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Federer makes short work of disappointing Dimitrov

 

Roger Federer’s perfect start to 2018 continued as he brushed a listless Grigor Dimitrov aside in a Rotterdam Open final that failed to live up to its promise.

Dimitrov – in the final after an eye injury forced David Goffin to retire from their last-four clash – had no answer to Federer’s quality and never looked like troubling the 36-year-old, who won his 20th grand slam title at last month’s Australian Open.

In truth, Federer did not need to find top gear, as unforced errors aplenty hindered Dimitrov’s chances in a 6-2 6-2 defeat that took less than an hour.

The victory, which takes Federer onto 97 career titles, is his third in Rotterdam, with the new world number one having also won this event in 2005 and 2012.

Dimitrov had lost all six of his previous meetings with Federer but was looking to rack up a fourth career indoor title on the ATP Tour, following wins at the Stockholm Open, Sofia Open and the ATP Finals.

However, the Bulgarian suffered an early break before a backhand into the net two games later left Federer serving for the set at 5-2.

The Swiss duly wrapped up the opener and a struggling Dimitrov fired another backhand into the left tramline to hand Federer the first game of the second set on his own serve.

With Federer so swiftly on the front foot, it seemed only a matter of how long it would take him to put the match to bed, and a double fault from Dimitrov at 3-1 down as good as ended any hope of a comeback.

A love service game apiece brought the scores to 5-2, before a backhand volley from Federer rubber-stamped a victory that never looked in doubt.

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Federer 20: The Swiss great´s five biggest grand slam wins

Roger Federer clinched his 20th grand slam title with another successful run to the Australian Open crown.

The Swiss great overcame Marin Cilic in a five-set thriller in Melbourne on Sunday, joining Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic on a record six Australian Open titles.

That marked number 20 overall and Federer has shown few signs of slowing down, having won three of the past four majors he has played.

We take a look at five of his most memorable triumphs.

2003 Wimbledon

This was the first of 20 for Federer.

Aged 21 and the fourth seed at the All England Club, Federer provided a sign of the future with his maiden grand slam title.

He beat Mardy Fish, Feliciano Lopez, Sjeng Schalken and Andy Roddick on his way to the final, in which he defeated Mark Philippoussis in straight sets.

2004 Australian Open

A second grand slam title and, for the first time, Federer became world number one – holding onto the ranking for an incredible 237 consecutive weeks.

The second seed, Federer coasted into the final in Melbourne before beating Marat Safin in the decider.

2009 French Open

It took 11 attempts, but Federer finally won the elusive French Open title in 2009.

After losing three consecutive finals at Roland Garros to Rafael Nadal, Federer completed the career Grand Slam.

Federer, who came from two sets to love down against Tommy Haas in the fourth round and beat Juan Martin del Potro in five in the semi-finals, brushed past Robin Soderling in the decider.

Soderling had ended Nadal’s 31-match winning run at Roland Garros with a shock victory in the fourth round.

2009 Wimbledon

The 2009 Wimbledon final marked an epic way for Federer to break a major record.

Federer overcame Roddick 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 16-14 in an incredible final.

It marked his 15th major title, surpassing Pete Sampras’ record of 14.

2017 Australian Open

Returning from knee surgery, Federer’s success in Melbourne showed his critics there was life let in him.

Awaiting him in the final was a familiar face in Nadal in one of the most important matches of their storied rivalry.

Federer claimed an incredible five-set win, which marked his 18th grand slam title – and first since 2012 – and pushed him four clear of Nadal.

HE’S DONE IT!

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He´s scared of me – Ferrell reveals Federer fears

World number two Roger Federer is afraid of Will Ferrell, according to the star actor.

Ferrell has taken centre stage during the Australian Open in Melbourne, including interviewing Federer after the Swiss maestro’s first-round win over Aljaz Bedene on Tuesday.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, the American actor and comedian said he felt the 19-time grand slam champion was scared of him.

“Did you notice Roger’s body language? He’s a little bit afraid of me,” he said.

“He leaned back, like, what is this guy going to do? No, that was great fun. I could have gone on for a lot longer, but I could tell [John] McEnroe gave me the look, wrap it up.

“I was sitting in my seat, thinking, what are the fun things I want to ask Roger Federer about?

“I forgot to ask him if that was his real hair or a wig. Because he’s got such luxurious hair.”

Ferrell, who is leaving Melbourne on Friday, also joked about his own tennis career.

“I have a power game, which means I can hit it really hard. Doesn’t mean it’s going to go in, but I don’t have much of a backhand. I run around the backhand presently,” he said.

“If I can get a first serve in, it’s heaven.”

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Federer leads Switzerland to third Hopman Cup title

Switzerland won their third Hopman Cup on Saturday as Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber 4-3(3) 4-2 in the deciding mixed doubles to secure a 2-1 victory in the final at the Perth Arena.

It was Federer’s second Hopman Cup triumph after victory in 2001 alongside then world number one Martina Hingis.

“She (Hingis) had a great career and to have that in a small country like Switzerland is very rare,” world number two Federer said after his country’s latest triumph.

“It made me also believe with hard work and dedication you get really far because I didn’t believe that much at that point when I was younger, I thought it was more all talent.”

Federer had earlier roared back from a set down to beat Zverev 6-7(4) 6-0 6-2 and give the Swiss a 1-0 lead.

Unbeaten in three singles matches in the tournament before the final as he prepares to defend his Australian Open title later this month, the 19-time grand slam champion failed to wrap up the first set despite hitting 20 winners.

However, it was only a matter of time before the 36-year-old Federer found his groove as he raced to win the second set 6-0 before sealing victory in the decider with a drop shot.

“I was trying to play as aggressively as possible. I‘m maybe better when we’re closer together,” said Federer.

“The court plays fast, so it helps if you approach (the net) and do it the right way. It was working out well, so I thought I’d keep going until I had to fix it. That never happened, so I was able to cruise all the way through.”

The tie went to a mixed doubles decider after Kerber continued her strong start to the campaign under new coach Wim Fissette by beating Bencic 6-4 6-1 to level the score at 1-1.

World number four Zverev finished with one singles win from four matches in a patchy preparation ahead of the year’s first grand slam at Melbourne Park starting on Jan. 15.

(Hardik Vyas)

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Federer outlasts Cilic; Sock advances

Roger Federer will head into the semifinals of the ATP Finals with confidence after outlasting fifth-seeded Marin Cilic in three sets on Thursday in London.

The 36-year-old Swiss finished Group Boris Becker play with a perfect 3-0 mark after his 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1 victory over the Croatian.
“I played very well, so really happy to be playing at this level right now,” said the second-ranked Federer, who has won 13 matches in a row. He is bidding for his seventh ATP Finals title and eighth championship of the season.
Jack Sock also reached the semifinals out of Group Boris Becker by posting a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Alexander Zverev. Sock is the first American to make the semis since Andy Roddick in 2007.
Sock will face Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday. Dimitrov was the winner of Group Pete Sampras.
Federer, who has reached the final four in 14 of his 15 ATP Finals appearances, will play Belgian David Goffin or Austrian Dominic Thiem on Saturday. The latter two will vie for second place in the Group Pete Sampras on Friday.
Cilic snapped a six-set losing streak to Federer by smashing a cross-court winner to claim the first-set tiebreak. He held tough in the second set before Federer broke his serve, with the latter doing the same in the second and sixth games of the third set to advance.
“I think overall with my game I was quite satisfied, played good tennis. Just in the third set I felt like I dropped a little bit with my serving percentage,” the 29-year-old Cilic said. “Once Roger got the break, he was playing little bit looser, obviously played well.”
The eighth-seeded Sock was on his game while stunning Zverev, the third-seeded German, for the second Top 5 victory of his career. He was just as thrilled to end the American drought in the year-end tourney.
“I’m playing with house money,” Sock said after his victory. I’m going out there and letting loose, having fun, trying to put on a show a little bit, just enjoy my time.”
Meanwhile, the 20-year-old Zverev was greatly disappointed. He dominated the second set before struggling in the final one.
“I choked. It’s quite easy,” Zverev said. “Won the second set 6-1. I was 1-0 with a break. He got a point penalty. I was down 1-4 within 10 minutes where I didn’t put many balls in the court. So, yeah, I just choked.

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Federer tells Murray not to rush comeback

Roger Federer urged Andy Murray to take his time in making a competitive return from a hip injury.

Murray last played competitively at Wimbledon, suffering a quarter-final loss to Sam Querrey, and was edged by Federer at a charity event on Tuesday.

The British world number 16 and three-time grand slam champion is eyeing a returning next year, saying he was hopeful of a January comeback.

Federer, who came back from a knee injury to enjoy a tremendous 2017, said Murray, 30, should not rush his return.

“My big advice is to just get healthy again. No, seriously, that’s it. Take your time, however long it takes,” Federer said.

“When you come back, you want to be at 100 per cent. Otherwise, the problem is you just feel like you can’t beat the best, can’t win the big tournaments.

“It’s wise and worthwhile to take the extra week, extra month, whatever it may be.

“I’m sure Andy still has a lot of years left, so there shouldn’t be a hurry.

“As a professional, you always want to come back as soon as possible and you need to have goals, but sometimes they need to be postponed.”

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Federer withdraws from Paris Masters

Hours after winning the Swiss Indoors Final for the eighth time, Roger Federer withdrew from the Paris Masters, saying his body needed a break.

His decision almost ensures Rafael Nadal will finish atop the ATP rankings with Federer at No. 2. Nadal needs just one win in Paris to finish No. 1.
“My body is asking for a break,” Federer told reporters on Sunday after defeating Juan Martin del Potro to win in Basel, his hometown. “Basel takes a lot out of me emotionally. I had five matches in six days. I feel sorry and sad for Paris.
“I love to play at Bercy. … It’s a tough one but they have to understand that it’s for the cause of staying injury-free and healthy.”
The 36-year-old Federer has not played the Paris tournament since 2015. He last won it in 2011.
Other big names such as Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Stan Wawrinka also will miss Paris.
Federer has won an ATP-leading seven championships this season and also has won the Australian Open and Wimbledon. He has 19 Grand Slam titles

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Federer outlasts Del Potro for eighth Basel title

BASEL, Switzerland- Roger Federer displayed some rare flashes of temper as he battled past Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro 6-7(5) 6-4 6-3 for an eighth Swiss Indoors title in front of a partisan Basel crowd on Sunday.

The 36-year-old local favourite, beaten by Del Potro in consecutive Basel finals in 2012 and 2013, was ragged at times and looked in danger of an unwanted hat-trick, but showed all his fighting qualities to turn the match around.

Fourth seed Del Potro, making a late run to try and qualify for next month’s ATP World Tour Finals in London, broke serve in the first game of the decider but wilted as Federer stormed back to the delight of a raucous crowd inside the St Jakobshalle.

World number two Federer charged into a 5-2 lead and while Del Potro delayed the end by holding serve, Federer would not be denied and racked up his 95th career title as Del Potro fired a backhand long under pressure.

In edging past Ivan Lendl’s 94 Federer is now alone in second place on the all-time titles list which American great Jimmy Connors leads with 109.

Victory means Federer trails world number one Rafael Nadal by 1,460 points going into the Paris Masters where 1,000 points are on offer for the champion, although Federer has hinted he may miss that tournament to prepare for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.

Del Potro would have moved into the eighth and final qualifying spot for London had he claimed a third Basel title, but now must reach the semi-finals at least in the French capital to make it to the season-ending tournament.

“All the best for Paris and then I’ll hopefully maybe see you in London, too,” Federer said after an intense battle with the 29-year-old Argentine who fell just short of claiming a second successive title after winning in Stockholm.

Federer broke serve in the opening game but Del Potro hit back immediately when Federer netted a backhand.

Del Potro struggled to hold serve and cracked at 4-4 under a flurry of Federer winners. Federer could not serve out the set though and was broken as Del Potro took it to a tiebreak.

Federer went 3-0 up but lost six successive points. He saved two set points but Del Potro took the opener on his third chance — leaving Federer flustered.

The 19-times grand slam champion smashed his racket into the net at one point during the opening set, but it was Del Potro’s turn to lose his cool when he dropped serve at 4-5 in the second as the crowd roared Federer on.

Del Potro took the opening game of the decider but looked fatigued as Federer found another gear to surge back.

(Martyn Herman)

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Federer crushes Tiafoe in Basel opener

BASEL, Switzerland – Roger Federer delighted a capacity crowd to ease past American youngster Frances Tiafoe 6-1 6-3 in his first round match at the Swiss Indoors in his home town of Basel on Tuesday.

The world number two streaked away with the opening set and although he was made to work a little harder in the second he was never seriously troubled by the wildcard.

The 35-year-old Swiss, trying to chase down the absent Rafael Nadal for the end-of-year number one ranking, will face Frenchman Benoit Paire in the second round.

Federer is trying to win his home tournament for an eighth time, having missed it last year while he recovered from injury.

Third seed David Goffin of Belgium, battling for a place in the ATP World Tour Finals, began with a 6-2 7-5 win over German Peter Gojowczyk and will meet South Korean Hyeon Chung next.

(Martyn Herman)

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Fabulous Federer downs Nadal in Shanghai classic

Roger Federer maintained his perfect record against Rafael Nadal in 2017 with a straight sets victory in the Shanghai Masters final on Sunday.

The top two players in men’s tennis have met four times this year – three in finals – and on each occasion Federer has come out on top, his latest win keeping alive his hope of usurping Nadal to finish 2017 as world number one.

As on so many occasions before the old rivals put on a stunning display in China, but it was Federer who just had the edge as he recorded a 6-4 6-3 victory, his 700th hard-court success.

From the outset Federer was on the front foot and it immediately paid off as he broke Nadal in the opening game – a scintillating backhand winner securing the early advantage after he had seen two previous openings saved brilliantly by the Spaniard.

Unfortunately for Nadal – who could have claimed a record 31st Masters crown with victory – making any kind of inroads on Federer’s serve proved impossible, the second seed imperious as he dropped just four points in the opening set.

Add to that seven aces, 16 winners and just five unforced errors and it was no wonder Federer was soon celebrating moving a set ahead – a second hold to love doing the job.

The high quality tennis continued in the second set as Nadal prowled the baseline, while Federer mixed up his game superbly – approaching the net with such grace when the opportunity presented itself.

Both men found seemingly impossible angles to produce stunning winners, Federer finding two with his backhand in the fifth game that proved crucial.

Having applied pressure with those elegant winners, Federer then set up camp at the net and got his reward with a sumptuous backhand volley to bring up a break chance – Nadal firing wide to allow his rival to edge ahead.

And that seemed to end Nadal’s resistance as four games later – after two more comfortable holds from Federer – the Spaniard stared down three match points.

He saved the first but fired a forehand into the net on the second to give Federer his 350th Masters win and a second Shanghai crown.