Friday, October 31, 2014

Roger Federer moves into the quarters at Paris Masters faces Raonic next

Roger Federer kept up the pressure on Novak Djokovic in the battle for year-end No. 1 Thursday when he reached the BNP Paribas Masters quarter-finals.

Second seed Federer extended his winning streak to 14 matches with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over 20-year-old French qualifier Lucas Pouille to set up a clash against seventh seed Milos Raonic, who has a chance of qualifying for next month’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Looking ahead to his quarter-final clash with London hopeful Raonic, against whom he has a 6-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record, Federer said: “It's good that I didn't spend too much energy today. I'm into the tournament. I think after five sets you more or less know where you're standing. Milos has a lot in his racquet. I mean, the way he serves, the way he plays after that. It's a tough match, but I'm looking forward to it. There is a possible semi-final after that for both of us and also the London issue, so it's more fun.”

Federer has lifted five trophies from 10 finals this year, including at his past two tournaments, the Shanghai Rolex Masters (d. Simon) and a sixth crown at the Swiss Indoors Basel (d. Goffin). He is now three match wins shy of 250 indoor victories (247-60), a milestone he could reach if he lifts his 24th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown on Sunday.

The 2011 Paris champion broke Pouille at 3-3 in the first set, committing just six unforced errors. Pouille, who was not outclassed in his 11th tour-level match, produced a string of backhand winners that delighted the French crowd. Federer broke in a nine-minute game at 3-3 in the second set, to put him on course for his 68th victory of the year.

Asked if he remembered what it was like to be in Pouille’s shoes – a rookie playing a legend of the game – Federer recalled three matches from his early career: “Basel '98 when I played Agassi. That was his comeback year after he dropped… Then Moya ’99 in Marseille. He was World No. 4. I got a wild card into that. Then I played Rafter at the French Open first round. I also got a wildcard and broke the first game. And then got broken back. I won the set, but he crushed me. That was a big moment. So those three stand out to me.

“Agassi was the type of draw I didn't really want because I knew he had such an easy time finding my backhand. Back then my backhand really wasn't that good. I played a really good match actually. I think I won five games and I was extremely happy with the way I played.”

Should he win the Paris title, Federer will replace Djokovic at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and Emirates ATP Race To London unless the Serb reaches the final.

Djokovic maintained his 490-point cushion over Federer in the Emirates ATP Race To London, as he held off Frenchman Gael Monfils in the final match Thursday. The defending champion closed out a 6-3, 7-6(2) win after one hour and 32 minutes, improving to an 11-0 mark against Monfils.

In the quarter-finals, the World No. 1 will face off against Andy Murray, who qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with his victory over Grigor Dimitrov earlier in the day. Djokovic leads Murray 14-8 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, including wins in their three encounters this season.

Djokovic is playing in his first tournament since the birth of his son, Stefan, last week.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Song of the Moment: Ingrid Michaelson- Afterlife

Not only is the song uplifting but the idea & the message is brilliant. Totally brightened my day. Thank you Ingrid.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Roger Federer battles past Chardy to reach Paris Masters 3rd round

Roger Federer withstood a tough test from home favourite Jeremy Chardy to advance 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-4 to the BNP Paribas Mastersthird round on Wednesday.

The 33 year old extended his winning streak to 13 matches, a run that includes picking up his sixth Basel title last week (d. Goffin) and his 23rd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown in Shanghai (d. Simon) last month.

Federer, the 2011 Paris champion, is on Novak Djokovic's heels in the battle for year-end No. 1, trailing the Serb by just 490 points in the Emirates ATP Race To London. Federer is trying to finish the season as No. 1 for the sixth time, which would equal Pete Sampras’ record.​

The 33-year-old Federer dropped his opening service game and eventually found himself serving down 2-5 against the 27-year-old Chardy. 

The Swiss erased four of Chardy’s set points as the Frenchman served for the set at 4-5, and consolidated the break to even the set at 5-5. 

Federer would go on to win his 11th straight tie-break - his previous loss was to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Rogers Cup final - after Chardy dumped a forehand into the net.

In the second set, both players held serve - Chardy erased both break points he faced - before heading into another tie-break. 

This time, the Frenchman had the upper hand, pushing their third FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter into a decider after smacking an inside-out forehand out of Federer's reach.

Federer grabbed the break early in the third, and stayed on track to close out the victory in two hours and 31 minutes. 

Federer awaits the winner between 16th seed Fabio Fognini and qualifier Lucas Pouille.

Not the best he has played compared to his last 2 tournaments, but a win is a win :).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Roger Federer surprised by his own success this season

17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is reportedly taking aim at multiple major goals starting with a sixth title at his home Swiss Indoors, as he admitted that his current positive situation even has him surprised. Switzerland would play a Davis Cup final in France next month and that has surprised even Federer. He also has a decent shot at regaining the world number one ranking, given the right circumstances.

Federer has been training on clay for the Davis Cup showdown but is now back to total concentration on the slow indoor hardcourt at the St Jakobshalle, where he has figured in the last eight finals at the stadium where he got his start in the game as a ballboy, Sport24 reported. The Swiss, who opens on Wednesday in the first round against Luxembourg's Gilles Muller, said that it's a nice feeling being back in an arena that he knows so well and has had so much success.

Federer said that there is no panic about the tournament anymore, like there was five, 10, 15 years ago when it all started for him. He added that it feels great right now. Federer said that he is happy he is playing so well since the spring birth of twin sons Leo and Lenny, and added that he is happy Switzerland made the Davis Cup finals.

The recent Shanghai champion also said that Switzerland has put itself in an exciting position, adding that an away tie in France is cool. And, he also said that the fact that he has gotten so close to the number one ranking is a bit of a surprise for him. He said that he has not won a Slam this year but he was extremely close at Wimbledon.

But, Federer added that he has been playing very consistently or he would not be in this position. He said that it is a very different year-end for him, but added that if he doesn't win a few more titles number one won't happen.

In addition to all of those objectives, Federer has the eight-man World Tour Finals in London to concentrate on the week prior to the Davis final. With his crowded schedule, Federer also revealed that he almost opted not to play Shanghai, where he won that Masters 1000 title for the first time less than a fortnight ago over Frenchman Gilles Simon, the report added.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Home town hero Roger Federer wins 6th Swiss Indoors title in Basel

Roger Federer further closed the gap with Novak Djokovic in the battle for year-end No. 1, claiming his sixth Swiss Indoors Basel title 6-2, 6-2 over David Goffin on Sunday.

The hometown hero denied the young gun his third title of the year and has clawed to within striking distance of Djokovic for the top spot in the Emirates ATP Race To London. Federer finds himself less than 500 points behind the Serb with a combined 2,500 up for grabs between next week's BNP Paribas Masters and the season finale Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The Swiss, who was contesting his 11th Basel final, won his sixth title in eight years and first since 2011. He captured his 82nd tour-level trophy overall, extending his win streak to 12 straight after emerging victorious at the Shanghai Rolex Masters earlier this month. In total, Federer has won six titles or more at six tournaments.

The top seed snatched the opening break of the match in the first game and cruised from there, securing an early break for 3-2 in the second set and closing out the victory after just 51 minutes. He fired five aces and 19 winners, winning an impressive 93 per cent of second serve points.

Federer takes home $352,355 and 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points, improving to an ATP World Tour-leading 66-10 record in 2014. Runner-up Goffin earns $158,860 and 300 points for his efforts.

Goffin, who had won 43 of 45 matches (including on the ATP Challenger Tour) since Wimbledon, fell to 24-14 on the ATP World Tour this year. The Belgian was seeking his third title of the year following triumphs on the clay of Kitzb├╝hel and indoor hard courts of Metz. He will conclude his 2014 campaign at the BNP Paribas Masters, opening against Lukas Rosol.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Roger Federer battles past Karlovic to reach Swiss Indoors finals in Basel

Roger Federer fought off an ace assault from a dogged Ivo Karlovic to reach his 11th Swiss Indoors Basel final, prevailing 7-6(8), 3-6, 6-3 on Saturday.

The hometown hero extended his win streak to 11 straight as he continued his push to conclude the season as year-end World No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The five-time Basel champion will contest his 123rd title match on the ATP World Tour against Belgian rising star David Goffin.

Federer overcame 33 aces from the big-serving Croat to claim victory after one hour and 42 minutes, winning 80 per cent of points on his own serve. The 33 year old staved off a pair of set points in a grueling 18-point first set tie-break and would eventually secure the opener after rifling a backhand passing shot, one of his 40 winners on the day.

The lone previous meeting between Federer and Goffin came in the 2012 Roland Garros fourth round. The Swiss stormed back from a set down to prevail in four tight sets.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Roger Federer through to Swiss Indoors semis in Basel

One year after they faced off for the first time, Roger Federer once again got the better of Grigor Dimitrov in the Swiss Indoors Basel quarter-finals. The Swiss defeated the Bulgarian 7-6(4), 6-2 to keep alive his hopes for a sixth home town title.

The World No. 2 edged the first set in a tie-break after 54 minutes, and converted on his fifth break point opportunity of the match to go up 2-0 in the second. He broke Dimitrov for a second time and claimed victory after one hour and 29 minutes. Federer saved all four break points faced, hit 29 winners to Dimitrov's 25, and won 20 of 31 points at the net.

“I thought the level was high throughout for both of us,” said Federer. “I think Grigor served very well in the first, he didn’t give me very many opportunities. It was a tough end to the set, with me saving set points and then the tie-break stayed close at the end, but I’m very pleased to come through there. I think overall it was a very good performance and I played my best tennis of the week so far.”

Federer has a chance of finishing as the year-end World No. 1, and can close the gap between him and Novak Djokovic in the Emirates ATP Race To London to less than 500 points by winning the Basel title this week. Dimitrov, currently No. 11 in the Race standings, was looking to boost his qualifying bid for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The 33-year-old Federer will take an 11-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record into his next match against 35-year-old Ivo Karlovic, including a victory in the 2007 Basel semi-finals. The 6’11” Croat advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win over German Benjamin Becker.

The eighth seed struck 19 aces and won 86 per cent of his first-serve points to advance in 76 minutes. “It’s great to be here again in the semi-finals,” said Karlovic. “I was holding my serve well against Benjamin. All in all it was a great match.”