Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Roger Federer through to 3rd round in Roland Garros with new record

PARIS — Roger Federer set a new record of 234 Grand Slam match wins Wednesday to reach the French Open last 32 where he was joined by top seed Novak Djokovic whose date with tennis destiny edged a little closer.

Federer, the third seed, overcame a mid-match wobble to beat Romania's Adrian Ungur 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, and go past Jimmy Connors' long-standing record of 233 wins at the majors which he'd equalled in the first round.

The 16-time Grand Slam title winner will face Nicolas Mahut of France for a place in the last 16.

On a subdued day at Roland Garros, Federer's post-match news conference was spent discussing Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee.

"I had lunch next to the queen, that was exciting," said Federer, recalling the monarch's visit to Wimbledon in 2010 after a 33-year absence.

"She was very sweet, very nice, very polite, of course, and a pleasure to be around."

The 27-year-old Ungur, the world number 92, knocked out Argentine veteran David Nalbandian in the first round on his Grand Slam debut, having failed to qualify for any major on 13 previous occasions.

He was swept aside on the first two sets on Wednesday, but once he had saved two match points in the third set tiebreaker, he came alive to take the second round clash to a fourth set.

But normal service was soon resumed with Federer, playing in his 50th straight Grand Slam event, taking the match when the colourfully tattooed Ungur slapped a backhand return wide.

Read more:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Roger Federer off to a good start on day one at Roland Garros

Roger Federer tied Jimmy Connors’ Open era record of 233 Grand Slam match wins by beating Tobias Kamke of Germany 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of the French Open on Monday.

Federer, who owns a record 16 major championships, is 233-35 at tennis’ top four tournaments, a .869 winning percentage. Connors was 233-49. The Open era began in 1968.

Kamke fell to 6-10 at Grand Slams, never advancing past the third round.

Federer turned 30 last August and is trying to become the first man that old to win a Grand Slam tournament since Andre Agassi was 32 at the 2003 Australian Open. Federer has gone more than two years without a major title – his longest drought since winning his first at Wimbledon in 2003.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Martina Hingis clears up Federer Olympic team-up cancellation

Former world number one Martina Hingis has denied that she will be returning to tennis to partner Roger Federer at the London Olympics.

A lesson from the most famous couple in tennis is one thing.

But, if you are not satisfied with Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi, what about throwing Goran Ivanisevic and Martina Hingis on to the same court?

With 36 Grand Slam singles titles between the former players, children were treated to a tennis masterclass during a coaching clinic in Taiwan.

At 31 years old, Hingis could still be playing professionally - Roger Federer certainly thinks so after asking her to play doubles with him at the Olympics?

SOUNDBITE: (English) Martina Hingis
It wasn't exactly like that. We had a long chat. I think, for him, he finished the season so well last year so I am sure he was thinking about playing 100 per cent his single this year. Being at the Wimbledon, being on the grass, so that's one thing that he hasn't won yet is the Olympic game. Being a defending double championship as well, I think two events is a lot of him within days. Plus, I haven't played for give years so it is a bit crazy, two things together. So we decided together that we are not going to play".

Agassi won all four Grand Slam titles, including the French Open in 1999.

This year's edition gets underway on Sunday with Rafael Nadal looking to maintain his dominance on the Parisian clay with a seventh title in eight years.

The former greats could be watching history be created in Paris - if Nadal is victorious again, he will match Pete Sampras' record of seven titles at a single slam.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Martina Hingis exhibitoin fun in Taipei Taiwan

Goran Ivanisevic, Martina Hingis, Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi, right (Reuters)

Tennis legends Martina Hingis, Goran Ivanisevic, Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi entertained crowds in an exhibition match in the Taiwanese capital.

The former tennis stars, who are in Taipei to coach young Taiwanese players, took to the court to display their skills to some 7,000 tennis fans. 

In the battle of the former world number ones, Hingis of Switzerland beat Graf of Germany 7-6 in the ladies' match before eight-times grand slam winner Agassi of the United States trumped one-time foe Ivanisevic 6-4 7-6. 

Agassi teamed up with his wife Steffi Graf for the doubles but they were beaten by the Swiss-Croat pairing.

(Be sure to check out the actual link it includes an awesome video Martina is always bringing the fun! ).

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hingis/Ivanisevic win against Graf/Agassi in Taiwan Exhibition

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Tennis greats visiting Taiwan for a series of exhibition matches said Saturday that they were feeling nostalgic after playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

After a laughter-laden mixed doubles, in which Martina Hingis and Goran Ivanisevic beat Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi 6-3, the foursome joked about their rivalry of the old days but did not forget to recognize one another's achievements.

Asked in a post-match press conference how she compared Saturday's showdown against Graf with the one at the 1999 French Open, Hingis jokingly shifted the spotlight to Ivanisevic.

"I cried in 1999, did you cry at Wimbledon?" the Swiss asked, referring to both their unsuccessful bids in Grand Slam championships against their rivals -- the "golden couple" who were sitting right nextto them.

In 1999, Graf conquered Hingis in Paris to claim her last major title, while Agassi won his first Grand Slam in the 1992 Wimbledon final, beating Ivanisevic in five sets.

"There were so many great memories," said the Croatian, adding that he felt great pleasure playing again with Agassi, especially in front of exuberant local fans.

Likewise, Agassi and Graf said they had had a great time in Taiwan, picking up old memories with their former foes and enjoying Taiwanese hospitality.

"It has been incredible," said Graf, who promised fans earlier on court that her stay in Taiwan "will not be the last time."

The audience were treated to a hilarious 40-minute mixed doubles, bursting into laughter whenever an impromptu act took place.

At one point at the match, Agassi and Graf exchanged a kiss over a winner. Hingis also jokingly chased Ivanisevic around the court for an error he made.

The stellar line-up even helped one local fan propose to his girlfriend, with Agassi playfully suggesting that the girl should turn him down.

Attendance at the event was reported by the organizers to be 7,000 --only around 60 percent of the capacity of the Taipei Arena. Tickets prices ranged between NT$800 (US$27) and NT$10,000.

A similar event last year featuring Agassi and Russian great Marat Safin attracted more than 9,000 people. 

 *groan* That 1999 Graf final is gonna haunt her for the rest of her life.  But it's good to see she's got  a sense of humor about it all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Legends Agassi, Graf, Hingis help out youngsters in Taiwan

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Four tennis legends in Taiwan for Saturday's "Rise of Legends Taiwan 2012" exhibition held a clinic Friday morning for Taiwan's up-and-coming stars and said they were impressed by the group's talent. 

Grand Slam title winners Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Goran Ivanisevic and Martina Hingis showed both their charisma and skill in coaching the 32 players during the 40-minute session. 

Seemingly unaffected by jet lag after having arrived in Taiwan on separate flights Thursday and Friday, the tennis greats appeared lighthearted as each of them took a corner of the court to critique each player close up. 

Former No. 1 Agassi kept urging the young players -- who seemed content to rally from far behind the baseline -- to move up to the baseline to take the ball earlier, one of Agassi's greatest strengths. 

"Go! Go! Hit it," the American cried from time to time, acting frustrated whenever the players hit the ball into the net. 

Standing on the other side of the court, Ivanisevic couldn't resist playing up to his stereotype of being occasionally ill-tempered. 

Twice the Croatian jokingly slammed his racket to the ground to show his "dissatisfaction" with the youngsters' performance and even approached the net to shout at them to get them to play with more energy. 

Hingis and Graf, on the other hand, preferred positive reinforcement and gently offered advice to the players, reminding them to stay down. 

"Come stand by me," Hingis told an obviously nervous young girl, demonstrating a technique to improve her serve. 

The superstars' enthusiasm proved contagious and helped the youngsters pick up the session's pace, to the point where they began firing fierce returns that had Agassi playfully asking for mercy. 

Chen Pei-hsuan, a 12-year-old who traded balls with the four tennis legends, said she was most impressed by their geniality. 

Chen said that although she did not have a chance to witness the stars play in their prime, it did not prevent her from being a huge fan of theirs. 

"I like Graf the most because she played just like Caroline Wozniacki," she said, referring to the current world No. 9. 

The foursome were to attend a welcome cocktail party later in the day before taking part in the exhibition at Taipei Arena Saturday. 

Graf will face Hingis and Agassi will face Ivanisevic before the four play mixed doubles.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Martina Hingis wins against Steffi Graf in Taiwan Exhibition

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Martina Hingis beat Steffi Graf 7-6 and Andre Agassi overcame Goran Ivanisevic 6-4, 7-6 in fun-filled exhibition matches that drew some 7,000 tennis fans to Taipei Arena on Saturday.

First on court were the ladies, who pumped up the crowd with a mixture of playfulness and intense action.

At one game all, after two nail-biting deuce games, Graf handed her racket to a ball boy -- a strategy Agassi adopted last year in Taipei against Russia's Marat Safin -- and asked him to play a point against Hingis.

Far from getting stage fright, the boy actually caught Hingis, known as the Swiss Miss, off-guard and stole a point for Graf, causing the crowd to erupt into cheers.

In retaliation, the five-time Grand Slam winner immediately handed her racket to a ball girl. Despite a valiant effort, the young girl however failed to take a point off the German star, who is married to Agassi.

"This is my first time in Taipei, and I am sure it will not bethe last time," Graf said after the match.

Andre Agassi and Goran Ivanisevic, meanwhile, lived up to their stellar reputations by producing wide-angle returns and fierce aces.

The playful duo did not miss a single chance to joke around and create a humorous atmosphere.

Agassi, who hails from the U.S., teased the Croatian about his outside balls, while the latter jokingly countered by grumbling andsmashing rackets, in keeping with his trademark bad temper.

At one point in the match, Ivanisevic roared and basked in the crowds' cheers after winning a lengthy rally when he was trailing by one set.

At the end of the match, Agassi thanked the crowd in Chinese and then said:“I love Taiwan.”

Martina Hingis, Steffi Graf & Andre Agassi Taipei exhibition

Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Grand slam winners Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis and Goran Ivanisevic will arrive in Taiwan Thursday and play exhibition matches and coach young talents over the following two days, organizers said Wednesday. 

The arrival of the stars, who have bagged 36 grand slam singles titles between them, is expected to boost awareness of Taiwan's tennis scene, said Integration Sports Inc., the organizer of the second Rise of Legends event. 

On Friday, the players will coach a group of teenage players at Taipei Arena and attend a welcome banquet later that day. 

The following day there will be three exhibition matches at the same venue, including Agassi vs. Ivanisevic, Graf vs. Hingis and a mixed doubles contest. 

This will be Agassi's second visit to Taiwan in two years after playing in the first Rise of Legends event in January 2011 against Russian great Marat Safin. 

After an entertaining match in Kaohsiung City, where he beat Safin 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 in a super tiebreaker, the 42-year-old American promised the cheering crowd that he would try to convince his wife to come to Taiwan with him next time. 

Organizers said they expect 8,000 of the 12,000 tickets -- on sale at prices ranging from NT$800 (US$27) to NT$10,000 -- to be sold before Saturday's exhibition games, adding that initial sales have been slow but have been picking up recently. 

Local tennis fans will also be out in force, with 250 individuals volunteering to help with the exhibition matches. 

"We hope to build up public interests in the sport through more interactions with fans," said event promoter March Che.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kim Clijsters confirms retirement after this year's U.S. Open

REUTERS - Former world number one Kim Clijsters has confirmed that she will bring down the curtain on her second career at the end of this years U.S. Open, Belgian news agency Belga has reported. The 28-year-old came out of retirement in 2009 after more than two years out of the sport, winning three more grand slam titles to take her career tally to four. 

Injury, which has hampered the Belgian throughout her career, has already forced her to pull out of the upcoming French Open and on Tuesday she said the August 27-September 9 U.S. Open would be her last tournament. 

'In principle, I will stop after the U.S. Open. Thats the tournament where I have had my greatest triumphs and it is therefore very special to me,' she told a news conference at the headquarters of her sponsors Galaxo in Paal, Belgium. 'The (Flushing Meadows) stadium is about 45 minutes from our house in the United States and so my in-laws can be there.' 

Clijsters won her first U.S. Open title in 2005 and marked a sensational return to tennis with a second in 2009 before successfully defending the title the following year. She also won the Australian Open in 2011.

I'm still bummed she couldn't participate in her last French Open tournament.  Would have been great, perhaps even won it with her sliding ability on clay (would have been fun to see).

Instead just like with Martina Hingis, I'm enjoying it all while it lasts and before she leaves again for good.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Djokovic & Federer 25th meeting in Rome semis

ROME, ITALY - World No. 1 and reigning champion Novak Djokovic, Swiss icon Roger Federer and five-time winner Rafael Nadal were a trio of quarterfinal victors Friday at the $3.145 million Italian Open -- the fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year.

Djokovic straight-setted fifth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-1 in a rematch of the 2008 Australian Open final, which was also won by the super Serb.

The reigning Aussie Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Djokovic dismissed Tsonga in 1 hour, 23 minutes with the help of five service breaks on Day 6.

The two-time Italian Open champion Djokovic beat Nadal in last year's finale and lost to Nadal in the 2009 title tilt here.

Djokovic will meet Federer in Saturday's semifinals.

Fresh off his big Masters title in Madrid last week, a third-seeded Federer handled Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-2 in just 54 minutes.

The former French Open champion and 2011 Roland Garros runner-up Federer improved to 9-0 all-time against Seppi.

The two-time Rome runner-up Federer moved up to No. 2 in the world on Monday after prevailing on the unusual blue clay surface last week in Madrid for his ATP-record-tying 20th Masters title.

The Italian favorite Seppi was a surprise titlist in Belgrade two weeks ago.

The Fed man is on fire, and there's no stopping him.  Hope he can give Djokovic the boot (I'm biased;).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Roger Federer moves past Ferrero in Rome

Roger Federer bounced back from a second-set wobble to sneak past Juan Carlos Ferrero in the third round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

Federer, who was the last man standing at the Madrid Open last week, took one hour 47 minutes to record a 6-2 5-7 6-1 success against Ferrero, a former world No. 1.

He is now one step closer to a first Rome title - but a slump in the second frame, when he looked fatigued and a host of errors crept in, will be of some concern.

Ferrero held his own in the first set until the sixth game, when Federer converted his third break point with a brilliant cross-court forehand winner that just clipped the line. Federer had taken a few games to feel his opponent out, but once he had sussed the Spaniard's strategy, it was one-way traffic - and Ferrero did not seem to have the variety in his locker to pose a different sort of problem. The Swiss maestro took the opening set with a breathtaking backhand that gave him a second break.

Ferrero found his feet again early in the second, trying to play with more aggression in a bid to disrupt his opponent, who was apparently riding a smooth wave to victory. To Ferrero's credit, it seemed to work, as Federer lost a lot of his sharpness, coughing up an uncharacteristic string of unforced errors in the midsection of the second frame to leave the score tied at 4-4 - and the momentum shifting towards Ferrero.

There was nothing between the players in the ninth game, with Federer eventually managing to scrape his way through a nervy service game, but Ferrero got the reward his resurgence merited in the 11th, breaking to move 6-5 up. Ferrero subsequently slipped 0-30 behind, yet showed his resilience to come back and level at one set each.

Federer smoothed off his jagged edges early in the third stanza, grabbing a break in the second game to re-assert his authority, and take some of the steam out of Ferrero's surge. A second break in the sixth game decisively flattened Ferrero, and allowed the world No. 2 - eventually - find his way through to the next round.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Federer continues successful clay season in Rome

Roger Federer made a last-minute decision to enter the Rome Masters, only confirming his presence after one final practice session on Wednesday morning.

But once he got out onto Court Centrale he quickly found his groove against Argentine clay-court specialist Carlos Barlocq.

Federer was coming off a masterful performance in Madrid, where he rose above the clamour about blue clay to land his seventh title in the space of ten tournaments since the US Open. It is the sort of form that makes a return to No 1 in the tennis world eminently possible. And what an achievement that would be, given that Federer will turn 31 during the Olympics.

Any weariness was slow to show against Berlocq, as Federer sprinted off to a 3-0 lead. You had to wait until the 16th point of the match for him to miss his first ball, slightly overcooking an attempt at an off forehand into the corner.

Inevitably, he couldn’t quite sustain such perfection, especially when the swirling wind was blowing clay dust into the players’ faces. But a 6-3, 6-4 win was still a solid outing for a man who has been feeling the effects of his workload.

“I just wanted to see how I felt and if there was anything major,” Federer said after the match. “If this were the last tournament of the season there would be no problem but we have a long summer ahead. This is the beginning of many tournaments in a row and many five-setters in a row, and I think it is important to make very good decisions.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Martina Hingis to participate at AEGON International exhibition in June

Former Wimbledon champions Martina Hingis and Conchita Martinez will make a return to the court at next month’s AEGON International after confirming their entry into the Father’s Day exhibition match at Devonshire Park.

Hingis and Martinez, who won singles titles at The Championships, Wimbledon in 1997 and 1994 respectively, will join Greg Rusedski and Mark Philippoussis in a special legends match on Sunday June 17.

Rusedski and Philippoussis will lock horns in a singles match before pairing up with Hingis and Martinez for a mixed doubles matchup. The matches are part of a packed week at the AEGON International which takes place from 16-23 June.

Five-time Grand Slam champion Hingis said: “I have special memories of playing on the grass from my career and I’m looking forward to playing on the Devonshire Park courts.”

Martinez, a runner-up at Eastbourne in 2003, added: “I have played at Eastbourne many times before and I can’t wait to get back on court.

“I always enjoyed playing at Devonshire Park and I’m sure this year will be a great event.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

Have some coffee Roger Federer style! :)

Because you can never have enough Roger.  I don't drink coffee but watching this makes me wanna become one! :).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

On Mother's Day

A Mother's Love 

There are times when only a Mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears. 

There are times when only a Mother's love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real. 

There are times when only a Mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.

For a Mother's heart and a Mother's faith
And a Mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above. 

~Author Unknown

All hail Roger Federer King of blue clay & Madrid Masters Champion!

Sweetest pic ever :)

Madrid - Roger Federer put his best fighting tennis on display to produce a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Tomas Berdych on Sunday to capture a third Madrid Masters title which will see him usurp Rafael Nadal as world No 2 on Monday.

The Swiss, with 16 Grand Slam titles, will now stand behind Novak Djokovic on Monday on the ATP list after sending Nadal back to third with his winning performance on the controversial blue clay laid down at the Caja Magica.

"I feel amazing," said Federer, who came through on his fourth match point as Berdych ploughed a forehand into the net.

"This is a tough tournament and a brutal draw. I'm playing well and I'm so happy to win this once again."

The 30-year-old went level with Nadal on 20 career titles at Masters 1000 level, with both men sharing the overall record.

Federer, playing in his 104th ATP final, won his 74th title and fourth of the season.

He now stands 11-4 in head-to-head encounters with Berdych, who had beaten him in three of their five most recent matches.

But Federer was having no more of that scenario as he turned in victory in just over two and a half hours with a dozen aces, 44 winners and 30 unforced errors.

Berdych saved three match points in the final game before going down.

"We both played a nice match, but Roger showed why he's the star," said the Czech. "He was able to win in the conditions, it was well done."

Berdych claimed the first set as he dominated with 14 winners and two unforced errors, only to quickly find himself on the other end of a Federer fightback in the second.

The Swiss third seed missed on a set point while serving at 5-3 to level, but stayed in the chase, finally taking the set 7-5 as Berdych double-faulted on set point.

In the third, Federer rallied from 0-30 in his first three service games, then moved into position with a break for 5-3, which was finally achieved after Berdych saved three break points with consecutive aces but then sent over two double-faults in a row to give away the game.

Federer still could not close out the match as he was broken in the next game, 5-4.

The Swiss hung tough through the next two games on serve before finally putting away the win on his fourth match point.

"It's a great feeling to win any event, but especially another here in Madrid," added Federer.

"This is a tough tournament. It was tough to move on the clay but you just get on with it and try to make the best of the situation.

"The level of play was good this week and I'm looking forward to the next few weeks."

In an unexpected post-match ceremony, American film star Will Smith came down from his spectator position to present the winner with the suit he wore in his latest Men in Black film.

Suck on that blue clay naysayers! 

What a sweet victory for Rog, here's to just as much success on the orange clay couple of weeks from now.  

Bring it on French Open, bring it on!.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Roger Federer easily through to the finals at Madrid Masters

Roger Federer moved a step closer to a record-equalling 20th Masters title when he thumped Janko Tipsarevic 6-2 6-3 at the Madrid Open on Saturday to set up a final showdown with Tomas Berdych.

The Swiss maestro, whose 19 Masters titles put him one behind record holder Rafa Nadal, stroked 25 winners on the blue clay of the Manolo Santana show court as he chases a fourth title of the year that would lift him above Nadal to number two in the world.

In breezy conditions, seventh seed Tipsarevic could not reproduce the form that helped him to a shock quarter-final win against top seed and Serbian compatriot Novak Djokovic and has now lost all five of his meetings with Federer.

Federer came into the tournament following a month-long rest and the 30-year-old is looking in ominous form as the world’s top players prepare for the French Open starting in Paris later this month.

The 2009 Roland Garros and Madrid winner has won titles this year in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells and has only lost three times since falling to Djokovic in the U.S. Open semi finals last September.

“I didn’t even know actually about the number two ranking,” the 16-times grand slam singles champion, whose match was watched by Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, told a news conference.

“I’m focused on what I am doing here this week, trying to play well and get on a bit of a roll and I have played better and better as the tournament went on,” he added.

Berdych has lost 10 of his 14 meetings with Federer, but ended his dream of Olympic singles gold in Athens in 2004 and also knocked him out of Wimbledon in the quarter-finals two years ago.

Federer won both their matches on clay, however, at the Hamburg Masters in 2005 and the 2006 French Open.

“It’s going to be a tough match, Berdych is playing well himself and it’s quick conditions so he can be a big threat,” Federer said.

“I hope I can play a clean match on my serve and take it from there but he can really impose his game and that makes him a tough player to play against.

“He got me in two very big matches in my career and I remember those losses vividly and I always think we match up pretty well against each other because of the shot making.”


Djokovic and Nadal have slammed organisers over the introduction of blue clay for this year’s Madrid tournament, which they say creates a dangerously slick surface, and both have threatened not to return next year unless the traditional red dirt is reinstated.

Organisers argue that the blue courts make it easier for television viewers to follow the yellow balls but the players’ complaints may prompt the ATP, the governing body of men’s tennis, to switch back to red clay next year.

Nadal was beaten in the third round by Fernando Verdasco, his first loss to his Spanish compatriot in 14 meetings and his first defeat on clay in 23 matches.

“I always say that the conditions are the same for everyone but it’s there for all to see that’s it very difficult here,” Del Potro told a news conference.

“Afterwards the people in charge of the tournament will decide what they are going to do next year.”

the globe and mail 

Personally I hope the ATP keep the blue clay it seems to benefit everyone but Nadal and Djokovic (ok and apparently Del Potro).  Yet everyone else seems to manage.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Roger Federer rolls into semis at Madrid Masters

Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Janko Tipsarevic stunned world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in an all-Serbian quarterfinal showdown, while world No. 3 Roger Federer advanced in straight sets Friday at the $4 million Madrid Open, an ATP World Tour 1000 Masters event.

The seventh-seeded Tipsarevic upended the defending Madrid champion Djokovic in straight sets, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, in 1 hour, 43 minutes on the slippery blue clay at Madrid's Magic Box. Tipsarevic posted the only break of the match in the second set en route to the upset.

Djokovic went 0-for-7 on his break-point chances in the setback.

Tipsarevic is now 2-4 lifetime against his good friend and fellow Belgrade native. Djokovic bested "Tipsy" in a quarterfinal in Dubai two months ago.

The reigning Australian Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Djokovic beat two-time winner Rafael Nadal in last year's marquee Madrid finale.

Federer is a two-time Madrid champion and two-time runner-up and needed just 82 minutes to defeat Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 to advance into the semifinals where Tipsarevic awaits.

The 30-year-old Switzerland native used seven aces and didn't commit a single double fault while Ferrer saved six of his eight break point opportunities but committed seven double faults in the setback.

Federer is now 13-0 lifetime against Ferrer, including a semifinal win here in Madrid two years ago, and would overtake Nadal for the world No. 2 ranking with a title this weekend.

The 2012 Madrid titlist will earn $770,000.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Federer through into the quarters at Madrid Masters

Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Fernando Verdasco stunned Rafael Nadal in an all-Spanish third-round affair, while Roger Federer was an easy winner Thursday at the $4 million Madrid Open, an ATP World Tour 1000 Masters event.

Meanwhile, the third-seeded Federer blitzed 14th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2 in a mere 58 minutes. The sublime Swiss swatted 10 aces and was not broken on Day 5.

The two-time Madrid champion and two-time runner-up Federer is playing his first clay-court tennis of the year this week. The 30-year-old all-time great would overtake Nadal for the world No. 2 ranking with a title this weekend.

Federer's quarterfinal opponent will be dangerous fifth seed David Ferrer, who went the distance to outlast 11th-seeded fellow Spanish clay-court stalwart Nicolas Almagro, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 7-6 (10-8). Ferrer needed 2 hours, 53 minutes to stave off Almagro, as both players smacked 13 aces in an entertaining outing.

Ferrer was the recent Barcelona runner-up to Nadal.

Federer is 12-0 lifetime against Ferrer, including a semifinal win here in Madrid two years ago.

Roger Federer becomes a street name in Halle Germany

HALLE, Germany (AP) — Roger Federer has had his name on the trophy. Now he has it on the street sign as well.

The town of Halle in western Germany hosts the Gerry Weber Open, a grass court tournament that serves as a Wimbledon warmup.

Federer has won at Halle five times and has a "lifetime contract" with the tournament — if the Swiss great plays a pre-Wimbledon event, then it is the one in Halle.

Since the start of May, a street leading to the stadium, known as Weststrasse, is now called the Roger-Federer-Allee.

Tournament officials released a letter from Federer in which he said he is "extremely humbled" by the gesture, calling it an "amazing honor."

Federer, a former No. 1 now ranked third, has won 16 Grand Slam titles.


I think the question should be what doesn't the man have his name on?.

The list just keeps on growing.  That is pretty awesome though I must say.

Maybe some day there'll be a Roger Federer express way (sorry too easy couldn't resist had to go there).

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Roger Federer toughs it out with Raonic for 3rd round in Madrid Masters

MADRID, Spain — Roger Federer had to use all his guile and experience to battle back from a set down and see off fast-rising Canadian Milos Raonic 4-6 7-5 7-6 in the Madrid Open second round on Wednesday.

The Swiss maestro, after an opening round bye at the Masters claycourt event, was playing his first match since the end of March and only just edged out the big-serving Thornhill, Ont. native, who rocketed down 21 aces on the Manolo Santana show court.

Rafa Nadal made much smoother progress into the last 16, dispatching former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko 6-2 6-2 before joining widespread criticism of the unfamiliar blue courts, a controversial innovation at this year’s tournament.

Third-ranked Federer, who next plays French 14th seed Richard Gasquet, struggled to make any impression on the Raonic serve in the opening set and instead was broken himself in the ninth game before the 21-year-old served out to take the first set.

The Swiss 16-times grand slam singles champion levelled the match thanks to an exquisite drop shot before surviving several scares on his serve in the deciding set and then running away with the tiebreak 7-4 as the young pretender’s nerve failed.

Federer, chasing a fourth title of the year, sealed victory on his first match point with a ripping forehand return that caught the line.

Raonic’s best result before Wednesday was his surprise victory over fourth-ranked Andy Murray at the Barcelona Open last month.

It was his second match against Federer after their clash at the Indian Wells Masters event in March when Raonic, who is ranked 23, also won the first set before losing 6-7 6-2 6-4.

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Quite the seesaw of a match (I honestly thought he was a goner in the 2nd set still not sure how he pulled it off!), but considering what's ahead for Federer probably a good test after such a long time off.

It's nice to see him out on that court again :).

And despite varied opinions on the blue clay (or smurf clay as some refer to it) I really like it makes the yellow ball jump out more when watching on t.v.  easier to see when a player is painting the lines.  Looks pretty cool too.