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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 face Djokovic in Dubai semifinals

Roger Federer set up a blockbuster semi-final against Novak Djokovic at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after he recorded his 40th match win at the Aviation Club, venue of the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament, on Thursday night.

Fourth seed Federer, a five-time former champion, defeated Lukas Rosol, contesting their first meeting, 6-2, 6-2 in just 58 minutes. He now takes a 16-15 lead over top seed and four-time titlist Novak Djokovic into Friday’s clash. Novak Djokovic had a rest today when opponent Mikhail Youzhny became ill and withdrew from their quarterfinal. Djokovic will be attempting to register the 550th match win of his career.

Looking ahead to the semi-finals, Federer said, "We know each other very well, and we've played each other everywhere and on all the surfaces, you name it. I think we always play the match-up actually very good, because we play explosive, aggressive tennis, so there is always some shot-making going on. I'm looking forward to the match. One match, best of three sets on a court like this, it's a bit of ‘let's see what happens’, anyway. We both know that."

''He is in the semis, he's already played two matches, he's been here long enough for preparing, and he's fit enough for anything anyway,'' Federer said of Djokovic having a quarterfinal walkover. ''Every match you can get away from is a good one.

''For me, it was important also probably not to be out there for three hours. Then it would have been a disadvantage. But I think we're back on even terms for tomorrow.''

Federer bounced back from an 0-2 deficit against Rosol in the first set, which lasted 28 minutes, to lose just six points in the next six games. Federer broke Rosol to love in the third game of the second set and didn't looks back.

"When you play someone for the first time, you never quite know what his best level is or his normal level is," admitted Federer, when asked how he felt when Rosol took a 2-0 lead. "That's why you kind of keep pushing on, and that's also why I guess the score came out the way it did, because I never let go. I always kept making returns, made sure he had to work hard.

"Yesterday against Radek Stepanek, I think I actually played okay. I just didn't serve well. Maybe I could argue that Radek is a better return player than Rosol is and all these things, but still I did serve much more clutch today when I needed to, which didn't work at all yesterday."

Date: 27th February 2014, Source: ATP and AP

Roger Federer: I want to visit India and see the Taj Mahal

Former World No.1 Roger Federer has said that he would like to visit India sometime soon and would love to see the Taj Mahal and the ancient forts of Rajasthan with his wife Mirka.

17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has never played in India, but the Swiss icon has mentioned that he would love to come down to India to experience the love of his fans who reside in the sub-continent.

The 32 year old said: "India has always intrigued me. My wife and I always talk about visiting and vacationing there. I'd like to play in India - play there now in my prime, more so for my fans. More than playing tennis, I want to travel to India. I know I've a lot of fans in India, and 'the lot' would have something to do with numbers. India and China are large on population numbers and, in many ways that adds to the atmosphere."

He added: "It would be fantastic if a friend could take us through the country to the different places, where we can taste the contrasting cultures that make up India. I'm curious about the languages, how they sound when spoken by the local people. I want to go to Rajasthan, see the Great Indian Desert; I want to see the Taj Mahal. I'd like to travel down south, and the east and the west. I'm not sure if one trip is enough for India - there's so much in India, an ancient civilization."

Date: 27th February 2014

Federer fights back to beat Stepanek to reach Dubai QFs

Five-time former champion Roger Federer staged a rousing comeback from an 0-2 deficit in the deciding set to beat Radek Stepanek at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday. Federer beat Stepanek 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3 in two hours and nine minutes at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament.

“I started to understand what I was doing wrong,” said Federer. “Which made me maybe play a little bit tentatively from the baseline, what made me not make enough shots and why I wasn't playing as aggressively as I wanted to. I couldn't find the right balance between offence and defence.

“It was almost a bit too late for everything, but I kind of hung around and I took the positives out of the match. Radek did a good job of putting the pressure on me and mixing it up. From that standpoint, it was a really difficult match. I'm very pleased to come through.”

Federer sealed the first set in 33 minutes, hitting 10 winners and committing just four unforced errors. At one point the fourth seed won 10 of 12 points to draw clear of Stepanek, who was seeking his third win in 15 meetings over Federer.

Stepanek battled to win his first set against Federer since May 2008 at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. He broke Federer for a 2-1 lead and served for the second set at 5-4, but Federer broke back to 15. Stepanek raised his game in the tie-break, opening up a 6-2 lead.

Stepanek came close to taking a 3-0 lead in the decider, before Federer staged a rousing comeback to win five games in a row en route to recording his 39th win in 44 matches at the Aviation Club. Federer will next play Lukas Rosol, who overcame eighth seed Dmitry Tursunov early in the day.

“Today was quite frustrating,” Federer said. “I had momentum on my side at the beginning, but it was tough to keep it going.

“After the first set I was under pressure the entire match.”

Federer could meet second seed and four-time titlist Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

Date: 26th February 2014, Source: ATP

Federer welcomes Sampras' backing; Confident on Dubai return

Pete Sampras recently said he could see Roger Federer adding to his record haul of 17 Grand Slam championships, with Wimbledon the most likely stage for another major triumph. Another victory at the All England Club would see Federer surpass Sampras’ record of seven Wimbledon titles, but the Swiss also feels it is in reach.

Speaking after his first-round win at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday, Federer said, “I'm happy he's being positive about my game. I think it does say something. It counts. It gives me extra confidence to know that someone like him believes in me, is in my corner, and I can always call him up and ask him for any advice. I don't want to break his records necessarily. That's not what I'm playing for. I'm playing for myself, for my team, for my country, you name it.

“I'm happy things are going better now again this year.”

Indeed, one of the reasons Federer has enjoyed so much success at the start of 2014 - reaching the Brisbane final and the Australian Open semi-finals - is credited with his new racquet. Federer began playing with the new frame at the start of the season and is reaping the rewards.

“I did have times in the past where maybe I didn't serve so well or I struggled with my backhand, with the timing and so forth. Now, I feel like even on a bad day, I have the power on the serve, and I do hit my backhand easier. It's just important that I can do it consistently at the most important stages of the match in the biggest matches and that my forehand is clutch when I need it. I think that's really what I expect from the racquet, and so far it's been very good.”

Confidence in his body and the new racquet have also delivered to Federer a new-found freedom on the tennis court. Travelling the world with his family, Federer revealed he is enjoying his tennis more than ever.

“In the beginning it's kind of nice being the outsider,” reflected the Swiss, when asked about the pressure of playing as favourite in nearly every match he approaches. “Then it's nice being the guy everybody is sort of chasing. Now my situation is comfortable too. I feel like I am enjoying myself out on the court. I don't get too carried away or too nervous necessarily every single match. I don't get stomach cramps like I used to when I was younger. It's a bit more enjoyable now these days.”

Confident on Dubai return

“Physically I'm really fit, which is very encouraging. I must say, I'm very confident about how I'm feeling. I can run for every ball. I'm waking up in the morning with no pain. I think this is as good as I've felt in probably a year. That's good a good sign looking ahead and now I just have to stay injury free.

“It's always been an important tournament because usually when I've played well in Dubai, I've played well the rest of the year,” Federer told Dave Luddy for the DTC Radio Show. “Clearly it's not always that way, and I don't want to become crazy superstitious about it. It's a tough draw here, so there's pressure trying to win this and play well here.

“The conditions are rather quick, so it's hard to control the ball well. So when you can play good tennis here, it feels like you can play good tennis anywhere else. I've struggled in the early rounds here in previous years sometimes, but overall it's been a very successful hunting ground for me and I hope for another good run this year.”

The 32-year-old Federer is one of five Top 10 players competing in Dubai. Defending champion Novak Djokovic is looking to lift the trophy for the fifth time, while Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are also in the hunt. Seeded fourth, Federer would need to go through Djokovic to reach the final.

“It's going to be tough,” said Federer. “I think Berdych is playing really well. Jo-Willy is always very dangerous. Clearly the favourite for me is Novak. He had a great end to last year, and then had a solid start to this year. Could have won against Stan at the Australian Open and who knows, maybe gone on to win the tournament there. I see him as the favourite for this tournament, plus he's played really well here. The victor is going to go through him at this tournament.”

Date: 24th February 2014, Source: ATP

Federer breezes past Becker in Dubai opener

Fourth seed Roger Federer opened his bid for a sixth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crown on Monday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Benjamin Becker in just 62 minutes.

The Swiss improved to a 38-5 event record as he broke Becker on three occasions and won 76 per cent of his service points. He has a 4-0 Head to Head record over the No. 90-ranked Becker.

"I'm extremely happy with today's match," said Federer. "Coming out and playing free tennis like that right off the bat is a good feeling. I know probably Benjamin has been doing a lot of travelling back and forth, Australia, Europe, America, back to Dubai, back for Indian Wells and Miami, but you've got to take advantage of that. I have been here for some time. I had a good preparation. I'm happy it paid off thus far."

Federer raced through the first set against Becker in 22 minutes.

''Things can run away very quickly here,'' Federer said. ''If you look at the winner list from here, it's guys who play well on grass courts.

''It's worth it to go for your shots and you feel like risky tennis will be rewarded.''

In the second set, Becker challenged better by playing himself into points. The match highlight was undoubtedly an audacious shot through the legs from Federer at 3-2 in the second as he set up a clash with either Radek Stepanek or Michael Russell.

The 32-year-old Federer lifted the Dubai trophy in 2003-05, 2007 and 2012. The Basel native is looking to win his first ATP World Tour title of the season, building on the strong start he made in January by reaching the final of the Brisbane International (l. to Hewitt) and the semi-finals of the Australian Open (l. to Nadal).

Date: 24th February 2014, Source: ATP

Roger Federer in Dubai to show revival is real

Roger Federer's performance in reaching the semifinal of the Australian Open last month is the first step in a mini-revival of tennis' great legend. This week could see the second.

That is the scenario Federer intends pursuing when he returns to the ATP Tour and tries to win back the title at his adopted second home at the Dubai Open.

Victories over Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Melbourne will be followed by a chance to challenge Novak Djokovic, the top-seeded titleholder, here.

Although the formidable Serb is seeking a record fifth Dubai title, Federer has a better record against Djokovic than against Rafael Nadal, the man who halted him last month, and he feels encouraged by his performances in the first Grand Slam of the year.

"I think it has been a very good start to the season for me overall," Federer said.

"I have played some really good tennis. I still feel my best tennis is ahead of me right now.

"So I'm looking forward to the coming months, and how they're going to play out, and hopefully by April I feel like I'm going to be a hundred percent again."

Federer believes his moderate 2013 results were caused partly by fitness problems, triggered by a persistently troublesome back, and that he is in significantly better shape this year.

He also has a new racket, reportedly with a frame of 98 square inches, which means he is no longer experimenting with what is best. On-off equipment changes may also have contributed to some of his 2013 problems.

Most conspicuously he has a new coach. Some pundits think that his decision to team up with Stefan Edberg, an outstanding volleyer when he was world number one, is a master stroke, especially as this an area of the game which Federer is trying to develop.

"Technically Roger is strong," says Edberg. "But I also think it would be good if he would vary his game a bit more than he does at the moment."

This may actually be crucial if he wants to achieve an 18th Grand Slam title, which is more likely to happen than anywhere on the grass of Wimbledon, where volleying can be more effective.

None other than Pete Sampras, who shares the record of seven open era Wimbledon titles with Federer, believes in the Swiss genius' enduring potential at the age of 32.

"I thought his level (in Australia) was quite good," Sampras said. "I do see Roger building from that. I think he's going to do well this year. Things need to fall into place and he needs to play well but I do think he can do it (win a Grand Slam), and I think it is what he's playing for."

The Wimbledon ambition and the need for a next step in Dubai means there should be different tactical emphases.

"This year in the bigger matches I have decided to take it more to my opponents, instead of waiting a bit for mistakes," Federer emphasises.

That means we may see an increasing the ratio of moves into the forecourt, something which was evidenced in Melbourne and which may developed further here.

Federer may feel he can attempt that from early, given that he has a first round against Benjamin Becker, the world number 93, and could go on to play Radek Stepanek, the world number 47 from the Czech Republic - though his Davis Cup form suggests Stepanek is more dangerous than that.

Then Federer might have a quarter-final with Dmitry Tursunov, the world number 28 from Russia, and a semi-final with Djokovic.

The other semifinal should be between Juan Martin del Potro, the second-seeded former US Open champion from Argentina, and Tomas Berdych, the former Wimbledon finalist from the Czech Republic.

However Berdych may have to beware of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the former Australian Open finalist from France, at the quarterfinal stage.

Date: 23rd February 2014, Source: AFP

Dubai draw puts Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in same half

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, winners of nine of the last 11 men’s singles titles here, will not be meeting in a dream Dubai final next week after being drawn in the same half of the draw.

Federer, a five-time winner here and Djokovic, a four-time champion and the top seed, have been drawn to meet in the semis, but getting there could be a tricky route for both in a top-half that includes unseeded players like wildcard James Ward, Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol and Daniel Brands.

Seeded No. 4, Federer figures in the upper half of the draw and will open against a tricky opponent, Germany’s Benjamin Becker, and could find himself playing Czech veteran Stepanek in the second round. Then, he is expected to meet Russian No 8 seed Dmitry Tursunov.

The Serb defending champion starts his campaign against Uzbek Denis Istomin and could meet Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut, who knocked Juan Martin Del Potro out of the Australian Open last month, in the second round. Seed No 6 Mikhail Youzhny, who has reached two finals in Dubai, could be his opponent in the quarter-final.

In the bottom half of the draw, No 2 seed Juan Martin del Potro will take on Indian wildcard Somdev Devvarman in the opening round and is scheduled to face No 7 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber in the last eight.

Tomas Berdych, winner at Rotterdam last week and the No 3 seed, will meet a qualifier in the opening round and could face No 5 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-final.

“During the past 22 years of this tournament, we’ve had as many as 17 world number ones participating in our tournament,” Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman, Dubai Duty Free noted before the official draw for the men’s tournament was held at the Majlis of the Dubai Tennis Stadium, on Saturday.

“This tournament has been voted by the players as the best 500 ATP event for the past nine years and we are keeping our fingers crossed for a record tenth,” he added.

“We have two of the greatest men who have ever played the game once again competing here at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Their semi-final would be one to savour, but the field here is so strong that neither are guaranteed their place in the final four.

“Djokovic could well meet Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round, a player who produced one of the biggest upsets at the recent Australian Open when he beat our number two seed, Juan Martin del Potro, and Federer could meet the wily Radek Stepanek, who has played a pivotal role in the Czech Republic winning the Davis Cup for the past two years.”

Tournament Director Salah Tahlak announced Arab’s top player Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, Indian Devvarman and Great Britain’s James Ward as the three wild cards in the main draw of the competition.

“We look at various criteria like their rankings and how they have been playing before making a decision on the wild cards. We believe that these three players will be good for our tournament,” Tahlak said.

Now in its 22nd year, the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open has attracted five of the top ten men.
Sunday will be the final qualifying round to decide which four advance to the main draw, while the main competition will begin at 2pm on Monday.

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and operated by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

For further information about tickets, prices and the tournament, visit or phone the call centre on +971 4 4172415.

Roger Federer's draw:

R1: Benjamin Becker
R2: Radek Stepanek / Michael Russell
QF: Lukas Rosol / Dmitry Tursunov
SF: Novak Djokovic / Mikhail Youzhny
Final: Juan Martin del Potro / Tomas Berdych / Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Date: 22nd February 2014, Source: The National and Gulf News

Sampras: Federer can win another Grand Slam and play for another four years

Roger Federer could play for another four years and add to his tally of 17 Grand Slam titles, according to former No. 1 Pete Sampras.

Speaking ahead of an exhibition match against Andre Agassi in London on March 3, Sampras said on a conference call Wednesday that he is impressed by Federer's longevity.

''I'm amazed that he is up for more tennis,'' Sampras said. ''He has done everything in the game and he could walk away tomorrow feeling great about it. But he still wants to travel and compete and I'm in awe of it. He is a true lover of the sport.''

Federer started this year on a high and working with new coach Stefan Edberg, he reached the final of his first tournament, at Brisbane, and then made the semifinals of the Australian Open for the 11th consecutive year. His run at Melbourne included wins over 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.

"I thought his level was quite good and I think he's going to do well this year." Sampras said.

Asked if Federer could win another Grand Slam title, Sampras said the Swiss ''can do it'' if he plays his best tennis.

''That's why he's playing, I don't think he's playing for anything else but to win some more majors,'' said Sampras, adding that Federer's best chance would be on his favorite grass surface, at Wimbledon.

Sampras was 31 when he decided to hang up his racket for good, while the 32-year-old Federer has hinted he could keep playing until the Rio Olympics in 2016.

''As long as Roger is enjoying it and he's healthy, I can see him playing for another two, three, four more years,'' Sampras said.

Date: 19th February 2014, Source: AP

Will the art of serve and volley end with Roger Federer?

With more and more slower courts, defensive tennis is here to stay; Roger Federer could perhaps be the last proponent of offensive game.

It’s not unusual for people to glorify the past by comparing it with the present. In tennis too, there are many who bemoan the death of the serve-and-volley game, and pine for the revival of that dead art. A decade back, we had different court surfaces favouring both the attacking and defensive players; the game was highly unpredictable then with even the less-famous players posing threat to the top seeds. Now, with the homogenisation of courts, the game has become more or less monopolised by the Big Four.

Gone are the days when the four different Grand Slams moulded players with distinctive styles - the faster surfaces of the Wimbledon and the US Open favouring the offensive serve-and-volley players, while the medium-fast and slow courts of the Australian Open and the French Open favouring the defensive baseliners.

With the evolution of rackets and technology, the game has become more physical, favouring the aggressive returners. Nowadays, it’s not just about the skill, but also about strength and stamina as players’ bodies are required to adapt to hit power-packed groundstrokes and longer rallies. With novelty giving way to power and endurance, the matches, at times, turn out to be monotonous when played between similar styled contenders.

According to former world No: 1 and 14-Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras:

“Everyone is staying back and hitting the crap out of the ball, which is fun to watch. Now everyone plays the same way; there’s just four or five guys that are a lot better than the rest. Roger has a little more variety, to come in, you know, slice it, chip and charge occasionally, show a little bit of that. For the most part it’s just everyone staying back and throwing rocks.”

While players like Rafael Nadal believes that defensive game and longer matches draw more crowd,  Roger Federer, winner of 17 Grand Slams shares Sampras’ view.  "If that"s what people want to see, just rallies, rallies, rallies all the time, then it"s good to have a slow court. If you want a bit more even ground for everybody, even the lower-ranked guys and more danger for the top guys, you go with a faster court," Federer said.

If the previous decade was about the overabundance of aces, now we have rallies in galore. These days it is not uncommon to see a 20 plus shots rally ending with an unforced error. That brings to my mind the 54-shot rally between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the US Open final last year; Djokovic won that point when Nadal’s delivery hit the net.

With players rarely approaching the net, we see less innovative winners from their rackets. While it is exciting to watch the rallies, it is equally disappointing that most points are won by forcing the opponent to commit an error. Djokovic and Nadal, both employ this strategy against Federer. The game has become more of technique than of ingenuity. No one does ‘slam dunks’ like Pete Sampras anymore, nor could they, in the current scenario.

Defensive tennis is here to stay with slow courts having higher bounce cater to that style of play, but it is unfair to the serve-and-volley players the same time.

Players like Jo Wilfred Tsonga would have had a better shot at winning a Grand Slam had the courts been not standardised. In 2008, an unseeded Tsonga was able to topple Rafael Nadal in straight sets at the Australian Open semifinals; the very same year the tournament authorities in Melbourne decided to change the court surface to a comparatively faster Plexicushion from Rebound Ace. This year too, the courts were reported to be faster than the previous years, and hence it witnessed a new champion  outside the Big Four, who aced and volleyed to win his first Grand Slam.

Roger Federer once cited that slower courts often meant that only the best players make it to the later rounds. “You sort of protect the top guys really by doing that because you have the best possible chance to have them in the semis at this point, I think. But should that be the goal? I’m not sure,” he opined.

Although just a personal opinion, Federer has a point here. In the past 36 Grand Slam finals, only Juan Martin Del Potro (2009 US Open ) and Stanislas Wawrinka were able to break the Big Four’s spell.

Del Potro won the US Open in a fast DecoTurf surface, but since 2011, the US Open, traditionally considered a hard court event, too has become slower favouring the baseliners.

Not just the Grand Slams, but even the Masters tournaments have made changes to the court surfaces to make the matches longer and exciting. In men’s circuit, other than all-court players like Roger Federer and Andy Murray, we have only a handful of players like Michael Llodra, Nicolas Mahut, Feliciano Lopez, Jo Wilfred Tsonga etc., who engage in serve and volley game occasionally.

With tennis becoming a showdown of more or less similar players on more or less similar courts these days, perhaps we can expect some good matches in the wake of the Masters tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami next month since Federer has claimed to serve and volley more in 2014.

Date: 16th February 2014, Source: Tennis World USA

Memory Lane: Roger Federer’s first final

Fourteen years ago on 13th February 2000, a teenage wild card named Roger Federer made his first ATP final. Across the net at the 2000 Marseille Open was friend Marc Rosset, the first all-Swiss singles final in tour history.

Federer is now a 17-time Grand Slam champion, and countryman Stanislas Wawrinka won the Australian Open last month for his first major title. Federer joined Wawrinka in the semifinals in Melbourne, a milestone for Switzerland at a Slam.

You’ve come a long way, Switzerland.

Federer was an 18-year-old ranked No. 67 when he defeated No. 93 Antony Dupuis, No. 41 Thomas Johansson, No. 69 Ivan Ljubicic and the defending champion, No. 38 Fabrice Santoro, to reach the Marseille final.

“I’m already nervous at the prospect of playing in my first final,” Federer said after beating Santoro. “I set myself the target this year of winning a tournament and this is a good opportunity.”

Rosset was a former world No. 9 who entered the match ranked No. 77. He had won 13 career titles but only two over the previous three years.

“He’s a young kid still wet behind the ears and I’d like to show him I’m still around,” Rosset said, according to The Associated Press.

Rosset did just that: He won 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), though Federer impressed by saving three match points and rallying from 2-5 down in the third-set tiebreaker to 5-5.

“Roger will win other titles,” Rosset said. “He shouldn’t worry about today. It all swung on so little in that breaker. It’s just great for me to have won the first Swiss final. And I’m happy this Marseille tournament has shown that Swiss tennis is no longer just Marc Rosset but also Roger Federer.”

Federer made a second final in 2000, at the Swiss Indoors in his hometown of Basel, but lost to No. 6 Thomas Enqvist, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-1. He finished the season at No. 29, and one month into the 2001 season he won the Milan Indoors for his first title.

“I would say my career starts now,” Federer said after his breakthrough in Italy.

Since that day in Marseille, Federer has advanced to 113 more finals and won 77. Only Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl have made more finals and won more titles in the Open Era.

Federer was reminded of the anniversary of his first final and took a walk down memory lane on Twitter:

Date: 14th February 2014, Source: SI

Roger Federer’s Indian Wells and Miami Masters 2014 Outfit

Well, you want the glimpse of Federer wearing it? Credit Suisse has posted behind the scenes video of their new commercial on YouTube where Federer plays with his new racket and the upcoming outfit for Indian Wells and Miami Masters. Here it is:

Date: 9th February 2014

Federer, Swiss to face Kazakhstan Davis Cup tie in Geneva

Switzerland's Davis Cup team, boasting newly-crowned Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka and former world number one Roger Federer, will face Kazakhstan in Geneva in April's quarter-finals, Swiss Tennis announced Friday.

The Swiss team will take on the visitors from April 4 to 6 in a 16,500-capacity venue at Geneva's Palexpo centre.

Swiss captain Severin Luethi said his squad was relishing the prospect of playing in Geneva, the largest city in Switzerland's western French-speaking region.

"I know that the team likes playing there because it's a region where we have the biggest number of loyal fans. It's going to be a festival of tennis, and we hope to play to a packed house in front of a crowd that's supporting us with every bone in their body," Luethi said in a statement released by Swiss Tennis.

"It's been 10 years since Switzerland managed to reach the quarter-finals. With Stan and Roger, it's clear that we're targeting the semis," he added.

The Swiss team earned their berth in the quarter-finals thanks to a 3-2 win last weekend away to Serbia, last year's beaten finalists.

The Davis Cup is the only major trophy missing from 17-time Grand Slam winner Federer's collection.

Date: 8th February 2014, Source: AFP

Federer to join Wawrinka in Davis Cup quarterfinals in April

After helping Switzerland to victory over Serbia in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group, Roger Federer announced Monday that he has committed to playing the quarter-finals alongside Stanislas Wawrinka at home against Kazakhstan in April.

Federer joined Australian Open champion Wawrinka in giving Switzerland an unassailable 3-0 lead over a Novak Djokovic-less Serbia at the weekend, helping his nation to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2004 (l. to France).

Taking to Twitter on Monday, Federer announced, "Joining my friends, captain Seve and STAN against KazakhSTAN in April! #atmosphere #loud #fans #cowbells #switzerland #loveit"
Switzerland has never won the Davis Cup, with its best performance a runner-up showing in 1992 (l. to USA). Should Federer and the Swiss team defeat Kazakhstan in April, they would face either Great Britain, who won a World Group tie for the first time in 28 years with victory over the USA at the weekend, or Italy.

Date: 3rd February 2014, Source: ATP

Roger Federer marks 10 years since rising to No. 1

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Roger Federer first becoming No. 1 in the ATP Rankings on 2 February 2004.

The abiding memory is of Roger Federer dropping to his knees and raising his arms in celebration. It was 9:30 p.m. in Melbourne, on 30 January 2004, and he had just beaten his rival for No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, Juan Carlos Ferrero, in the Australian Open semi-finals. The victory proved to be enough for Federer to become the world’s premier player for the first time. Federer confessed, “I wanted to enjoy this moment. You only get to be No. 1 once.”

Three days later, after outclassing a resurgent Marat Safin for his second Grand Slam championship title, the ranking was official and his place in tennis history was assured. Remarkably, seven years earlier, as a 15 year old at the Swiss National Tennis Centre at Ecublens, Federer had written down his sporting goals: to break into the Top 10 and then become No. 1.

Federer soon carried the weight of expectation as a member of the ATP World Tour’s ‘New Balls Please’ campaign - launched in August 2000 - that also featured Gustavo Kuerten, Lleyton Hewitt, Jan-Michael Gambill, Tommy Haas, Nicolas Lapentti, Mariano Zabaleta and Ferrero. But his rise to the summit of men’s professional tennis was as a result of hard work and dedication. Between 2001 and 1 February 2004, he compiled a 192-60 match record (.733), which included 12 titles.

Once at World No. 1, Federer established a dictatorship and exerted a relentless hunger and consistency. In the first of his three stints at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, he held No. 1 continuously for a record 237 weeks until 16 August 2008. His supporters became legion, readily complimenting his fluidity, economy of movement and gracefulness, but also his manner and diplomacy that evoked memories of a player from the amateur era. He regained the No. 1 crown on two further occasions in 2009 and 2012, for a further 65 weeks, before closing out his 302nd week - 16 more weeks than Pete Sampras’ mark - on 4 November 2012. That year, Federer won his 17th Grand Slam title.

Federer won 421 matches and lost just 53 times (.888) as the world’s best. He went 50-18 in finals, which included 11 Grand Slam titles and 15 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies. In comparison to the two players who followed him to No. 1, Rafael Nadal - who is about to start his 120th week at No. 1 - currently has a 161-26 match record (.861) and a 45-5 finals record. Novak Djokovic went 125-21 (.856) and 9-6 in championship matches in his 101 weeks at No. 1.

As we celebrate the anniversary of Federer first becoming World No. 1, his legacy is that he will forever be ranked among the greatest tennis players in the history of the sport. For ever since 2 February 2004, Federer has been the standard-bearer for a generation of players and, one decade on, remains a key protagonist in the age of superstar tennis. Federer completed 2013 in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the 12th year in a row. Now at No. 8, Federer hunts down his rivals with his new coach, Stefan Edberg, another ATP World Tour aristocrat, in search of further joy (and silverware) from a sport he transcended long ago.


Here is a look at Federer's achievements during his 302 total weeks as No. 1 in the ATP Rankings on 2 February 2004:
  • Total Weeks at No. 1 - 302
  • Longest Streak at No. 1 - 237
  • Year-end Rankings at No. 1 - 5 (2004-07, '09)
  • Years Ranked at No. 1 - 8
  • Match Winning Percentage at No. 1 -  .888
  • Match Record at No. 1 - 421-53
  • in 2004 - 67-6 (.918)
  • in 2005 - 81-4 (.953)
  • in 2006 - 92-5 (.948)
  • in 2007 - 68-9 (.883)
  • in 2008 - 47-12 (.797)
  • in 2009 - 21-6 (.778)
  • in 2010 - 23-7 (.767)
  • in 2012 - 22-4 (.846)
  • Grand Slam Winning Percentage at No. 1 - .918
  • Grand Slam Record at No. 1 - 135-12
  • Finals Record at No. 1 - 50-18 (.735)
  • Grand Slam Titles at No. 1 -  11
  • ATP Masters 1000 Titles at No. 1 - 15
Federer was ranked No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for a total of 302 weeks.
  • 2 Feb 2004 - 16 Aug 2008 - 237
  • 15 Jul 2009 - 6 Jun 2010 - 48
  • 9 Jul 2012 - 4 Nov 2012 - 17
Here are the numbers when Federer was not ranked No. 1:
  • Match Winning Percentage - .756
  • Match Record - 510-164
  • Grand Slam Winning Percentage - .813
  • Grand Slam Record - 130-30
  • Finals Record - 27-19 (.587)
  • Grand Slam Titles - 6
  • ATP Masters 1000 Titles Not at No. 1 - 6
Date: 2nd February 2014, Source: ATP

Switzerland cruises into the Davis Cup quarterfinals

Switzerland carved out an unassailable 3-0 lead over Serbia in their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first-round tie in Novi Sad after Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer beat Nenad Zimonjic and Filip Krajinovic 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 in Saturday’s doubles.

The Swiss will move on to play either Belgium or Kazakhstan in the quarterfinal while 2010 winners and last season’s runners-up Serbia have dropped into the World Group playoffs.

The Serbs, who had hoped to get back into the tie after losing both opening singles on Friday, will rue the opportunities they missed to swing the knife-edged contest their way as they squandered several vital break points when they could have gained the upper hand.

The visitors, in contrast, took their chances with some aplomb to turn Sunday’s reverse singles into dead rubbers.

Zimonjic and Davis Cup debutant Krajinovic, who enjoyed a fine afternoon, wasted three break points in the third game of the opening set but still looked the more likely pair to nose ahead after grinding out a 3-1 lead in the tie-break.

Chiudinelli and Lammer, watched by Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka from the Swiss bench, turned it on its head and silenced the home fans by winning the next six points.

Serbia finally broke Lammer’s serve in the second set and drew level after Krajinovic’s fine volleys and passing shots complemented Zimonjic’s vast all-round experience.

Games went with serve smoothly in a finely balanced third set until the hosts engineered a double break point on Lammer’s serve in the 11th game, but the 31-year old journeyman ranked 1008th in the doubles and 441st in the singles on the men’s ATP Tour once again held firm.

There was to be no comeback of any sort in the ensuing tie-break as the visitors raced into a 5-0 lead and had their vociferous fans, some of whom donned cowbells and traditional Swiss kits, in raptures sensing victory.

With their spirits clearly dented by the setback, Zimonjic and Krajinovic found themselves on the back foot throughout a one-sided fourth set, as Chiudinelli and Lammer, roared on by the colourful away fans, earned a pair of breaks to race into a 5-1 lead.

Zimonjic then held his serve but it only delayed the inevitable as Lammer replied to close out the match in 3 hours and 13 minutes after Chiudinelli steered yet another superb volley down the middle.

Switzerland thus took full advantage of Serbia having to field a second-string side missing their top three players, including world No.2 Novak Djokovic. For Federer, the victory marked yet another attempt to win the Davis Cup, a rare piece of silverware missing from his trophy cabinet.

Swiss team captain Severin Luthi was delighted with the fact that his team secured a quarterfinal berth with two rubbers to spare: “It has been the perfect weekend for us and to win 3-0 on Saturday evening is what we had hoped for. It was a great team effort and I couldn’t be happier.”

“It's a dream outcome for us to win the tie on Saturday evening and we hope to have Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka with us for the rest of the Davis Cup season,” Swiss team captain Severin Luthi told a news conference.

“We were confident ahead of today’s doubles because Marco and Michael have played some great Davis Cup doubles matches in the past. We will most probably let Roger Federer and Stanislaw Wawrinka rest tomorrow in the dead rubbers, while we are hoping to play against Kazakhstan at home in the next round.”

His Serbian counterpart Bogdan Obradovic congratulated the Swiss team and rued poor luck which played a part in his team’s defeat on Saturday.

“The Swiss deserved it but today the net worked in their favour and they hit the line so many times,” he said.

“It was a tough weekend for us because we missed our best players and I hope to have them back for the September playoff, because we will need our strongest team to stay in the top tier.”

Date: 1st February 2014, Source: Davis Cup

Swiss masters Federer and Wawrinka build 2-0 lead in Novi Sad

Former world No. 1 Roger Federer and 2014 Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka gave Switzerland a highly anticipated 2-0 lead after the opening day of their Davis Cup World Group first round tie against hosts Serbia in Novi Sad’s Spens Arena.

Federer put the Swiss in the driving seat with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 win over Ilija Bozoljac after fighting back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set, while Wawrinka overpowered Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(7) in Friday’s second singles rubber to give his team a commanding advantage ahead of Saturday’s doubles.

Federer, who arrived in Serbia as a last-minute inclusion in the Swiss squad, laboured through the opening set against hard-hitting Bozoljac, who produced a barrage of aces in the opening exchanges.

Federer came under even stronger pressure in the second, when Bozoljac, roared on by a passionate home crowd, raced into a 5-2 lead as he continued to pour aces garnished with some delightful volleys and forehand winners.

It all went wrong for the world No. 268 when he squandered a set point on Federer’s serve by sending an easy volley into the net, thus allowing the  32-year old Swiss maestro to claw his way back into the set and clinch it after he won the next five games against his despairing opponent.

As unfazed as in his prime, Federer applied the trademark killer instinct which once made him the most feared player on the circuit.

The writing was clearly on the wall for battling Bozoljac after he failed to hold serve in the opening game of the third set and Federer raced through it to seal the match in one hour and 40 minutes.

“I must say I have had little preparation, so I am happy with how I played.

“I hope the good start helps Stan being relaxed. It's a pleasure to see him play here after his win in Australia.

“I struggled to read Ilija’s serve early on although I wasn’t really surprised because I played against him not that long ago so I knew that he has a big serve, Federer told a news conference.

“In the second set I was just glad to take advantage and fight back. The most important thing is that I won the match in straight sets,” he said.

Bozoljac rued the chances he missed to engineer a more dramatic match against one of the all-time greats: “The difference between the top players and those at my level is that the likes of Federer bounce straight back from adversity while I always need a game or two to regain my composure.

“My head dropped a bit after I squandered a golden opportunity to level the match and he punished my resultant errors ruthlessly. But I can take some positives from this match because I played pretty well at times.”

Still showing signs of fatigue after a long-haul flight from Melbourne following his impressive victory over Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s Australian Open final, Wawrinka had to dig deep into his resources to overcome a spirited challenge from a fired-up Lajovic.

Having eked out the opening set against Lajovic, who showed none of the stage fright which played into the Czech Republic’s hands when they beat Serbia 3-2 in last year’s final, Wawrinka was on the back foot in the second as the world No. 102 tormented him with a plethora of stinging baseline shots and a powerful serve.

The Serb pumped his first in delight and drew a standing ovation from the home fans when he unleashed an ace to clinch the second set, stirring hopes in the home team’s camp that they could finish the day on level terms with their illustrious and more heralded rivals.

Wawrinka, however, then showed the makings of a champion as he moved up two gears and had a colourful band of Swiss supporters in full swing as he raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set. There was no letting up as Wawrinka broke serve again with a superb backhand down the line and then held his own to regain the upper hand in the match.

Wawrinka carved out a 3-1 lead in the third set but it was not all plain sailing for the Swiss as Lajovic held his next service game and then earned a triple break point. Wawrinka forced deuce but Lajovic took the next two points to draw level in the third set and reinvigorate expectations of a comeback among the home supporters.

The 23-year-old Lajovic then saved a break point in a magnificent exchange to nose ahead in the set, with musing blaring from the arena’s sound system pumping extra adrenaline into the fans enjoying their own contest in the orange-clad venue.

The next six games went with serve and the knife-edged set headed into a tie-break, where the tiring Wawrinka had to use up every last ounce of energy left in his ailing body to seal the match.

The Swiss showed his nerves after he double-faulted when he was 4-2 up in the tie-break and Lajovic took temporary advantage to earn two set points as both sets of supporters held their breath.

But the Serb choked under pressure, double-faulting and making an unforced error as Wawrinka got the better of his opponent in the final twist when Lajovic blasted a relatively easy smash well beyond the baseline.

Date: 31st January 2014, Source: Davis Cup