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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 ends Willis's Wimbledon fairytale

Roger Federer predictably outclassed Marcus Willis to reach round three at Wimbledon, but the British underdog was nevertheless able to enjoy his unexpected day in the spotlight. The No. 3 seed didn’t give the pro-Willis crowd a chance to get fully involved as he convincingly prevailed, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4.

"I thought Marcus brought some unbelievable energy to the match with the crowd and his play. It was very refreshing to play someone like this," said Federer. "I knew it was going to be a different match than anything I’d ever played before at Wimbledon. It was a pleasure for me to play against him."

Federer quickly picked up on Willis’ vintage grass-court game that included plenty of slices and timely trips to the net, shutting out his opponent in the first set. Serving at 0-1 in the second set, Willis got on the board with a forehand winner and wryly raised his arms in celebration as the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Although Willis began to impose himself more in the baseline rallies, Federer grabbed the lone break of the set to lead 4-2 and eventually took a commanding two-sets lead. The seven-time champion broke Willis to love at 4-4 in the third set and wrapped up the match in the next game after one hour and 24 minutes of play.

Federer was nearly flawless throughout the match, hitting nine aces and no double faults, while also striking 37 winners to 14 errors. He also enjoyed great success with his volleys, converting on 29 of 40 net points.

Willis made headlines with his transformation from teaching pro to Wimbledon competitor, but Federer halted the Grand Slam fantasies of club players across the globe with a straight-sets win. A fan favourite wherever he plays, Federer found himself in the unusual position of having the Centre Court crowd largely rooting for his opponent.

"I expected something like this, especially under the roof.  He was going to have some supporters and they were going to have chants. I felt very well prepared. I enjoyed it," said Federer. "I thought he played very well.  My approach going into the match was that I was playing a Top 50-ranked guy because that's how he is playing now.

"As I was playing, I was thinking, 'This is definitely one of the matches I'll remember'. I'll remember most of the Centre Court matches here at Wimbledon, but this one will stand out because it's that special and probably not going to happen again for me to play against a guy ranked 770 in the world. That's what stands out the most for me - the support he got, the great points he played. I enjoyed it as much as I possibly could."

Federer graciously allowed Willis to lead the way as the duo walked out to rapturous applause, and also stood back as his opponent soaked up a warm ovation after the final point.

The third seed explained: "I wanted the cooler experience for him. I thought it was cool that he got out first because it's his moment, in my opinion. I wanted him to have a great time."

With the win, Federer moves into the third round at Wimbledon for the 14th time. Next up for him is the winner of the match between No. 30 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine and Daniel Evans of Great Britain. Federer hasn't played Evans before, leads his ATP Head to Head with Dolgopolov 3-0, including a straight-sets victory in the second round of this year’s Australian Open.

Date: 29 June 2016, Source: ATP, OmniSport and Wimbledon

Federer into Wimbledon second round

Roger Federer was well short of his best as the seven-time Wimbledon champion advanced to the second round with a 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over Argentina's Guido Pella on Monday.

Federer never faced a break point against Pella, who is now 0-4 in tour-level grass-court matches. But Federer also struggled to break the left-hander, going one for nine on break points. Finally, at 4-3 in the third set, the third seed broke Pella and served out the set at love.

He has been plagued by injury problems this year and the world number three lacked rhythm and confidence in his opening match at this year's grass-court Grand Slam.

"I was telling myself how nice it was to be back at Centre Court. I've worked so hard since February to be ready for Wimbledon," Federer said.

"It was a fun match, it was close, maybe exactly what I needed. We'll see if I'm fully fit as I go further in the tournament, nobody knows, not even me. But I’m just happy to be here."

The World No. 3 will look to continue his march to history. Federer, who has lost to Novak Djokovic in the past two Wimbledon finals, is trying to become the first man to win eight Wimbledon crowns. The 34 year old also now has 303 Grand Slam wins, putting him three wins away from tying Martina Navratilova for the most Grand Slam wins.

Federer would become the oldest man to triumph at the All England Club in the Open era and the oldest Grand Slam champion since Ken Rosewall in 1972 if he lifts the trophy in two weeks time.

Federer's win sets up a dream second-round matchup for Brit qualifier Marcus Willis, No. 772 in the ATP Rankings. Willis had to go through pre-qualifying at Wimbledon and has had to cancel teaching lessons to continue playing at the Grand Slam.

"I think it's one of the best stories in a long time in our sport," Federer said. "This is the kind of stories we need in our sport."

"I'm really excited to play against him. It's not something that I get to do very often. It's a huge moment for him, his story his unbelievable. He was playing club tennis I heard. I'm looking forward to that."

The second-round match will be a rare first for Federer, who has played more than 1,300 tour-level matches and is making his 18th consecutive appearance at Wimbledon. The 88-time titlist has faced up-and-coming players or players with very low ATP Rankings, but never before has he faced someone who still teaches tennis to kids and adults on the side for £30 an hour.

"This match is different. It's picked up on momentum. People will hear about it. People will know about it. Naturally they're going to support him. Rightfully so, because I think it's a very cool story myself. It's going to make the match difficult," Federer said. "I saw him play today. He plays well. It's not like he couldn't play. Otherwise he wouldn't be where he is. It's going to be interesting. Plus he is serve and volleying, which I love to see. He came up with some great, great shots. To beat a guy of Berankis' caliber in straight sets shows you how tough he is."

Federer, who has served and volleyed a bit in his day, also delivered a scouting report on Willis. "A little bit more old school, using the slice, chipping the returns. Dangerous off the back. Saw some nice touch at the net,” Federer said. "First couple of days, it's tricky to play anybody here at Wimbledon. I think his game is perfectly suited for these kind of conditions right now."

Federer, who's playing in only his seventh tournament of the season because of injuries, has said he has few expectations for this Wimbledon. He, like Willis, will be hoping for a great atmosphere and a good match in the second round. "If he gets more support, that's awesome. If I get more support, that's nice," Federer said. "I hope he can play as good as he can and that I also can play a good match and everybody enjoys themselves."

Date: 27 June 2016, Source: ATP, Wimbledon and AFP

Federer looks to Wimbledon 'to turn around season'

Seven titles, 79 match wins, quarter-finals or better in 12 of the past 13 years - Roger Federer's success at Wimbledon is unparalleled.

The Swiss returns to the All England Club for a record-tying 18th straight year, with an unprecedented eighth crown once again hanging in the balance, but he explains that while his attitude and expectations are much different this time, his passion for the tournament hasn't wavered.

"I think this is a huge boost for me after pulling out of Paris, that I'm back here at my favourite tournament," Federer said to the assembled media on Saturday. "With all the success I've had here, this is the motivation I need right now to get back on the big courts, play good matches and enjoy Wimbledon.

"I honestly never thought I was going to miss Wimbledon, especially after surgery. I knew I had so much time to make it here, I knew I was going to be fine somehow.

"I love this tournament more than anything. It's a huge opportunity for me to turn around the season and just play some nice tennis, enjoy myself here."

In the midst of an up-and-down 2016 season, which has seen him undergo surgery for the first time in his career following a knee injury suffered in February, Federer enters Wimbledon without at least one ATP World Tour title for the first time since 2000. Still in search of his rhythm on the court, the World No. 3 stresses that it has been a difficult process, but semi-final results in Stuttgart and Halle and a return to his happy hunting ground at SW19 give him renewed confidence.

"I was very, very sad, just because I thought I was going to be lucky not having to do surgery in my career," Federer added. "One stupid move and the season's been completely different than what I expected it to be. So when I heard that I had to do surgery, I took it, accepted it. But then going into surgery was difficult. That's when it hit me.

"I just got really disappointed about it because that's when I really understood what the road was going to look like.

"I felt like I got unlucky throughout the process with hurting my back again before Madrid, getting sick in Miami. I got into a tough spell there.

"I just had to stop everything by not playing Paris, reset basically, essentially. I don't want to say 'start from zero', but just reset from there and make another push for Wimbledon.

"This back has won me 88 titles, so I'm okay with that back. It's okay if it messes around with me sometimes," he added.

"That's why the decision not playing Paris was very easy to take because it was for Wimbledon, it was for the rest of the season, it was for my life, it was for the rest of my career.

"Getting some confidence and some knowledge of where I was going to be in those seven matches in 10 days in Stuttgart and Halle was important. I think that was crucial for me going into Wimbledon knowing I passed that test and that the body can take that amount of tennis.

"It's really, really important for your mind to know you can manage the five‑setters. If you get a day off and all that stuff, it's not a problem. All of a sudden you're coming into Wimbledon with more confidence, more understanding where you're at. Now we'll see."

New faces will stand opposite the third seed as he begins his Wimbledon quest, having never faced first-round opponent and World No. 51 Guido Pella or potential second-round opponents Ricardas Berankis and Marcus Willis. Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic loom large in his half of the draw, but Federer's focus is on the immediate task at hand.

"Clearly I'm not thinking of the title right away. It's too far ahead. Regardless, Novak or Andy are the big favourites in my opinion. They've had such a great last six months, last few years. To me they are the ones to beat.

"I need to focus on myself, getting myself into those positions, the second week and growing momentum. The whole thing starts rolling then hopefully. Getting the job done in the first week is clearly important."

Federer will open his Wimbledon campaign against Pella on Monday.

Date: 25 June 2016, Source: ATP, Reuters and AFP

Roger Federer's Wimbledon 2016 Outfit

Roger Federer's Wimbledon 2016 Nike Outfit.

Date: 22 June 2016

Federer to lead Switzerland Olympic tennis team

Roger Federer was selected to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the Rio Olympics by the Swiss Tennis Federation, which announced its full six-player roster.

Also selected were Martina Hingis, Stan Wawrinka, Belinda Bencic, Timea Bacsinszky and doubles specialist Xenia Knoll, whose place is dependent on International Tennis Federation approval.

Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion and an Olympic singles silver medalist, has long been expected to play singles and mixed doubles with Hingis in Rio.

The Swiss federation selecting Federer for men’s doubles, too, leaves open the possibility that he and Wawrinka could pair together for a third straight Games. They won gold at Beijing 2008 and were upset in the second round at London 2012.

However, Federer did not play mixed doubles when it returned to the Olympic program in 2012. Federer has expressed doubt that he could play all three of singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the Olympics, given the crowded schedule.

Hingis, 35, returns to the Games for the first time since her Olympic debut in 1996. As expected, she is listed in doubles and mixed doubles but not singles.

Date: 21 June 2016, Source: Swiss Tennis

Federer takes positives from 'intense and busy' stretch

19-year-old Alexander Zverev upset top seed Roger Federer 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-3 in the Halle semi-finals. It marked the first time the Swiss failed to contest the final in 11 straight appearances. Still in search of his first tour-level crown in 2016, Federer says he is not lamenting his missed opportunity for an unprecedented ninth Halle title. Following an extended absence due to back and knee ailments, his return has been full of positives.

"Looking back on how I felt three, four weeks ago, this is pretty good," Federer said to assembled media following the match. "Talking to me after a loss clearly is always tougher to step back and just to reassess how great everything is, but I must say it’s gotten better and better.

"I think there are little things that just have to fall into place and then you play better and feel better. I hope it’s sooner than later and I know what I need to work on in the next 10 days. Clearly, I also need to rest now. It’s been a lot of tennis. This has been seven matches in nine or ten days now. It’s been intense and it’s been busy and it’s exactly what I needed. At least I have a clear picture now where my game is at, what I need to do and without Stuttgart and Halle I wouldn’t have that. I have more clarity now."

After reaching the last four at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart (l. to Thiem), Federer moved to his happy hunting ground in Halle in search of match play and rhythm on the grass. At 34, the Swiss admits he is taking it one step at a time and progress is there.

"The only thing missing is a better baseline game. I guess that comes through movement and through just playing enough again. I feel the serve has come back around now, the returns have gotten better also throughout the match today.

"I think if the movement gets better and then the baseline game improves a little bit, I’ll be better on the big points, on the return and also in less trouble on my own service games. But I’m okay and I’m pleased on how I played, how I’m feeling and now we’ve got enough time before Wimbledon to get ready for that."

Federer will next head to SW19 for the Wimbledon Championships, looking for a record eighth title. Always a threat on the lawns of the All England Club, the World No. 3 is not tempering expectations but stresses that patience is essential.

"I definitely need a rest first and once I get back to practice and by the time the press conferences get rolling in Wimbledon, I can probably tell you a whole lot more."

Date: 18 June 2016, Source: ATP

Federer beats Goffin to reach Halle semis

Top seed and eight-time champion Roger Federer is one match away from reaching the Gerry Weber Open final for the 11th time after he defeated fifth seed David Goffin 6-1, 7-6 (10) in 81 minutes on Friday. The Swiss broke back with Goffin serving for the second set and secured the win on his fifth match point.

“I thought it was my best match thus far,” Federer said. “It is a good win for me and I’m clearly very happy to be in the semis.”

The Swiss will compete against Alexander Zverev in Saturday's semi-finals. The German star saw off Marcos Baghdatis 7-6 (9), 6-3.

“Zverev got a big serve, he’s got a nice backhand, he’s improving his forehand and he’s moving forward. He’s going to be a tough player in the future, no doubt about it,” Federer said.

Federer won their lone ATP Head to Head meeting 6-3, 7-5 at last month's Internazionali BNL d'Italia. The World No. 3 had only played 18 matches in 2016 heading into Halle due to knee and back injuries and is looking for his first title of the year.

Federer took a 3-0 lead against Goffin in the 21-minute first set, which included five breaks of serve. The pair exchanged service breaks midway through the second set, prior to Goffin breaking Federer to 15 for a 5-4 lead. Goffin failed to convert one set point when serving at 5-4, 40/30 and four more in the second-set tie-break. It was Federer's 29th straight win against Belgian opponents.

Date: 17 June 2016, Source: ATP

Federer to play Goffin in Halle QFs

Top seed and eight-time champion Roger Federer advanced to the Gerry Weber Open quarter-finals for the 14th successive time on Thursday by beating Malek Jaziri 6-3, 7-5 in 69 minutes.

“I thought he was reading my serve throughout the first set. So, I started to serve a little bit different in the second set. I was having more success that way,” Federer said. “I was happy to come through a tough match because I thought he’s tough to play against. I struggled to read his technique, the way he gets into the ball I can’t really tell where he goes and I remember that from the last time I played him in Dubai, I remembered there was something but not until I got on the court. So, it was tough. I think he’s a good player.

“I wish I could have played maybe a bit better at times but I must put it down to my opponent keeping me off balance as well. He was doing a really nice job of making me feel uncomfortable for a while.”

Federer broke Jaziri for a 5-3 lead in the 29-minute first set and then recovered from a 0-3 deficit in the second set for his 53rd match win at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament.

Federer goes on to face fifth seed David Goffin, who booked his spot in the last eight when qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky retired due to a back injury early in the deciding set. Goffin had saved 12 of 14 break points to lead 4-6, 7-5, 2-0 after one hour and 47 minutes of play.

The Swiss superstar leads Goffin 4-0 in their ATP Head to Head, including a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win in this year's Australian Open fourth round.

Date: 16 June 2016, Source: ATP

Federer eases through Halle opener

Roger Federer got his bid for a ninth Halle grass court title off to a winning start on Wednesday with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over Germany's world number 88 Jan-Lennard Struff.

The top seed and world number three will face Tunisia's Malek Jaziri, ranked 64, for a place in the last eight, as he steps up his bid for another tilt at the Wimbledon title.

“It was hard to find a rhythm today. He took the ball early, went for a lot on the forehand, backhand. He has a big serve, especially the first one,” Federer said.

“So then you go back to basics, you focus on your own serve. I thought I did that very well. He never really had chances on my own serve, so that was comforting.”

The 34-year-old Federer, who has now won 52 matches in his Halle career, has yet to win a title in 2016, his longest drought to start a year since he went title-less in 2000.

But Wednesday's tie was just his 19th match of the season after he struggled with a back injury and endured knee surgery in February.

His injury woes forced him to skip the French Open, ending his record run of 65 successive Grand Slam appearances stretching back to 1999.

Last week, 17-time major winner Federer made the semi-finals of the Stuttgart grasscourt event, where he lost to Dominic Thiem, who went on to take the title.

Later this month, Federer will begin his bid for an eighth Wimbledon title when the third Grand Slam tournament of the season starts on June 27.

“I feel after the first round, after having played last week in Stuttgart, actually maybe something is really possible here," added Federer.

“I don’t want to get too carried away but I feel like if I serve the way I did today and I’m able to step it up just a little bit on the return from the baseline, all of a sudden I’m dangerous for anybody.

“We’ll see how it goes. But I take one match at a time and I hope just to keep on playing a bit better match by match.”

Date: 15 June 2016, Source: AFP

Federer growing in confidence ahead of Wimbledon tilt

Reigning champion Roger Federer touched down in Halle following a quick trip home to Switzerland optimistic of holding the trophy aloft for a ninth time on Sunday.

Hoping to reignite his injury-hampered season on the grass, the Swiss maestro returned to the tour at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, reaching the semi-finals.

A back complaint had ruled the 17-time Grand Slam champion out of the running at Roland Garros, but Federer feels the matches he got under his belt last week have managed to scrape away the “rust” from his game.

“I’m very happy to be back here, in a tournament where I’ve been coming for so, so long, seeing the progress over the years,” said the eight-time champion.

“I’m hoping that I can keep up the good level I reached at Stuttgart, I felt like I got better as the tournament progressed. It was unfortunate that I couldn’t win against Thiem but after all it went well.”

The top seed, searching for a fourth consecutive Halle title, managed to prevail in a three sets against rising star Taylor Fritz, and dispatched Florian Mayer before the in-form Austrian Dominic Thiem sent the 34-year-old packing in another turbulent three-set contest.

“I think I’m quite fortunate to have an extra week on grass. It comes definitely at the right time for me. It has given me a chance to feel a bit better, to shake off some of the rust,” revealed Federer.

“Having played so little over the past four months I’ve felt awfully rusty. So it’s going to take time, I feel better but clearly don’t feel as good as coming off from semis, a final, a win in Paris to come here with a lot of confidence in my game. I am lacking matches, lacking practice, lacking confidence in my movement, I haven’t played big points as such,” added the world No.3

“So there is clearly a completely different approach this year but one I don’t mind, it’s nice to experience change and hopefully I can make the most of it.”

Federer opens his title defence on Wednesday against German wildcard Jan-Lennard Struff, while Stuttgart champion Thiem will also have Tuesday off due to his rain delayed showdown with Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Targeting another Wimbledon crown to add to his current haul of seven, Federer is adamant that grass is the ideal surface for him to accelerate towards top form.

“I would think that everything comes more naturally on the grass. It was important in Stuttgart to play breakers and set points and match points, to get my body ready for that.

“Practice doesn’t go there, only matches can prepare you for that, with the nerves ahead of matches, rain delays, I had it all last week. It was a really good week. I’m more optimistic now than if I hadn’t played Stuttgart and come here without any matches or wins. So we’ll see now where it takes me.”

Federer said his back continues to feel better, and he's glad to have another week of grass-court tennis ahead of him.

“It's much better. I served normally last week, served a lot of aces and also quite a few into the net because I haven’t found my rhythm yet. But at the end it was quite good. I was happy,” Federer said of his back.

“Every day that goes by is a step forward, and every match is a step forward.”

Date: 14 June 2016, Source: Wimbledon and ATP

Thiem stuns Federer in Stuttgart semis

Roger Federer uncharacteristically failed to nail two match points as Dominic Thiem stunned the top seed on the grass in the rain-disrupted Stuttgart semi-finals on Saturday.

The Swiss legend, who is returning from a back injury that ruled him out of the French Open, saw his preparations for Wimbledon unravel as Thiem battled through 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4.

The third seed Thiem, a Roland Garros semi-finalist who moved into the ATP top 10 only this week, will Sunday play for his fourth title of the season against Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-4 after a rain interruption of more than three hours.

"You're always a little disappointed when you lose with match points," Federer said after surrendering the match points that would have given him a straight-sets victory. "But losing any match is not that great."

The contest was halted twice for a total of an hour by rain showers, but Federer - who turns 35 in August - did not attempt to make any excuses.

"It was a good match from both sides in tough conditions," he said.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion, who eased through the first set, put on a charge after falling behind 5-1 in the second set, winning five straight games. In the tiebreaker, Federer wasted one match point with a smash into the net. On the second, he tried to serve and volley behind a second serve but was passed by an impeccable return. Thiem won the set with a smash.

The third set was interrupted after the fifth game with Thiem up a break after Federer missed a volley at the net.

"We both had our chances throughout," Federer said. "Coming back in the second set was good but it was tough to lose in the breaker.

"I can play better, but he came up with some good shots when he needed them."

Thiem called the victory one of his best.

''I was incredibly nervous. I was fortunate in the tiebreaker but you need good luck to beat the best player on grass. I can't believe that I beat him on grass,'' said Thiem, who has little experience on grass. Federer is a seven-time Wimbledon champion.

Federer's 2016 season has been interrupted by knee surgery and back pain which forced him to miss tournaments at Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells Masters, Miami Masters, and much of the clay season including the French Open.

His last title came in the autumn at home in Basel.

Date: 11 June 2016, Source: AFP and AP

Federer reaches Stuttgart semifinals, grabs new record

Roger Federer beat Florian Mayer 7-6 (2), 7-6 (1) on Friday to reach the Stuttgart grass court semi-finals, claiming another record in the process.

The world number three moved ahead of Ivan Lendl to stand second in career match wins with his 1,072 victories putting him behind Jimmy Connors (1,256).

Federer dispatched Germany's Mayer for the seventh time without a loss as he advanced into a final-four showdown with Austrian Dominic Thiem, who recovered to defeat Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Federer is playing for the first time in a month after suffering with back pain which forced him to skip the French Open.

"I think it was a good match really, with long rallies," said Federer. "I thought that I played much better. I'm not sure if the stats showed it, but I felt that I served better. I'm really pleased how I felt this morning, my shoulder is a little sore having served a lot against Fritz. But that's exactly the kind of thing I need to feel having gotten back onto the match courts.

"The feeling was better, I felt I was playing up and down the court more, coming to the net and seeing things a bit better. My serve was more consistent and accurate and I played two good tie-breakers. I'm very pleased, this was a step up from the last match.

"I'm now really excited about the semi-final against Thiem, who has had a great run this year," said Federer. "It will be a tough match, but I hope my experience will help me."

Federer won an impressive 88 per cent of points on his first serve and thumped down 15 aces in a match with fine margins.

He improved to 7-0 against Mayer, who saved one set point at 5-6, 30/40 in the first set. Federer also recovered from 15/40 and saved three set points at 5-6 in the second set.

World number seven Thiem said he has achieved more this week on grass than he had imagined.

"It's tough to play Roger on any surface, especially on grass. He is the best on grass. Against him, I have no expectations."

The 22-year-old said that beating an injured Federer a month ago on clay in Rome meant nothing.

"I can win on clay, that is my surface and I feel very confident against almost all players," he said.

"But grass is different for me. I'm unbelievably happy with this semi-final, anything that comes now is a big bonus."

Thiem improved to 43-11 on this year, which includes three ATP World Tour titles.

German seventh seed Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Radek Stepanek 6-4, 7-5 while Juan Martin del Potro overhauled French fourth seed Gilles Simon 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-0.

Date: 10 June 2016, Source: AFP and ATP

Federer calls for 'zero tolerance' following Sharapova's doping ban

Roger Federer had no sympathy for Maria Sharapova, saying on Thursday he backs a "zero tolerance" stance against doping.

Russian star Sharapova was handed a two-year doping ban on Wednesday after testing positive for the banned medication meldonium at January's Australian Open.

The 29-year-old admitted in March that she simply hadn't realised meldonium, which was added to the World Antio-Doping Agency's banned substance list in January, was no longer permitted - she had been taking the medication for 10 years.

"I only heard the headlines, I didn't quite get into all the details but to me it's about zero tolerance," said Federer after his 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Taylor Fritz at the Stuttgart Open on Thursday.

"It doesn't matter if they did it on purpose or not -- I don't really see the difference. You need to know what goes into your body, you have to be 100% sure of what's going on, if you're not, you're gong to be damned.

"Of course she's got the right to fight the case, like everybody else as well. I'm just for zero tolerance.

"I stay by my word that we should be saving blood samples for 10, 15, 20 years to come, so you have to scare away the people who think they could cheat.

"You have to scare them so they will not do it, so they could retroactively also be banned, and take away titles and so forth."

Date: 10 June 2016, Source: AFP

Federer overcomes Fritz on return from injury; Draws level with Lendl on match wins

In his first match in a month, Roger Federer overcame a stiff challenge from American teenager Taylor Fritz to reach the Mercedes Cup quarterfinals with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win on Thursday.

"It wasn't easy," said Federer. "I thought Fritz had some good moments there. He gained control of the baseline, he had a little bit of an upper-hand at times. He served well and I was a little bit cautious, unsure of how to move and questioning my defence. These are the things I will need to iron out.

"I can take a lot of confidence out of this match. I need to improve a few things, but I served big and I was able to handle three sets over two days, and find some energy at the end of the match. I know I have an extra gear. My next goal is to stretch leads - once I get a lead, I need to know that I can protect it then take the next step."

The match resumed on Thursday with Federer leading Fritz 4-3 in the first set, following a rain suspension overnight. Fritz, who had previously played two Top 10 players, converted his fourth set point opportunity in the 12th game of the second set.

"It's always disappointing to take a loss, when you've come close and you've definitely had chances in the match," said Fritz. "I played great and if you'd told me before that I would have taken a set off Federer, I would have been happy."

Federer, who last played in a third-round Rome loss to Dominic Thiem, then missed the French Open, is building for another run at Wimbledon, where he is a seven-time champion.

He has now drawn level with Ivan Lendl on 1,071 victories, for the second-most match wins in the Open Era (since May 1968). Jimmy Connors is the overall leader with 1,256 victories.

1. Jimmy Connors - 1,256
2. Roger Federer - 1,071
2. Ivan Lendl - 1,071
4. Guillermo Vilas - 929
5. John McEnroe - 877
6. Andre Agass - 870
7. Stefan Edberg - 801
8. Rafael Nadal - 796
9. Ilie Nastase - 780
10. Pete Sampras - 762

Federer will play Florian Mayer in the quarter-final.

Date: 9 June 2016, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer says he is ready for grass-court season

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer is healthy again and looking forward to the grass-court season.

Federer, who pulled out of Roland Garros because of a back injury, was rehabbing and making sure he'd be healthy for a strong grass-court campaign. On Sunday, he said withdrawing from the Grand Slam was the right move.

“I feel much better again. It's been a good last three weeks. No setbacks,” Federer said in Stuttgart while the Roland Garros final was taking place. “My back's good again. I feel much stronger. I was pretty fragile three weeks ago.”

Federer, 34, had played at Roland Garros every year since 1998. Missing the tournament was emotional at first, he said, but he knew that skipping it this year would be the right move for the long run.

“It was much better for me to look forward to the rest of the season, rest of my life, really. I didn't want to have setback after setback and injure myself maybe further,” Federer said. “In hindsight, that was definitely the right decision.

“I trained a lot, was often in the gym. I will keep working hard so I will be ready for my first game on Wednesday or Thursday.”

At the Mercedes Cup in Germany, Federer will join other Top 20 players, including Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Gilles Simon. The World No. 3 is eager to finally play in a tournament again. Federer has played in only four tournaments this year, including two since the Australian Open. He underwent knee surgery in February and has had to withdraw from other events because of a stomach virus and his aching back.

“It hasn't been a great year for me so far. I was only able to play one tournament at full strength, the Australian Open. Since then injuries has kept bothering me.

“But every time I play on grass I have high expectations. With the season I am having I have to be careful preparing myself and with how high my expectations are.

“It will be a good week when I get on the court and play a match. A great week would be the semi-finals and a dream run would be to win,” Federer added.

“Crazier things have happened. Everything is possible this week.”

One of the all-time best grass-court players should feel at home in Stuttgart. The tournament switched from clay to grass last year. Federer will be playing in the event for the first time.

“They've done a really nice job here. I think it's a huge step for them to go from clay to grass,” he said. “I hope it's something good for the future for this event, and I can't wait to play in it.”

Federer receives a first-round bye and is scheduled to play Taylor Fritz or a qualifier in the second round.

Date: 6 June 2016, Source: ATP and AFP