as a qualifier at the Portugal Open (l. to Wawrinka).

Federer is closing on his 900th match win after claiming his 897th victory. Only four other players have surpassed the 900 mark: Jimmy Connors (1243), Ivan Lendl (1071) and Guillermo Vilas (924).

“Am I a favourite or not? I don't care, because it doesn't give me any more opportunities to win the tournament,” Federer said. “So you want to remain focused, calm, focused on what you want to do, and then let the storm go by.”

“Of course there is more pressure when I arrive in Wimbledon and I have to defend 2,000 points. This is not the case here. I have fewer points to defend. With tennis, you never know what's going to happen. You need to play every single match and that's what makes it interesting.”

He will face another qualifier, either Spain's Daniel Munoz-De La Nava or Indian Somdev Devvarman, for a place in the third round.

Date: 26th May 2013, Source: ATP

Federer: "No shortcuts in best of five"

When Roger Federer takes the court for his first-round match with Pablo Carreno Busta at Roland Garros, Federer will begin his 54th straight Grand Slam campaign, which ties Stefan Edberg for second in the Open Era. Only Wayne Ferreira has more consecutive appearances with 56. The Swiss superstar spoke Friday about his longevity and how meaningful it is to have shown ‘great stamina’ at events where there are ‘no shortcuts’.

“It's incredible. I never thought I was going to play that many, have that many opportunities to do well at the Slams,” said Federer. “Clearly I'm happy about it, but they don't buy me victories. But it shows maybe great stamina and an injury-free career in a way.

“In a Slam where you know you're going to enter best-of-five-set matches over two, three weeks, you have to be at your best and you need to feel like you can compete with the best at the highest of levels for a long period of time. There are no shortcuts in best-of-five-set matches, and that's where I think I was always up for the challenge. I'm very happy that I was able to do that for so long so far.”

Federer enters Paris on the back of a runner-up finish to Rafael Nadal at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. The 31 year old is feeling confident as he prepares to open his title quest at the second major tournament of the season.

“I'm happy about the way I play when I practise, but also during the games,” Federer said. “I felt fit and I have a good level of confidence. My confidence came back little by little. I'm at the level I want to have for this tournament.”

The World No. 3 took the social media world by storm Thursday when he launched his Twitter account, @rogerfederer with a selfie. Federer reflected on his decision to finally cave in and begin Tweeting.

“For me, it's really [about] connecting with the fans on a different platform than what I've done in the past, as well. I also clearly wanted to see for myself how it really works for the other players and other athletes and other people around the world,” said Federer.

“I wasn't sure in the beginning, to be honest. For me, to enter that right away was not the right thing to do. I wanted to first wait and see and only do it when I felt very comfortable and not get pushed into it by someone. At the end of the day, it's got to be something I needed to feel comfortable with, and I did get many comments from many fans and followers that they would love to see me on Twitter. I said, ‘Okay, I'm happy to give it a try and have some fun with it’.”

As for the new look Federer debuted earlier this month in Madrid, Federer remarked, “I wanted to have my hair shorter. But don't worry, it will grow.”

Date: 25th May 2013, Source: ATP

Roger Federer's French Open 2013 draw

The draw for the second Grand Slam of the season, the French Open, is out. Roger Federer was seeded No. 2 for the 2013 French Open.

No. 2 seed Federer, who captured the 2009 title over Robin Soderling, will face a qualifier in his first and second round matches. The Swiss is bidding to capture his 18th major championship title. Federer could challenge No. 30 seed Julien Benneteau in the third round. He could play No. 15 seed Gilles Simon or No. 18 seed Sam Querrey in the fourth round. No. 6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or No. 10 seed Marin Cilic or No. 17 seed Juan Monaco may be the quarter-final opponents for Federer.

No. 4 seed David Ferrer or No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych will be the potential semi-final opponents for Federer. Federer’s career record against Ferrer is 14-0.

Novak Djokovic was drawn in the same half of Rafael Nadal which means they will meet in the semi-final.

Djokovic would meet the player who beat him at the Mutua Madrid Open, No. 26 seed Grigor Dimitrov, in the third round. Alexandr Dolgopolov, the No. 22 seed, or No. 16 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber may be fourth round opponents. Eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic, who plays Nicolas Mahut in the first round, or No. 12 seed Tommy Haas could face Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

No. 3 Nadal starts his campaign against Daniel Brands. Nadal may face Lukas Rosol, who won their 2012 Wimbledon clash, or No. 27 seed Fabio Fognini in the third round. No. 7 seed Richard Gasquet or No. 9 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who lost to Nadal in the Madrid final, may be quarter-final opponents for Nadal.

No. 4 seed David Ferrer, a semi-finalist in 2012. Ferrer will play Marinko Matosevic in the first round. No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych, a semi-finalist three years ago, challenges Gael Monfils in his opener. Berdych may play Ernests Gulbis in the second round. Ferrer and Berdych could meet in the quarter-finals.

Absense of important players: Andy Murray (lower back injury), Juan Martin del Potro (virus) and Mardy Fish (heart problem).

French Open 2013 draw:

Date: 24th May 2013, Source: ATP

Roger Federer's Roland Garros 2013 Nike Outfit

Roger Federer's French Open 2013 Nike Outfit

Date: 21st May 2013

Federer loses Rome final; Positive ahead of Roland Garros

Roger Federer lost the final in Rome against Rafael Nadal 1-6, 3-6 and therefore our champ is still not able to add the Rome title to his long list of trophies.

The stats of the game tell two different stories – yes they tell you that Rafa Nadal won 6-1, 6-3 but they also say that Roger had 32 unforced errors to Rafa’s 8 during a match that lasted 1 hour 8 minutes. Another telling stat was that our Roger only won 56% of his first serves - down from 77% in his match against Paire in the semi final. There was a glimmer of hope in the second set when Roger won 2 games in row to go from 1-5 to 3-5 with some brilliant shot making. Unfortunately in the last game our champ had two unforced errors and at 0-40 Nadal sent down a good serve to clinch the Championship. As ever Roger was gracious at the end complementing Rafa on the way he played.

“It didn't go how I hoped and I was missing too many easy forehands and crucial points,” said Federer. “He does an incredible job returning form the back of the court and it is hard because he covers the court so well. You need to serve accurately. When Rafa is at his best he creates opportunities in rallies and dictates. It was difficult to change.”

Federer is now 76-35 lifetime in tour-level finals. Next up are the French Open, starting next Sunday.

Federer remains positive ahead of Roland Garros:

Roger Federer remained positive despite losing to Rafael Nadal on Sunday in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final.

“I am playing well and I am healthy, so I have everything to play for next week ahead of Roland Garros,” said Federer. “This week was good to get an idea about what is working.”

After a short break, Federer will travel to Paris. It will mark the first time since 2000 he has not won a title prior to Roland Garros.

The Swiss admitted that Nadal “is now the favourite for Roland Garros”.

“Novak has beaten Rafa once in Monaco, so he knows how to win, but only Robin Soderling has beaten him in Paris. It will be difficult.”

Date: 19th May 2013, Source: RF Official and ATP

Federer, Nadal to renew rivalry in Rome final

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will renew their rivalry in the Italian Open final on Sunday - exactly a week before the French Open starts.

In Saturday's semifinals at the Foro Italico, Federer held off a stiff challenge from Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-6 (5), 6-4. Six-time Rome champion Nadal defeated sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4, a day after Berdych rallied to beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

Federer, who recently returned from a seven-week break from the circuit, it will be his first final of the year.

''We are here in 2013 and he is No. 3 in the world and I am No. 5 after not playing months and we are still playing good, and I hope that this is not going to be the last time,'' Nadal said.

The men's final will mark the 30th meeting between Federer and Nadal, and it will be a rematch of the 2006 Rome final that Nadal won in a fifth-set tiebreaker. These days, Masters series finals are best-of-three sets.

The Swiss is bidding to win the title at the Foro Italico for the first time, having finished runner-up in 2003 (l. to Mantilla) and 2006.

Nadal holds a 19-10 edge head to head against Federer, but they have split their last four meetings.
''It's nice to have these revival moments for both of us,'' Federer said. ''I'm sure we're both looking forward to it. I clearly am.''

Federer overcame a break of his serve midway through the first set against the 36th-ranked Paire, who was playing his first Masters series semifinal. The set was decided by just a few points in the tiebreaker, which Federer closed out with an overhead smash.

Federer then went ahead with an early break in the second set and stayed in front from there.

Date: 18th May 2013, Source: AP

Classy Federer overcomes Janowicz

Roger Federer overcame a tough challenge from Jerzy Janowicz to book his place in the semi-final of the Rome Masters, defeating the Pole 6-4, 7-6(2) in less than an hour and a half on the Centrale court.

There was little to separate the pair in the opening set as each gave their opponent little to capitalise on in the early exchanges.

Both continued to hold their serve solidly before Federer, who fired in seven aces in the first, found that all important break late on to edge into the lead.

However world No. 24 Janowicz found an immediate response in the first game of the second, as Federer showed a lapse in concentration and allowed the Pole to smash a forehand down the line for the early break.

The pair traded service games as Janowicz continued to impress with a variety of disguised drop shots, but Federer began to find rhythm of his own with a hold to love.

Janowicz continued to utilise his huge frame through a string of powerful serves, but world No. 3 Federer held firm to keep in touch before clinching another late break to even the scores at five games apiece.

Federer held to edge closer to victory and had Janowicz on the ropes when earning two match points; once again, the Pole successfully defended with his dominant serve before forcing Federer into an error to take the second to a tie break.

Federer noticeably stepped up a gear as he took an early three-shot lead, but Janowicz showed class when finishing another thrilling rally with a trademark drop shot.

A fast Federer forehand proved too much, before Janowicz powered a forehand of his own into the net to allow his opponent five match points.

Another net error from the Pole gave a straight sets victory for Federer, who now faces Benoit Paire in the semi-final after the Frenchman defeated Marcel Granollers 6-1 6-0 in less than an hour on court.

“I knew it wasn't going to be another 6-1, 6-2 victory like the first two matches. Those who thought that was going to be the case don't know anything about tennis,” stated Federer.

“It was a tough match. Janowicz showed some great tennis. I think he's very talented and has clearly proved that in the past. Coming here, in front of a full stadium, he had nothing to lose. The way he came out and played I thought was impressive. He had break points early in the first set. He swung and hit everything to get the break in the second set. He should have got the set. Clearly, I can be very happy to win in straight sets tonight.”

Date: 18th May 2013, Source: ESPN

Federer to meet Janowicz in the quarterfinal

Roger Federer will get his first crack at rising star Jerzy Janowicz on Friday after both moved through their third-round matches Thursday evening at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

"He obviously has a big game, unconventional shot selection at times, but really fun to watch," said Federer. "Difficult match-up. He’s got some say clearly, some say, for the outcome of the match because he’s got that big of a game and I’ve got to be careful. I hope I can make it tough for him to beat me. Myself, I’m going to focus on my own game. Make sure I get through my service games and then hope I can create some opportunities on return."

In a match-up tricky on paper, the second-seeded Federer dismissed Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-2 to move ahead 3-2 in the pair’s Head2Head series. The two were squaring off for the first time on clay and Federer came out like a man on a mission, racing to the first set in just 23 minutes. The Swiss superstar capitalised four break points out of eight and was never troubled on serve as he clinched the emphatic win in 62 minutes.

Federer is looking to triumph at the Foro Italico for the first time, having reached the final in 2003 (l. to Mantilla) and 2006 (l. to Nadal). A title this week would see Federer lift his 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy.

Date: 17th May 2013, Source: ATP

Federer flies into third round

Roger Federer blasted aside Italian wild card Potito Starace 6-1, 6-2 in just 51 minutes at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome.

Federer was on top of his game right from the start of the encounter, as he hit an incredible 35 winners and only made eight unforced errors. Against Starace, however, Federer never struggled, with the Foro Italico crowd's support for the local favorite proving useless.

''I feel the way I want to feel,'' Federer said. ''I'm happy that from start to finish I was able to control the outcome of the match.''

Next up will either be Gilles Simon (ATP 17) or Michail Juschni (ATP 30).

Date: 14th May 2013

Roger Federer says it's time to step up his game in Rome

It's time for Roger Federer to step up his game if he wants his recent seven-week break from the tennis circuit to start paying off.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner returned to action last week at the Madrid Open and got his clay-court season off to a difficult start with a third-round loss to Kei Nishikori of Japan.

"I hope it's going to have some effect eventually," Federer said Sunday at the Italian Open, having just completed a three-hour training session for the second consecutive day. "Clearly for that I need to start playing well now and put myself deep into a tournament."

If he does manage to put together a few wins, Federer believes he'll be fresher mentally than his opponents.

"Most of them have played two or three tournaments on clay and I'm still looking to get into it, but that can be a big advantage down the stretch. But for that I need to start winning matches, and I hope I can start here."

Federer has never won the Italian Open, with his best results two runner-up finishes. He lost the 2003 final to Felix Mantila and in 2006 dropped a fifth-set tiebreaker to Rafael Nadal.

This tournament is a key warm-up for the French Open, the year's second Grand Slam, which starts in two weeks.

At 31, Federer has narrowed his focus to the Grand Slams and spending more time with his wife and twin daughters.

Federer advised against reading too much into the Nishikori loss, although wasn't aware of anyone writing him off already.

"Has it started again? I didn't read anything," Federer said when asked how many times he had been written off after a loss like the one in Madrid. "I'm happy that the last year or so I didn't have to answer many questions. Clearly, when you play well and you win many tournaments then nobody really dares to attack you."

In the five tournaments he has played this year, Federer has failed to reach a final. After losing to Nadal in the Indian Wells quarterfinals in March, he began his scheduled break.

"I could have played six weeks in a row. I chose to take seven weeks off," Federer said. "There's no glory in that. People don't respect it enough until I'm going to win a big tournament again, then they'll say how smart I was. That's why you just take it as it comes."

The Nishikori loss came after Federer opened in Madrid with a win over Radek Stepanek.

After a first-round bye at the Foro Italico, Federer will open against either Stepanek again or Italian wild card Potito Starace.

Roger Federer's possible opponents in Rome:
R1 - Bye
R2 - Stepanek / Starace
R3 - Simon / Haas / Youznhy
QF - Tsonga / Dimitrov / Gasquet
SF - Murray / Del Potro
F - Djokovic / Nadal / Ferrer / Berdych

Date: 13th May 2013, Source: Times Colonist

Federer vows to bounce back

While defending champion Roger Federer admitted he was disappointed with his performance in a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 defeat to Kei Nishikori on Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open, the Swiss confirmed he will be straight back on the practice court to find the rhythm he was lacking in his third-round loss.

“I'm going to go back to the practice court, train hard, and make sure I don't have these kinds of days anymore,” said the Swiss, who will slip back behind Andy Murray at No. 3 in the ATP Rankings on Monday. “I was lacking control from the baseline, and that pretty much carried through from start to finish. I'm pretty disappointed with my play. I'm not sure how well Kei thought he played. I didn't think he had to play his very best either, which is even more disappointing.”

“At least I'll come out with some ideas of what I need to work on,” said the 31-year-old Federer, who was playing his first clay-court tournament of the season. “Clearly the ball flies here and it's faster, so that makes it sometimes trickier to find your rhythm. We're so accustomed to always finding that rhythm eventually, so it's even more disappointing if you never really find it, which was the case today.

“Credit to Kei. He got it done and was more solid in the wind. He played better than I did, so the better guy won today, that's for sure.”

“I feel like I want to go to the practice courts this afternoon, but clearly I'm not going to do that. I'm going to make sure I'm as well prepared as I can be for Rome. I'm excited for that, because clearly I have no choice but to hit the practice courts. And I like to do that, and I'll do that well and hard,” said Federer, who goes to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia searching for his first title of the season.

Despite disappointment in defeat, 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer said he was pleased to see the ATP World Tour’s rising stars beginning to shine in 2013. Two days ago, Grigor Dimitrov sent shockwaves through the Caja Magica as he battled cramps to oust World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the second round. The 21-year-old Bulgarian also reached his first ATP World Tour final at the start of the season in Brisbane (l. to Murray).

Meanwhile, Nishikori won the third title of his career in February as he lifted the trophy in Memphis (d. Lopez) and fellow young gun Milos Raonic added to his growing collection this year with victory in San Jose (d. Haas).

“Clearly I think the extra year on tour last year helped them,” assessed Federer. “That was to be expected, that they were going to have a bit of a breakthrough this year. That's nice to see. I think it's exciting and good for the game that not-so-well-known and younger guys are beating the top guys. It's good to see. It means they believe in it. I hope we'll see more of it in the future.”

Date: 9th May 2013, Source: ATP

Federer suffers shock defeat in Madrid

Defending champion Roger Federer crashed out of the Mutua Madrid Open after suffering a third round 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 defeat to an impressive Kei Nishikori.

Federer simply did not produce his best tennis and was made to suffer by his stubborn Japanese opponent.

A tight opening set was decided with one sloppy service game from world No. 2 Federer, as Nishikori pounced to take advantage from a rare slip-up.

That one lapse proved costly for Federer, who looked otherwise comfortable on his serve, as world No. 16 Nishikori held out to take the set having only won five points off his opponent's serve.

The tide began to turn in the second and this time it was Nishikori who suffered a rare service blunder. Despite clawing back to save three break points, Federer finally broke through to take hold.

Federer's demeanour changed from his patchy first set as he reverted back to his cool, collective type. The No. 2 seed began to entertain the crowd, making two deft drop shots and a perfectly placed lob to take the match into a decider.

But 31-year-old Federer could not capitalise on his own momentum, as Nishikori brushed his poor second set aside and took the initiative in the third.

The Japanese 23-year-old continued to impress, racing into a 4-1 lead before unleashing a commanding service game to go within one game of a famous victory and leave Federer serving to stay in the match.

Federer suffered one more untimely shocking service game, handing his opponent two match points. An hour and 35 minutes after the start of the first set, Nishikori sealed victory to knock the defending champion out and set up a quarter-final tie with world No. 113 Pablo Andujar.

As a result of the defeat, Federer will drop down to No. 3 in the ATP World Rankings.

Date: 9th May 2013, Source: ESPN

Federer inspired by 30 love

Defending Mutua Madrid Open champion Roger Federer spoke about his appreciation for fellow players in the 30-and-over crowd after winning his opening-round match against Radek Stepanek on Tuesday. Federer admitted he would feel ‘awkward’ if he were the only player left from his generation competing and praised the sustained success of this peer group that includes Tommy Haas, Tommy Robredo and David Ferrer.

“It's nice to have that generation of players next to you,” said Federer. “Because if I were the only guy over 30, it would feel a bit awkward, to be honest. But I'm not… it's definitely inspiring seeing all the other players, many guys over 30 years old, still playing on Tour and playing well.”

Federer also reiterated his previous desire to play on the ATP World Tour through the age of 35, which would allow him to contest his fifth Olympic Games in Rio.

“I made the breakthrough early, but for years I've always looked at the long term,” Federer said. “I think that helps me to play for a long period of time, hopefully. It was always my goal to play until 35 or more. For that reason, I still feel I have many more years to go.”

The Swiss superstar is chasing his 77th tour-level trophy this week, which would draw him level with John McEnroe for third in the Open Era. When asked about the potential to equal the American’s milestone, Federer joked, “And his 70 doubles titles,” before stating, “I would love to tie McEnroe at 77, no doubt about it.

“He was an amazing player and brought a lot to the game, like some other great champions and legends have done and paved the way for us. We can only be thankful for everything he gave to tennis, because he didn't just stop after he stopped playing. He kept commentating and kept the game exciting for fans and TV and so forth and even plays seniors still a lot and keeps on promoting tennis. It would obviously be a big deal for me.”

Federer is ranked second in the Emirates ATP Rankings and has ambitions of returning to World No. 1 in the future. Last year, Federer regained the No. 1 ranking for 17 weeks, setting the all-time mark of 302 weeks at the top.

“It's not the goal right now. But down the stretch, hopefully I can do it again,” said Federer. “For that, I need to start winning matches and tournaments and so forth. I'm focused right now on making sure that my return to the Tour is a strong one starting here in Madrid. Then we'll see how successful I've been once the US Open is over.”

Date: 8th May 2013, Source: ATP

Federer opens title defence; Will resume normal schedule from next season

Playing his first match in eight weeks, Roger Federer opened his title defence at the Mutua Madrid Open with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Radek Stepanek on Tuesday.

The Swiss advanced to a third-round meeting with either Kei Nishikori or Viktor Troicki as he won his first clay-court match of the season in 81 minutes. His armour was only dented once, as he was broken when serving for the match at 5-2, but he hit back in the following game to claim victory. It was his 12th win in 14 meetings with Stepanek.

"I didn't think I played incredible, but that's not what I was expecting myself to do here. But I didn't play bad, either," said Federer. "So I'm very happy with how things went today. Stepanek is a player who can cause a lot of difficulties in the game. He has caused me difficulties in the past. Today that wasn't the case. I thought I was pretty much in control."

Federer has a 35-6 record in Madrid, beating Tomas Berdych in the 2012 final to win the title for the third time. The Basel native is chasing his 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this week.

Federer played down suggestions that extended he may limit his tournament schedule and take breaks such as his recent two-month absence more regularly to extend his career, insisting his goal is to play "at least 15 tournaments per year."

"It's not really my goal, to be honest, to play the minimum amount of tournaments," said Federer, "Of course I'd like to play as long as possible but it's not a matter of playing minimum tournaments - you want to try to win the ones you play, you want to play enough.

"Playing just the minimum means you're often playing very rusty, you don't have momentum, you don't have confidence - it's quite difficult to play that way. This year is a bit different, now I've had this big stretch, but after this, for the year, it's going to be a normal schedule.

"I hope that this is going to be refreshing for me - I haven't been home to Switzerland for seven straight weeks since…I don't know, 1997? And I chose to do that without being injured."

Date: 7th May 2013, Source: ATP and ESPN

Federer hopes to be 'tough to beat'

World No. 2 Roger Federer hopes he will be a tough proposition for his rivals in the coming weeks as he prepares to return to action from an eight-week break at the Mutua Madrid Open.

“For me, it was important to take a bit of a rest - not too long - just enough so I'm really sort of tough to beat in the next few months,” said Federer.

“What we play for at the end of the day is playing in front of fans and being part of the show and achieving things in your career you always dreamed about. For that, I need to work hard as well. I need to get away from it all, so that when I do come back I'm excited and motivated. That's what I feel right now, and that can then carry you a long way.”

While Federer hasn’t played since reaching the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the defending Madrid champion believes his time away will only help him as he gets ready for one of the most important stretches of the season.

“I’ve just been home and practising hard as I was hoping to. I feel good now,” said Federer. “It took me a little time to get over my back issue from Indian Wells. But at the same time, that collided with my vacation anyway, which was okay, so I didn't lose much time there.

“Now I feel good. I’m obviously extremely excited being back on Tour. I’m sort of entering all the tournaments from here through to the US Open really, so it's going to be a long stretch. You want to be ready for it. I'm very excited, which is a good thing.”

Federer will open his title defence against the winner of a first-round match between Bernard Tomic and Radek Stepanek.

Date: 5th May 2013, Source: ATP

Mutua Madrid Open 2013 draw

The draw for the 12th edition of the Mutua Madrid Open is out and Roger Federer will be looking to successfully defend his title.

At his first tournament on clay this season, Roger will play his first match against the winner of the match between Bernard Tomic (ATP 49) and Radek Stepanek (ATP 48). In the following round he could meet Kei Nishikori (ATP 15) before facing Richard Gasquet in the quarters. In the semis, Roger will most probably face a Spaniard - if it is not the number 5 seed Rafael Nadal, it might either be David Ferrer (ATP 4) or Nicolas Almagro (ATP 12).

In the final, Roger Federer will meet Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray.

Date: 5th May 2013, Source: RF Official