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 Masters third 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 Kitzbühel 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.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

Roger Federer had to go the distance to book a spot in Swiss Indoors quarters

Roger Federer found himself a set down to Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin for the second consecutive year at the Swiss Indoors Basel, and for a second time Federer worked his way out of trouble to advance to the quarterfinals on home soil.

Federer’s 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory marks the Swiss maestro’s sixth victory in six career battles with the world No. 55, but for the second consecutive time, he was forced to go the distance.

Istomin broke through in the opener, claiming a 4-2 lead on his third break point of the game when he knocked a backhand crosscourt winner at a devilish angle that Federer could not reach. He would save a break point in the next game and ride the momentum to clinch the set. Federer, who is looking to gain much-needed points on world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Basel and can only do so with a title, fought back in the second set, claiming a break in the sixth game when his net approach forced Istomin to sail a backhand well long.

Things would tighten considerably in the third, with an edgy Federer apparently feeling the pressure of playing in front of his adoring hometown fans.

He failed to convert on four break points in Istomin’s first service game, and failed on the first three of the Uzbek’s next, but finally Federer hit his mark when he rifled a backhand down-the-line winner to claim the break. 

With Federer leading 3-2, Istomin’s one opportunity to level would go begging when Federer followed up a pinpoint serve with a forehand drive volley winner. It would be Istomin’s final chance to break. Federer would hold the rest of the way, hammering an ace down the T to close the match in one hour and 47 minutes.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Martina Hingis will stick around as long as she keeps winning, says tennis world

Tennis - There have been several times in Martina Hingis' career when the Swiss Miss has walked away from the game when the chips fell against her. In 2002, Hingis walked away from the game for the first time at the age of 22 just as she found that she had no answers for the power hitting of the Williams sisters and Lindsay Davenport.

She returned to the game in 2006 and while she quickly re-established herself as a Top 10 player, she found out that she was not really a contender for the major titles. A positive test for cocaine in 2007 caused Hingis to walk away from the game for a second time. Even as she maintained her innocence, Hingis said she did not have the energy to fight a long-drawn court case and a result, she was handed a two-year doping suspension.

In 2013, a 32-year-old Hingis decided to return to the tour once again but this time only for doubles. She partnered with Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova but the pair failed to click as a team, winning only 3 matches in 5 events during the American summer hardcourt stretch. While Hingis may not have expected immediate success on her return, the early losses were certainly something she as not ready to deal with. Once again, Hingis packed up for the season and announced that she would think about her plans for the 2015 season.

Hingis failed to enter any of the tournaments during the Australian circuit in January, leading people to wonder if the poor results had caused her to walk away from the game once again. But she did return to the courts in March at the Indian Wells event, only if it was to motivate and encourage Sabine Lisicki - who she had agreed to coach now. While the duo did lose in the first round of Indian Wells, they went on to win the Sony Open in Miami with wins over three top teams.

While the Hingis-Lisicki partnership did not survive when it came to coaching or doubles, perhaps the taste of her first victory in seven years caused Hingis to stick around on the doubles tour. She partnered with Italian Flavia Pennetta and the two reached the finals in Eastbourne.

After a first-round loss at Wimbledon with Vera Zvonareva, Hingis got back with Pennetta and after a couple of early losses, the duo went all the way to the US Open finals.

Hingis seems to have found the right chemistry with Pennetta and the duo claimed titles in Wuhan and Moscow, narrowly missing out on a berth at the WTA Tour Finals in Singapore (they finished ninth just a handful of points behind the eighth placed team). But the recent wins has ensured that Hingis is back in the Top 10 doubles rankings this week as she climbed four spots to No. 9 in the latest WTA rankings.

This is the first time since 2000 that Hingis will finish in the Top 10 of the world doubles rankings. Now 34, the Swiss Miss has already confirmed that she will be back in 2015, albeit for a limited schedule. Tennis fans can be assured of Hingis continuing to play as long as she is able to keep the titles coming. When the wins dry up, Hingis will walk away from the game once again. And this time, it will most likely be forever.

A large part of me wants to disagree, but there's probably some truth in that. 

I'll just have to enjoy every last moment of however long she decides to play.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Roger Federer wins Swiss Indoors opener in Basel

Roger Federer continued his push for the year-end ATP World Tour No. 1 spot on Wednesday when he began his bid for a sixth title at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Top seed Federer improved to 5-0 lifetime against Gilles Muller in a 6-2, 6-1 victory over just 47 minutes on Wednesday evening.

Federer hit 12 winners, including five aces in the 24-minute opener and did not lose any of his service points in the second set.

The Swiss superstar is now 52-9 lifetime at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament, where he has reached 10 finals (5-5 record).

He adds 45 points to his Emirates ATP Race To London tally and now stands 945 points behind No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, who welcomed the arrival of his first child, Stefan, yesterday.

Federer will next meet Denis Istomin in the second round on Thursday.

"He really imposes his game, with a big forehand, backhand and serve," said Federer of Istomin. "He can be dangerous on return too. I have to be sharp on my own service games, which was a problem here against him last year."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Novak Djokovic & wife welcome a baby boy named Stefan

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and wife Jelena Ristic welcomed a healthy baby boy on Tuesday in Nice. The Serb tweeted the news to his followers on Wednesday morning, announcing the baby is called Stefan.

Djokovic is the third father in the Top 5 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, joining Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. His official website posted a statement to confirm the Belgrade native will spend the following few days at home with his family, before travelling to Paris for the BNP Paribas Masters, beginning Monday, 27 October.

Stefan, our baby angel was born! I am so proud of my beautiful wife Jelena! Thank you so much for your love and support. We love you all!!!
~Novak via twitter

The 27-year-old Serbian had announced the pregnancy through social media in April, posting on Facebook, “My dear friends, You've been with me through many tough and good times in my career. I've been blessed to travel the world, play the most beautiful sport that brings me a lot of excitement and joy; I am happy, loved and healthy. Jelena and I are truly blessed to soon become parents! My love is pregnant!”

The two were married in July, four days after Djokovic won his second Wimbledon title.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Roger Federer chance to get closer to year-end #1 at Swiss Indoors in Basel

Home hero Roger Federer and ailing Rafael Nadal will be working to completely different agendas when the Swiss Indoors begins on Monday.

The event, which Basel-born Federer has won five times, marks the penultimate week of the points race to the ATP World Tour Finals in London, beginning in just over three weeks.

The 33-year-old Federer is among those already qualified, along with Novak Djokovic, Nadal, Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka and US Open champion Marin Cilic.

Federer, who has played the last eight finals at the St Jakobshalle – he stands 37-3 at home – looks to close in on the year-end No 1 ranking held by Djokovic.

Nadal, meanwhile, will be desperately seeking some reassurance.

The nine-time French Open winner has not played in Federer’s backyard for a decade and missed last year with fatigue after signing a three-year appearance fee contract in 2012 which he has yet to start honouring.

Even with an appendix which will require surgery in the coming weeks, the 28-year-old Spaniard looks determined to at least make an attempt at an appearance for Swiss fans as he searches for his first win in the city after losses in 2003 and 2004.

Nadal’s camp says they will decide with doctors after Basel whether or not the world No 3 should play the Paris Masters or go for surgery on his painful appendix which he has been treating with antibiotics.

Basel will be crucial in shaking out the race for the remaining places in the field at the eight-man World Tour Finals showpiece.

Federer begins in the first round against Luxembourg veteran Gilles Muller while Nadal takes on a qualifier.

Third seed Wawrinka starts against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan who was a semi-finalist in Moscow on Saturday.

Milos Raonic takes the fourth seeding with the Canadian hoping to have recovered from illness which compromised his last two events, in Shanghai and Moscow. He plays American Steve Johnson.

Fellow year-end contender Grigor Dimitrov is seeded fifth ahead of Ernests Gulbis, number seven David Goffin and eighth seed Ivo Karlovic.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Martina Hingis & Flavia Pennetta win Kremlin Cup doubles title in Moscow!

(AGI) Moscow, Oct 18 - Flavia Pennetta and Martina Hingis won the women's doubles at the Kremlin Cup, a WTA Premier tournament with 710,000 dollars in prize money under way on the hard courts of Moscow's Olympic Stadium. 

The Italian-Swiss doubles champions, number two in the seeding, defeated by 6-3 7-5 the pair made up by France's Caroline Garcia and Spain's Arantxa Parra Santonja, number four in the seeding. 

This is the season's second title for Pennetta and Hingis after their win in Wuhan, although they failed to qualify for the speciality for the Masters tournament by a hair's breadth. . .

40 titles and number 9 in doubles, again not bad for 34! :). Congrats ladies!.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Age is not slowing down Roger Federer, says Novak Djokovic

Shanghai: Novak Djokovic said age was not slowing down Roger Federer after his straight-sets humbling by the 33-year-old Swiss at the Shanghai Masters on Saturday.

The Serbian world number one, 27, could only marvel as 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer downed him 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals to climb to number two in the rankings.

Federer's win against the two-time defending champion, who was on a 28-match winning streak in China, also helped atone for his five-set loss to Djokovic in this year's Wimbledon final.

"I think he's playing as good as ever. I think age does not really matter in his case," Djokovic said. (Federer Super Excited About India Trip)

"This tonight is definitely one of the best matches he has played against me, that's for sure... You know, every time I had a chance he just stepped in and made a winner," he added.

Federer is six years older than Djokovic and also has four children. The Serb said he first priority now was to welcome his first child with his wife, Jelena.

"My plan is now to go back home and hopefully become a father," he said.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Roger Federer feels honored and privileged to play in India

Most successful tennis player of all time, Roger Federer, has said that it will be an honor and privilege to play in India and he has also shared that he can’t wait to go to the Asian country as he has always dreamed of going there.

Times of India quote Federer as saying, "For me going to India is like going to South America, like I felt in my initial years. It feels unreal because you've wanted it to happen for so long, and then finally it's happening."

Federer will be in New Delhi in December to take part in the inaugural edition of International Premier Tennis League which is an initiative of Indian tennis legend Mahesh Bhupathi. The Swiss star will be representing Indian Aces at the intercity event.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner has some good knowledge about India as he said, 

"I understand that the north of India is very different from the south, culturally, languages, the food you eat and the clothes you wear. It would be impossible to experience all of India at one go. Whenever I speak to Indians anywhere in the world I notice that they speak of their country with a great sense of pride, which is very nice, very sweet. You all have a great history.”

Though, it will not be Federer’s first trip to the country which has a vast history. The 33-year-old visited the state of Tamil Nadu on the second anniversary of Tsunami in 2006. The Swiss player had loved the experience and he had promised that he would visit the country again.

Federer added, "I would love one day to travel across your great country and experience all there is to experience. My last trip to Chennai and then Pondicherry for relief work was incredible. My wife Mirka was also with me that time. I have great memories of India."

The world number two said that he will do much more in India than just playing tennis. He stated, 

"I can't wait to walk out on to the court, to see the fans, feel the energy. It's an honour and a privilege. Playing in India is something I've always dreamt of. But again my India trip will be so much more than just tennis. That's India really. It's got to be more than just tennis."

When Federer announced his decision to join IPTL and travel to India, he asked his fans to photo shop him at India’s must see places and then we were able to see some amazing and funny pictures (Click here to see some of them).

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kim Clijsters new role post retirement

Former No. 1 Kim Clijsters will begin a new role in her busy life after retiring from pro tennis - tournament director.

The four-time Grand Slam champion will oversee the return of the BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games in Antwerp, Belgium. The WTA Premier-level indoor event will make its return next year on February 9th.

The event originally ran from 2002 to 2009 in the same city.

One of the unique features of the event is that any player who wins the title twice in three years receives a special gold and diamond tennis trophy vauled at $1.5 million dollars.

"Believe me, that makes this tournament particularly attractive for the female tennis players!" Clijsters said about the special trophy. "Our first goal is to set up the strongest possible competition, including some of the biggest stars in tennis and several players from the Top 20.

Only Amelie Mauresmo of France achieved winning the special trophy in 2005 to 2007 during the tournament's first run.

Clijsters retired from tennis in 2012 at the US Open. In 2013, she gave birth to her second child, Jack.

- See more at:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Roger Federer 1st time Shanghai Rolex Masters champion!

Roger Federer claimed the elusive Shanghai Rolex Masters crown on Sunday as he won his 23rd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title with a 7-6(6), 7-6(2) victory over Gilles Simon.

The Swiss will return to World No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday and victory in Shanghai sees him close the gap on Novak Djokovic in the battle to finish year-end World No. 1.

The 33-year-old Federer captured his fourth title of the season and his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, having also triumphed at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Ferrer). Rafael Nadal is the all-time titles leader with 27 Masters 1000 trophies, but Federer leads the way with a 309-89 win-loss record in this category.

Federer had nearly been beaten at the first hurdle in Shanghai. Returning after a three-week break, the Swiss was forced to save five match points against Leonardo Mayer in a dramatic second-round contest at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center.

"It makes me very happy winning here because this tournament means a lot to me," said Federer. "I've always enjoyed coming here. I've come close a couple of times, but I've always wanted to win it as a Masters 1000.

"I feel unbelievable prestige to win this event. Especially putting my hands on the trophy for the first time is a good feeling, I must say. I'm very happy with the way I'm playing. Overall I'm just extremely happy right now."

After a stellar performance to beat Djokovic in Saturday’s semi-finals, Federer vowed he would not suffer a letdown against Simon, but struggled early on. The Swiss contributed three unforced errors as Simon broke his serve in the first game of the final, but rallied from 3-5 down to draw level in the opener. Federer was denied two set points as Simon trailed 5-6, 15/40, as the Frenchman dug deep to force a tie-break.

Federer then relinquished a 5-3 lead in the tie-break as Simon fought back to earn a set point at 6-5. Federer quickly dispelled the danger with two unreturned serves, and clinched his third set point chance with a backhand pass up the line.

Simon left the court for a medical timeout on his injured groin at the end of the first set, but returned to frustrate Federer once more in the second set. The Frenchman denied Federer on chance after chance, saving two break points in the third game and another in the seventh game.

The right-hander then had the chance to force a decider as he drew a backhand error from Federer to lead 40/15 on the Swiss’ serve at 5-6. Two forehand errors from Simon granted Federer a reprieve on the set points, though, and the Basel native made sure he capitalised on his momentum. He opened up a 6-2 lead in the tie-break and converted his first match point as Simon netted his shot after one hour and 53 minutes. The match was played under a closed roof due to high winds in Shanghai.

Federer earned 1000 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $798,540 in prize money as he improved to a 5-2 lead over Simon in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

The 29-year-old Simon was bidding to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, having finished runner-up to Andy Murray in his first final six years ago in Madrid, when the event was held on indoor hard. After returning to the Top 30 in the Emirates ATP Rankings this week after a semi-final showing in Tokyo (l. to Raonic), former World No. 6 Simon is now projected to climb back into the Top 20 at No. 19 on Monday.

"He was just more opportunistic," said Simon. "We had a close match. I had a set point in the first, two in the second. It's just a few points deciding it, and he was always really good on these points. He played some great shots.

"He's putting a lot of pressure. He's always showing you that he is ready to be really aggressive on every shot. So he keeps you under pressure."

The Frenchman had knocked out two Barclays ATP World Tour Finals contenders in reaching the Shanghai final, upsetting Stan Wawrinka in the second round and Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals. He has a 27-23 win-loss record in 2014.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Roger Federer ends Djokovic streak to move into Shanghai Rolex Masters Final

Roger Federer produced what could be his best tennis of the year to upset Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 in their semi-final Saturday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

In their 36th meeting, Federer snapped the two-time defending champion’s 28-match win streak on Chinese soil as he reached his 39th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and stays in pursuit of Djokovic for the year-end World No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking.

The Swiss, who will return to World No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, will face Gilles Simon in the final, hoping to win his first title in Shanghai on his second try (l. to Andy Murray in the 2010 final). The Frenchman defeated Feliciano Lopez to reach his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final (l. to Murray in Madrid in 2008). Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 4-2.

“I'm not going to come into the match and play terrible,” said Federer. “It just won't happen - not in the finals, not against Simon. That's the confidence I have right now.”

With victory in Sunday’s final, Federer would narrow the gap between him and Djokovic in the battle to finish as year-end World No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings this season, with 1000 point still up for grabs at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris and 1,500 points at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

In his 52nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final, Federer needed just one break point to take the lead and eventually the first set in 48 minutes. The 22-time Masters 1000 champion broke the World No. 1 again in the opening game of the second set and maintained the one-game lead. The Serbian saved two match points on his serve before Federer served out the match in one hour and 35 minutes.

Federer faced and saved only one break point the entire match, hit 35 winners, seven aces, and won 20 of 35 points at the net.

This 36th meeting tied Djokovic and Federer for second with Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe for Most Open Era Match-Ups. With the win, Federer now leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 19-17.

“I think I did not play too bad,” said Djokovic, whose win streak in China included his two Masters 1000 titles in Shanghai (2012, 2013) and three straight titles in Beijing (five overall). “It's just that he played everything he wanted to play. He played the perfect match. I think he's going to tell you how he felt, but that's how I felt he played. He played an amazing match.”

“It was a great match, I agree,” said Federer, who will play for his 81st tour-level title on Sunday. “I think I played very well. There was nothing in the game today that wasn't working. I think it was a high-level match. I'm unbelievably happy with the way it went.”

A win for Simon would put him in a small group of players not named Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal or Murray who have won an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in the past 41 tournaments.

The four aforementioned players have accounted for 37 titles, the only exceptions being Robin Soderling in Paris (2010), David Ferrer in Paris (2012), Stan Wawrinka in Monte-Carlo (2014) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Toronto (2014).

Roger Federer sets up semis clash with Novak Djokovic at Shanghai Rolex Masters

Roger Federer continues his quest for his first Shanghai Rolex Masters crown after defeating Julien Benneteau 7-6(4), 6-0 on Friday for a spot in the semi-finals..

In his 52nd Masters 1000 semi-final, Federer will face two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic, who defeated Barclays ATP World Tour Finals hopeful David Ferrer earlier on Friday to win his 28th straight match on Chinese soil.

Federer, who will overtake Rafael Nadal as World No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, hit 11 aces and 34 winners in the 69-minute match.

"I thought I played very well against Bautista Agut, but maybe tonight was a bit better,” said Federer. "Especially once I got in the lead, it's nice to have those great 10, 15 minutes where you can stretch it, really. That's what I was able to do. So this probably was my best match so far."

Federer and Djokovic have met on 35 occasions, with the 17-time Grand Slam champion leading their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 18-17. Djokovic beat Federer in their last hard-court meeting in March in the final at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells.

“Roger is one of the best players ever in the game,” said Djokovic. “There is no clear favourite. I think every time we play against each other, it's a thriller. It's really a big challenge for both of us. We need to bring our ‘A’ game in order to win.”

"I think we always play tough against each other," said Federer about Djokovic. "I think we're both in good shape right now. We both enjoy playing here in Shanghai.

“He's playing a great season again. I'll give it the best shot I have. I think I have a good game at the moment. It is my first tournament back after vacation, so I really hope I can come up with some good shotmaking and solid play because that's what it's going to require against him. There are not that many secrets out there. We've played each other too many times at this point."

Friday, October 10, 2014

Maura Tierney talks about her new cable drama "The Affair"

Maura Tierney is dipping her toe into unfamiliar waters, and we're not talking about those off the shore of Montauk; the Emmy nominee is heading to cable with The Affair.

Tierney spent almost 10 years on ER, NBC's hit medical drama. Before that there was nearly 100 episodes of the comedy NewsRadio. Stints on Rescue Me, The Good Wife and a short-lived legal drama The Whole Truth followed, but now Tierney is heading to Showtime for the provocative new drama costarring Dominic West, Ruth Wilson and Joshua Jackson.

"Initially, I had really wanted to work on cable television. I was on network TV for about 15 years or so, which I loved. I was on two amazing shows on network, but I've never worked without those kinds of constraints, so I really wanted to work in that environment," Tierney said.

The Affair tells the story of, well, an affair. Tierney plays Helen, the wife to Noah (West), and mom to four kids. The show tells the story of Noah's affair with Alison (Wilson) from their two points of views. And for Tierney, her first cable drama starts off with a bang.

You kick it right off with a sex scene.

Yes, I know, I know! I was more thinking about the subject matter freedom, not that, but that was really interesting to me. Sarah Treem, who wrote it, I think is really talented, she's a playwright. I think she's a wonderful writer. I like that the show is built around the two different perspectives of the two characters.

Will we ever see your perspective?

I believe…I'm not sure because I don't ask any questions. Some of the other cast members ask questions, I don't just because, I don't know, I'm OK not to. But I do believe if the show continues to next season…the viewpoints will expand. Not just to me, but to some of the other characters.

Right. As I watched I was wondering, "How many seasons can this last?"

I think the whole thing is going to be a memory piece. That's what's special about it, I think. I think two things: It's special that it's a memory piece and that it's a difference between a feminine and masculine perspective on events, a memory. I like that.

When I watched, I vaguely knew what the show was about, but I didn't realize it'd be split. Everything, down to the clothes was different.

That's what's fun about it. It's not just they remember different—everything's different. I get to play two different characters, sort of, which is really fun.

Do you prefer one perspective to the other?

I like it when I'm in Ruth's [Wilson] perspective because it's more of a stretch for me. In her character's perspective, I'm very chic and intimidating and kind of cold…It's fun to play. It's not like me, but it's more fun because she's a little bit of a bitch. I like that. Not so much in the pilot, but down the line.

The Affair seems like something I have ever seen on broadcast or cable.

Yeah! I think it's really, really fun.

Is that what kind of drew you to the project specifically?

Yes. I liked the writing a lot and like that I essentially get to play two different versions of the same person.

It's definitely provocative.


I think that's the right word.

No, I think it is.

What's your elevator pitch to people?

This is what I say: It's called The Affair, it's about an affair. [Laughs.] It is what I say!

The subject matter, adultery, can turn people off in a way. Did that worry you at all?

No. Does it turn people off?

I feel like it does sometimes. Like, happily married people?

But sometimes happily married people—someone has an affair. There are weird statistics that sometimes when infidelity occurs, the person who cheats says, ‘I was happy in my marriage.' It's a mysterious thing what keeps people together...I think infidelity is difficult, monogamy is difficult and marriage is difficult. It's sort of like, what's that little trip wire that makes the thing happen, that goes wrong?

At this point, do you prefer drama or comedy?

I've been doing dramas for a long time. Actually, this year I was looking to do a comedy. I thought it'd be really fun, that's the stuff I was reading. Then I was offered this role and it was too good to not take. I do miss comedy, yeah. But I try to be funny on the show. You'll see, my character is kind of funny.

TV revivals are all the rage these days.


Would you ever do an ER TV movie?

I mean, probably not. I don't know, it depends on who wrote it...They did it already!

The 20th anniversary is coming up.

Note: This interview occurred prior to the 20th anniversary of ER's premiere in September]

Yeah, but when they ended the show everybody came back. I feel like they did that already.

You never know.   Strange things have happened, especially lately. Do you want to add anything about The Affair?

I think it's going to be a really fun show. The idea is to have the audience not know who to root for, which couples to root for. Hopefully we'll do that and hopefully it'll be fun.

The Affair premieres Sunday, Oct. 12 at 10 p.m. on Showtime. You can watch the first full (edited) episode now below.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Roger Federer battles hard in first match at Shanghai Rolex Masters

Roger Federer saved five match points on Wednesday as he opened his quest for a first Shanghai Rolex Masters title.
The third seed, who finished runner-up to Andy Murray in the 2010 final, beat Leonardo Mayer in a 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(7) second-round victory, which lasted two hours and 42 minutes.
"I think I got unbelievably lucky today," said Federer, who went on to call it his "greatest escape thus far".
It was the second-most match points he has saved in his career. Federer saved seven match points in his 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(10) first-round win over Scott Draper at the 2003 Western & Southern Open.
Federer will play No. 14 seed Roberto Bautista Agut during Thursday’s night session.
Mayer led 3-1, 40/15 in the first set, but Federer dug himself out of trouble. Federer saved one set point when Mayer served at 5-4 and he finally converted his fifth break point opportunity when his Argentine opponent hit a forehand into the net. Federer won four straight games to clinch the 61-minute opener.
Mayer immediately bounced back, breaking Federer in the first game of the second set. He committed just eight unforced errors and won 80 per cent of his first service points to take their first meeting to a decider.

Federer, who began to serve and volley, saved two match points from 4-5, 15/40 in the third set. Mayer will particularly rue missing a short backhand, with Federer at the net, on his first opportunity. Federer saved the second with a big forehand down the line.
Mayer led 5/2 in the tie-break, but could not convert three more match point chances at 6/4 and 7/6. Federer clinched his first match point opportunity with a stunning lob winner.
Mayer is now 1-17 lifetime against members of the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
"Wasn't quite happy with the way I was playing at times," admitted Federer, who was making his first main draw appearance since the US Open. "I was trying to go for an all-time record of missed volleys tonight... The eyes weren't following balls perfectly, I wasn't reading the plays maybe as easily as I was before my vacation.
"But every match I get, every minute I spend more on the court is going to be helpful. I'm happy I get another chance today."
Federer has an ATP World Tour-best 57-10 match record on the season, which includes three titles at Dubai (d. Berdych), Halle (d. Falla) and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati (d. Ferrer). He is attempting to lift the 81st trophy of his career this week.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Roger Federer could go back to #2 in the world after Shanghai Masters

No. 3 Roger Federer is poised for a boost in his world ranking as he prepares for the impending Shanghai Rolex Masters. With Novak Djokovic locked into the No. 1 seed, only 285 points separate Federer from No. 2 Rafael Nadal, according to the updated ATP singles rankings.

Federer is in perfect position to strike, and he will do just that.

After winning in Cincinnati and putting on an impressive display at the U.S. Open, the Swiss earned some much-needed time off before he makes the final push for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Due to the impressive form Federer displayed earlier this season, he carries plenty of confidence and momentum into Shanghai.

Federer's confidence was on display when speaking during a press conference, via

Of course, the wish is to win the tournament here. I've never been able to win it other than the Masters Cup here, but never when it was a Masters 1000.

That is the goal, no doubt about it. I feel my game is good enough now, but the field is very strong. Tough draws for all the top guys. A lot of guys are fighting to get into the race for the World Tour Finals in London, so there's a lot of pressure on many of the guys.

Adding to Federer's high comfort level in Shanghai was an enormous greeting upon his arrival, via Live Tennis:

Fans Flock to see as he arrives at Shanghai airport
While Federer's confidence appears to be off the charts, the same can't be said for Nadal. The Spaniard has struggled in his return to tennis following a wrist injury.

Having not played in a competitive tournament since Wimbledon—where he was upset in the Round of 16 by Nick Kyrgios—Nadal entered the China Open in Beijing with unfavorable results.

After defeating Richard Gasquet and Peter Gojowczyk, the world No. 2 faced Martin Klizan in the quarterfinal. Nadal won a first-set tiebreak; however, a match total of 37 unforced errors and just 21 winners from the Spaniard allowed Klizan to take the final two sets.

During a press conference after the loss, via, Nadal almost appeared to have lost faith in the remainder of the season, "I am going to work hard with the right attitude to play better than what I did today. I will be happy if I finish the season and I am able to take a one-and-a-half-week holiday, then practice for one month in perfect conditions to try to start the next season with positive feelings."

SI Tennis also noted Nadal's lowered expectations going forward:

Rafael Nadal tempers expectations after China Open loss to qualifier 

Nadal has never won a title in Shanghai, and his current condition—both mental and physical—doesn't bode well for his chances to acquire the feat. This presents Federer with a big opportunity to leapfrog him in the world rankings.

In ATP Masters 1000 events, 1,000 points goes to the winner, 600 is awarded for reaching the finals, 360 to the semifinals, 180 for the quarterfinals, 90 for the Round of 16, 45 for the Round of 32 and 10 for the Round of 64, according to

Should Federer continue the torrid pace he was on before vacationing and Nadal's struggles force him out early once more, there will be a change in the pecking order by the tournament's conclusion. All signs indicate that this is a likely scenario.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Martina Hingis & Flavia Pennetta in the running for BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore

Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova weren't able to seal their spot in the doubles field at Singapore, but they and two other teams still have a chance to secure one of the two remaining berths.

Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova had a chance to clinch a berth at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global with a semifinal win at the China Open on Friday, but fell short.

Therefore, the last two qualifying teams for Singapore won't be confirmed until at least next week.

In addition to Kudryavtseva and Rodionova, Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez Navarro and Martina Hingis and Flavia Pennetta are still in contention.

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, Cara Black and Sania Mirza, Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears and Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik have already secured spots.

Errani and Vinci, defending WTA Finals champions Hsieh and Peng, Makarova and Vesnina and Peschke and Srebotnik have teamed up before in the WTA Finals, while the remaining qualifiers and potential qualifiers would be playing in the season finale together for the first time.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Roger Federer & Stan Wawrinka to play exhibition match in December

Swiss tennis fans in Zurich are in for a pre-Christmas treat as their two best players Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are joining forces for an Exhibition night on behalf of the Roger Federer Foundation.

The pair, who are the most successful players of all time will be playing for The Match for Africa 2, following on from the first successful exhibition night held four years ago, to sell-out crowds, in Hallenstadion in Zurich.

"I'm looking forward to playing Stan in Zurich in late December. It will be a fantastic evening and I hope we can meet a large number of our fans and play a great match,” said Federer, as the planned night has already received a warm response from Swiss fans.

Wawrinka will be making his first appearance, after scooping his first Grand Slam title in Australia and backing that up later in the year with his first Masters title in Monte Carlo, as well a being part of the Davis Cup team that will contest the final later this year against France.

"It's always a pleasure to be on the court with Roger,” he said, “and I'm looking forward to being part of a great night of tennis for an even more important cause. Helping children in need is something that means a lot to me."

As well as the top flight tennis on show, there will be a group of nine performers from Southern Africa and a Swiss performer, who not only sings, but plays tennis joining the musical part of the night.

The Match for Africa 2 will take place on Sunday 21 December.