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Federer rules Halle for 8th time

Roger Federer further cemented himself as the king of grass at the Gerry Weber Open, capturing an unprecedented eighth Halle title and 15th overall crown on the surface.

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Federer wins inaugural Istanbul Open crown

Roger Federer won his 85th ATP World Tour title at the inaugural TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open, beating third seed Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6(11).

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Federer: I want to play as long as possible

Federer in his latest interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung talked about his family, Martina Hingis proposal for the Rio Olympics in 2016 to his relationship with his coach Stefan Edberg.

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Federer wins seventh Dubai crown

Roger Federer captured a record seventh Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crown as he defeated Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-5 in the final.

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Sampras 'amazed' by relentless Federer motivation

Sampras has a great appreciation for how Federer - a 33-year-old father of four - still has such love and enthusiasm for playing tennis.

Federer moves into Wimbledon fourth round

Roger Federer extended his Grand Slam winning streak against Australians to 19 matches on Saturday when he booked his spot in the fourth round of The Championships.

The second seed and seven-time champion beat Sam Groth 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 on Centre Court in two hours and 16 minutes.

Groth claimed a mini-break for a 4/3 lead in the tie-break and went on to win two further points. Federer won back two of Groth's set point opportunities, but a forehand down the line that landed wide handed the World No. 69 the set. Federer bounced back immediately, opening up a 3-0 advantage en route to improving to a 76-9 record at the grass-court major.

Federer is now 19-1 against Australians at Grand Slams, having lost to former World No. 1 Pat Rafter at 1999 Roland Garros. He hit 17 aces to Groth's 21 aces, and lost just seven of his first service points in the pair's second meeting.

"I am very happy. It has been a hot week the first week but thankfully I have had easy matches going through without too many long four or five setters. Now we are looking ahead and there are only big matches." said Federer.

When asked how he goes about facing a big server, Federer admitted, "The only thing I really have to change is my returning. The rest, the service games, I can control them myself: what to do on second serves, what to do on first serves. Once the return is played, then it's about reaction, especially when he's serve‑volleying... I think that's the biggest effort for me anyway, when I play a big server, is understanding those patterns."

Federer emphasised what a difference he felt the extra week’s preparation for The Championships has made to his tennis.

"I'm not coming into Wimbledon being not quite sure about my game," he said. "Three matches and no breaks faced - it’s great. I couldn’t do it in Halle, which was more all over the place in the beginning. I’m in a more solid place. It’s going to help a lot of players improve on grass."

Federer will now play Roberto Bautista Agut, the No. 20 seed, for the third time. The Swiss beat Bautista Agut at last year's US Open and the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Bautista Agut made just eight unforced errors in a 7-6(4), 6-0, 6-1 win over World No. 153 and qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili in one hour and 36 minutes. It was his sixth win in eight matches at the All England Club.

Date: 4th July 2015, Source: ATP and Wimbledon

Federer: Wimbledon 'all-white' clothing rule is too strict

Players' efforts over the years to get Wimbledon's "all-white" clothing rule relaxed got a boost on Thursday when Roger Federer said he thought the policy as it stood was "quite extreme".

Federer, whose remarks carry more weight than some other players because as a former champion he is a member of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) that runs Wimbledon, said he did not object to white clothing.

But he said he thought the AELTC was pushing it by ruling out garments that are less than pristine white - which could come from repeated washes - and he spoke wistfully of the days when players like John McEnroe and Boris Becker wore striped T-shirts and colorful headbands that are no longer allowed.

"I mean, that it's all white, we're all for it. We get that. I just find it quite extreme to what extent it's got to be white. We're talking white like it was in the '50s. If you look at the pictures then, it was all white," Federer told a news conference after his second-round win over Sam Querrey.

"The thing is, when I came on tour, when I was watching on TV, I still have the pictures in my mind where Stefan Edberg and Becker and all those guys, they had more color. There were iconic T-shirts, iconic moments, I thought," said Federer, who was ordered by Wimbledon officials not to wear orange-soled Nike shoes on court in 2013 when he was the defending champion.

He said when he joined the tour the garments were "90 percent" white but could still have some light blue or black.

"But then it got to a point where stripes would be borderline here. I find that a bit of a pity because you can't do anything with it. No cream color, no this, no that, fine.

"I would still be in favor of loosening it up a little bit. But, then again, it is what it is. You know, I'm happy, I'm proud to be here. So whatever, it's okay," he said.

Date: 3rd July 2015, Source: Reuters

Magician Federer pulls out the party tricks

It was not the first time Wimbledon had dissolved into a chorus 'oohs' and 'aahs' at the brilliance of Roger Federer but the Swiss ringmaster almost outdid himself when he flashed his racquet between his legs to lob Sam Querrey on Thursday.

That individual moment of magic came midway through the second set of a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 second-round victory and summed up an effortlessly brilliant demolition job from Federer, whose bid for an eighth Wimbledon title took an impressive step forwards.

To Querrey's credit he made a fight of the early stages, before mentally ceding the contest as Federer took control.

While not given the greatest test, Federer took the chance to rehearse his repertoire of stunning groundstrokes, breaking for a 5-4 lead with a scorching backhand crosscourt pass.

Having clinched the first set, he stepped on the gas, immediately breaking again at the start of the second before bringing out the party piece while leading 4-2.

With Querrey a fraction under two meters tall, any sort of successful lob would have been impressive.

Federer, however, was on the run when Querrey's mis-hit putaway allowed him a split second to re-adjust and flick his racquet through his legs, and he arced the ball back over the American's head and sending him scrambling back to the baseline.

Querrey referred to Federer's "aura" and perhaps befitting the supernatural adjective, the Swiss described the congested thought processes of that split second before he attempted the shot.

"He's got that aura around him. You know, today he hit that shot between the legs," Querrey said.

"He hit some amazing shots. You want to go over and give him a high-five sometimes, but you can't do that."

Federer was both amused and pleased when told of the American's reaction to his moment of magic.

"He said that?" Federer laughed. "Okay, That's cool.

"Why not, he can do it. I'm happy to do it, too, you know!"

"Sam's a super laid-back, nice guy. I really like him a lot. When we look at each other, I feel like we know when somebody hit a good shot."

"I guess so many things shoot through your mind like, what's the score? Love‑30, I wouldn't have hit a shot like that, no chance.

"I probably would have adjusted, changed my grip and tried to hit a normal forehand or gone around and hit a normal backhand...

"But then I was like I feel better almost shuffling my feet and giving myself, with the right grip, without changing that anymore, to hitting a lob.

"Easiest way for me was somehow through the legs rather than coming to a complete standstill and then hitting a lob, which he would have seen where it was going to go."

The 17-time Grand Slam champion, who last won Wimbledon in 2012, faces Australia's Sam Groth for a place in the last 16 and is growing more confident with each match.

"I think it's possible. But then again, many players are playing well. Andy Murray is playing better than he was last year. Clearly it's not going to get easier," Federer said.

"At the same time, when my game's going well, at the level I'm playing this week, I feel there's a good chance for me."

Date: 2nd July 2015, Source: Reuters and AFP

Federer flies into Wimbledon third round

Roger Federer notches his 75th match win at Wimbledon and continued his quest to become the first man in history to win eight titles with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory over American Sam Querrey.

The second seed Federer will face Sam Groth in the third round. Earlier, Aussie Groth fired 24 aces as he beat compatriot James Duckworth 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(6).

Federer fired 32 winners, won 19 of 22 net points and hit just 10 unforced errors in a 85 minutes encounter.

"I'm very happy with the way I've played now in the first two matches. I've had a good run so you don't want it to stop in the first or second round. I guess there's also a little bit of relief that I'm actually playing well at Wimbledon," said Federer.

"Today was definitely a good day. I sort of returned well. I definitely think I can serve a little bit better. I didn't check my match stats, but I feel like things are definitely good out there. I had a good 10 minutes at the end of the first set. I think that was the key moment to go from 4-all to 6-4, 2-0. That was the moment that I took control of the match really.

"Querrey can definitely be dangerous. He's got a big game, especially on the grass. He was going for his shots today. It was important today to move well and be clear in the important moments. I felt like I was. It was a good match."

It was the first meeting in seven years for the pair, completing a set of meetings on all three surfaces. With the win, Federer improved his ATP Head to Head record over the World No. 36 to 3-0.

Last year at the All England Club, the Swiss reached his ninth Wimbledon final, his 25th major final overall (l. to Djokovic in five sets).

Federer is bidding to become just the second man in history to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event. Rafael Nadal became the first man to achieve this feat by winning the eighth of his ninth Roland Garros titles in 2013.

Date: 2nd July 2015, Source: ATP and AFP

Record-seeking Federer outclasses Dzumhur

With seven Wimbledon trophies, 15 titles on grass and 136 victories on the lush green surface, there is not much that fazes Roger Federer when he turns up at the All England Club.

The same could not be said of his first-round opponent on Tuesday.

Bosnian journeyman Damir Dzumhur arrived to face the most celebrated of Wimbledon champions without ever having played a match on grass.

Just how ill-prepared Dzumhur was for his grasscourt baptism was clear for all to see as Federer began his 63rd consecutive grand slam event with a regal 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory that was all over in 68 majestic minutes.

“The grass changes as the tournament progresses,” commented Federer. “It's easier to move once you enter, I'd say, third round. Then especially the second week, just because of the used bit in the back, you have more grip, whereas in the beginning of the tournament it's softer, it's more slippery where the green patches are.

“Playing on Centre Court is exciting. It’s a privilege to be there,” added Federer. “I was trying to think how many times I've played there now. I don't know. I know it's been often. Still, every time it feels like it's a special occasion, for sure.”

The man who has contested nine All England Club finals, and 25 overall at the majors, was certainly feeling the love from 15,000 Centre Court spectators who stood to attention as he sauntered in to begin his pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon trophy.

“Roger, I love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu” boomed a male voice as Federer kicked off his 83rd match at the home of grasscourt tennis with an unreturnable serve.

The cheers from the RF appreciation society grew louder with every Federer winner, be it a blazing backhand, a flashy forehand or a razzle-dazzle volley.

Those spellbinding shots flowing out of the Federer racket earned him five breaks of serve before he finished off Wimbledon debutant Dzumhur with a love service game to chalk up his 74th victory at Wimbledon.

Dzumhur, who was just 11 when Federer won the first of his record 17 grand slam titles here in 2003, had to make do with the consolation of winning seven games against his childhood idol.

It was the second Grand Slam in a row in which Federer had knocked out Dzumhur, No. 88 in the ATP Rankings. The pair had squared off in the third round of this year’s Roland Garros tournament, a match which Federer also won in straight sets. It was the players’ only previous meeting.

In Round Two, Federer will take on American Sam Querrey, who downed Dutchman Igor Sijsling 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. The seven-time Wimbledon champ has never dropped a set against Querrey. It will be the pair’s first meeting on grass.

Date: 30th June 2015, Source: Reuters and ATP

Federer praised Hewitt ahead of Wimbledon finale

Roger Federer has lavished Lleyton Hewitt with the ultimate send-off from the All England Club, saying the baseline warrior showed a generation of champions how to master the art of modern-day grass-court tennis.

Bidding for a record eighth Wimbledon crown, Federer hailed Hewitt as a grass-court pioneer who deserved to be remembered for the "unbelievable" impact he has had during his 17-year professional career.

Preparing for his Wimbledon swansong, Hewitt was the last player to win the singles in 2002 before Federer, and to a lesser extent Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, dominated.

Federer made his Wimbledon debut with Hewitt in doubles when the pair were teenagers in 1999 and the Swiss legend said it had been special enjoying a career-long friendship and rivalry with the former world number one.

"I played him in Wimbledon, 's Hertogenbosch, Halle, played him on grass as well in Davis Cup in Sydney," Federer said.

"It's been always tough against him on this surface. I think for a baseliner, he was the first guy really from the baseline to have such a major impact as well.

"Plus he's a smaller guy. It was dominated by the big servers for a while. Back then, Ivan Lendl, Jim Courier, they had to really volley to have success. They did it very well.

"But Lleyton was really every point from the baseline. For him to win Wimbledon and have the career he had on the grass is quite unbelievable.

"It showed an entire generation how it can be done."

Hewitt's eight grass-court titles is also second only to Federer's 15 among active players and Wimbledon's second seed said he still enjoyed hitting with the Australian.

"I practiced here again with him," Federer.

"It just shows why he's so tough. He hits that flat ball, helps his serve, unbelievable slice, good at net, he's fast, low to the ground. He's got so many things going for him.

"I've always enjoyed watching him. Playing against him has been cool at times, not always so much fun.

"A feisty competitor, one of the toughest I always had to play against.

"I wish that he can play a good match, a good tournament, that he can enjoy Wimbledon after for what it is, and I'm sure he will."

Hewitt faces Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen in the first round on day one.

Date: 28th June 2015, Source: ABC AU

Federer rested and refreshed for Wimbledon

Roger Federer is hoping that good preparation will set him on course for an 18th Grand Slam championship crown. Federer believes that the extra week gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon will help him as he looks to win an eighth title at The Championships.

“It’s probably been the best preparation I've ever had for Wimbledon,” said Federer. “Because we have a week more on the grass. Winning Halle has given me the extra confidence I guess it's going to take me to win this title here.

“Just the moving on grass takes some adjustment. Also, in my opinion, some physical adjustment, which I had all the time to do. That worked well. I could go early to Halle, train a lot, rest again.”

Federer has been training at the All England Club since Wednesday.

“The extended season has changed everything, to be honest. You might think that a week is not a lot, but a week is so much for us players. The good thing is you can heal problems you might have carried over from the French rather than taking chances right away running onto the grass, or not playing a warm-up event.

“I could rest and relax and then really train and prepare properly, for a change, for a good grass-court season. I can totally pace myself, which is huge in an athlete's career and life.”

He comes in with a 34-6 record on the season, including four ATP World Tour titles.

The Swiss isn’t look back with too many regrets on last year’s five-set loss to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.

“If I do look at last year, I see more the positives than actually the heart-breaking loss in the final,” Federer told the media on Saturday.

“I wasn't playing great, and I made the finals. Again, I did end up playing a great tournament. I played some really good tennis.

“This year, I feel my game is better. I've gotten used to the racquet. This is not the first time I'm at Wimbledon with Stefan Edberg. The work I've put in with Severin, my coach, I could really aim for Wimbledon this year.”

Although a player winning a Grand Slam singles title at nearly 34 would be unprecedented in this era - it has not happened since the early 1970s - Federer is genuinely shaping up as one of the favourites for the title.

It remains to be seen how Djokovic will respond to his crushing defeat in the French Open final. Rafael Nadal has yet to pull himself out of an extended funk that has seen him fall to No.10, and has not gone deep at Wimbledon in three years. Andy Murray must contend with a pressure-cooker environment of a Grand Slam event on home soil. Top five stars Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori have historically struggled on grass, while last year’s beaten semi-finalists, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov, have endured their own woes - Raonic with injury, Dimitrov with form.

The second seed opens his campaign against Damir Dzumhur, who’ll be making his Wimbledon debut.

Date: 27th June 2015, Source: Wimbledon and ATP

If Federer and Nadal retire popularity of tennis will dip says Becker

Boris Becker fears that tennis could be lacking big personalities in the near future if Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal call time on their careers.

The six-time grand slam champion captured the public's imagination with his youthful charisma and thrilling playing style during an exciting era for the sport.

Becker regularly battled against a number of big characters as the likes of John McEnroe, Pat Cash and Andre Agassi drew in huge crowds.

The modern generation of male players have also strengthened the image of tennis and there is huge expectation surrounding this year’s Wimbledon tournament, with Federer, Djokovic, Murray and Nadal targeting the title.

But Becker, who coaches Djokovic, has raised concerns about the shortage of consistent challengers outside the top four.

"I think the men's side is in a very healthy state, we have an increase in popularity from over 10 years ago and the numbers are staggering," he said.

"But the question has to be asked: what if Roger decides to quit or Rafa is not coming back? It's impossible to carry on with only Novak and Andy.

"You have a young group of Australians - Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis, who have good personalities and are interesting to watch, but there's a gap in between of players you don't know anything about. In two or three years' time, we have to be careful."

Earlier this month, Murray issued an apology after microphones picked up bad language during his third-round win over Kyrgios at the French Open.

Becker believes the current stars of the ATP tour could be forced to repress their personalities due to the intense media scrutiny.

“Nowadays everything is so supervised and so observed and everybody is very judgemental," said the 47-year-old, who was nicknamed 'Boom Boom Boris'. "We live in a day and age where players have to be guarded a lot, in who they are as people.

"There's microphones on the court and social media so there are a lot of occasions when players have to guard their emotions and that's unfortunate because you want to see the real person.

"I admire very much the current crop of players and I think the big four are exceptional players with exceptional personalities, but there are so many more in tennis who cannot really show their true sides because they are so protective and so careful."

This year’s Wimbledon winner is expected to come from the top four in the world and Becker - a three-time title holder - is predicting an enthralling fortnight.

"I think there's a very strong rivalry between Federer and Djokovic and between Djokovic and Murray and between Nadal and Djokovic," said Becker.

"These are the matches that everyone is looking forward to. Those are the rivalries that make the sport, that everyone is fascinated by.

"For a long time it was Roger and Rafa, even though Rafa won most of the matches, but last year we had a couple of really good matches between Andy and Novak and I think those are the matches which make the sport special."

Date: 23rd June 2015, Source: Sky Sports

Federer rules Halle for eighth time with win over Seppi

Roger Federer further cemented himself as the king of grass on Sunday at the Gerry Weber Open, capturing an unprecedented eighth Halle title and 15th overall crown on the surface.

The World No. 2 overcame a strong test from Andreas Seppi to prevail 7-6(1), 6-4, claiming their third ATP Head to Head meeting of the year. Federer improved to 12-1 against the Italian, firing 14 aces and 36 winners, while staving off all four break points faced.

A day after earning his 50th match win in Halle, Federer became just the third player in the Open Era to claim at least eight titles in a single tournament, joining Rafael Nadal and Guillermo Vilas. Nadal has won nine times at Roland Garros and eight in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, while Vilas emerged victorious on eight occasions in his home capital of Buenos Aires.

"It is a special moment for me, to win here for the eighth time. I hope this is a good omen for Wimbledon," the 17-times grand slam winner said. "I have always enjoyed amazing support here all these year. I always enjoy it here and it is one of my favourite events.

"2013 was difficult, 2014 was better and now 2015 after this week is even better and I hope I can keep it up," he said with Wimbledon starting on June 29.

"I think that I did very well here in the tie-breaks," said Federer. "I served well which you have to on the grass. I was able to mix it up, so I created a good pattern going into the tie-break. My opponent wouldn’t quite know where it’s going to go and if he knew where it was going to go it was going to be tough for him to defend. I think I did a really nice job this week on these situations.

"I think one big secret on grass is when to hit which shot and playing the score the right way. You might be playing perfect but then in one moment you take a bad decision and grass makes you pay for it all. So, this week has been great if I look at the whole thing. I don’t think I got broken anymore the last four matches I played. The first match was extremely close but I won all the tie-breaks this week, which gives obviously big confidence knowing that in the crucial moments my game was right there."

Federer was clutch throughout the one-hour and 48-minute affair, saving a pair of set points at 5-4 in the first, before racing through the ensuing tie-break. A slice approach and lunge volley gave him a 2-0 lead and he would secure the opener after Seppi netted a double fault. It was the top seed's sixth straight tie-break won this week and he would press for a break in the eighth game of the second set, but Seppi held after 10 minutes. The Italian would not be as fortunate in his next service game, and with the added pressure of serving to stay in the match, he fell behind 15/40 and was unable to recover.

One of 13 titlists aged 30 and over in 2015, Federer brings home €381,760 and 500 ATP Ranking points. He improved to 86-44 in tour-level finals and is now eight titles behind Ivan Lendl for second on the Open Era list.

Seppi, meanwhile, was bidding to notch his fourth ATP World Tour title and first since hoisting the trophy in Moscow 2012. The 31-year-old Italian drops to 1-2 in grass-court finals, having previously split consecutive title matches on the lawns of Eastbourne in 2011 (d. Tipsarevic) and '12 (l. to Roddick).

"It was a fantastic week for me," said Seppi. "A first final in a 500 tournament. I had some chances in the first set with two set points but I can be happy with the level I played and congrats to Roger for winning another title here in Halle. In the important moments he stepped up his serve, played better at the decisive moments and deserved to win in the end."

Date: 21st June 2015, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer reaches his 10th Halle final

Roger Federer will play for his eighth Gerry Weber Open title after withstanding 20 aces to edge Ivo Karlovic 7-6(3), 7-6(4) Saturday in Halle.

The top seed owns the most grass-court titles in the Open Era and will look for his 15th crown on the lawns when he faces Andreas Seppi in Sunday’s final at this newly reclassified ATP World Tour 500 tournament.

Federer bided his time and was rewarded as he took his few opportunities to beat Karlovic in 88 minutes, improving to a 13-1 standing in their ATP Head to Head. The Swiss won just five points on Karlovic’s serve in the first set, but nailed a backhand passing shot on a second serve return in the seventh point of the tie-break and reeled off the final four points of the set.

Federer saved the only break point of the match in the fourth game of the second set as the match inevitably progressed to another tie-break. The Basel native squandered his initial mini-break advantage, but reclaimed the lead at 5-4 as Karlovic netted a backhand volley and did not lose another point.

"It comes down to a shot here or there," said Federer. "We are both mentally prepared. We’ve played so many breakers against one another and I think he was better in the first set, I was better in the breaker. I stayed calm. And in the second set probably I was better throughout the set and he was maybe a bit better in the breaker. Maybe I got a little bit lucky in the breaker.

“So, it was a tough match. I knew that going in. I was struggling to read his serve in the first set, but handled it better in the second set. It was tough. It’s just a bit of a grind and physically it’s like easy, mentally rough.”

Karlovic’s 20 aces took his tally for the week to 114; he hit an ATP World Tour (best-of-three) record 45 aces in his quarter-final win over Tomas Berdych. The 36-year-old Croat did not lose serve all week in 48 games.

It is the seventh time in his career that Federer has registered 50 match wins at a tour-level event. The 33 year old is through to his 10th final in Halle, with his only defeats coming in 2012 against Tommy Haas and 2010 against Lleyton Hewitt.

Federer has a 33-6 match record on the season and is chasing his fourth title of the campaign to add to trophies in Brisbane (d. Raonic), Dubai (d. Djokovic) and Istanbul (d. Cuevas).

Seppi advanced to the final after Kei Nishikori retired down 1-4 in the first set after 14 minutes due to a calf injury.

The Swiss leads his ATP Head to Head series with Seppi 11-1. The Italian's lone win against Federer came in January when he won in four sets in the third round of the Australian Open.

Into his eighth ATP World Tour final, the 31-year-old World No. 45 looks to add to his three tour-level titles: Moscow (2012), Belgrade (2012) and Eastbourne (2011).

“I played him many times. For some time, we also practiced quite often. I think he hits the ball very well on both sides, especially cross court and then he can go down the line,” said Federer of the Italian.

“I think that's what makes him a tough player. I think fitness-wise he's very fit, you know, he won't go away.

“He doesn't have the best second serve but I think he has improved that over time. And because he hits the ball quite flat it actually helps him on the grass.”

Date: 20th June 2015, Source: ATP and AFP