Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Roger Federer fashion hoarder?

As one of the most decorated athletes of all time, Roger Federer has a career’s worth of trophies and memorabilia at his disposal.

He also has a soft spot for match outfits, admitting on Wednesday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships that he keeps at least three of each kit he has ever worn on the court in a collection at his home.

But even his personal archive has some holes.

“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,’” said Federer, who also donates many of his on-court looks to charity. “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.”

That career is still going strong 17 years after turning pro, leaving room for plenty of wardrobe changes (and closet expansions) along the way. As for the bright orange tee, aqua shoes and neon laces he’s rocking in Dubai, Federer feels he was due for a change.

“I think it's different, you know,” he said of his current ensemble. “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.”

As much as Federer values his fashion, the Swiss is fully focused on his quarter-final match against Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Just don’t ask him who he prefers to play in the final.

“Yeah, it's not Friday night yet, you know. I hope you can ask that question again another time.”

Monday, March 02, 2015

Roger Federer sets an ace record in Dubai

Roger Federer served his way to yet another milestone on Saturday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: The 33-year-old Swiss served 12 aces in his 6-3, 7-5 win over Novak Djokovic to surpass the 9,000 aces threshold.

Federer became the fourth player to achieve the feat since 1991 when records began, joining a group that includes Ivo Karlovic, former World No. 1 Andy Roddick, and Goran Ivanisevic, who is firmly planted in the number one spot with 10,183 aces.

"I think I remember which one it was even because I was even counting a little bit!" said Federer. "I think it was one of the swinger wides maybe. I'm not sure. But I think it happened in the second set at some point. But clearly it is nice to get past that so now I don't have to think about it ever again for the next 9,000 or so!"

How did Federer reach the 9,000 aces club? Here’s a look at the top five three-set matches and top five five-set matches in which he served the most aces:

Most Aces In Three-Set Matches

20: Federer needed two hours and 26 minutes to defeat Andre Agassi 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(7) in the round robin stage of the Tennis Masters Cup in Houston on 10 November 2003. The win marked the Swiss' first of eight consecutive wins over the American. Federer also went on to win the season finale, defeating Agassi again in the final for the prestigious title.

*Tied for fifth: Federer also served 20 aces in his 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3 win over Jeremy Chardy in the semi-finals of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp on 30 December 2013.

“It’s very hard to return it; technically is the best I’ve seen," David Ferrer has said about Federer's serve. "Mainly because he always tosses the ball the same way and hides very well which side he is going to serve to. Aside from this he also manages all the effects very well.”

21 – Tie: Federer needed two hours and 13 minutes to defeat Robby Ginepri 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-0 in the second round of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati on 28 July 2008. Federer won 70 percent of his total service points to advance to the Round of 16, where he lost to another ace aficionado, Ivo Karlovic.

21 – Tie: Federer defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 on 5 January 2015, adding the Brisbane crown to his resume and notching the 1,000th match win of his career. The Canadian served 14 aces in the two-hour, 13-minute match.

23: Federer defeated Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 7-6(5), 19-17 in an epic semi-final match at the London Olympics on 30 July 2012. At four hours and 26 minutes, their battle clocked in as the longest three-set men’s match of the Open Era. Federer went on to loes to Andy Murray in the gold medal match.

25: Federer defeated Feliciano Lopez 7-6(13), 6-7(1), 7-6(7) in the second round at the Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid on 2 May 2011. The Swiss won 80 percent of points off his first serve, aided by his large number of aces, in the 2 hour, 46-minute match. The Spaniard, who recently surpassed the 7,000 aces mark, served 23 aces in the match.

All-Time Ace Leaders
Player Aces

Goran Ivanisevic 10183
Ivo Karlovic 9375
Andy Roddick 9074
Roger Federer 9007
Pete Sampras 8858
Ivan Ljubicic 8318
Richard Krajicek 7694
Greg Rusedski 7605
Feliciano Lopez 7038
Mark Philippoussis 6709

How Federer Compares To Big Servers
Aces Per Match

Ivo Karlovic 19.3
John Isner
Milos Raonic
Andy Roddick 11.9
Goran Ivanisevic
Feliciano Lopez
Pete Sampras
Roger Federer

29: Despite the numerous free points on his serve, 16 more aces than his opponent, Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 in just shy of four hours on 23 June 2014.

39: Federer needed four hours and 25 minutes to fend off Janko Tipsarevic 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 5-7, 6-1, 10-8 in the third round of the Australian Open on 14 January 2008. The Swiss won 88 per cent of his first serve points, with the help of his numerous aces.

50: In the most dramatic of their 24 meetings, Federer recorded his most aces in his 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14 win over Andy Roddick in an epic Wimbledon final on 22 June 2009. The American, ranked third in the all-time ace leaders, served 27 aces during the match. The win, which clocked in at four hours and 16 minutes, secured the record for being the longest Wimbledon final in terms of games played. It also gave Federer his 15th Grand Slam crown, breaking Sampras' record for most Grand Slams won.

Federer Match Record Based On Aces Served

Aces Served
W/L Win Percentage

Less Than 10
701/172 80.30%
Between 10-19
263/52 83.49%
More Than 20
22/4 84.62%

*Excludes aces served in matches with retirements or walkovers


Sunday, March 01, 2015

Roger Federer wins his 7th Dubai Duty Free Championship!

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

"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 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 FedEx ATP Head2Head 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.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Roger Federer sets up final with Novak Djokovic in Dubai

tumblr roger fedeerer

Roger Federer recorded his 10th match win of the season Friday and now he has his sights set on clinching a seventh crown at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

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 presented by Suncorp trophy last month. He will challenge top seed and four-time former titlist Novak Djokovic in Saturday's final.

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."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Roger Federer through to semis in Dubai after Gasquet retires

This is by far my least favourite outfit

World No. 2 Roger Federer is one step closer to claiming an unprecedented seventh Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title after Richard Gasquet retired down 1-6 due to lower back pain in their quarter-final match on Thursday.

"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 Presented by Emirates, 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.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Roger Federer refreshed and ready for more

What a difference a month makes.

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 FedEx ATP Head2Head 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 team mate 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.”

Federer and Lammer will open their doubles campaign on Tuesday evening in front of an undoubtedly enthusiastic crowd. The No. 2 seed will continue his quest for an unprecedented seventh Dubai singles title against the winner of Fernando Verdasco and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Sadly he didn't get very far in the doubles losing in the first match out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Roger Federer fights back to reach quarters in Dubai

Roger Federer fought back from a slow start on Wednesday to reach the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarter-finals.

The second seed, who is a six-time champion at the Aviation Club, defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-3 in 60 minutes during the night session.

“I'm very happy how the match went," said Federer. "I think it was a good quality match from my side. I think Fernando played well for spells, but I think I was quite consistent."

Verdasco led 4-1 in the first set, producing a series of stunning winners to keep Federer on the back foot. But Federer regrouped to win five straight love service games – 20 points – to clinch the 30-minute opener.

“It's not the first time it's ever happened to me, but it's a great comeback because I did feel that Fernando was hitting the ball well and came out and played very committed [and] serving well," added Federer.

Federer hit four aces and is now 11 aces away from striking the 9,000th ace of his career. He won 83 per cent of his first service points against Verdasco to reach the last eight.

On 11 January, the 33-year-old Swiss became only the third player in tennis history (after Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl) to record 1,000 match wins with his 83rd title at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp (d. Raonic).

He will play Richard Gasquet on Thursday. Gasquet saved one match point to edge past seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6) in two hours and 22 minutes. Bautista Agut led with a break in the third set.

“I'm looking forward to playing against him," said Federer. "Last time we played was Davis Cup final on that Sunday, in front of that big crowd, and it was a lot of pressure. I think this time is going to be a bit more relaxed going in."

Federer leads Gasquet 13-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Their most recent clash came in last year’s Davis Cup final, which Federer won 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.