Sampras has a great appreciation for how Federer - a 33-year-old father of four - still has such love and enthusiasm for playing tennis.
Roger Federer claimed his 1000th match win as he defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 in the final of the Brisbane International.
Roger Federer handed Switzerland a historic first Davis Cup title after a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Richard Gasquet to seal a 3-1 victory against France in the 2014 Davis Cup Final.
In a very interesting interview, Stefan Edberg talked about his first year as a coach of one the Tennis greatest.
Roger Federer reveals how, at the age of 33, he has claimed five ATP titles and a tour-leading 73 wins this season.
"The seventh is quite unbelievable, what I hear people talking about that, announcing I'm the six-time winner here in Dubai," said Federer. "Sounds pretty crazy. It's nice that Wimbledon and Halle are that way, as well."
The Swiss served four aces in the 37-minute opener and became the fourth player (since 1991) to hit 9000 aces when he fired down a service winner at the start of the sixth game of the second set. He hit 12 aces in total throughout the match, taking his tally to 9007.
The 33-year-old Swiss was contesting his ninth final in 12 visits to this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament. He previously lifted the trophy in 2003-05, 2007, 2012 and 2014 and finished runner-up in 2006 and 2011. He now has a 47-5 tournament record.
Victory marked Federer’s second ATP World Tour title of the season. He opened his 2015 campaign by claiming the Brisbane title with his 1000th match win, beating Milos Raonic in the final. The Basel native now has an 84-42 finals record.
After saving two break points earlier in the contest, Federer broke Djokovic in the eighth game and went on to serve out the opener. Top seed Djokovic had his chances to push the match to a third set. He had Federer at 15/40 on serve in the eighth game of the second set and then again in the 10th game - eliciting two set points - but could not convert.
Federer then pounced in the 11th game, breaking Djokovic - who had led 40/0 - with a forehand winner to lead 6-5. Federer faltered slightly serving for the match. He netted on his first match point and was forced to save a seventh break point for Djokovic before sealing victory at the second time of asking in 84 minutes.
"I think the first set belonged to me; whereas the second set belonged to him more," said Federer. "He created many more opportunities. I struggled to get into his service games more frequently. It seemed like the moment I wasn't serving great he created chances for himself and put a lot of pressure on me. It was a huge game clearly at 5-5, 40/0 for him. I crawled my way back into the game and ended up breaking him. So that was big, but I think the break points saved were even bigger tonight."
Federer improved to a 20-17 lead over Djokovic in their ATP Head to Head series as he recorded his first victory over the Serb in a final since the 2012 Cincinnati title match.
"I think it's really become a very nice rivalry," said Federer. "I think we play very nicely against each other, and it seems people like the way we play against each other, as well. I don't think we have to adjust our games very much against each other, which I think is nice, as well. We can just play our game, and then the better man wins.
"It's been nice seeing Novak's improvements over all these years. He's become such an unbelievable player, especially the past five, six years, and cleaned up his game so nicely and became the best mover in the game. It's really a pleasure playing against him every single time again."
Djokovic, a four-time champion in Dubai, was looking to eclipse his coach Boris Becker and win his 50th tour-level title. The Belgrade native dropped to a 49-23 finals record. He was playing his first tournament since winning his eighth Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open (d. Murray) last month.
Date: 28th February 2015, Source: ATP
Federer has a 19-17 lead in their ATP Head to Head series and has won two of their past three meetings. Federer will attempt to claim his seventh Dubai crown and Djokovic will aim to lift his 50th trophy, and his fourth at the Aviation Club.
"When you play Roger, it's always a great challenge," said Djokovic. "If you want to win you have to play your best tennis, especially against Roger in the final of any event, but here particularly. Because I feel like this is the kind of a surface and conditions that it suits his game the best."
Second seed Federer overcame lucky loser Borna Coric, 15 years his junior, 6-2, 6-1 in 57 minutes for a spot in his ninth final at the Aviation Club, the venue of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament.
Federer will next attempt to clinch his 84th tour-level title (83-42 in finals) and his second crown of the year - after lifting the Brisbane International trophy last month.
Federer opened up a 3-1 lead, before Coric clinched his lone service break. Federer converted all of his three break point opportunities in the 27-minute first set and then dominated the second set.
"Maybe I was a bit tentative in the beginning, but I was still able to get off to somewhat of a good start, not being broken early, then breaking him right away," said Federer. "I felt like after five games I knew more or less what to expect, and I realised what had worked until that point and what had not."
The Swiss hit three aces past Coric and is now five aces away from striking the 9,000th ace of his career. He also hit 20 winners and won nine of his 13 points at the net.
"I can see why he has so far caused difficulties for some of the top guys and he still has a lot of room for improvement in his game," said Federer. "He does a really good job for a big guy. It's unbelievable how in the past 10 years we have seen so many big guys moving well from the baseline. I think he returns very well, especially off second serves, and that's such a huge part of today's game, I believe."
Coric, who had beaten Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, said, "He was just way too good for me. I was feeling so rushed. I didn't have any time to play my game plan. I was just trying to hold in the rally as long as I could. I was serving very badly... When you're playing against a guy who is No. 1 or No. 2 in the world, you need to be serving much better if you're going to even compete with him."
Date: 27th February 2015, Source: ATP
"I give a lot to charity, of course. And if I have enough, I give to friends and family. And then I always keep probably three of each outfit," Federer said after his quick 6-4, 6-3 victory over Spain's Fernando Verdasco in the second round of the Dubai Open.
"Yeah, it's in closet, in an archive at the moment just because I feel like I have to keep these things, because I never want to look back and think like, oh, I wish I still had that outfit.
"Maybe one day I can give it away again to somebody. I have to take care of them. And of course I missed some of the outfits early on in my career because I didn't think I was going to have a career," he added.
Federer, who is known for his demure personality on the court, has picked up a neon orange t-shirt for the Dubai Open to go with his grey shorts, which come with a shiny party strip at the side. "I think it's different," Federer said.
"I have worn so many outfits over the years, and I am lucky enough to be able to change my outfit 10 to 12 times a year. How many times can you do a T-shirt and another colored shirt? I was like, Let's mix it up a little bit. I haven't worn bright colors in some time.
"I asked if that could be an option. They presented me the shorts. I was like, Okay, let's make sure the stripes at the right place and it has to look the right way, it has to match in a nice way. I think it actually works okay. I like it, and I hope fans enjoy the energy that comes out of it a bit."
Date: 27th February 2015
"I know enough about the back, and I know how horrible it is to play with that and how much worse it can sometimes become," said a sympathetic Federer. "It's maybe better not to take any chances at this point."
Federer completed the first set in just 20 minutes, taking advantage of a hobbled Gasquet, who triumphed over Roberto Bautista Agut in a tight three-set match on Wednesday. Federer tallied three aces in the set, leaving him eight short of reaching the historic 9,000 mark.
"I think I played well," Federer said. "I served well. Then again, the test was so short that it's tough to judge on a 20-minute match. But, you know, I think I was hitting the ball well again, like yesterday. I felt able to play aggressive and do what I was hoping to do, so I was very pleased, actually."
The Swiss has spent just two hours and 16 minutes on the court in his first three matches.
He’ll meet the face of the next generation in the semi-finals, after 18-year-old lucky loser Borna Coric upset No. 3 seed Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3. The Croatian teenager, named the 2014 ATP Star of Tomorrow Award, scored the second Top 10 win of his young career, dispatching Murray in 79 minutes.
"He seems to really play up when it matters against the better players," Federer said of his next opponent. "Today I think it was a great victory. I didn't see any of the match, so I can't tell about Murray's level. But regardless of the level, to beat Murray 6-1, 6-3, it was, it's a great score. Because historically Murray has played very well here in Dubai. It's definitely a message I get."
Coric announced his arrival last fall by upsetting Rafael Nadal en route to the Swiss Indoors Basel semi-finals. Perhaps it is fitting that the World No. 84 is the first teenager to reach the Dubai semi-finals since Nadal clinched the title as a 19 year old in 2006.
Date: 26th February 2015, Source: ATP
"It gave me more time off, so I was actually thankful to Seppi!" Federer added.
Thirty days ago, Roger Federer’s early exit in the Australian Open third round surprised fans and fellow player alike. Despite coming into the first Grand Slam of the year on the heels of a title run in Brisbane and an historic 1,000th ATP World Tour victory, the World No. 2 struggled to find his rhythm in his four-set loss to Andreas Seppi.
On Monday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, a refreshed Federer looked sharp as he dispatched of Mikhail Youzhny in under one hour, extending his ATP Head to Head record over the Russian to 16-0. Afterward, the Swiss explained the virtues of playing without reservations.
“The last thing I want to do is lose back-to-back matches playing careful,” said the six-time Dubai champion. “I know I can play careful tennis, but then you cannot leave it up to the other guys sometimes if you are going to win or lose. I feel over the years I have won my biggest matches in most tournaments by playing on my terms, and you can't always do it. It's difficult to come out and dominate every match, every point, and it's also hard work always playing aggressive.”
During his time away from competition, Federer relaxed at the beach, trained and planned his tournament schedule for the coming year, admitting he has his projected schedule set through the summer of 2016. And while he enjoyed the respite from the day-to-day grind, he is ready to compete again.
“It's nice getting back out there and having thousands root for you and for your opponent, because you can only practise that much after a while without anybody watching you,” said Federer, who lives and trains in Dubai during much of the season. “It just gets a bit boring after a while. So I prefer to play matches after all.
“I'm lucky enough to be put on prime time most of the time so people come out and watch me play often… So I appreciate that, and it's definitely keeping me on the tour longer. There's not a doubt about that.”
In addition to extending his 43-5 record at the tournament, the 33-year-old will look to do damage on the doubles court with the help of Swiss countryman and Davis Cup teammate Michael Lammer.
“Michael Lammer was one of my best friends on tour and in my life, and he's a guy I have never played doubles with,” Federer explained. “So I really want to do that before he retires because he's not far off.”
“I have played doubles with Marco [Chiudinelli], with Yves [Allegro], with Stan [Wawrinka], but never with Michael other than back in the Junior Swiss Championships when we were 14, 16, 18. So we go way back. That's why we are both excited about it, and I'm very thankful for the wild card from the tournament organisers.”
Date: 24th February 2015, Source: ATP
''It wasn't a difficult decision,'' the 33-year-old Federer said Monday at the Dubai tournament. ''I have played for so long, and I think by winning it I can finally do whatever I please, to be quite honest.''
Federer fired eight aces against Youzhny in the 56-minute win, taking him to a career ace count of 8,985. The right-hander is bidding to join Goran Ivanisevic, Ivo Karlovic and Andy Roddick as the only players to reach the 9,000 aces milestone since records began in 1991.
The Swiss improved to a 16-0 mark against Youzhny in their ATP Head to Head series as he won his first match back since suffering a surprise third-round exit against Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open last month.
"Best of three in a quick court sometimes you just can run away with the score, so that's where maybe a bad five to ten minutes can cost you the match. I think it was close in that first set." said Federer. "I think we were both trying to find our range. I'm happy I didn't start to play too careful after it, because it is tough to play here in Dubai with the quick conditions. After that, I think I started to return much better. Serve got a bit more consistent. My half volleys were getting better. I was able to get the set and the break, and then that's when you can bring it home."
Federer improved to a 7-1 match record on the season, highlighted by winning his 83rd tour-level title at the Brisbane International (d. Raonic).
The 33-year-old Federer has a 43-5 match record at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament, lifting the trophy in 2003-05, 2007, 2012 and 2014. He also finished runner-up in 2006 and 2011. The second seed goes on to face the winner of an all-Spanish clash between Fernando Verdasco and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Date: 23rd February 2015, Source: ATP
As Federer readies to begin his quest for an unprecedented seventh Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crown, the Swiss described the comfort of competing in the city he calls his training base.
“I have to switch my mind from relaxing to tournament rhythm,” said Federer. “That’s why I have the tendency, either in Basel or Dubai, to check into a hotel and say ‘ok, I’m at a tournament’. Last year I stayed at home, this year I’m back at a hotel. I mix it up depending on how my mood is. We’ll see how it starts tomorrow. I’m eager to find out.
“I’m growing a great fan base all around the world. I feel very welcome. Every tournament seems to want me there. It fills me with great joy. If you have something you really enjoy doing, why give that up? I feel I can still play with the best and when you win titles things get simpler again.”
The 33-year-old father of four is closing in on two milestones in the Arabian desert. The all-time tournament leader with six titles and 42 match wins, he is bidding to win seven or more titles at three tournaments, in addition to his haul at Wimbledon (7) and the Gerry Weber Open in Halle (7). Federer is also closing in on becoming just the fourth player to achieve 9,000 aces, needing to strike 23 to reach the plateau.
Federer's Stomping Grounds
Gerry Weber Open (Halle) - 7
Wimbledon - 7
ATP World Tour Finals - 6
Western and Southern Open (Cincinnati) - 6
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships - 6
Swiss Indoors Basel - 6
With an elite field that also includes four-time champion Novak Djokovic, 2012 runner-up Andy Murray and two-time finalist Tomas Berdych, neither task will be easy for the defending champion. Federer understands he'll need to work hard to retain the title.
“I think it’s going to be tough. It’s tough for anybody. When you take a close look at everybody who’s here, you always think it’s hard…Every match has to be played. You only have to beat whoever is on the opposite side of the net. You don’t have to beat the other 31 guys in the draw. You want to have the right mindset going into a tough tournament like this. It’s hard, but it’s been like this for years now. I take it one match at a time, but at the same time when you’re the player of my caliber and experience you have to focus on your own game.”
Federer will renew a 15-year-old rivalry against former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny in the first round. The second seed leads the ATP Head to Head series 15-0. He says he is eager to return to action following a four-week break after suffering a third round exit to Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open. Refreshed and reloaded, Federer has a plan.
“I’ve been very lucid, very clear in what I wanted to do in the past month between vacation, practice and build-up (to Dubai), getting everything organised all the way to Wimbledon and beyond. It has been a good time for me to re-assess my goals and come back stronger.”
Date: 23rd February 2015, Source: ATP