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Federer fan wakes from 11-year coma and stunned his idol is still on top

“I thought he had retired. When I knew that at 34 years old, he is still playing and is No.2 in the world, I thought they were kidding me. I could not believe it. When I heard that he won 17 Grandslams, I put my hands on my face.”

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Federer: "I play for these huge moments but I should have done better"

“The crowd support kept me going, and that's definitely one of the reasons I still keep playing, because of these goose bump moments. It's great. The crowd was unbelievable tonight.”

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Federer beats Djokovic for seventh Cincinnati title

Roger Federer won the 41st clash of titans against rival Novak Djokovic, claiming his seventh Western and Southern Open crown 7-6(1), 6-3.

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Federer opens Malawi children's project

Roger Federer swapped his tennis racket for a pair of scissors to cut the ribbon at a new childcare centre in Malawi funded by his foundation.

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Federer named world's most marketable sports star

Roger Federer has been named the world’s most marketable sports star, edging out Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and LeBron James in the Top 20 list.

Federer loses opening match at Shanghai Masters

Defending champion Roger Federer lost his opening match at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Tuesday, falling to Spanish qualifier and World No. 70 Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3.

Federer failed to convert two break points in Ramos-Vinolas’ opening service game and would rue his missed opportunity as Ramos-Vinolas went on to sneak the first set in the ensuing tie-break.

The Swiss hit back strongly in the second set, breaking in the fifth and seventh games to level the match, but could not carry his momentum into the deciding set. Ramos-Vinolas earned a crucial break in the eighth game and went on to serve out victory.

The last time Federer and Ramos-Vinolas played, at Wimbledon in 2012, the Spaniard won only three games. Ramos-Vinolas also came into the match with a 0-15 record against top-10 players.

“I definitely thought of last year's match,” said Federer. “But at the same time it was a completely different match. Playing a lefty maybe also had something to do with it. Who knows? Albert was doing a good job of trying to stay on the offensive as well as I was trying to do the same. There were some good rallies there.

“I had my chances. I just couldn't make it today. I’ve got to look into it. But at the end of the day this can happen during the year. Unfortunately, here in Shanghai where I was defending champion, I was really hoping again to play a great tournament.

“I just think the first round here in Shanghai has always been historically quite difficult, getting used to the conditions and the surface and the balls. The balls play very different than in other places. Last year I got lucky. This year I didn't. So it's a pity.”

Ramos-Vinolas is the lowest-ranked player to beat Federer since July 2013, when World No. 114 Federico Delbonis stunned Federer in the Hamburg semi-finals.

“I'm always cautious,” said Federer, who had lost just three games in his one previous meeting with Ramos-Vinolas at Wimbledon three years ago. “I don't underestimate or lack respect for anybody out there. These guys are all touring professionals, they know what they're doing. The margins are so small.

“I played him at Wimbledon before, so I knew him. I've seen him play. He's definitely improved since then. That was a while back and that was not his favourite surface. I was aware that he could give me a tough workout and even beat me.”

Defeat for Federer in Shanghai, where he was defending 1000 ATP Ranking points, also puts in jeopardy his chance of finishing as year-end World No. 2.

The Swiss started the week 770 points behind Andy Murray in the year-to-date standings. Murray has the chance to stretch that lead even further this week now, only defending 90 points from his third-round exit against David Ferrer last year. The Scot begins his campaign on Wednesday against Steve Johnson.

Date: 13th October 2015, Source: ATP and AP

Federer: Draw analyst, Pizza chef

Most players will tell you that they never peek at the draw, that they take it one point at a time, one match at a time. But not Roger Federer. In fact, so studious is the Swiss that the moment a draw is released he studies like a college hoops fanatic gearing up for March Madness.

Not that the World No. 2 claims to be an expert prognosticator.

“I love looking at the draw, trying to understand who is going to come through,” said Federer, prepping for his title defense at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. “I’m horrible at it usually, but I like looking at them. There’s no avoiding where you are in the draw, so I’m aware of who is around me. What I can’t stand is going to the draws when they pull the names out of the hat. If you’re sitting there I feel like any draw is a bad one because you see it coming. But I like looking at the draw just like a fan.”

In addition to his foray into draw analysis, Federer will take on a new role in Shanghai: pizza maker. As the Master 1000 event’s defending champion, he was asked to create an original pizza to be served in the players’ restaurant throughout the tournament.

“That’s exciting,” said Federer. “Because a lot of pizzas were taken, the classic ones, I came up with one that I like - figs, arugula salad, prosciutto, and creme fraiche, and extra mozzarella, if you like.”

What does the father of four call his signature creation?

“It’s the ‘Figalicious,” he said. “I don’t know if you know, but the name is really important.”

Federer is making his fifth appearance at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Prior to last year, he reached the Shanghai final in 2010, the semi-finals in 2012 (l. to Andy Murray both times) and the third round in 2013 (l. to Gael Monfils). The 34-year-old comes in with a 53-8 record on the year (29-3 on hard courts).

Date: 12th October 2015, Source: ATP

Federer to play in Singapore for the first time in December

Roger Federer will be in Singapore this December, playing in the Republic for the first time when he represents the UAE Royals in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).

The Swiss confirmed his attendance at the three-day tennis event on Friday, setting up a likely US Open final rematch with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from Dec 18-20. The Serb is headlining home side Singapore Slammers.

"I love playing in countries where I have never played before. That is something that is always special to me. I know Singapore has embraced tennis in the past few years; so going there to play is very exciting," Said the 17-time Grand Slam champion and world No. 2.

This will be Federer's first visit to Singapore since a one-day stopover in January 2013, when the tennis star was invited by Credit Suisse as its global ambassador.

He added: "It's going to be a very special experience for me. I don't often get to play in new countries and I hope they are excited.

"I have been to Singapore before but not to play tennis and I have had a chance to interact with some fans. So, if that trip was any indication, I am very excited to be welcomed again and have a lot of fun with my fans."

The IPTL, now into its second year, is a mixed team tournament that features tennis played in an abbreviated format. World No. 1 Serena Williams and legend Andre Agassi played for the Singapore side last year.

This year, the event will feature 35 of the sport's biggest names, including Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. The event will make stops in Japan, the Philippines, India and United Arab Emirates before the climax of the final in Singapore.

Season passes, from $195, are on sale at Sports Hub Tix. For more information, visit

Date: 24th September 2015, Source: Straits Times

Roger Federer fan wakes from 11-year coma and stunned his idol is still on top

A 23-year-old Roger Federer had just completed his first truly phenomenal season, winning three of the four grand slams, including thumping Lleyton Hewitt 6-0, 7-6, 6-0 in the US Open final.

On December 12 of that year, Jesus Aparicio - a huge Federer fan - was in a serious car accident while out celebrating his 18th birthday.

The incident left the young man from Seville in a coma he would not wake from until August 27 this year.

When he finally woke, Aparicio called out and his mother was in the bathroom of the room he was staying in. Over the coming weeks, Aparicio’s speech slowly recovered. He would ask about family, friends and current affairs - but he would also ask about his idol, Roger Federer.

“It came like a flash to my mind and I asked about Roger,” Aparicio said.

“I thought he had retired. When I knew that at 34 years old, he is still playing and is number two in the world, I thought they were kidding me. I could not believe it.

“When I heard that he reached 17 slam titles, I put my hands on my face.

“I knew Federer was very good but I never thought he could win all he has won.”

Federer was comfortably the best player in the world when Aparicio’s accident occurred, but the Swiss master’s best was yet to come - going on to reach 10 of the next 12 grand slam finals, winning eight of them on his way to a record 17.

Earlier this month, on September 13, Aparicio would watch Federer - now 11 years older than the last time he saw him - take on a total stranger to him in Novak Djokovic in the final of the US Open.

“I was astonished to see him play well. It’s really amazing,” Aparicio said.

“It was a shame he could not win but that Djokovic, he plays good.”

Before the crash, Aparicio had been saving to watch Federer play at Wimbledon. He says he still hopes to watch him play live.

“I want to see his match before he retires, perhaps his 18th slam,” Aparicio said. “It would be the dream of my life.”

According to Spanish site Punto de Break, Aparicio’s mother Rosario never gave up hope her son would one day wake.

“It was a very hard blow for everyone but we never stopped believing this day would come,” Rosario said.

“Every night I spoke in his ear and told him I was there with him.”

Date: 22nd September 2015, Source: Tennis World USA and News AU

Federer finishes off plucky Dutch in quick time

Against all the odds we had a proper Davis Cup tie here. By rights the under-strength Dutch team should have been heading home on Saturday evening, mentally if not physically, but instead they tenaciously hung around to bring the best out of the reigning Davis Cup champion and Roger Federer in particular.

Thiemo de Bakker, the Dutch No. 1, had taken Stan Wawrinka, the world No. 4, close to defeat in the opening rubber and it set the tone for a never-say-die performance from the visiting team. And then the Dutch effort hit the buffers, or, to be more precise, a Roger Federer in the sort of imperious form that had taken him to the final of the recent US Open.

Whether it was Federer’s last Davis Cup tie remains to be seen, but clearly his involvement next year is doubtful, which is a pity because a fully committed Swiss team should be too good for anyone.

“I don't know yet if I play Davis Cup next year, depends also on the draw. My idea was never to win it twice, the idea was always to win it once and we did that in front of a record crowd, which was a great moment for us all,” Federer told

“I see this tie in isolation. Next year is an Olympic year. The summer will be very long and packed with highlights. It’s all a question of priorities. I can’t play everything and of course if I do play Davis Cup other things have to drop out.”

Jesse Huta Galung, the Dutch No. 2, had said on Friday that playing Federer was like playing a ghost and the world No. 2 has certainly proved an elusive figure for de Bakker on the few occasions they have met these past three years. Once again he failed to win a set against him as Federer, seemingly in second gear throughout, took the rubber and this World Group play-off with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory.

Federer improved to 40-8 lifetime in singles rubbers for Switzerland.

Date: 20th September 2015, Source: Davis Cup and ATP

Dutch duo stun Swiss to halve deficit

Surely a Davis Cup champion is not meant to struggle like this, not against seriously weakened opposition. The odds are still heavily on Switzerland pulling through this Davis Cup World Group play-off, but their Dutch opponents are making them fight every inch of the way.

Before this tie began, Jan Siemerink, the Netherlands captain, said he expected his team to lose but if they did he wanted them to go down fighting. They have not disappointed him. Indeed it would be no stretch of the imagination to say that the Dutch could now be 2-1 up instead of 2-1 down.

Thiemo de Bakker had led Stanislas Wawrinka for much of the three hours and nine minutes of the opening rubber on Friday only to falter when in sight of the finish. He was not about to make the same mistake a second time in the doubles on Saturday.

At two sets to one down it was the reverse of his singles match, but this time, alongside Matwe Middelkoop, he showed a steady nerve as well as great resilience to beat Roger Federer and Marco Chiudinelli 7-6(7), 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 and take this tie to the final day. Middelkoop and de Bakker saved 11 of 13 break points.

The fact that it was the first time the two Swiss players had played together in the Davis Cup was no excuse; de Bakker and Middelkoop had never played together at all. “The first time,” said Middelkoop. “And the last time,” joked de Bakker.

“We knew before that our type of game is really comfortable with each other,” said the 32-year-old Middelkoop, who was enjoying his finest moment on a tennis court. “We both have good serves, good returns and that made up really well for the match - I think the end result is great. To win against Roger, yeah that’s special.”

The Swiss team had all agreed that the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold-medal winning partnership of Federer and Wawrinka should be temporarily broken up in order to give the latter some much needed rest, but if Switzerland is to win this tie in four rubbers perhaps it might have been more advisable to rest Federer.

The great man has a slight leg strain which needed massage at the end of the third set, but should be fit to face de Bakker, against whom he has not dropped a set in three matches, in the first of Sunday’s reverse singles. Also, of course, de Bakker has now played 10 sets of tennis in 48 hours.

Questioned on why he also took a break at the end of the fourth set, Federer replied: “You have to go to the toilet because you just don’t sweat enough in doubles.”

Mind you, it was getting pretty sweaty for the Swiss in the fifth set - “a blistering fifth set”, as the Dutch captain called it - with his players racing to a 5-0 lead in winning seven consecutive games.

There had been little to separate the two sides for the first four sets, although Switzerland’s first serve percentage clearly let them down in the first set - 54 per cent as against the Netherlands’s 74 per cent. They picked up that percentage dramatically in the second set and by the end of the third seemed to be taking control, but the Dutch were not going to go away.

“I think we played very well for four sets,” said Federer. “They had a good tiebreaker and a good 10 minutes at the end of the fourth and the beginning of the fifth and they deserved victory in the end. Indoor doubles is brutal, it’s very close, plus the surface plays rather quickly, especially in the doubles.”

Federer is scheduled to meet de Bakker in Sunday's first reserve singles, with Wawrinka playing Huta Galung in the fifth rubber.

Date: 19th September 2015, Source: Davis Cup and ATP

Federer and Wawrinka propel Swiss ahead

This was one of those occasions when the scoreline doesn’t tell half the story. If the form book was a reliable guide - which thankfully in Davis Cup it often isn’t - the Dutch fans would have left the Palexpo Arena with red faces to go with their orange shirts.

Instead they came away glowing with pride over their team’s performance on the opening day of this World Group play-off, particularly that of Thiemo de Bakker, who was not so very far away from giving his team a shock lead in the opening rubber.

De Bakker led by 3-0 and two sets to one against the two-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka only to “lose my head a bit for a while”, as he put it, in the fifth set, enabling a much relieved Wawrinka to prevail 2-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in three hours and nine minutes.

“I played a great match, but at this moment I’m still a bit sad that I didn’t take the match - I had my chances,” said de Bakker. “It’s tough. I lost my focus in the fourth set and lost nine games in a row, I think. Still had small chances, but he’s a great player and he kept going.”

After that it would have taken a brave Swiss fan to predict with utmost certainty that his country would lead 2-0 at the end of the opening day, but of course Roger Federer seldom fails them and he came through as expected 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 against Jesse Huta Galung, a player who with a ranking of No. 436 obviously comes from a rather different world to the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

“He’s doing everything different,” said Huta Galung of Federer. “He moves so fast on the court - if you don’t look for a second to the other side he’s on the net, he’s like a ghost.”

For a few minutes, though, at the start of the fourth set of the opening rubber it was the Davis Cup champion who was looking haunted.

While de Bakker left the recent US Open almost before the tournament had started, losing in straight sets in the first round of qualifying, his Swiss opponent had gone all the way to the semi-finals only to lose to his compatriot Federer. Only a week ago de Bakker lost in straight sets in the first round of a Challenger event. Who’d be a tennis pundit?

However, Jan Siemerink, the Dutch captain, had warned that de Bakker on his day can be a handful for anyone and that the Swiss were well aware of that fact. He was not wrong. De Bakker broke Wawrinka in the opening game and never looked back, well, for the next three hours or so he didn’t. He might now.

His aim was to come to the net and take away time from the world No. 4 and it was a tactic that worked wonderfully well for the most part. It even took Federer by surprise, never mind Wawrinka.

“We knew he had potential and could be dangerous, but he changed his game up and served and volleyed a lot, which was not maybe to be expected because he also likes to stay at the baseline,” said Federer. “I think he did as well as he could, probably should have won at the end, but Stan got a sniff and showed why he’s a top four player.”

How much Wawrinka’s exertions at the US Open played a part in proceedings is difficult to say, but certainly his timing, length of shot and first serve were often horribly awry. The fact that he was unable to summon a smile at the finish said all that one needed to know about how satisfied he was with his performance.

To his credit he stuck to his task and like all good players ground out a victory while playing poorly. Some players would have thrown in the towel at the start of the fourth set and said to himself, “Roger will get us back into it”. Not Wawrinka.

From 3-0 down in that fourth set he shook off the jet lag, weariness or whatever it was that had made him look like a rookie at times to win nine games on the trot, enabling him to square the match at two sets all and take a commanding lead in the fifth set.

“I just tried to stay positive, tried to fight and find a solution, tried to make him play more,” said Wawrinka. “I know how well he can play, how well he can serve. He hasn’t had a lot of big matches lately and I thought he might tire. He looked nervous in the fourth set and started to miss easy balls.”

Credit de Bakker, too, for not giving up when he must have felt the tide was turning against him in the final set, breaking back to level at 3-3. Serving first in the set was definitely an advantage for Wawrinka, but De Bakker took it to the wire and then some.

The Dutch couldn’t hide their disappointment, though. “I’m not saying he had to win this match,” said Siemerink, “but he had an opportunity to get into the position to win it. At the end of the day, we’re all sportsmen, we’re not coming here for holidays, we’re coming here for a good result and in the first match a good result was possible.”

Date: 18th September 2015, Source: Davis Cup

Federer: "It is unlikely I will play the Davis Cup in 2016"

Roger Federer, back from the US Open final, will play the upcoming Davis Cup play-off against Netherlands to stay in the World Group: "We are confident because we have Stan in the team. We are the same team of last year. A strong team. And then we play on the court in which we won the semi-finals and quarter-finals last year. This is why we are clearly favourites.

"Then we have the support of the crowd. We hope there will be many fans. For us, it's great to get so much support from the crowd. Being able to play again in Geneva with the same team of last year, with Stan and Seve is great. Also we don't know how things will go. No one knows. It could be the last home match for a long time."

For how long, will we see him play in the Davis Cup: "I don't see this challenge as a farewell. In another scenario, I would have stopped to play Davis Cup in Lille. I played with this thought, but I knew it wouldn't be so, because of Olympics. It may be that I will continue to play in the Davis Cup, but next year it will certainly be difficult. May be at the end of 2016 or in 2017. There is still time to decide.

"I understand that I have to give answers, but I don't know where you play the next challenge. Cilic is in Brazil, Nadal is in Denmark and we are in Geneva, so this time we are lucky. Davis Cup makes everything uncertain and it is not easy to plan.

"I like to be organized, but I'm also willing to change. However, it is difficult to win the Davis Cup, becoming number one, winning a grand slam title and winning the Masters 1000. And then be criticized if I lose in the final in Dubai. I can't please everyone. It was always a goal to win the Davis Cup. Now that we have it done we are ready to do it again,"  said the Swiss Maestro.

Date: 18th September 2015, Source: Tennis World USA

Federer: "I play for these huge moments but I should have done better"

“It was a tough night, but still thrilling at the same time. Surely I am very disappointed,” admitted Roger Federer on the heels of his tough 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Novak Djokovic at the US Open on Sunday. “I had my chances on my racquet. But Novak did a great job of fending them off. It was a great battle, and I'm happy the people stayed after the rain delay and that they were right there when I needed them to the very, very end.”

“The crowd support kept me going, and that's definitely one of the reasons I still keep playing, because of these goose bump moments,” said Federer. “It's great. The crowd was unbelievable tonight. Was it better than ever? Possibly. Was it louder than ever? Maybe. It was unreal.

“It's just so nice to feel that they want you to get back in the match, and that they want you to win,” added the five-time US Open champion. “They enjoy what they're seeing. Feels like they're getting their money's worth.”

Since the abolition of the Challenge rounds at the US Championships (1912) and Wimbledon (1922), only six men have won six or more titles at the same Grand Slam tournament. Federer was aiming to become the first man to win six or more titles at two different Grand Slam events.

The boisterous New York fans may have helped Federer obtain 23 break opportunities, but they must have been disheartened to see the World No. 2 only convert on four of those chances against Djokovic in the pair’s 14th Grand Slam encounter, which sets a new record for most meetings at the majors.

“I had too many break chances,” said Federer. “Of course some of them I could have done better, should have done better. Djokovic didn't give me much, that's for sure, but still I should have done better.”

With the loss, Federer fell to 21-21 against Djokovic in their ATP Head to Head rivalry. He will go another calendar year since winning Wimbledon in 2012 without a Grand Slam title, but the 34 year old was happy about making the US Open final for the first time since 2009 (l. to Del Potro) and putting together a solid showing against the top-ranked player in the world. A victory would have made Federer the first player in the Open Era to win six US Open titles and the oldest US Open champion since 35-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1970.

“I think in best-of-five-set matches, ones that exceed two-and-a-half, three-and-a-half hours, you go through some ups and downs naturally,” observed Federer. “You can't play two perfect points every single time. Naturally you're going to have to battle.

“That's when you learn a lot about your game, about your attitude, about your fitness. This is, I think, the longest match I have played all season. It was very interesting to see how I coped with it. I'm very happy I had no problems, and I'm happy I'm putting in the hard work aside from the matches, because the matches I have played this year have been really quick. I won't see another best-of-five match in some time except for next weekend,” said Federer, who is slated to play in the Swiss Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against the Netherlands, which starts Friday. “I'm happy that I'm able to stay at a great level of play for a long period of time, because I'm match tough and I have worked very hard in the off-season.”

Looking at the rest of the season, Federer will have two titles to defend (Shanghai and Basel), and will attempt to win a seventh ATP World Tour Finals.

“I am playing a good year,” said Federer, who defeated Andy Murray and Djokovic back-to-back en route to the Cincinnati title before the US Open. “I am happy with where my level is at. I'm able to beat the best players regularly. Cincinnati obviously was a great feeling beating the World No. 1 and World No. 2 in the same week. I don't think I have done that before. I lost too many times in finals this season. But at the same time, I did win my tournaments, the ones I was supposed to. The year is not over yet. I usually do have strong finishes to the season, and I hope I can do that again.”

Federer's coach, Stefan Edberg, figures an 18th major title is still not out of reach, even though no one Federer's age has won the U.S. Open since 1970.

“You still cannot count him out,” Edberg said. “If he keeps playing at this level, he'll get another shot.”

Djokovic gave credit to the 34-year-old Federer, stating that “I have to share my admiration for Roger and everything he is doing for tennis. He is still improving and keeps on going. I have tremendous respect for Roger and what his game presents to me and any other player, for everything he has ever achieved. Roger showed why he's a champion, making me play to the last point. He's never going to drop his level. I need to produce my best level against him and that's what was needed from me to win this trophy. We pushed each other to the limit as we always do. It was a huge relief when I saw that forehand return go out.”

Date: 14th September 2015, Source: ATP, AFP and AP

Federer will face Djokovic in dream US Open final

Second seed Roger Federer has set a clash against Novak Djokovic in what will be his first US Open final in six years after defeating countryman Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in 1 hour and 32 minutes. It will be Federer and Djokovic's 42nd meeting.

“I’m very happy, it’s been a great tournament so far,” Federer said in an on-court interview with ESPN. “I tried very hard in the last six years to get to another final, I came close a few times and tonight it worked against Stan, who also played a good tournament.”

The second seed described his current form as “definitely very good, maybe my best.” “I’m serving very well, playing positive tennis. I am going for my shots and I’d love everything to work just one more time this year.”

The semi-final marked the Swiss pair's 20th career meeting, sixth at a Grand Slam and first at the US Open. Five-time champion Federer extended his ATP Head to Head lead over Wawrinka to 17-3 and his record at majors against the younger Swiss is now 5-1.

Federer saved a break point in the second game and proceeded to break Wawrinka in the following game after the 30-year-old Swiss sent a backhand long. The second-seeded Federer saved three more break points from 3-2 0/40, sealing the game with an ace.  He converted his second set point as a Wawrinka forehand sailed long.

In the second set, Wawrinka found his first serve and saved four break points in the fifth game, before being broken to love in the seventh. He gave up the second set after sending a forehand long. Federer broke twice in the third set before converting his second match point with his 10th ace of the night.

“It's playing really fast,” Wawrinka said of Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I didn't play my best game, didn't serve well and everything. But basically it's him, the way he's playing.

“He's moving really well, for sure. As I said before playing him, I saw him in Cincinnati, I think he's quite fast on the court. He's reading well the game, and so he's trying really to stay on the line, not to go back; stay really aggressive. He's serving really well, also. He's serving better than I’ve ever seen him serve.

“For me tonight he's getting more angles. It's more tough to really serve and to make something from.”

In a warning for top seed Novak Djokovic - the man he beat in the final to win his second major at Roland Garros this year - Wawrinka said Federer was playing at a different level since his defeat in the Wimbledon decider. “It is the best that I saw him play since a few years, that's for sure,” Wawrinka said. “But if you look at him - I think the second part from the year, after Wimbledon, he is starting already at the different level.

“He came back to Cincinnati at a completely different level. Here also. If you look at the first part of the year he was playing good, made the final at Wimbledon ... If you look now, if he keeps this level, he's going to be tough to beat.”

Federer’s 52 games lost this year at Flushing Meadows ties the fewest he’s dropped en route to a Grand Slam final. Before the 2006 Wimbledon final he had also lost 52 games. The Swiss No. 1 is also on a 28-set winning streak, which began in Cincinnati, the third-longest of his career.

The 34-year-old Federer, who is the oldest Grand Slam semi-finalist since Jonas Bjorkman reached the final four at Wimbledon in 2006, is also the oldest Open Era Grand Slam finalist since Andre Agassi, then 35, reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2005. He'll next meet top seed Novak Djokovic, over whom he has a 21-20 ATP Head to Head lead.

Federer said both he and Djokovic don't need to adjust their games before they battle. “It's just a straight shootout, and I think that's the cool thing about our rivalry. It's very athletic, we both can handle whatever we present to one another and I think our matches are very even,” said the 17-time major winner, adding that if the crowd is in his favor, it could give him both energy and momentum. “That could swing the match a little bit, but other than that, obviously Novak is a great player... you've got to play well to beat him, there is no question about that.”

“We we all know how consistent Roger is and how good he is in the latter stages of a Grand Slams and any other big tournament,” said Djokovic, a nine-time major winner.

“He's always going to perform on a high level. Rarely he drops his level. He always makes you play your best.

“I know that he's also lately being very aggressive coming to the net, mixing up, and trying to shorten out the points. I think also he improved his speed. His defensive game is better than it was. Maybe healthier.”

Date: 12th September 2015, Source: ATP and AFP