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Upbeat Federer believes he has more to offer

“I'm very happy to see that with feeling normal I can produce a performance like I did at Wimbledon. That clearly makes me believe that this was just a stepping stone to many more great things in the future.”

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Roger Federer wins 7th Halle crown

Roger Federer captured his seventh Gerry Weber Open title in Halle. The Swiss picked up his 14th grass-court crown with a 7-6(2), 7-6(3) victory over Alejandro Falla.

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Roger Federer celebrates birth of twin boys Leo and Lenny

Roger Federer is the father of twins for the second time after he announced the birth of his new sons Leo and Lenny on his official webpage. Federer and his wife Mirka are already parents to twin daughters born in July 23, 2009.

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Roger Federer fires Switzerland to Davis Cup semifinals

In a stunning comeback that epitomised the brilliance of Davis Cup, Switzerland secures a place in the semifinals of the competition. Switzerland came back from 2-1 down after the doubles rubber to win the two reverse singles on the final day.

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Federer wins sixth Dubai Championships title

Roger Federer won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for a record sixth time as he rallied from a set and a break down to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Roger Federer regains deadly service game - Andy Roddick

Roger Federer seems to have recaptured his potent service game. This is what American tennis player Andy Roddick thought when he watch the Swiss Master went toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Wimbledon Open a couple of weeks ago.

Federer, who reached but bowed out to Djokovic in five sets in his first ever Grand Slam finals since winning at Wimbledon 2012, showed everybody that father time is still years away after another masterful performance on the lawn of All-England Club.

Despite Djokovic's all-out assault, Federer managed to take the game to the limit by exhibiting a combination of precision and advanced tennis technique. But the surprising thing about Federer's play in the final was a better and stronger service game - which was not left unnoticed by his old rival Roddick.

"Best I've seen Roger serve since....... Damn it," the former Grand Slam champion said of Federer's improved or perhaps best ever service mechanics.

Roddick was one of Federer's fiercest rival during his heyday, as the two produced a number of epic games against each other, whether it's on grass or hard court. And if there's a guy qualified to scrutinize or recognize Federer, it would be Roddick who engaged in 24 head-to-head matches against the Swiss.

Though Roddick managed to only win three of those matches, the American never failed to give his best shot against the Maestro. The two met four times in Grand Slam finals with Federer winning all of them. However, the 2009 Wimbledon finals proved to be Roddick's shining moment against the best tennis player ever, as he courageously hanged for his dear life before eventually losing 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14.

How Federer's improved serve will help him win sixth US Open crown?

Pete Sampras mentioned last year that it would be a wonderful thing for Federer to master wielding a big racket because it adds more power in his service game and ground attacks. After several months of trial and error, Federer appears to have controlled the big-headed 97 square inch racket, making him more competitive against younger hard-hitters in the game.

At the US Open, where the bounce of the ball remains faster, Federer has a chance to showcase his skills and dig deeper into the later rounds. Experience will be the Swiss' greatest weapon in the upcoming tourney, but his newly-found confidence in his racket would also add up to his chance of winning another crown in Flushing Meadows.

Date: 24th July 2014, Source: AU IBTimes

Federer is the most financially valuable athlete

Roger Federer and golfer Tiger Woods are the most financially valuable athletes on earth. Forbes Magazine reports that in 2013, Federer and Woods each earned $46 million with their names.

It costs tournament organisers more than $1 million just to get a starting guarantee from Federer's management. Meanwhile, Forbes reports, that his 10-year contract with Nike is worth a total of $100 million. More than 14 million people are fans of his Facebook account.

"Consistency for so many years has benefitted Federer's brand value greatly. In his case, it doesn't even matter if he wins another big tournament again," Hans-Willy Brockes, the head of Europäische Sponsoring Börse (ESB), told Credit Suisse.

"A brand's value generally comes from its recognition and the ability to generate sales and earnings based on this recognition. That's why Google and Apple are among the most valuable brands ever, while the brand value of Basler Läckerli cookies is much lower."

Two other professional tennis players, Maria Sharapova and Li Na, rank in the Top 10.

Top 10 Most Valuable Athlete Names:

1. Roger Federer (Switzerland), Tennis - $46 million
Tiger Woods (USA), Golf - $46 million
2. LeBron James (USA), Basketball - $27 million
3. Phil Mickelson (USA), Golf - $25 million
4. Maria Sharapova (Russia), Tennis - $23 million
5. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India), Cricket - $21 million
6. Usain Bolt (Jamaica), Track and field - $20 million
7. Kobe Bryant (USA), Basketball - $19 million
8. Li Na (China), Tennis - $15 million
9. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Football - $13 million
10. Lionel Messi (Argentina), Football - $13 million

Date: 22nd July 2014, Source: ATP

Four reasons why Roger Federer can win this year’s U.S. Open

He was close. On the precipice close. You can feel it, taste it close. Holding a break point at 3-all in the fifth set of the Wimbledon final, it looked and felt like Roger Federer was about to rewrite the history books once again. After rallying from a break down in the fourth set twice, saving match point in the process, the Swiss maestro was about to put the finishing touches on one of the greatest Wimbledon final comebacks of all-time.

He could have become the first man to win Wimbledon after saving a match point in the final since 1948. He could have become the first man in history to own eight Wimbledon titles. Would of, could of, but didn’t.

In the end, June 6th, 2014 was Novak Djokovic’s day. The Serb came good, fighting off Federer’s best to win his seventh Grand Slam title, and before the dust had settled on Wimbledon’s torn and tattered Centre Court, the rapidly circulating and painfully poignant question was: “Was that Roger’s last chance to win a major?”

Put down your handkerchiefs Federer fans, because we’re here to tell you it was not. In fact, Federer will have a pretty good chance to win back the U.S. Open for the first time since 2008 this summer. Here’s why:

Reason No. 1: Federer Gained Confidence from Wimbledon

Let’s be frank: 2013 was a crisis of confidence for Federer. The back was bugging him and it never stopped bugging him. The racquet change was on his mind but Federer wasn’t fully committed to the change, and he didn’t play with confidence with either frame. Losses came at an alarming - for Federer - rate and even the wins were a tad uglier than usual. Federer’s normally effortless, ballet-like performances were suddenly grinding wars of attrition. There were six losses to players ranked outside of the top 20 and a gaggle of close calls that had us all wondering if we were witnessing the end of the mighty Fed as we once knew him.

But that has changed in 2014 - and quite drastically. Federer, who went 4-10 vs. the top ten in 2013, is 8-4 against the tour’s elite in 2014. He’s in perfect health, and that perfect health has manifested itself in better movement and better serving.

That confidence, in part, helped lead Federer to the Wimbledon final, where he was two games away from winning a record eighth title. Was the fact that Federer didn’t close the deal against Djokovic a heartbreaking way to squander a last chance at Grand Slam glory?

Federer doesn’t think so: “You've just got to wait and see,” he said after the Wimbledon final. “There is no guarantee that you're going to be ever there again or not. Or maybe there's much more to come. It's really impossible to answer that question. I'm very happy to see that with feeling normal I can produce a performance like I did the last two weeks. That clearly makes me believe that this was just a stepping stone to many more great things in the future.”

Though most pundits believe that Wimbledon, because of its fast, low-bouncing surface, is Federer’s best chance to win a major, it seems that many are overlooking the fact that Federer is a five-time U.S. Open champion with a game that is well-suited for that surface in the same ways that it is well-suited for Wimbledon’s grass. And if Federer, who has long been a master at building and then maintaining momentum for long stretches during his career, is indeed viewing his Wimbledon final as a stepping stone to bigger things, then he ought to be in high gear when the North American hard-court swing gets underway in early August.

Federer will not be the favorite in New York, but clearly he is one of the favorites, with a very good chance to turn around his recent fortunes at Flushing Meadows.

Reason No. 2: The Big Four is Vulnerable

As we round the bend and make our way to the final Grand Slam of 2014, one thing is abundantly clear to even the casual observer. The big four isn’t what it once was. Sure, it may be close, but with Andy Murray still in his post Wimbledon-winning, post-back surgery-having, post-Mauresmo-hiring tailspin (when will it end?) and Rafael Nadal’s form difficult to gauge after his somewhat tumultuous season that has featured battles with injuries and a mini confidence crisis as well, tennis’s top four doesn’t seem impervious to earth-shattering upsets as it has been in year’s past.

What happened at Wimbledon is a perfect example. Nadal fell to the upstart NIck Kyrgios in the round of 16, who then fell to Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals. What it amounted to for Federer was an easy, non-taxing semifinal against a player who had no experience at that level of a Slam, which set him up perfectly to make a run at Djokovic in the final. If the same type of chaos occurs in New York, you can bet that an in-form Federer will be drooling over the prospects.

Of the big four, the player with the most confidence and in the best form is Novak Djokovic. The Serb will no doubt be a terror this summer, with wind in his sails from his seventh Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and his marriage and impending birth of his first child, but Federer v. Djokovic, historically, has been a coin flip, as their head-to-head (Federer leads 18-17) suggests. Though Djokovic has taken 11 of the last 16 battles, Federer made it clear at Wimbledon that he is currently able to stand toe-to-toe with the Serb even when he’s playing his best tennis.

Reason No. 3: The U.S. Open is the perfect hard court for Federer’s aggressive game

In recent years, many have made the argument that the hard courts at Flushing Meadows are actually faster than Wimbledon’s grass. That's good news for Federer, especially when he's playing the type of confident first-strike tennis that he played at Wimbledon. Though Federer hasn’t been back to the U.S. Open final since 2009, this fact doesn’t necessarily mean that Federer can no longer be a factor in New York. Federer failed to make the U.S. Open final in 2010 and 2011 only because red-hot Novak Djokovic was there to take him out 7-5 in the fifth set both times. In 2010 Djokovic needed to save match points to do it, and in 2011 it took a near miracle for Djokovic to beat him.

Federer’s results have tapered off at New York in the last two years (losses to Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals in 2012 and a head-scratching loss to Tommy Robredo in the round of 16 in 2013), but with Federer’s game kicking overdrive once again in 2014, there really isn’t any reason that he can’t easily reach the semis, and from there, depending on how the draw has broken (particularly with regard to his kryptonite, Nadal), who wouldn’t give Federer a shot to win it all?

There will certainly be challenges from the non-big four players at New York, but given Federer’s considerable experience on Arthur Ashe Stadium, and how well-suited his game is for the New York courts (even more so after his recent retool into a slightly more aggressive player under the tutelage of Stefan Edberg), one would have to consider him a favorite against all of them.

Reason No. 4: Federer is a vastly improved server, mover and striker of the ball from 2013

Just how much better Federer is serving in 2014 compared to 2013 was made remarkably clear at Wimbledon, where he was broken only once prior to the final. But it hasn’t been only Wimbledon. Federer is third on the tour in service games won in 2014, behind only John Isner and Ivo Karlovic and AHEAD of Milos Raonic. He’s also, probably due to his increased confidence with his fitness and new racquet, been better at saving break points. In 2013, Federer was 14th on the ATP Tour with 65 percent of break points saved. In 2014 Federer is 3rd on tour, saving 71 percent.

Stats don’t tell the story-they never fully will-but one needs only to dial in a few of Federer’s recent service games to note that Federer is serving better in every facet (pace, location, first serve, second serve) than he was in 2013.

As far as the movement goes, maybe Federer has Novak Djokovic to thank for motivating him in this regard? "From my point of view he hasn't been moving as well as he did before,” Djokovic told reporters in London at the ATP finals last November. "I guess that's one of the reasons why he hasn't had much success this year.”

If that was true last year, then it is also true that Federer’s rejuvenated movement is a key contributor to his success in 2014. He’s been quick-even explosive-and that newfound explosiveness has enabled him to pounce on more forehands and square up more balls from the baseline, as well as defend better.

He’ll be 33 at this year’s U.S. Open, but based on what we saw at Wimbledon this year, Federer is a very young 33. Only two different players have managed to win a Grand Slam past 33-Ken Rosewall and Andres Gimeno-but with his new lease on life in 2014, it really doesn’t seem all that far-fetched that Federer could become the third.

Has Federer reached peak form in 2014? Or is there something more in the tank? It’s difficult to tell at this point-we’ll likely know more after the two Masters 1000 events in Toronto and Cincinnati - but if Federer can find a way to build on rather than simply maintain his form of 2014, his “last chance” at Wimbledon could very well turn out to be the “stepping stone” to an 18th major title.

Date: 21st July 2014, Source: Tennis Now

Roger Federer meets Linsey Vonn on 'Top of Europe' in Lindt challenge

Roger Federer will seemingly do anything for a Lindt chocolate.

He invited American skier Linsey Vonn to Switzerland for a trip on the Jungfrau Railway, to the ‘Top of Europe’ - 3,454 metres above sea level.

For a challenge, flying from her home in Miami, Vonn and Lindt brand ambassador Federer staged a tennis exhibition match on the Aletsch Glacier, in the Alps, overlooking the Sphinx. The winner earned a Lindt chocolate.

“I never cease to be amazed by the great ideas Lindt comes up with,” said Federer. “Today, on the Jungfraujoch, was a real highlight for me.

“It was very special. It was cool that Linsey was to come here from Miami. It was a really successful event and we had a good crowd. It’s a unique location in Switzerland. With the opening of the Lindt store, it is something special that you can buy such great chocolate in up in such a location.”



Vonn said, “It was really fun. It was a little bit difficult with the high altitude, but it was something I have never done before. I am in the snow a lot for skiing, but never to play tennis. Roger was not expecting me to be that good at tennis!”

Federer opened Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven, a themed chocolate shop offering a wide range of the finest Lindt chocolate, on the Jungfraujoch. The adjacent Master Chocolatiers parlour also gives visitors a fascinating insight into how chocolate is made.

Federer was grateful that Vonn could be part of the project.

“Linsey is very experienced with snow, mountains and altitude,” said Federer. “She has been a fan of mine for a long time and I am a big skiing fan. Linsey is such a great champion. I have always admired her and what she has done.”

Photo Gallery: Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven
On Twitter use: #chocolateheaven

Date: 17th July 2014, Source: ATP

Boris Becker: Roger Federer shows why he is a G.O.A.T

Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker may have been in Novak Djokovic’s corner at this year’s Championships final, but even he could not deny Roger Federer’s remarkable performance in the thrilling five set battle.

Federer roared back from a 2-5 deficit in the fourth set to force a decider, saving a championship point in the process, in what proved to be a pulsating, drama-laden war of attrition. It was an emotional set of tennis that highlighted the brilliance of the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

"It was incredible to have 4 Wimbledon champions in the locker room at the same time, I think it's a first," said Boris to the media referring to the Wimbledon final, as himself and Stefan Edberg were both present for the final in London.

"Roger Federer has already won Wimbledon 7 times and has been World No.1 for a very long time," Becker said. "He didn’t really need another title, he is the greatest of all time and I have a lot of respect and admiration for him. With his comeback in the 4th set, he showed clearly why he deserves the G.O.A.T. status. He loves to compete and he is a great ambassador for tennis. Kids should take as an example what he did in his career, and how he managed to overcome complicated situations, as he did against Novak in the final in London."

Date: 12th July 2014

Upbeat Federer believes he has more to offer

When you are - arguably - the greatest player ever to pick up a racket and you have just lost one of the best finals Centre Court has ever seen, you do things slightly differently.

So it was that Roger Federer did not head for the locker room to kick his racket bag to Timbuktu, he did not dive into the nearest doorway and hide his head under a towel to howl. No, the mighty Rodge walked straight into the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and had a bit of royal TLC. And, no, this was not a first; he had met them before.

“I did see them afterwards,” Federer said. “I wasn't in a great state. I was unbelievably sad at that moment just when I left the court, so it was a difficult moment for, I think, the three of us. But they were very sweet to comfort me and wish me well, that they enjoyed the match and all these things. We met previously, so that helped, I think.

“Clearly it makes me very happy to see them being supportive of my game and supportive of tennis. Overall, it's really nice seeing them there at a Wimbledon finals. Also at the quarters I think they were there as well. I think it's wonderful.”

Now the father of four children, Federer knows that there are more things in life than tennis matches but, even so, losing 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 in a smidgeon under four hours to Novak Djokovic still hurt. It hurt lots. He may have said all the right things during the trophy presentation ceremony, but the look on his face before he was called to receive his silver salver and afterwards, when he waited for Djokovic to finish his lap of honour, told a different story.

He had fought with everything he had; he had saved a championship point and forced the match into a fifth set, he had smacked 75 winners and committed only 29 unforced errors and he had served with laser-guided precision to come up with 29 aces. And still he had lost. No wonder it hurt.

“I kept believing and kept and kept trying to play offensive tennis,” he said. “I'm happy it paid off in some instances. As you can imagine, I'm very disappointed not being rewarded with victory. But it was close, you know. Novak deserved it at the end clearly, but it was extremely close.”

How many times have we all heard players claim that their loss or victory came down to a point or two here or there. But in this particular case - although neither man actually said so - the result rested on a knife edge for pretty much every minute of the three hour 56 minute epic. One double fault, one groundstroke sent a millimetre wide was all it would take to separate the two serial champions. The rub of the green eventually went to Djokovic (Fed hit a forehand long to offer up a championship point and then dumped a backhand in the net to lose the match - almost four hours of hard graft and it came down to that) and Federer was crushed.

Looking around the packed court, he watched Djokovic climb into the players’ box and celebrate with his team. This was hard to take. And then his eyes fell on his team - his friends, his helpers and his wife and two daughters. Suddenly life was not so bad after all.

“It's even more memorable when I see my kids there with my wife and everything,” he said. “That's what touched me the most, to be quite honest. The disappointment of the match itself went pretty quickly. I was sad for a few minutes, but so happy to see family and a lot of nice ovations from the crowd. You know, that lifted me up and made me feel better, no doubt. So I got over it fairly quickly. But clearly I was very sad walking off the court not with the winner's trophy.”

Inevitably for a bloke who is staring at his 33rd birthday, the unspoken question is “will you be back?” The world’s media tiptoed around it but when someone bravely threw out the idea that, maybe, perhaps, sort of, this might have been his last chance to win a grand slam title, Fed was perfectly at ease with the concept.

“You could have asked me exactly that question in 2003,” he said, harking back to his first Wimbledon title and the first of his 17 major trophies in all. “You don't know. Totally the unknown. That's the disappointment of an Olympic result, of a World Cup result, Wimbledon result, whatever it is. You've just got to wait and see.

“There is no guarantee that you're going to be ever there again or not. Or maybe there's much more to come. It's really impossible to answer that question.

“I'm very happy to see that with feeling normal I can produce a performance like I did the last two weeks. That clearly makes me believe that this was just a stepping stone to many more great things in the future.”

The positives to take from Sunday’s match are many: Federer is fit, he is playing almost to the peak of his powers and he is still charging towards the business end of major championships. And if he loses, he had friends in high places to offer him a bit of tea and sympathy. Life really ain’t so bad after all.

Date: 7th July 2014, Source: Wimbledon

Roger Federer eyes 'great things' after Wimbledon final defeat

Wimbledon runner-up Roger Federer said he hoped his performance in the tournament would be a "stepping stone" to more success.

The 32-year-old seven-time champion lost 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-7(4), 7-5, 4-6 to Novak Djokovic in a thrilling final.

"I'm very happy to see that I can produce a performance like I did the last two weeks," said Federer.

"That clearly makes me believe that this was just a stepping stone to many more great things in the future."

Federer has not won a Grand Slam title since Wimbledon in 2012, but played superbly throughout the tournament, losing only one set on the way to the final.

In a memorable match on Centre Court, the fourth seed fought back from 5-2 down in the fourth set to force a decider.

But Djokovic broke in the 10th game to win his second title at the All England Club and his seventh Grand Slam crown.

"It was a great match and I enjoyed being a part of it," added Federer.

"Winning or losing, it's always something special in the Wimbledon final and something you'll remember, even more so when the match was as dramatic as it was today.

"I'm very pleased with the way things went throughout the match. It was a high-quality match and it was good stuff from both players.

"Clearly we both walk away happy from here. I mean, him more happy than I am. But still, I'm happy overall."

Federer enjoyed the majority of the support from a packed crowd, which included the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Swiss met the Royal couple after the match but said he was too upset to hold down a conversation.

"I wasn't in a great state," he said. "I was unbelievably sad at that moment just when I left the court, so it was a difficult moment for the three of us.

"But they were very sweet to comfort me and wish me well."

Date: 7th July 2014, Source: BBC

Djokovic vs Federer: How the Wimbledon final was won

Top seed and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic defeated fourth seed and seven-time former titlist Roger Federer 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 on Sunday afternoon in the final of The Championships at the All England Club, Wimbledon. Djokovic could not convert one championship point at 5-4, 30/40 on Federer's serve, in the fourth set.

By winning the Wimbledon title for a second time, Djokovic recaptured No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for the first time since Rafael Nadal usurped him on 7 October 2013. Federer is assured of being World No. 3 on Monday. Federer had been seeking his 18th Grand Slam championship crown, while Djokovic nets his seventh major.

The 2014 Wimbledon final marks the first time that the top seed played a No. 4 seed in a Grand Slam championship final since the 2004 US Open when No. 1 Federer defeated No. 4 Lleyton Hewitt.

FIRST SET

Holding their own on the baseline, both Djokovic and Federer struck their groundstrokes at the top of the bounce. The majority of the rallies were played out backhand-to-backhand. At 4-5, 15/30, Federer came under terrific pressure in a lengthy rally, but a backhand slice was struck deep with pace that caught Djokovic off-guard. On the next point, Federer once again executed terrific defence en route to a big hold.

In the tie-break, Federer moved into a 3/0 lead. Yet, Djokovic maintained his composure to win five of the next six points. At 5/5, Djokovic lunged for a forehand return and hit the ball deep. Federer mis-timed a forehand response, with the court open to him. Incredibly, Federer saved the set point with a gutsy forehand down the line that hit the line. Federer withstood a second set point at 6/7, when he hit an ace and went on to strike another unreturned serve. Djokovic hit a backhand into the net at 7-8, to end a 52-minute set. Djokovic had won 83 per cent of his first service points and hit 18 winners. Yet, Federer’s aggression was highlighted in winning 12 of 17 points at the net. He also committed seven unforced errors.

SECOND SET

Djokovic played with great composure, yet a fall onto his left side in the second game temporarily fazed him. Federer recovered from 0/30 to 40/30 at 1-1, yet Djokovic bounced back to strike a clean backhand pass for the first break of the match. At the change of ends, the Serbian received treatment for a left ankle injury. Federer continued to battle and won three straight points from 0/40 in a seven-minute fourth game, which Djokovic clinched on his sixth game point for a 3-1 lead.

Having looked up to the sky for inspiration towards the end of the first set, Djokovic had his game face on in the second. Although Federer tested his resistance when serving for the set at 5-4, Djokovic saved one break point at 30/40 and wrapped up the 43-minute set with a smash winner. Djokovic subsequently left the court.

THIRD SET

Each player was aggressive in the third set. At 4-5, with Djokovic serving, Federer pressed his claims to win the set. But Djokovic moved sublimely to stay in front under pressure. In the next game, it was Djokovic’s turn. Federer saved two break points with two big serves and at 5-6, Djokovic was fleet of foot to take the passage of play into a tie-break.

Djokovic created a mini break at 2/2, when Federer hesitated when serve and volleying, with a backhand pass down the line. Federer became anxious on his forehand, not striking the ball cleanly. At 6/4, Djokovic gave Federer very little to attack and worked the point to the Swiss star’s backhand, which resulted in the error. Federer hit 13 aces and won 85 per cent of his first service points, but Djokovic’s defensive game earned him the set that included just two unforced errors.

FOURTH SET

The standard of play reached a high midway through the fourth set. Djokovic looked to stamp his authority on the match when he had Federer at 0/40 in the fourth game. Federer recovered to deuce, but the culmulative effect of running down Djokovic’s groundstrokes cost him when he struck a forehand long on his opponent’s eighth break point opportunity. Djokovic hit eight of eight returns into play.

The Centre Court crowd willed Federer on to an immediate riposte and in an inspiring period of play, the 32 year old recovered a break with a running forehand crosscourt winner to get back to 2-3. However, Djokovic retaliated to seal the third service break in a row. Prior to Djokovic serving for the championship at 5-4, Federer went to his bag to change his racquet. Djokovic got edgy and lost the first two points, but he recovered to 30/30 with a clever change of pace in attacking the net and a well-timed serve. Federer took a chance and earned a break point chance at 30/40, which saw Djokovic diving for a forehand. Federer stroked the shot back into an open court and pumped his fist in celebration of the service break.

At 4-5, Federer hit a double fault - his fifth of the match - at 30/15, then struck a backhand into the net to gift Djokovic hit first championship point. Federer hit an ace down the middle – confirmed by a Hawk Eye challenge. Minutes later, with tensions high, Federer clinched the game. Inflicted with self-doubt, Djokovic dropped to 0/40 in the next game. Djokovic recovered two points, with unreturned serves, but it was third time lucky for Federer, who moved swiftly to strike three successive forehands that resulted in a Djokovic error. Federer's confidence surged with a hold to 15 - his fifth game in a row. For the first time since 2009, when Federer beat Andy Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set in the final, the title match was going the full distance.

FIFTH SET

At 3-3, Federer came close to breaking Djokovic at 30/40. But Djokovic moved forward and attacked Federer’s backhand, only for the Swiss to slice a backhand into the net. In the next game, Djokovic pressed on Federer’s serve. Federer found himself at 15/40 and on Djokovic’s third break point opportunity at advantage played a clutch half volley, highlighting his soft hands, to get out of trouble. After a seven-minute service gam, Federer got out of jail.

But the end, when it came, was sudden. At 4-5, Federer fell to 0/30, but Djokovic went on to narrowly miss a forehand. The encounter ended when Federer struck a backhand in the net to conclude the three-hour and 56-minute battle. American Robert Falkenburg remains the last man to win Wimbledon having saved a championship point in the final. Falkenburg beat John Bromwich of Australia 7-5, 0-6, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in 1948 after being three championships points down in the fifth set at 3-5.

Date: 7th July 2014, Source: ATP

Resilience a microcosm of Federer’s journey

In many ways, Roger Federer’s resilience and determination in the 2014 Wimbledon final epitomised his journey over the past year.

Despite succumbing to rival and top seed Novak Djokovic 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 after three hours and 56 minutes, Federer exhibited the guile and fight of a seven-time champion, refusing to wilt under the weight of the Serb’s sublime serving display. The fourth seed roared back from a 2-5 deficit in the fourth set to force a decider, saving a championship point in the process, in what proved to be a pulsating, drama-laden war of attrition.

“I kept believing and kept trying to play offensive tennis,” said Federer. “I'm happy it paid off in some instances.”

Twelve months ago, Federer was shockingly dismissed in the second round at the hands of Sergiy Stakhovsky, his earliest exit from the All England Club in 11 years. One year later, after a period of self-discovery that featured the recovery from a back ailment and the switch to a larger racquet frame, the Swiss found himself on the precipice of an 18th Grand Slam title.

Federer says he will look to the positives of a successful grass-court campaign, which also included a title on the lawns of the Gerry Weber Open, as he seeks to maintain his strong form in the months and years ahead. For the 32 year old, it’s another step in a long journey.

“I'm very happy to see that with feeling normal I can produce a performance like I did the last two weeks," added Federer. "That clearly makes me believe that this was just a steppingstone to many more great things in the future.

“To be able to play consistent, great, solid tennis with some really nice things to look back on, I have good emotions again, even though it was rough at the end clearly. Very happy to see that I can do it week-for-week, match-for-match, point-for-point. It's all right there. It's been a very positive last couple of weeks for me when I won Halle as well. I'm looking very much toward a vacation and working out hard again to get myself in shape for the American summer.”

Federer was bidding to become the first man to win eight titles at SW19 and the oldest champion in the Open Era. The World No. 4 turned in a strong serving exhibition, highlighted by 29 aces, his second-highest total in 82 matches at Wimbledon, but he admits it was Djokovic’s serve that was his Achilles heel.

“I felt like that was my biggest problem really overall,” said Federer on his inability to apply pressure to Djokovic’s serve. “I think that's where I lost the match. I served well myself throughout. I feel like if I would have returned better or would have understood it earlier or if he would have helped me out just a little bit things could have been quite different today.

“I thought the match was a good one. I thought it had everything for fans to like. The swing of momentum in the first set, him coming back in the second, staying even in the third, all the back and forth in the fourth set, and then the drama of the fifth. I thought it was a great match and I enjoyed to be a part of it.”

Date: 7th July 2014, Source: ATP

Federer eyes Wimbledon record; Says 'energised and eager to play'

Roger Federer targets a record eighth Wimbledon title Sunday against Novak Djokovic who is desperate to end a stretch of Grand Slam finals defeats which are threatening to shatter his legacy.

Federer, 32, won the first of his 17 majors at Wimbledon in 2003 and the most recent in 2012 but his failure to return to a Grand Slam final since has had his critics penning his career obituary.

Six-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic, the 2011 Wimbledon winner, will be playing in his third All England Club final in four years, but the 27-year-old has lost seven of his 13 finals at the majors, including five of the last six.

“Clearly I am very excited for the final, because that's how you want to feel before a final,” said Federer following a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Milos Raonic in Friday’s semi-finals. “I am totally energised and eager to play.”

Federer will look to extend his 18-16 Head to Head advantage when the former champions meet for the 2014 title at the All England Club. A series that has spanned eight years, 34 encounters and included countless unforgettable moments, there will be no secrets when the Serb and the Swiss take to Centre Court on Sunday.

Sunday's final will be their 11th meeting at the Grand Slam level. Federer leads 6-5 in that.

Only once have they met at Wimbledon when Federer won their 2012 semi-final in four sets and only once before have they clashed in a Grand Slam final - at the 2007 US Open where Djokovic, making his first appearance in a final at the majors, lost in straight sets as the Swiss captured a fourth successive title in New York.

“I must say I've enjoyed the matches against him,” said Federer of his rivalry with Djokovic. “We didn't come through the rankings together, so I was established while he was coming up. I think it was totally different for both of us. We saw each other in a different light than we see each other today when we're both ranked high, we both achieved a lot. Things have clearly changed over time. But ever since he's won Grand Slams and became World No. 1, it's been a cool rivalry, in my opinion.”

Federer is seeking his third victory over Djokovic in four meetings this year, triumphing on the hard courts of Dubai and the clay of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Monte-Carlo. His lone defeat came in the final of the BNP Paribas Open, in Indian Wells.

The Basel native understands the challenges of topping Djokovic on any surface and acknowledges the Serb will be extra motivated with a Wimbledon crown hanging in the balance.

“Well, we both like to be close to the baseline,” assessed Federer. “We both like to take charge, especially on quicker courts. He has a wonderful way of either redirecting or taking the ball early, taking pace from the opponent and even generating some of his own.

“I think that's what makes him so hard to play. There's not really a safe place you can play into. Novak can hurt you down the line or cross-court on both sides. He's really improved now through the years. I've seen him come through the (ATP Rankings). His forehand, his serve, his movement clearly is what stands out the most at this moment now. He's really been able to improve that and make it rock solid."

The oldest finalist on the lawns of Wimbledon since Ken Rosewall (39) in 1974, Federer is attempting to become the first man to win eight titles at SW19, having prevailed in 2003-’07, ’09 and most recently in 2012. Having been on this stage on so many occasions, the 17-time Grand Slam champion is aware of what it will take to hoist the trophy.

“I think for me it's really important to stay aggressive against him, and especially here at Wimbledon it's simpler how we need to play against each other,” added Federer. “It's not like on a slow court where you can maybe maneuver the other guy around so much. I think on grass it's a bit more straightforward and we're both aware of that.”

Federer, who will rise to the No. 3 position in the ATP Rankings on Monday, is bidding to win the Gerry Weber Open and Wimbledon in the same calendar year for the fifth time. He also achieved the feat in 2003-'06. It will be the 10th time he duels with rival Novak Djokovic with a tour-level trophy on the line.

“You've got to love the game, because if you don't love it, then it's just going to be too hard," added Federer regarding his motivation. "I think that's kept me going quite easily actually, because I know why I'm playing tennis. Deep down that's really important.”

Federer attributes his return to the title match at the All England Club to the hard work his team has put in on and off the court. He credits his camp for his strong performance this fortnight.

“Stefan is clearly a piece of the puzzle, so is my fitness coach, Severin, and everybody around me,” the Swiss said. “They make it possible for me to wake up every morning motivated, healthy, fit, and eager to play. It's clearly a team effort to a degree.”

Djokovic has lost five of his last six Grand Slam finals and all of the last three - to Andy Murray at Wimbledon in 2013, Rafael Nadal at the 2013 US Open and to Nadal again at this year's French Open.

Unlike Federer and Nadal, he is still without the career Grand Slam which every player craves having lost both his Paris finals to the world number one Spaniard.

“Losing three out of four last Grand Slam finals, it cannot be satisfying. I don't want to sound like I'm not appreciating to play finals of Grand Slams. It's already a huge result. We cannot take that for granted,” said Djokovic.

“I know that I can win the title. I should have won a few matches that I lost in finals of Grand Slams in last couple years. But it's an experience. It's a learning process.”

Date: 5th July 2014, Source: ATP and AFP