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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 to join Wawrinka in Swiss Davis Cup quest; Plays Serbia on this weekend

Switzerland's former world number one Roger Federer will join Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in their Davis Cup first-round tie against Serbia on this weekend.

"I can confirm that Roger is in Serbia and will play in the Davis Cup," Swiss Tennis Federation spokeswoman Sandra Perez told Reuters by email on Wednesday.

"He will take part in the press conference tomorrow (Thursday) when the draw takes place," she said.

''Federer's arrival surprised everyone,'' Serbia coach Bogdan Obradovic told The Associated Press. ''It tells us that the Swiss are taking this match very seriously.''

With Federer renewing his Davis Cup partnership with Wawrinka, the Swiss will start as strong favorites against 2010 winners and 2013 runners-up Serbia, who are missing their top three players including world number two Novak Djokovic.

Federer, the winner of 17 Grand Slam titles on the men's ATP Tour, has never won the Davis Cup and renewing his partnership with Wawrinka should present him with a good chance of adding to his jam-packed trophy cabinet.

The 32-year-old Swiss maestro last played for his country in the 2012 World Group playoff win over the Netherlands and his best result in the competition was reaching the 2003 semi-finals. He has a 32-7 career record in singles and 11-8 record in doubles.

Although Wawrinka is likely to be exhausted after his celebrations and a long-haul flight from Melbourne following his win over Spain's world number one Rafa Nadal in Sunday's final, the Swiss should be too strong for a decimated Serbian side.

That is, unless world number two Novak Djokovic follows in Federer's footsteps and makes a last minute U-Turn, having earlier pulled out of the tie to focus on the ATP Tour and his bid to wrestle the top ranking spot back from Nadal.

If there is to be another twist, Djokovic would have to cut short his skiing holiday in the Serbian resort of Mount Kopaonik, where he has been photographed by local media with friends and family.

Serbia will certainly miss the injured Janko Tipsarevic, who has been sidelined with a heel problem since October, and suspended Viktor Troicki who is serving a 12-month doping ban for missing a blood test in April.


The Serbians are relying on the unheralded duo of world number 102 Dusan Lajovic and Filip Krajinovic (280) as the likely singles starters, with Nenad Zimonjic expected to join forces with Ilija Bozoljac in the doubles.

Their coach Bogdan Obradovic thinks Wawrinka's probable exhaustion is Serbia's best chance of springing what would have been upset even with Federer absent.

"It's a predicament not having our best players available but it's also an opportunity to inject some fresh blood into the squad," Obradovic told a news conference in the SPENS Arena prior to breaking news that Federer was on his way to Serbia.

"The atmosphere is great and what we need now is a big fan turnout so that these young lads get the proper support on the big stage. We will do everything we can to win.

"Players like Wawrinka always find a way to dig deep into their resources but despite being up against it, our goal remains to win three points in the tie and advance to the next round."

With Federer now ready to support Wawrinka, who will also be pumped up after winning his first grand slam and rocketing to a career-best world number three.

The series opens Friday on indoor hardcourt at Novi Sad.

The winner plays Belgium or Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals in April.

Date: 29th January 2014, Source: Reuters and AP

Why Roger Federer is the best player in Tennis history despite what so called Nadal's inconsistent prime time

The easiest and most superficial way to compare tennis players is the number of grand slam tournaments they’ve won. Roger Federer is still the all-time leader with 17, and Rafael Nadal has some way to go before he catches up, stuck on 13. By that measurement alone Federer remains the greatest player of all time.

But that doesn’t persuade those who are convinced Nadal is the best one ever. The rationalization? Nadal’s record against Federer, which is a thumping 23-10. It’s 14-6 in tournament finals, 9-2 in Grand Slam matches and 6-2 in Grand Slam finals. The only place Federer has been able to beat Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament has been at Wimbledon.

But Rafa supporters tend to forget one thing. Each player has his peak. Federer had his between 2004 and 2007; three years in which he won 11 of the 16 possible Grand Slam titles, including three years with three Grand Slam triumphs. Rafael Nadal, in comparison, has only one year with 3 Grand Slam titles.

Consistency, longevity and another important factor: Not losing to inferior players when it matters, is something Nadal supporters forget. Federer reached 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals, beginning with the 2004 Wimbledon tournament (which he won) and ended when he couldn’t get past the quarterfinals in the French Open in 2010, a year after he completed his career grand slam in Paris. Federer made it to 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals, 36 consecutive men’s Major quarter-finals and from 2004 through 2009, only four Majors had their finals held without him.

Nadal came into his own when Federer was already on the decline. Beating him at the Roland Garros didn’t make him better overall, only on clay. Nadal finally beat Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final and then again in the 2009 Australian Open final to finally get crowned as the best player right now, but since then it’s been up and down for him - a great 2010, a frustrating 2011 and 2012, a wonderful comeback in 2013. Federer had a surprising 2009, adding two more Grand Slam titles in 2010 and 2012. It’s clearly a younger man’s game, and Federer is well into his 30′s by now.

Injuries might be an unlucky thing, but staying healthy is part of the deal, part of greatness. Nadal is an all-time great, and the most dominant player on a single surface to ever been born. However, there’s something to be said about his performances at the Australian and US Open; being the king of the Roland Garros doesn’t cut it, and constantly losing to inferior players over the years has to count against him when the final measurements of who is the best of all-time are taken. At his best, Federer hardly ever lost to players ranked below him when it wasn’t in Paris, and even there, it was usually Nadal who stood in the way.

Nadal still has time to change the narrative of this story, while Federer is more of a bystander these days. His chances of winning more Grand Slam titles are running out, but it doesn’t erase everything he’s done since winning his first Grand Slam title in 2003, while not being able to best a much younger Nadal in a different phase of his career doesn’t turn him into an inferior player. He might have a matchup problem with him, but the body of work that he’s built over the years still stands alone, unrivaled, as the greatest in the history of the sport.

Date: 28th January 2014, Source: Sportige

Federer hopeful of great year despite losing to Nadal in AO semis

Roger Federer is confident his best tennis remains ahead of him after what he labelled an "encouraging" start to the season following a difficult period on the ATP World Tour last season.

After a tight first set, Federer was outplayed by the world number one, beaten 7-6(4) 6-3 6-3 as the Spaniard set up a final with another Swiss, Stanislas Wawrinka.

Federer's only lingering regret from Melbourne, where he contested his 57th successive Grand Slam championship, will be missing out on contesting the first all-Swiss Grand Slam final against Stanislas Wawrinka.

"It's very encouraging, no doubt," said Federer, who has been playing with a larger racquet head since the start of the season. "I wish I could have won here tonight and then given an all-Swiss final. That's something I'll regret for a long time.

"I think this is a very good start to the season for me overall. I played some really good tennis here. I still feel my best tennis is only ahead of me right now. So I'm looking forward to the next couple of months, how they're going to play out for me, and hopefully by April I feel like I'm going to be at 100 per cent again."

Critics were quick to pounce on Federer last season, with defeats to World No. 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky and No. 114 Federico Delbonis in the space of a month a cause for concern for the 17-time major champion. But the 2014 Australian Open has seen Federer return to near his best tennis, highlighted by impressive performances against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray carrying him to an 11th successive semi-final at Melbourne Park.

"I needed a good moment again because I've been going through a tougher time for some time," said Federer, who is next due to play at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February. "Even though you can say that Basel was better, Paris was better, London was better, the results were slightly better, but the game itself was not necessarily amazing. It was solid, but what I like to do is I like to take it to the guy. I like to be in command. That's what I was able to do now the last couple of weeks. So that's very encouraging.

"I've come from far back. I didn't have surgery like Murray had or like Rafa with the knee problems, being out for seven months. I've played with something that has been going on for a while. This is a step in the right direction, and that's the way I want to go. I have a belief this could be a very good year for me again."

Leading into his 33rd clash with Nadal, Federer had hinted at new ideas coach Edberg was bringing to the table to try and give the Swiss an edge. Those tactics, Federer explained, were given little chance due to the way Nadal played.

"I tried a few things," said Federer. "I think Rafa does a good job of neutralising you. The problem was because I wasn't getting into enough service games. You're not going to try out a crazy amount of things on your own service games. There you need to play tough and aggressive and you just have to be solid. So I guess at times I couldn't quite do what I wanted to do, but that's because of Rafa.

"He did a good job," said Federer. "He didn't make many errors, even though I was trying to hit hard and flat. I tried to play my game. Sometimes I did play very well and sometimes I didn't. But he overall was more consistent. He deserved to win tonight. He was better."

Date: 24th January 2014, Source: ATP

Federer grinds down Murray to set Nadal clash; Dreams of all-Swiss AO final

Roger Federer overcame a gutsy Andy Murray on Wednesday night in Melbourne to reach the Australian Open semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 victory. The Swiss prevailed in the dramatic contest to reach the last four at Melbourne Park for the 11th year in a row and set a blockbuster clash with Rafael Nadal.

"It's really a big pleasure for me being back in the semi-finals," said Federer. "This one feels different because of the tougher times I've had in slams, Wimbledon, at the US Open. It's nice to be back in the semis and defend my points from last year.

"I definitely sensed that today, I am back physically," said Federer. "I'm explosive out there. I can get to balls. I'm not afraid to go for balls. It was a great game on many levels today, not just physically. Also just mentally it was tough. Then I really played some good tennis. I was very happy."

Federer has lost his past four meetings against Nadal and trails their Head 2 Head 10-22, but the Swiss is hopeful that new coach Stefan Edberg can give him the edge in their 33rd meeting.

"I'm happy I get a chance to play him in a slam again," said Federer. "I'm looking forward to speaking to Stefan, because when we spoke together when he came to Dubai and we spoke about the game, we clearly spoke about playing Rafa, as well.

"He thought he had some good ideas, so I'm looking forward to what he has to say. Clearly with Severin, he knows him inside out. I'm looking forward to hearing what the boys have to say. We'll prepare. I hope I can get a win."

The 32-year-old Federer is bidding to win his 18th Grand Slam championship and fifth title at Melbourne Park, having lifted the trophy in 2004, 2006-07 and 2010, when he beat Murray in the final. His last major triumph came 18 months ago at Wimbledon, where he also prevailed over Murray.

The Basel native improved to a 10-11 standing against Murray as he broke down the Briton in three hours and 20 minutes on Rod Laver Arena. Murray saved two match points on the brink of defeat in the third set, but a lack of match fitness and sharpness, having only just returned from back surgery, proved decisive for Murray as Federer closed out the win.

Looking to avenge the five-set defeat he suffered to Murray in last year’s Australian Open semi-finals, Federer made a fast start, breaking the Scot in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead. Showcasing a greater tendency to attack the net, Federer dominated on serve, surrendering just five of 25 points as he wrapped up the opener in 31 minutes.

Federer was relentless in the second set. He broke Murray again in the fifth game as he powered into a two-set lead. Murray was unable to engineer a break point as Federer came to the net 13 times and closed out the set in 48 minutes.

Federer looked set for a straight-sets win as he broke Murray for a 5-4 lead in the third set. However, serving for the match, the Swiss went down 15/40, offering Murray his first two break points of the match. Murray converted his second, attacking with a backhand down the line to force the error from Federer.

In the ensuing tie-break, Federer opened up a 6-4 lead. He was again thwarted, though. First a forehand error and then a backhand mistake saw his match points vanish and Murray pounced. The Scot painted the line with a forehand winner to earn a set point and converted to force a fourth set.

Federer was always in control in the fourth set. The Swiss was denied on six break points in an 18-minute second game, but always had Murray under pressure and the ailing Scot succumbed in the eighth game. Federer broke for a 5-3 lead before serving out victory at the second time of asking.

The 26-year-old Murray is a three-time runner-up at the Australian Open and was looking to reach the semi-finals Down Under for the fifth year in a row. The Dunblane native underwent back surgery in September, three months after winning his second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon (d. Djokovic). He returned to the courts at the start of 2014 in Doha.

"I gave him the break at the end of the match. That was disappointing," reflected Murray. "In the first two sets I thought he played great tennis. When he was serving for the match I felt like I raised my level because I had to basically, and obviously prolonged the match a bit further. I just wasn't able to get ahead in the fourth set.

"I was proud of the way I fought. That's the highest level I've played at in a long time. I hung in well. I pushed through it. Almost got myself back in the match."

Federer on all-Swiss Australian Open final

Federer baulked at envisaging a first all-Swiss Australian Open final, admitting both would be on the same flight back to Switzerland if they dared think too far ahead.

First he would have to find a way past Nadal who have denied him in big matches more than any other player. Wawrinka, for his part, would have to hold his nerve against Czech Tomas Berdych.

"Plus what I really love is another Swiss is in the semis as well. It's the first time in history. So that's a big deal. I was really happy for Stan last night, because he's been putting in an amazing effort for the last years and didn't always get compensated. That's the big news for me.

"It's nice seeing it turning around for him. And for me, yeah, I hope I can make it to the finals. Clearly when you're in the semis you start dreaming. There's no doubt about that," Federer said.

It appears, not even Federer, on the eve of his own quarterfinal showdown, could turn the television off when Wawrinka and Djokovic raised the stakes in their five-set battle.

"At the end I was standing up, hands in the air like him. That's what it was, you know," he said. "When he wins big points, yeah, I guess you do fist pump. I high-five with Mirka. So it was good fun last night. We watched the entire fifth set together."

Date: 22nd January 2014, Source: ATP and Australian Open

Vintage Federer takes out Tsonga; Books Murray quarter final

Roger Federer has set a quarter-final showdown with Andy Murray at the Australian Open after a straight-sets win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Melbourne Park.

Generating additional power with his larger racquet, Federer's aggressive game plan took him to a 6-3, 7-5 6-4 win. In a vintage performance the 17-time Grand Slam champion clipped 21 winners in the second set alone, closing it out with an ace. Federer, who improved to 10-4 in career Head 2 Head meetings with Tsonga, faced (and saved) just one break point in the match.

"I thought I played really well tonight," Federer said in his on-court interview. "Against Jo-Willie you've gotta bring your best game because he dictates play a lot. I thought I did a good job myself dictating a lot of the play tonight. It helped that I played well in the first three matches to come in and play a solid match tonight."

Federer, who won 34 of 41 net approaches, said that his game plan was to be aggressive and come in. "Jo makes you play an aggressive game yourself because if you don't he will come in and it's tough to pass time and time again. I thought the tactics worked well tonight."

In a very clean performance, Federer hit 43 winners to 21 unforced errors.

Tsonga said simply that he was beaten by a better player on the day. "He was playing unbelievable. I was not good enough to destabilise him," the 2008 Australian Open finalist said. "I played good tennis, but maybe I didn't serve well enough. Everything in my game was there. I was pretty strong on the baseline.  But he took the ball very early today, and he was always taking time away from me."

Monday's win provides Federer with a massive confidence boost as he looks to rebuild from a lean 2013 season - when he won just one title (Halle) - and as he debuts a larger 98” racquet. The five-time year-end World No. 1 had won just three of his past 13 matches against Top 10 opponents before toppling Tsonga.

Federer picked apart his opponent's serve twice in an opening set boasting 14 points won from 17 rushes to the net, and sealed it when Tsonga pushed a lob into the tramlines.

The Frenchman battled to keep the match on serve in the second set but it all came unstuck at 5-5.

He saved a break point with an ace, but Federer raised a second with a sliced backhand that the net cord dropped unkindly onto the Frenchman's side.

Sealing the set with an ace, Federer then ensured there would be no repeat of the marathon five-setter he needed to knock out Tsonga at last year's quarter-finals.

Trailing 4-2 in the third set with three break-points against him, an exasperated Tsonga howled in frustration, earning a warning for bashing a ball into the night sky.

He saved them all to close out the game and slammed his racket into his chair in a bid to pump himself up.

But in the following game, the Frenchman dumped his sole break point chance into the net allowing Federer to march on, and serve out the final game to love.

Federer is now one win away from his 11th consecutive Australian Open semi-final, but standing in his way is fourth seed Murray, against whom the Swiss trails 9-11 in Head 2 Head meetings, but Federer is 3-1 up in matches at grand slams. It will be their first meeting since Murray triumphed in a five-set semi-final at Melbourne Park last year.

Four-time Melbourne champion Federer, who has not dropped a set through his first four matches, has now reached 41 major quarter-finals, tying the all-time record with Jimmy Connors.

Federer is playing in a record 57th consecutive Grand Slam tournament and 59th overall. Federer this month added two-time former Australian Open champion Stefan Edberg to his coaching staff.

Federer added: "Andy's done great to reach the quarter-finals so soon after surgery and let's hope his fitness holds out because we always have great matches and I'm really looking forward to it."

On the Federer showdown, Murray added: "It's a big match for me. It's the quarter-finals of a slam. Roger's played great tennis here in the past. It will be a very tough match for me."

Date: 20th January 2014, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer set for tougher tests after routine wins

Four-time champion Roger Federer coasted into the last 16 of the Australian Open on Saturday before admitting that the hard work starts now.

The sixth-seeded Swiss crushed Russia's Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 41 minutes to make it through to the last 16 of a grand slam without dropping a set for the 27th time in his career.

Federer was barely troubled by Gabashvili, the world number 79, and though he knows he needs to lift his game, is happy with his form.

"I'm happy that from my side I'm winning my matches in straight sets," said Federer. "It's been different conditions every match: the heat first and the indoor match and now normal conditions today with a bit of wind. So it's just good to get through and get a good feel out there and make sure if you've got a chance to win your matches easier to do so. That's what I was able to do today, so I'm pleased."

Federer is through to the fourth round in Melbourne for the 13th year in a row. He has a tournament-best 71-10 event record, winning the title in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray). He has lost in the semi-finals the past three years.

In his first meeting since 2007 with Gabashvili, Federer saved the five break points he faced and broke the Russian five times from 14 opportunities. "I had to work for it," said Federer. "Once I got the lead, then I was able to stretch. It was an interesting match. I had to defend much more than I had to in my previous match. Of course it was a totally different opponent, but I think it was, in a way, a tricky match today."

Federer, next plays the 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who the Swiss beat over five tough sets in the Australian Open quarter-finals last year.

"This is clearly a tough draw," he told reporters. "But the important thing now for me is just that I keep playing well and I don't go crazy about who I play now.

"It's just now up to me to bring it in the next match."

Only two of Federer's record 17 grand slam titles have come in the past four years, in Australia in 2010 and at Wimbledon in 2012.

The Swiss has made a habit of demolishing his opponents in the early stages and said the move from 16 to 32 seeds may have helped his cause.

"I have had tough draws throughout my career, not every time, but in many tournaments. So I remember tough draws in early rounds," he said.

"With the 32 seeds it's a bit more predictable, a lot more predictable actually.

"That's one of the reasons I think I have always been able to go deep in slams, especially once I was able to be seeded. I took advantage of that."

Date: 18th January 2014, Source: Reuters and ATP

Roger Federer records 70th Australian Open win; Aims aggressive approach

Roger Federer won his 70th match at the Australian Open on Thursday as he defeated Blaz Kavcic 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(4) to reach the third round at Melbourne Park.

With the Extreme Heat Policy in effect, the roof was closed on Hisense Arena as Federer prevailed in his first contest with Kavcic in one hour and 47 minutes. The Swiss hit 52 winners and limited Kavcic to just 11. He broke the Slovenian six times from 11 opportunities. Up until today, Federer had played 63 successive matches on Rod Laver Arena.

"I'm happy on a hot day like this," said Federer. "It was a good first two sets I thought. I played really aggressive and it worked out. Third set I think he was more consistent. He served better. In the process, it got closer. I'm happy I got it done in three.

"It was nice, I enjoyed playing on Hisense. It's not really different to Rod Laver Arena. Just dimensions feel the same. I don't feel like you need to make an adjustment. The crowds were really nice. Great atmosphere over there. I was happy playing there."

"It’s been 10 years since I played here last. I was supposed to play here a couple of years ago but my opponent pulled out. I came over early so I made sure I didn’t get lost, so I was on time," he joked, after it was suggested his wife Mirka had to use satellite navigation to find the venue.

Four-time former champion Federer is the first player to reach the 70 wins milestone at Melbourne Park. He lifted the trophy here in 2004, 2006-07 and 2010. It is the eighth time that a player has won at least 70 matches at a Grand Slam tournament.

Next in Federer’s path as he bids to win an 18th Grand Slam championship will be Teymuraz Gabashvili who defeated Fernando Verdasco in five sets.

Aggressive Approach

Entering his 57th consecutive Grand Slam with a bigger racquet-head and debutant champion coach Stefan Edberg, Federer has congruently adopted a new approach to his ball-striking: be aggressive. And after one of his most dominant wins of the season, dropping just three games in the opening two sets against Blaz Kavcic today, it appears to be working.

"I think in these conditions and on the hard courts it's what we want to try to do, especially early in the tournament, without taking stupid chances," Federer said about his more attacking game style. "I was overly aggressive at times, but I'd rather be that than overly passive. But the error counts started mounting as well.

"It was something I was trying to do a little bit today, mix it up, swing the serve around a little bit, also come in. I was in command on my serve. That was for me most important, that is there I'm rock solid."

Success isn’t finite and Federer, slipping to the sixth seeding at the Australian Open this year for the first time since 2003, is hoping a transition to a more attacking game style will turn the tide against his younger foes, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, breeding a new era of success. His passion for the tennis tour is the one constant in his approach to tennis.

"I like the check ins at airports. Packing the bags is good fun. What else? Playing in 42 degrees heat," the Swiss joked.

"It's like a traveling circus in a way. You put up your tents, stay there for some time. Tennis is something I really enjoy, and doing all of that with my wife and kids is something that I'm very happy about, that it's all working out. That we actually make it work and enjoy it, all of us, going to different places."

Despite hiring Edberg, one of the prolific serve-volleyers of the game, an attacking transition to the net was never the focus.

"He was probably one of the greatest of all times in terms of serve and volley," Federer said of Edberg. "He moved so smoothly and he did it so well. So, sure, if he can give me some input on the serve and volley and the volleys in general, that would be a good thing.

"But I worked a ton with Tony Roche on my volleys as well, throughout my career anyway, so I didn't hire Edberg just because of my volleys or because of the transition game."

While Federer admitted he didn’t feel pressure playing in front of his childhood idol turned coach, a line of tennis greats might just be the answer to getting the Swiss to the net.

"Of course, if they'd all be sitting in a line, like 20 guys, it's a different story. I'd think, I better improve my volleys a little bit because they all used to volley better than me. So that would make me feel bad. But maybe I got other things. I don't know."

Date:16th January 2014, Source: ATP

Roger Federer sets Grand Slam streak; Advances to second round of Australian Open

Roger Federer stepped onto Rod Laver Arena for the start of his record 57th straight Grand Slam tournament Tuesday afternoon, and dismissed 21-year-old Australian wild card James Duckworth 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

With coach Stefan Edberg watching from his box, the 32-year-old Swiss created 17 break point chances and capitalised four times to close out the win in one hour and 46 minutes.

"It was not much rhythm out there," said Federer. "It was a matter of getting the job done and not getting broken. So it was a solid match from start to finish. Could have maybe won a few more break points here and there, but who cares now?"

Federer, who is chasing his fifth Australian Open title, hasn't missed a Grand Slam tournament since the 1999 US Open. He surpassed the mark previously held by South African Wayne Ferreira, who appeared in 56 straight majors from the 1992 through 2003 Australian Opens.

"Clearly that's a record in a way I guess I'm proud of in some ways, because there's no shortcuts in Grand Slams because of the best of five set situation," he said. "Two weeks and it's spread out throughout the year, so you have to stay injury free and be healthy. I showed that for 13 years."

Asked how he handled the heat, the 32-year-old Federer said: ''I'm here. I'm speaking. Actually, it's not crazy.''

''It was very dry, just hot, stinging sort of sun,'' he added later. ''Depending on where you come from it has a bigger effect on you, this type of heat. So it's very personal, and it can become just a very mental thing - you just can't accept that it's hot.''

Federer next plays Slovenian Blaz Kavcic, who advanced when Radek Stepanek retired in the fourth set of their first-round match. Stepanek had had won the first two sets, but only won one of the last nine games.

Federer and Edberg make dream team debut

Racing into the second round of his record 57th consecutive Grand Slam tournament with a straight-sets win over Australian wildcard James Duckworth, Roger Federer managed a rare glance to his player box to check that champion coach debutant Stefan Edberg was paying attention. He was.

"I realised after a set that I didn't look up once yet. I better check if he's actually sitting there," Federer said of Edberg. “I did see him. He was wearing sunglasses. Okay, he is there.

"I don't look up much. I stopped doing that way back when because you just can't be dependent on these looks all the time.  Being coached from the sidelines; that's not how I grew up.

"I feel like it's like in school, you do your work.  At home, you get ready for the test, and then the test, you don't cheat and you try to do your best. I see it the same way in tennis."

The match against Duckworth was the first time Edberg warmed Federer up before a match - a multi-tasking hitting partner and coach - and after a successful debut, the 17-time Grand Slam champion is eager to go through the post-match motions before his second round against Slovenian Blaz Kavcic on Thursday.

"We will probably go to dinner tonight and just see who else joins in, and then we will just watch some matches. I think he wants to see quite a few matches live, as well. Because he's seen a lot on TV but, live is a different game. So he's going to do a bit of that.

"Tomorrow we will just go through the motions in practice and discuss my future opponent.  Just spend time, the three of us, with Severin Luthi, my coach, as well. That's what's on the planning front right now."

While Federer remained couth about his 57-straight Grand Slam appearances, he cracked a smile at the mention of one of his seemingly countless records, the most ATP Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Awards. The partnership seemed a match-up destined to eventuate.

"It’s a bit weird, and I think I won it more than he did. That's my favourite thing about the award,” Federer laughed.

"I'm joking. Obviously he was a role model for me growing up, the way he conducted himself on the court, away from the court, in the press room. I learned a lot from him, and it's nice to have him in my corner and be able to just speak to him and be inspired by what he says about the game today and about how it used to be for him maybe, telling me stories."

His sixth seeding is Federer’s lowest at the Australian Open since 2003, but the relaxed Swiss, with 59 total Grand Slam appearances, well and truly has the experience behind him.

"I think it's only a thing players do since maybe 20 years ago to go to all the Slams. By virtue of that Slams have gotten more important over the years."

Date: 14th January 2014, Source: ATP

Edberg hopes to inspire Federer to more grand slams

Stefan Edberg believes his return to the Tour as a coach of Roger Federer can help the Swiss add to his record tally of 17 grand slam titles.

The Swede will be a part of Federer's team for 10 weeks in 2014, including all four grand slam events.

"I am doing it because I really think I can make a little difference," Edberg told a small group of reporters at Melbourne Park on Monday.

"If I can make a little difference, maybe that will take him back where he was.

"Roger has to do the work on the court but it's maybe just a different voice, different opinions and obviously I've been in this situation before, in the big tournaments.

"Tennis-wise he's such a great player but there are always many things you can work on, maybe minor things in his game.

"It's going to be a tough road but I still believe he's good enough on a given day to beat anybody.

"If he could win a slam here this year, it would be great but it's a tough task, a lot of good players."

With Boris Becker having joined Novak Djokovic's team and Ivan Lendl now in his third year as Andy Murray's coach, Edberg's return has added to a buzz of excitement on the Tour.

The softly-spoken Swede quit the Tour in 1996 after winning six grand slam singles titles and still makes the occasional appearance on the Champions Tour.

Looking like he could still be out there himself, Edberg hinted that only Federer could have persuaded him to give up his "comfortable life".

"I think Roger is such a special person both on and off the court, a person that I really respect and because it was him, at least I gave it a thought," he said.

"I talked with my family because I live a pretty comfortable life now and this is a change.

"But it's such a great opportunity to be around Roger and (maybe) I can have a good input in keeping him in this game as long as we can, because he's so great for tennis."

Date: 13th January 2014, Source: Reuters

Roger Federer - the legend has that winning feeling back ahead of Australian Open

The Swiss on how coach Stefan Edberg, a new racket and working harder than the rest of the leading players over the winter have lifted his confidence.

Of Roger Federer's many qualities, his optimism is one of the greatest. The former world No 1 has suffered many setbacks in recent times - sliding down the world rankings, seeing his run of 36 successive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances come to an end, losing to some of the sport's journeymen - but always bounces back in confident mood. Ask him how long he took to recover from his latest devastating defeat and he will usually tell you that it was only a matter of minutes.

As the 32-year-old Swiss prepares to contest his 57th Grand Slam tournament in a row at the Australian Open here next week - a run which will take him past Wayne Ferreira's Open era record - he is once again thinking only of the positives. Federer looks back on last week's Brisbane International, for example, where he lost to Lleyton Hewitt for just the second time in 18 meetings, as a good start to 2014. He also draws encouragement both from his winter break, which followed his least productive campaign for 12 years, and the fact that he has recovered from the back problems that troubled him in 2013.

"I probably trained harder in the off-season than all the guys ahead of me in the rankings," the world No 6 said here in Melbourne as he looked forward to the new season. "They went off to play exhibitions, like I did last year, so that [counts in my favour]. I did a full-on month [of training], which I haven't done in a long time. My body held up for that and I've just played singles and doubles in Brisbane.

"I really feel like I'm on the way back. Who knows? Maybe I'll play my best in March or April. That's my feeling, but I still feel there's a lot that's possible right now. Maybe that's why I haven't set particular, special goals. I just want to get back to a good level and then, hopefully, I can start winning tournaments again."
He added: "Of course, I need to have goals, but right now I'm coming off a tough season. The important thing for me is that I find my way back into the whole rhythm, which I think I did, because I played a lot of tennis in Basel, Paris and London at the end of last season."

Never one to rest on his laurels, Federer has been ringing the changes in the hope of extending a career which has already brought him 17 Grand Slam singles titles and $79,265,175 in prize-money, both records. Having dispensed with Paul Annacone, he has brought Stefan Edberg into his coaching team. After experiments with new rackets, he has also settled on a new tool of his trade.

The choice of Edberg, who will be with Federer for 10 weeks of the year, is intriguing, particularly as the Swede's appointment comes at a time when two other former greats of the game, Boris Becker and Ivan Lendl, are working with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray respectively. You might think that the most accomplished player of all time would not need a coach, but Federer knows that Tony Roche was a major factor in his most successful years, while Annacone helped him to win his seventh Wimbledon crown after more than two and a half years without a Grand Slam title.

"I'm very inspired and motivated right now," Federer said. "Of course, working with Stefan Edberg is a very special situation for me. He was the man who I was watching the most when I was growing up and has influenced me most in terms of inspiring me as a tennis player. So to spend some weeks with him throughout the year is going to be very special for me.

"Trying out the new racket is something I've always wanted to do. That's something that is going really well and that I'm happy about. Then just having my body being back to a good level is also very motivating and keeps you very eager."

Federer experimented with a new Wilson racket last summer after Wimbledon, where he suffered his most devastating loss of the year, to the world No 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky. The change did not go well as the Swiss lost to Federico Delbonis (world No 114) in Hamburg and to Daniel Brands (world No 55) in Gstaad, after which he reverted to his former racket. Nevertheless, Federer still lost in the fourth round of the US Open to Tommy Robredo - a player he had beaten in all 10 of their previous meetings - and ended the season with just one title to his name, which was his worst haul since 2001.

Acting on Federer's feedback, Wilson provided him with more rackets for the US Open and again at the end of the season. He played with his latest choice for two and a half weeks while training in Dubai before coming here. "I feel very comfortable with it, more comfortable than I did with the one after Wimbledon," Federer said. "This one feels more of an extension than I had before, but I guess it's in a more futuristic form."

He added: "I had a much longer time to get ready for this swing than I had last time around after Wimbledon before the American summer. I'm not thinking about it when I'm going out there, which is a great thing. I'm hitting the ball really well."

The continuing pulling power of the seven-times Wimbledon champion was evident here on Wednesday night, when a capacity crowd filled Rod Laver Arena to attend "A Night with Roger Federer and Friends", a gala evening to raise funds for his charitable foundation. There were guest appearances by Laver and Pat Rafter, but the centrepiece was essentially a practice match between Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. It was even broadcast live on television.

Federer, whose foundation supports underprivileged children in Africa, would like to see the sport do more to support good causes. "I see the power that tennis can have," he said. "We don't play that many pro-ams, like golf does. I think we could exploit more times the way we include charities into tournaments. I think the players are very open to these things."

He added: "Exhibitions and matches like that definitely inspire you to keep on playing. That's not my only goal because I actually want to play tennis and be successful and win as well, because the thrill of holding up a trophy, of being on match point, is actually an amazing one. That's probably deep down why I'm still playing, but of course there are so many other things I can do at the same time.

"The enjoyment factor I get out of playing on tour today is totally different. It's a much deeper love of the game that I have today and a much bigger appreciation and respect. I just remember playing out on Court 25 early in my career. Now that I play on Centre Court most of the time it's an absolute privilege."

Ever mindful of the history of the game, Federer can see how appropriate it would be if he were to add to his Grand Slam collection later this month. "Ten years ago I became world No 1 here and 10 years ago I won my first Australian Open," he said. "I think I can play very well here, though I'm not thinking too far ahead."

Date: 10th January 2014, Source: The Independent

Roger Federer and Friends night raises over $1 million

Certain ovations are reserved for the true legends of a sport so when Rod Laver was brought onto court to hit a few balls with Roger Federer on Tuesday night, it was enough to bring a tear to the eye of Roger Federer and his wife Mirka.

The magnitude of Australian great Laver’s influence on the sport is not lost on Federer and the Swiss great was humbled to have his idol participate in the charity night celebrating 10 years of the Roger Federer Foundation.

Before a near packed crowd on the centre court named in Laver’s honour, a contingent of Australian influences on Federer’s career were brought onto court. First, his long-time rival Lleyton Hewitt, then former coach Tony Roche, who guided him to six of his 17 majors. Pat Rafter - a player who has the enviable honour of having never lost to Federer - followed and admitted while they only played once, it was so early on in his opponent’s career that he was “barely out of nappies.”

Federer’s opponent for the charity match, French world No.10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, made his entrance but without doubt the loudest cheers came when Federer greeted Laver.

“Well I was nervous and then he came out and I tried to keep the ball in play. I was able to do that. It was just a dream come true to be able to play some balls with him, spend time with him, speaking to him, he’s such an inspiration and has such a big impact on the game of tennis particularly here in Australia and it’s very, very special for all of us,” Federer said.

For the record, Federer won the hit-out with Tsonga 6-7(5) 6-3 7-5, but the true focus was on Federer’s foundation, with the televised event and resulting donations raising more than $1 million on the night.

Huge effort from the Australian Open ballkids to raise  $6733 for the Roger Federer Foundation is an another spectacular moment of the event.

“I just thought you know, this could be a really nice way to celebrate that,” Federer said. “To help people in need, that’s really most important.”

“With Jo, we are very close on the tour,” said Federer. “We’ve had some great matches on the court, we’ve always played very fair and I think we really like each other very much on and off the court because there’s always a fun factor to it.”

“It’s something that’s very close to my heart, I’m very emotionally attached to it,” Federer said. “For me to reach 10 years already is a great deal because I’m happy I was able to start it so early … My mum has been the big inspiration behind me starting the foundation from a very young age and in 10 years of the foundation we’ve reached about 86,000 kids, so far, who are poorly educated.

“We have an ambitious goal to reach 1 million kids by 2018 and an event like this is obviously going to help in a great way.”

Date: 9th January 2014, Source: Australian Open

Roger Federer rallies with Rod Laver in rare Australian Open warm-up

Roger Federer traded shots with his hero Rod Laver on Wednesday in the stadium that bears the Australian great's name before promising that his hunger for grand slam titles remains as strong as ever.

The 17-times grand slam champion beamed with pride after enjoying a few rallies with the 75-year-old, who was dressed in traditional whites and impressed a packed crowd with his movement ahead of Federer's exhibition match with French world number 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

"Hitting with Rod Laver for me clearly is an absolute dream come true," Federer told reporters after a crowd-pleasing 6-7(5) 6-3 7-5 win over Tsonga in the fund-raising event for his charity, the Roger Federer Foundation.

"It's in his arena as well, it's named after him and he deserves it so much.

"He told me that his wrist was hurting less on the forehand so he asked me to play there a bit more often.

"While I was playing my racket was feeling extremely heavy, that means I was very nervous which I really was because you don't want to miss a shot.

"I was happy we had some rallies. What an honor it was for me and I hope that the crowd enjoyed it and I'm very thankful that he was willing to do something like this because it's not normal in any way and that's why I really appreciate it."

The 32-year-old Federer has won four of his 17 major titles in Rod Laver Arena and famously burst into tears when receiving the second of his winner's trophies in 2006 from the Australian, the only man to complete two grand slams in calendar years.

Laver has returned the admiration and said during the Melbourne launch of his autobiography in October last year that the Swiss could hit back from his disappointing 2013 by winning the year's first grand slam.

Federer heads into the grand slam seeded sixth and after losing the final of the Brisbane International to fellow 32-year-old Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.

The Swiss has not set any goals for himself at Melbourne Park as he battles to return to peak form but said the tour was still keeping the competitive juices flowing.

"It's a different feeling today and the enjoyment factor I get out of playing on tour is totally different," he said.

"It's a much deeper love I have today for the game and a much bigger appreciation and respect I have.

"I just remember playing on court 25 all along in my career. So now that I can play on center court it's an absolute privilege most of the time and if they put me on Hisense Arena or Margaret Court Arena, I don't care," he said of the two other showcourts at Melbourne Park.

"As long as I can play in great conditions and enjoy myself I'll keep on playing."

Date: 9th January 2014, Source: Reuters

Roger Federer: "Very hungry and eager to attack"

Roger Federer entered the New Year refreshed and fervently anticipating a resurgent 2014.

Following a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 defeat to Lleyton Hewitt in Sunday’s final of the Brisbane International, the Swiss conveyed his impressions and reflected on the state of his game after the season opener, with the year’s first Grand Slam just a week away.

“I’m very hungry and eager to attack. I’m not thinking too far ahead. I’m not thinking short term. I’m definitely going there [Melbourne] to hopefully be there for a long time and putting myself in a good position.”

The 32 year old looks to continue his strong run of form that originated with a semi-final finish at the ATP World Tour Finals late last year. He looked back on his offseason training regimen, admitting that everything is coming together and holding up well after a back injury hindered his 2013 campaign.

“I’m looking back now, the last three, four months it’s been very positive going through Basel, Paris, and London. All three weeks in a row where I played a lot of matches, a lot of three setters as well. I went through all of December and probably practised more than all the guys ranked ahead of me because they were playing exhibitions and all that stuff. I did that for a full month, a lot of training, and now here I had another busy week and I’m actually holding up very good. So that's a good sign moving into 2014.

“I didn’t quite know what to expect from myself before the tournament. I played consistent, I must say. No breaks in the first three matches. Lleyton was the best player I played this week. He made it toughest on me, so I have a clear idea what I need to work on and I have a clear idea where my mind and body is.”
Federer had high praise for his longtime rival and acknowledges that Hewitt has made significant adjustments in his game over the years.

“I was making a lot of the shots early on, so also we didn't have the classical rallies we usually have against each other. He’s hitting the ball more flat. He doesn't allow you to come to the net as much anymore like he used to before back in the day. He used to almost make you come in and then pass you and frustrate you that way. So he’s changed that around a little bit because of the power game that exists in today’s game.”

Federer entered Sunday’s final leading 18-8 in their Head 2 Head series and had lost just once in his last 17 meetings against Hewitt. A storied rivalry that spans three decades, the Australian and the Swiss first met in 1999.

Date: 6th January 2014, Source: ATP

Hewitt stuns Federer in Brisbane final

Top seed Roger Federer and Australian Lleyton Hewitt added another chapter to their rivalry at the final of the Brisbane International on Sunday. Hewitt topped Federer 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, earning his his first ATP World Tour title since the 2010 event in Halle.

"Congratulations Lleyton on a great week and a great finals today, way to tough it out. You guys make it very special for all of us, thanks very much for coming out and giving it everything you got," said Federer.

"Playing the best players in the world and finals of tournaments, always it's exciting. That's why you still play the game," said Hewitt. "For me, it was motivation enough just to try to get the win out there and obviously win another title. It's been a couple years. So I was just ready for the challenge today.

"It means a lot with the calibre of players here as well in this tournament. It's not an easy tournament to win. I wasn't one of the top four seeds, so I had to win all five matches to get through. There are pleasing parts and massive positives to take out of it."

Hewitt took the first set 6-1 over Federer, breaking the Swiss three times in 27 minutes while the Swiss superstar committed 22 errors.

Federer fought back in the second set, securing the lone break in the ninth game. The 17-time Grand Slam champion held his serve to even the match at one set all in 49 minutes.

The tenacious Hewitt, playing in his 45th career final and his first on home soil since the 2005 Australian Open, bounced back in the third set, breaking Federer in the fourth game to go 3-1. Hewitt saved all seven break points he faced in that set, leading to him hoisting his 29th tour-level title in two hours and seven minutes.

"I played great obviously at the start, really well," said Hewitt. "It took Roger a little bit of time to get into the match. Then I just had to fight hard at the start of the third set."

Federer’s serve had not been broken during the tournament so far - the 32 year old had saved all eight break points that he encountered until Sunday’s final.

"I feel pretty good, especially having played all the matches I have here now with the doubles in particular," said Federer.

"I didn't play great today which is a bit unfortunate. But also Lleyton was the best player I played this week. He made it toughest on me. So I have a clear idea what I need to work on, and I have a clear idea where my mind and body is at. I'm very hungry and eager to attack the Australian Open next week."

"It's a good start to the season, I got a busy year ahead of me with a baby coming. I hope I can come back next year," said Federer.

The final topped off a record week with 105,730 fans attending the event, breaking the previous record of 92,802 in 2012.

"Thanks to Roger, because the reason they read out the numbers and the records were broken this year was mainly because of Roger," said Hewitt.

Both players were vying for a maiden Brisbane title during this 27th meeting in their Head to Head Series. Federer entered Sunday’s final leading 18-8 and had lost just once in his last 17 meetings against Hewitt. Their last meeting on Australian soil came in 2011 when Australia entertained Switzerland on grass in the Davis Cup World Group play-off, with Federer prevailing in four sets.

Sunday’s victory marked Hewitt’s first win over a Top 10 opponent in an ATP World Tour Final since facing Federer in the 2010 Halle tournament. This was also the 32 year old’s first appearance in a final on home soil since the 2005 Australian Open.

Date: 5th January 2014, Source: ATP and Brisbane

Roger Federer's Australian Open 2014 Outfit

Details Roger Federer's Australian Open 2014 Nike Outfit:

Nike Men's Australian Night Premier RF Polo, Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour Lt Crimson/Night Men's Shoe, Nike Men's Australian Open Premier RF Cover-Up Jacket, Nike Men's Australian Open RF V-Neck T-Shirt.

Day session: Light Nike Men's Spring RF Polo
Night session: Dark Nike Men's Spring RF Polo

Date: 4th January 2014

Federer, Hewitt to clash in Brisbane final; Will resume their long-standing rivalry

Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt will resume one of the oldest rivalries in tennis when they contest the Brisbane International final on Sunday.

Federer leads their Head to Head series 18-8 as the pair prepares to face off for the 27th time. The Swiss won their last meeting in four sets in the Davis Cup World Group play-offs in Sydney in 2011, but Hewitt won a year earlier when they clashed in the final of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, snapping a 15-match losing streak against Federer.

“You want to play against the best players, and obviously Roger and I have a good history and a lot of tough matches in the past in Grand Slams and Davis Cups and everything,” said Hewitt. “He's been great obviously for this tournament and ticket sales and promoting tennis in Australia again. I'm going to enjoy it.”

The 32-year-old Federer defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3, following Hewitt’s 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory over World No. 17 Kei Nishikori in temperatures topping 40 degrees at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

Federer broke the Chardy in the second game of the match, taking a 2-0 lead which he maintained to take the set. Neither of the players managed to score a break in the second set and it was Chardy who eventually claimed the set in the tiebreak (3-7). Federer fired 20 aces and secured another break towards the end of the decider, taking a 5-3 lead and then wrapping up the victory on his serve to love.

Federer is chasing his 78th tour-level title, which would seem him move to standalone third in the all-time title leaders list; he is currently tied with John McEnroe. The Basel native needed just under two hours to defeat Chardy in their first meeting.

Hewitt is through to a tour-level final on home soil for the first time since the 2005 Australian Open, where he finished runner-up to Marat Safin. He is unbeaten in nine semi-finals Down Under. The two-time Grand Slam champion will look to win his 29th tour-level title on Sunday.

Federer was denied the chance to contest the doubles final. He and Nicolas Mahut were beaten by Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 7-6(5), 6-3. Fourth seeds Cabal and Farah will challenge for their first ATP World Tour team title when they face Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Daniel Nestor in the final. The second seeds, who are playing together for the first time this week, defeated third seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers 7-5, 7-6(5).

"I'm really looking forward to it"

“We go back 17 years, our coaches back in the day were best friends," Federer said. It's amazing we have a chance to play in Australia, our first time in a final here I think.

“My rivalry with Lleyton was pretty intense - never nasty or anything, but just good matches. We're total opposite from one another the way we play.  I play with the one‑handed backhand; he plays his double‑handed. His attitude on court is totally different to mine. I think that's why it's always an interesting match-up for both of us.

“I don't play many guys who are older than me or my age,” said Federer. Even though there are quite a few guys around who are hanging on. I think we're both really looking forward to it.”

Federer has already contested six matches this week - three singles and three doubles - with his new bigger-headed racquet. “Right now, I’m very happy how it's feeling,” he admitted. “I've been able to put a lot of the hours on the racquet in practice and now in matches, so that's very important.”

Despite losing in the doubles semi-finals with Nicolas Mahut, the Swiss is happy with the time he has spent on the court.

“In the first week of the season, Federer said, “I think most important thing is to play enough matches. Number two is physically holding up, surviving the shock. You can train as much as you want, but it's never like the match. I’m not saying that the match is tougher, it's just different because you're going to stretch for that extra ball here and there. When you're doing fitness and training you're going much harder overall.

“It's been a good week so far, and I hope can play a good final tomorrow. I look forward to that final with Lleyton… We know each other very well, so both of us will find our groove and know what to expect from one another.

“The moment I don't play great, he will be there to take it, especially on a quick court like here.”

Hewitt's thoughts:

“We’re the same age, we grew up together, we have a lot of respect,” said Hewitt when questioned about the possibility of playing Federer in Sunday’s final.

“He’s had ties to Australian people as coaches, so I’ve known him really well. He’s a great guy and obviously I have the utmost respect for him not just as a player but what he does off the court as well.

“I look forward to the challenge if he does get up this afternoon and tomorrow’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Date: 4th January 2014, Source: ATP and Brisbane

Federer reached Brisbane semis after a one-sided match

Roger Federer stormed into the semi-finals of the Brisbane International on Friday evening as he dismissed Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 6-1 in just 58 minutes. The Swiss served nine aces and broke serve five times in the pair’s first meeting.

"Tonight I felt very good against Matosevic who can play very dangerous," said Federer. "He's got a good enough serve and return as well. But I was able to control most of the match except the very beginning. For that, I'm very happy."

The local support did help Matosevic off to a flying start as he held two break points against Federer in the opening game, but after that it was simply one-way traffic.

The Swiss Master raced to a 5-0 lead with little fuss, before a tentative-looking Matosevic finally got himself on the scoreboard, raising his arms to a crowd who continued to throw their energy behind him.

Despite reaching for his back on several occasions - a complaint that hampered him slightly in the previous round - Matosevic appeared more composed as the second set began and glimpses of the man who reached as high as world No.39 last year began to appear.

In response, Federer simply raised his level once more, and after Matosevic held his opening serve, he never faltered, taking the match with six consecutive games.

Federer said afterwards that he felt it was a great match for him.

“I know it was tough for Marinko though,” he added. “But I hope he’s going to play well at the Australian Open.”

Federer, who is also through to the doubles semi-finals with Nicolas Mahut, is looking to win 78th tour-level title this week. The Basel native is making his debut in Brisbane and is in with a chance of winning both singles and doubles crowns the same week for the first time since 2005 Halle.

"You've just got to be physically in shape" Federer says of playing singles and doubles tomorrow.

For a place in the final, Federer will challenge Jeremy Chardy, who ended the run of Australian wild card Samuel Groth with a 7-5, 6-4 win in 69 minutes. World No. 34 Chardy will face Federer for the first time as he looks to reach his first ATP World Tour final since 2009 in Stuttgart, where he won his lone title.

"He plays very aggressive on the hard courts," said Federer. "I remember seeing him play really well in Cincinnati, which is similar to here. I remember seeing him play well at the Aussie Open last year when he made the quarters, I think. So he can definitely bring a big game to the court, especially with his serve and forehand. He can really dictate play."

Date: 3rd January 2014, Source: ATP and Brisbane

Federer tops Nieminen in Brisbane opener, plays Matosevic in QFs

Roger Federer began his 2014 ATP World Tour season with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over fellow 32-year-old Jarkko Nieminen on Wednesday at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.

Federer extended his perfect Head 2 Head record against Nieminen to 14-0 with victory in 69 minutes. The pair first met at the 2002 Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Federer lost five service points in the second set. Nieminen could not convert three break point opportunities at 0-3, but avoided a bagel with a service hold in the fifth game. The World No. 39 dropped to 11-71 lifetime against players in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings.

"Most important is that you win the match so you get a second chance to judge your game a bit better," said Federer. "That's why it's most important to get an extra day or two. Now I have doubles tomorrow and the singles the next day, so it's really good for rhythm and good for your game.

"I expect myself to play a bit better in the next match, even though today was already very good for a first match in so many weeks, to be honest, and against Nieminen who can play very good tennis. Particularly here in Australia."

This is the first time that Federer has played an Australian tournament in the opening week of the season since 2000, when he reached Adelaide second round. The last time he contested an ATP World Tour event Down Under before the Australian Open was 2002 at Sydney, where he defeated Juan Ignacio Chela in the final.

When asked about why he is using a bigger headed racquet, Federer said, "I had a much longer time to get ready for this swing than I had last time around, after Wimbledon, before the American summer. So I'm not thinking about it when I'm going out there, which is a great thing. I'm hitting the ball really well, so I'm very pleased with the racquet."

Top seed Federer will next play Australian No. 3 Marinko Matosevic in the quarter-finals. Matosevic beat Sam Querrey 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4 earlier in the day.

Federer was relieved to discover Matosevic was not from Brisbane.

"You never know quite what to expect, if they’re going to come out and be excited," he said.

"It’s nice seeing that happening, and it’s definitely going to lift my game if it continues this way."

Date: 1st January 2014, Source: ATP