Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Martina Hingis & doubles partner Sania Mirza continue winning streak at Miami Open

Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza continued their unbeaten start to life together after coming through a tougher-than-expected second round test at the Miami Open.

MIAMI, FL, USA – Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza continued their unbeaten start to life together after coming through a tougher-than-expected second round test at the Miami Open.

In their first tournament together, the Hingis-Mirza partnership gelled immediately, romping to victory in Indian Wells without dropping a set.

On Sunday evening they took on Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska, and initially looked set for another routine victory.

However, Dabrowski and Rosolska had no intention of going quietly, battling back from 4-1 down to come within a point of pocketing the set.

They were left to rue this missed opportunity – and the 5-2 lead they let slip in the subsequent tie-break – as the top seeds eventually prevailed, 7-6(6), 6-4.

Also through to the quarterfinals are Hingis and Mirza’s victims in the Indian Wells final, Ekaterina Makrova and Elena Vesnina. Seeded No.2, the experienced Russian pairing survived their own scare in the first round, requiring a match tie-break to see off Michaella Krajicek and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. It was business as usual next time out as the eased past Daniela Hantuchova and Karin Knapp, 6-2, 6-2.

In contrast to Indian Wells, where five of the eight seeds failed to make it past the second hurdle, surprises have been few and far between at Crandon Park. No.3 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears have been the only casualties thus far, losing to Vera Dushevina and María José Martínez Sánchez in the opening round.

For Martínez Sánchez, it was an impressive return to action, in her first match since becoming a mother at the end of 2013.

Before her maternity leave, the Spaniard was a regular contender for the game’s biggest titles, winning the WTA Finals in 2009 and three Grand Slam semifinals alongside former partner Nuria Llagostera Vives.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Roger Federer says he'll spend 25 minutes total thinking about loss at Indian Wells

Federer was beaten 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2 by the Serbian world number one, and admitted his frustration at not getting closer to a victory having fought back into the match in fine style.

The Swiss legend was down a set and a break and looked in danger of a huge defeat, but with the crowd cheering his every winner he broke back and then won the second set tie-break - only to get comprehensively dismantled in the final set.

“I definitely felt like they [the fans] wanted to see a third set,” Federer said with a smile.

"I was hoping that was not just for the match itself but for me personally. I hope it was like that, but if it's not, it's cool, too. I get it. They want to see more tennis or more drama."

Having squared things up Federer admitted that he thought he could go all the way and win his 24th Masters series title.

“I was getting the upper hand from the baseline,” he said. “I was making every return, first and second serve, so overall it was the perfect thing to happen.

"That's why I'm even more disappointed that it ended up finishing the way it did. For me, it was totally against the way the match was going.

“He found an extra gear in the end. It was tough. I enjoyed the match; it had a bit of everything. Controlled aggression was the key out there to try to play like that from the baseline.”

Federer insisted that he would not dwell on the defeat, however.

"I’m not going to look back on that match, on that moment very long. That will be forgotten probably in 25 minutes or so," he said.

" When I walk out of here, I will be like, ’It was a good tournament.’ I had a great run, a good start to the season, and wished and hoped I could have won today.

"Novak was tough and he played very well. He deserved it, and I will respect that."

For his part, Djokovic was not concerned about losing the second set - despite having done so by giving up a break, and subsequently double-faulting twice at a critical moment in the tie-break.

"We are all humans,” said the eight-times Grand Slam winner.

"We all fall under pressure sometimes. It's completely normal, even though I have had so much experience.

"Roger, as well. Today at 3-2 in the third, he made a double fault to give me the break. So it does happen; it's normal on this level with this kind of intensity and competitive spirit that is out there."

The Serbian was happier to focus on his third-set turnaround to get things going his way once more as he collected his 50th career title.

“I managed to regroup. I managed to overcome that frustration of handing that tie-break to him with three [total] double faults in crucial moments.

"But, you know, that's sport. Under pressure sometimes these things happen and it's important to regroup, bounce back and focus on next one...

"It's great that I managed to win this match in the big tournament and to win it in a way that I felt like I was the better player on the court…

"I am at the prime of my career. I'm going to try to use every part of this fact to stay where I am and to fight for as many major titles as possible. I know that my career, as any other career, cannot go forever.

"I don't play only for myself. I play for my family, friends, my country, the people around the world that support me... I basically attract from that a lot of inspiration to play and work hard."

Sunday, March 29, 2015

How Martina Hingis resurrected her career and remained a champion

When Martina Hingis began yet another comeback on the WTA Tour, she wasn't just returning to play tennis again -- she was returning to win again.

"That's my nature," she said during the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells earlier this month. "When I first started, it was like, 'OK, am I ready enough, am I good enough?' That's what actually got me back.

"I wouldn't do it if I didn't feel like I still had game."

It's more than a feeling. The 34-year-old from Switzerland teamed up with Sania Mirza for the first time at Indian Wells last week and won the title. This after winning the mixed doubles title with Leander Paes at the Australian Open and the women's doubles title in Brisbane playing with Sabine Lisicki.

All this is an unlikely career twist for Hingis, who spent 209 weeks as the No. 1 singles player in the world and won five solo Grand Slam titles, the last coming 16 years ago at the at the 1999 Australian Open. 

But Hingis is committed to her doubles career, and even if today's matches don't come with the same attention and tension as her big singles performances, they're not taken lightly.Hingis now stands at No. 5 in the WTA Tour's doubles rankings. 

With the top team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci deciding to go their separate ways, it seems likely that Mirza, who is ranked third, and Hingis could be the best team in the world in short order. Hingis and Mirza are the No. 1 seeds this week at the Miami Open, a tournament Hingis won last year alongside Lisicki.

"No, this is still part of my career," Hingis said. "People pay attention. I consider myself fortunate to be in this position, still being able to play tennis competitively."

The former teenage prodigy first walked away from the game in 2002 and returned a couple of years later before retiring again in 2007, having won a few tournaments in her comeback but falling well short of the success she enjoyed the first time around. 

Then came some horse riding, marriage, divorce, a bit of coaching. She decided in 2013 to make a return to doubles, where she also had once excelled, reaching No. 1 and winning nine Grand Slam doubles titles in the first iteration of her career. While her skillful game could be squashed by the increasing power and physicality of the women's game in singles, the movement, creativity and net play of doubles suits her well.

"It's a treat to play with Martina," Paes said following their win at the Australian Open. "Martina is such a smart tennis player and she knows exactly what movements I'm going to do; I know what movements she's going to do."

Mirza agrees, saying Hingis is enjoying success again because of her abilities and competitiveness, not her reputation.

"She had a couple of retirements and stuff but she has an amazing understanding of the game," said the 28-year-old Mirza, who reached a career-high ranking of 27th in singles in 2007. "She reads the game really well on court and I'm able to learn some stuff from her as well.

"Nothing comes easy, no matter if you've been a champion or not. You still have to fight for each point. ... Names don't win you matches."

Indeed, Hingis has had to work her way back up, spending almost two seasons trying to get back in the business of winning big titles. The idea of coming back began when she was coaching young talent Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova as part of her work with the Mouratoglou Academy, a place since made famous by Serena Williams

Playing a practice match with Pavlyuchenkova against top doubles players Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, the player-coach combo won -- "This is actually pretty cool. I still got it," Hingis told herself -- which prompted her to agree to one of the occasional requests from friend and fellow player Daniela Hantuchova to join her in a doubles draw. 

Of course, the tour Hingis returned to was not quite the same as the one she had left, not least in the way players communicate. "Do you guys talk? Everyone is on the phone all the time," she asked the younger players in the locker room.

As for on the court, Hingis and Hantuchova had only limited success. Hingis had taken up coaching the big-serving Lisicki when the German asked her coach to play doubles so she could get some more matches. "So I wasn't really prepared for that, but we actually played quite well. I started feel more comfortable on the court," Hingis said.

The two fell in the first round in their first tournament last year at Indian Wells, but then won the title at the Miami Open. The thrill of lifting a trophy led Hingis to drop coaching and make a full commitment to doubles. Teaming with Flavia Pennetta, Hingis reached the final of the US Open last year.

Then, in March, Hingis and Mirza -- who has focused solely on doubles since 2012 -- announced that they would be teaming up. Days later, they were hoisting that trophy at Indian Wells. Hingis had previously teamed with primarily singles players, and the advantages to playing with a doubles specialist were immediately apparent.

"Now we can practice against who we play," Hingis said. "And we practice doubles."

Hingis, who in 1996 became the youngest player to win a Wimbledon title when she teamed with Helena Sukova, also sees her experience as an advantage.

"I see the court quite well," said Hingis, adding that many of her opponents don't know how to adjust to the doubles court. "They're like two singles girls playing doubles together. They don't know how to move together."

Hingis also is enjoying the perks of being back on the circuit; her more relaxed, doubles-only schedule allows her to soak up the atmosphere and amenities of the tour in a way she couldn't when she was at the top of the game.

"It's a great life," she said, gesturing at the bright desert landscape surrounding the Indian Wells tournament. "It's beautiful to be here, it's sunny. A lot of people would like to change the lifestyle with us. We're in the sun playing tennis like the whole year.

"People, they come here on vacation, and we get to do our job here."

But she is enjoying winning even more than the weather, satisfying her competitive instincts and champion's desire on the court in a way she couldn't in retirement.

"As long as it goes well, and I'm happy and healthy playing, I'd rather win the championships in doubles than playing one or two matches in the singles," she said. "Because physically, I couldn't cope with it any more. So that's why I'd rather practice as much as I can and be competitive in the doubles."

As for what keeps her coming back, Hingis says tennis is where she belongs.

"Well, this is kind of my family too," she said. "Like, this is coming back to a place where I feel comfortable, confident, respected. That's all you can ask for."

That, and a few additions to her already large trophy case. She's now getting those as well.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The new Indian Wells tennis balls are not liked by the top elite

In 2014, the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells was named the ATP’s Tournament of the Year. Judging by the reactions of some top players, it may not receive the same distinction in 2015, not because the tournament is any less accommodating or the facilities have gone downhill or the fans have been any less than wonderful, but because the tennis balls in use have left players complaining and uneasy.

The Penn balls in use this year are evidently different than they’ve been in the past, a development that hasn’t been popular amongst players. Three of the world’s top four men have complained about the ball when asked about it in press.

Roger Federer:

I think I talked about that yesterday, that I just felt like it was tough for me to control the ball. [Andreas] Seppi said the same thing at the net, just like not really feeling the balls. Normally you put too much spin on the ball you shank it. Sometimes is it just flies on you. I think it’s been a difficult tournament for many players, because as you progress in the tournament you get more match court time, you get used to the balls better.

Rafael Nadal, who has expressed dissatisfaction with Penn balls in the past:

“With a normal ball during day and night there is differences, but with that ball is completely dramatic how the things change. During the day especially the ball is very, like you are touching a stone. There is no feeling. […]

“The other day the ball make big change with the weather conditions. Ball today was softer, bigger. The whole day yesterday was very small and very hard. No control. Today you have more control of the ball.”

Andy Murray said the difficulties on the court included the ball, but agreed with Nadal that court conditions and the time of day play a part as well.

Nadal, for his part, is baffled that a brand which has made good balls in the past suddenly can’t:

“Because if it’s a new brand creating new ball, you can understand that they make not a bad ball. But the same brand five years ago had a great ball, very good ball. Is difficult to understand why today they are not able to do it.”

Frankly, it’s never made any sense that different tournaments use different tennis balls. The Australian Open and U.S. Open use Wilson, the French Open currently goes with Babolat and Wimbledon has been playing Slazinger balls since 1902. In theory, these balls are expected to conform to the same standards, but like with golf balls, there are subtle variations in each.

It all comes down to money, of course, and manufacturers pay a premium to have their balls used at various tournaments, which makes sense. 

If I’m a 4.5 player looking for a good ball to play with, seeing the ones used by the pros might compel me to make that choice. 

That’s why all golfers, from scratch to 20 handicap, want Titleist ProV1s. But if a tennis ball manufacturer is going to pay for the privilege and then get complaints the entire tournament, maybe it’s not worth it after all.

Or maybe Rafael Nadal should just chill out for once and play the tournament without complaining about the conditions.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Williams sisters name Martina Hingis as one of their greatest rivals

Venus and Serena Williams continue to solidify their status as the most successful sister act in sports.

Which players do the Williams sisters regard as the best they've ever faced?

Given the fact both Venus and Serena have played the best of the best of each generation for the past two decades, it's not a question that's easily answered.

Both Venus and Serena named two Hall of Famers who have hit the courts in Indian Wells this week,Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport, as the best non-Williams opponents.

Both Grand Slam champions have been busy in the desert.

Hingis has partnered Sania Mirza to the BNP Paribas Open doubles semifinals. Davenport, who made her on-court coaching debut with charge Madison Keys earlier this week, covers the tournament daily as a Tennis Channel analyst.

Asked to identify the best non-Williams opponent she faced, Serena paused as if preparing to hear the "Final Jeopardy" song while running through leading candidates in her mind.

Eventually, Serena named four players: Davenport, Hingis, Steffi Graf, whom Serena beat to win her first Indian Wells title in 1999, and Monica Seles. Former No. 1 Seles has cited Serena the greatest player of all time.

"Okay. I have played a lot of people," Serena told the media in Indian Wells after defeating Sloane Stephens. "I'm like... I have a whole load of people. Let me think. I'm starting in the '90s and thinking in the '90s and then 2000s. It's so hard to say. I have played so many great players from Hingis to Davenport, Monica, Steffi. I have played some unbelievably tough players. It's a weird position.

"I think I have been able to play so many different generations that I don't think I could just give one answer. I have played Henin, who has been amazing. Monica was great. Lindsay. Hingis, she was also a super tough opponent.It's kind of hard to just say one person."

A 17-year-old Serena defeated then world No. 1 Hingis, 6-3, 7-6 (4) to capture her first career Grand Slam championship at the 1999 U.S. Open. Serena held a 7-6 career edge over the Swiss Miss.

In an interview with Tennis Now earlier this month, Venus said she regards Serena, Hingis and Davenport as her greatest rivals.

"You know what? I think that I played Martina and Serena and Lindsay the most so those were my greatest rivals," Venus told Tennis Now.

Hingis' creative court sense, flair for finesse and ability to create absurd angles were elements of the distinctive style that made her the youngest world No. 1 in tennis history. One of the few players to hold the singles and doubles top spot simultaneously, Hingis has said both sisters were her toughest rivals and called Venus her favorite rival.

"I liked playing Venus. I think it always brought out the best in both of us," Hingis said. "Serena is one of the only top rivals of my time that I don’t have a winning record against. We had some great matches. Lindsay is another one where I started off pretty well against her and then she started beating up on me—she’s four years older than me—(laughs) and then it got kind of even at the end.

"I would say the toughest rivals for me were players who had big serves and could hit winning shots off the first ball. Those were the type of players I can honestly say I really don’t like facing. You have to be 100 percent at all times to deal with those kind of players."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza play a guessing game at BNP Paribas Open

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Roger Federer reveals the secret to his longevity

INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA — Known for his classic groundstrokes and graceful movement around the court, Roger Federer gave intriguing insight at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday about how carefully he has mapped out his career.

Just over a decade ago, the Swiss master became world No 1 for the first time but, instead of deciding to "chase money or more tournament victories", he and his team opted to focus on extending his competitive career for as long as possible.

"The idea was always (about) trying to be around the game for a long time," Federer, the current world No 2, told reporters after cruising into the third round of the BNP Paribas Open with a commanding 6-4 6-2 victory over Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.

"And for that in 2004, when I became world No1, I took a decision with my fitness coach at the time that we’re going to plan long-term.

"Sure, we can chase money or more tournament victories.

"We can play more frequently, train harder, whatever we will do. But we decided we will try to stay (at) around 20 tournaments during the year, which is a lower number."

During the 1990s, many players competed in at least 30 tournaments a year.

Federer cited the example of Russian former world No 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who won the 1996 French Open and 1999 Australian Open.

"If you look back, Kafelnikov used to play 30 or 32 events back in the day," said the 33-year-old Swiss, a 17-times grand slam singles champion. "I said that’s not something I really want to do.

"If I play, I want to play good. I want to play injury-free if possible, but of course all the top guys, we also play hurt.

"But the goal was to stay around for a long time. I did get inspired by seeing 32-year-olds, 35-year-olds, and actually I felt they almost did me a favour that I could play against them."

Federer, who believes he is playing some of the best tennis of his career at the age of 33, says he continues to learn about the game and is proud to be able to inspire younger players through his own example.

"My best memories are playing against the guys I used to see on TV," he said.

"It’s not like I’m doing the young guys now a favour to still be around, but I think down the stretch it might be appreciated.

"For me, it was important trying to stay around for as long as possible because I do love the game. I’m happy the plan worked, that at 33 I’m still being super competitive and healthy and happy to be on tour.

"I still believe I can improve my game … I think you have to try to reinvent yourself. Tennis is one of those sports where I feel like you can always do better."

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Martina Hingis/Sania Mirza Champions Press Conference

Not only are they well matched on court, but it seems they compliment each other equally as well when it comes to their sense of humour.  Good luck on your next tournament ladies, keep it up! :).

Monday, March 23, 2015

Martina Hingis wins 3rd doubles title of the year at BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells!

Martina Hingis Facebook Fanclub

In their first tournament together, Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza went all the way to the BNP Paribas Open doubles title - the Swiss-Indian combo didn't even lose a set.

INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza completed a dream first tournament together, beating Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina to win the BNP Paribas Open doubles title.

When they announced they were joining forces a few weeks ago, the world was watching - they're two of the most successful doubles players out there, after all, Hingis with 11 Grand Slams in the team discipline (nine in women's and two in mixed) and Mirza with three Grand Slams (all in mixed).

But not many would have expected such a dazzling debut. The No.1 seeds, Hingis and Mirza didn't even lose more than four games in any set all fortnight. After cruising through the first set of the final that stat looked a little dicey as they fell behind 4-2 second set to No.2 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, but they flipped the script from there with four straight games to end it, 6-3, 6-4.

There's still some good news for Makarova and Vesnina, though - their run to the final over the last two weeks will propel them from No.9 to No.2 on the Road To Singapore doubles leaderboard, the year-long journey to the doubles event at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

Can Hingis and Mirza keep this level up throughout the year and get to Singapore themselves?.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Roger Federer semifinal press conference

Roger Federer neutralizes Raonic to reach BNP Paribas Open final in Indian Wells

Roger Federer beat Milos Raonic 7-5, 6-4 Saturday at the BNP Paribas Open to set a blockbuster final with defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Sunday's final will mark the 38th meeting between the World No. 1 and No. 2. Federer faced Djokovic in last year's final, but lost in three sets.

Raonic was first tested on his serve in the fifth game when Federer earned a break point. But the Canadian promptly saved it with a 138mph ace, and eventually went on to hold. Federer later broke for a 6-5 lead when Raonic hit a backhand long. The Swiss went on to win the first set in 45 minutes.

With Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale and Wayne Gretzky in the crowd, Federer opened the second set with a break and consolidated for a 2-0 lead. The second seed continued to be untroubled, despite enduring nine aces from his opponent, as he saved the only break point he faced to clinch the victory in 86 minutes.

With the win, Federer reached his 40th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final. He is on a 19-set win streak, dating back since the beginning of Dubai.

In his 15th appearance in Indian Wells, the 33-year-old Swiss is looking to win his fifth title at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. Federer was a champion here in 2004 (d. Henman), 2005 (d. Hewitt), 2006 (d. Blake) and 2012 (d. Isner). With his fourth-round victory over Jack Sock in the Round of 16, Federer became the first player to achieve 50 match wins in the desert.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Martina Hingis & new doubles partner Sania Mirza reach BNP Paribas Open final

On Thursday, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, one of the most successful doubles teams in WTA history, announced they were splitting after five silverware-laden years together.

Despite this seismic shift in the landscape, the doubles world continues to turn, and in Southern California a couple of pretenders to the Italians' crown booked their place in the final of the BNP Paribas Open.

First through to Saturday's final were former champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who withstood some early pressure before running out 6-4, 6-1 winners over Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Andreja Klepac.

"We really played very well today," Makarova said. "We really enjoyed it out there and all the Russian support made it a really nice atmosphere. It was a tough match, even though the score was quite easy, and the support helped a lot."

After Errani and Vinci, Makarova and Vesnina have been one of the most successful partnerships on tour, winning both the French and US Opens together, in addition to their Indian Wells triumph two years ago. These results have helped them qualify for the past two editions of the WTA Finals and they are already eyeing up a return to Singapore.

"We have a lot of goals for the year. Number one we just want to stay healthy, but also the Finals is a big target. We always want to play there and if you do it means you've had a great year," Makarova added.

Meeting the Russians in the final are Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza, who managed to avoid the upset bug sweeping around - none of the other three seeds in their half made it beyond the second round.

Hingis and Mirza are playing their first tournament together, but have built up an instant rapport, winning all four of their matches in straight sets. Their semifinal opponents, the reunited Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur, briefly threatened this statistic before they slipped to a 6-0, 6-4 defeat.

"We knew they were a really tough team - they've won like 20 titles together - and we needed to be on the ball and we're happy to come through in straight sets," Mirza said.

While they may not have many matches under their belt, time on the practice court has given the duo plenty of confidence going forward. "I think it's great that we can practice together and we're on the same schedule," Hingis added. "I think we grew throughout this tournament. We know where our strengths and weaknesses are - although tonight I don't think Sania had any weaknesses tonight! - we're definitely a team to look out for and it feels good."

Friday, March 20, 2015

Roger Federer demolishes Berdych to reach semis at BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells

Roger Federer put on a masterful display on Friday, proving why he is a four-time champion in the desert. The second seed beat Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-0 in their BNP Paribas Open quarter-final.

A semi-final meeting with the winner of three-time champion Rafael Nadal and No. 6 seed Milos Raonic looms.

Federer troubled Berdych in the fifth game of the first set, earning a break point opportunity, which was promptly saved by the Czech. But in his next service game, Berdych was unable to fend off Federer as the Swiss broke for a 4-3 lead and went on to win the first set after 40 minutes.

Federer gave Berdych no wiggle room in the second set, and hit 21 winners, won 88 per cent of his first serve points and faced no break points en route to the 68-minute victory.

In his 15th appearance, Federer defeated Jack Sock in the Round of 16 to notch his 50th win in the desert.

This week marked the 23rd time the Big Four of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Federer and Nadal advanced to the quarter-finals at the same event, and the third time the quartet reached the quarter-finals at Indian Wells (2015, 2013, 2009). If Federer and Nadal win today, it will be the first time since the 2012 Australian Open that the foursome has reached the semi-finals at the same tournament.

A Bagel in the 2nd set. Wow.  Did not expect this level of dominance from Roger.  So nice to see. Continues to prove that age really is just a number.  

If he plays like this the next 2 matches the title will be his. But I'm jumping ahead as usual.  Nadal/Raonic next, won't be a walk in the park.  But we're getting closer.  Allez Roger!.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Roger Federer into quarter-finals at Indian Wells faces Berdych next

The milestones continue to mount for Roger Federer, as the World No. 2 notched his 50th match win at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over 22-year-old Jack Sock.

Federer dealt well with cooler, windier conditions to close out Sock in one hour and nine minutes.

"I played a very clean match," Federer said afterward. "I think I served great. I was also actually returning very well. That gave me the opportunity to stay in the match."

In his 15 appearances in Indian Wells, the Swiss has a tournament-high four titles to his name. He’ll need to defeat Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals to set a potential semi-final clash with rival Rafael Nadal.

"We have played on many occasions over many years," said Federer, who owns a 12-6 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Berdych. "I don't know when we played the very first time, but I have seen his game evolve, seen how he established himself in the Top 10.

"I think he does very well, and probably also with a new team now he feels eager to try out new things and maybe gives him extra energy. So I think it's going to be an interesting matchup for him having a new team in the back."

Earlier on Wednesday, Berdych bested countryman Lukas Rosol 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in a tense battle on Stadium 2.

The World No. 9, who has not lost to a fellow Czech since falling to Robin Vik in Dubai nine years ago, wrapped up the match against the World No. 30 in just under two hours.

After losing his 2014 Indian Wells opener (l. to Bautista Agut), Berdych has come back strong this year, scoring straight-sets victories over Sergiy Stakhovsky and Steve Johnson before his win on Wednesday. His best result at this event came in 2013, when he fell to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.


This match will definitely be the first real test for Roger.  Hope he can pass with flying colours.  He'll certainly have to raise his game up a few notches though. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Roger Federer avenges Australian Open loss beats Seppi moves into 4th round at Indian Wells

Roger Federer avenged his Australian Open defeat to Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 Tuesday night at the BNP Paribas Open.

The second seed beat the Italian to advance to the Round of 16, where he will face American Jack Sock and attempt to achieve 50 match wins in Indian Wells.

Sock Breaks New Ground With Indian Wells Win

Seppi scored his first career win over Federer in Melbourne's third round earlier this year, but the Swiss improved his record against the No. 30 seed to 11-1 after this latest match.

Federer served six aces and hit 19 winners, but was only able to capitalise on three of his 12 break point chances en route to the 82-minute victory.

In his 15th appearance in the desert, Federer is bidding for an unprecedented fifth Indian Wells title this week. He was a champion here in 2004 (d. Henman), 2005 (d. Hewitt), 2006 (d. Blake) and 2012 (d. Isner).

Monday, March 16, 2015

Roger Federer's first win at Indian Wells sets up a re-match with Andreas Seppi in the 3rd round

Roger Federer will have revenge on his mind when he squares off with Andreas Seppi in the BNP Paribas Open third round, after dismissing Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday.

The World No. 2 hit eight aces, won 13 of 14 points at the net, and faced no break points in the 63-minute match.

Federer, who suffered his first defeat to Seppi in 11 meetings, at the Australian Open in January, is bidding to claim an unprecedented fifth title in Indian Wells.

“I'm happy to play him again,” Federer said of his next opponent. “I was very disappointed with the performance I had in Australia. I know he can play well and can beat me, that's not the problem. It was the way I was hitting the ball. I wasn't playing very committed. I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to hit my forehand and backhands. It was just a tough match overall and the match slipped away from me.

“I really thought Seppi did a good job and nice job of putting the pressure on me, as well… I hope this time around it's going to go better for me. I will be prepared, there is no doubt about that. I'm happy I'm getting an opportunity to play him right away again.”

The champion in 2004 (d. Henman), '05 (d. Hewitt), '06 (d. Blake) and '12 (d. Isner), he is just two victories shy of 50 match wins in the California desert.

Federer moved to 12-1 this year with his victory over Schwartzman and 2-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. He is seeking to add a Masters 1000 crown to his ATP World Tour 250 title in Brisbane and 500-level trophy in Dubai.

Meanwhile, Seppi advanced to the third round in Indian Wells for the third straight year after dispatching Victor Hanescu 6-4, 6-4. The Italian needed just 73 minutes to complete the win, striking six aces and denying both break points faced.


Saw the match, he'll definitely need to up his level if he wants to win this title.  But one match at a time, kick some Italian butt Mr. Federer!.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Roger Federer explains why he's skipping Miami

Roger Federer elected to rule himself out of the running for the Indian Wells-Miami double (he’s won it twice, fyi) before it even began, announcing in February that he’d be skipping Miami this year, and instead playing a clay-court event in Istanbul, which begins April 27.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion has failed to reach the semifinals in Miami in all but two of his appearances since his back-to-back titles there in 2005 and 2006 (he also smashed a racquet rather boisterously in 2009 during a semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic, but we don’t need to know about that, do we?), but Federer isn’t skipping Miami because the draw hasn’t been kind to him or because he doesn’t like playing there. His decision, he says, is simply a matter of efficiency.

"The week in between Indian Wells and Miami is always a wasted week—in my opinion—for me," he said, according to Kamakshi Tandon of tennis.com, "So I'd rather use that for some more time off, some more practice, maybe play another tournament."

Federer says that losing early at Indian Wells can mean waiting around a week to get started in Miami. Even if he reaches the final at Indian Wells, he still would likely wait five days to get started in his next event. It’s time that Federer, 33, doesn’t want to spend waiting. These things happen when we get older, right?

"It's a long break 'till the first round in Miami, and let's say you don't play well again, you've sort of wasted a month, nothing happened,” he said, according to Tandon. “So I've never been a huge fan of the back-to-back 10-day events, but it's been like this for a long, long time. That's the only way I ever knew it."

This rationale, combined with Federer’s desire to visit hidden geographic and cultural gems to keep his interest piqued (see Christopher Clarey’s NYT article for more on that) has led to Federer’s decision.

“I've played Miami so many times, so that's just the one I decided to skip," he said. "And substituted with Istanbul, a city I've never been to, a country I've never been to, so I just thought it would be a nice mix-up."


Friday, March 13, 2015

Roger Federer feeling positive before start of BNP Paribas Open

Less than 24 hours after his World Tennis Day exhibition in New York City, Roger Federer sat down with media members at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Wednesday to discuss everything from his current playing condition to the future of men's tennis.

After a week of rest following his record seventh title in Dubai, Federer was glad to squeeze in some match play against Grigor Dimitrov at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

“Yesterday’s match in New York actually gave me some input of what I needed to work on,” Federer said. “I was always going to come here and make sure the first few days I get used to the courts. I had a bit of a slow week last week after Dubai, so I think the next few days are going to be important for me.”

Federer, a four-time champion in Indian Wells, was asked if there is anything he feels he can’t do as well at the age of 33 compared to several years ago. The World No. 2 responded without hesitation.

“Not really, to be honest,” he said. “I have a hard time remembering how I felt back in 2002. I was more insecure with my game. I was more worried about a bad day.

“Today, I don’t feel like I have that many bad days anymore. Maybe sometimes you come out and it’s not working; that’s something that happened very few times in the years where I was very dominant. Otherwise, I feel like I am playing very well.”

When he does decide that his body isn’t fit for play anymore, Federer knows there will be players eager to step in for him.

“The wheel keeps turning. There is always going to be a new Wimbledon champion, a new French Open champion, a new World No. 1. There is always going to be someone else when our generation is gone. Who that’s going to be today, it’s really tough to tell.”

After a bye in the first round, Federer will kick off his 2015 BNP Paribas campaign against the winner of Jerzy Janowicz and Diego Schwartzman.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Martina Hingis approached Roger Federer for Rio Olympics mixed doubles

With 22 major singles titles between them, Roger Federer and Martina Hingis could join forces at the Rio Olympics.

Roger Federer said Martina Hingis has approached him regarding joining forces in the mixed doubles at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Hingis previously turned down Federer's offer to link up at the London Games in 2012, but the five-time grand slam singles champion - and reigning Australian Open mixed doubles winner with Leander Paes - is courting the 17-time major winner ahead of the Rio Olympics.

Federer said he would weigh up his options, as he is already committed to the men's singles and doubles.

"She has approached me and I've said I'll give it some thought," Federer said, following an exhibition clash with Grigor Dimitrov at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

"The problem is I don't know how to play singles, [men's] doubles, and mixed within an eight-day period.

"If I try to win them all, it's like 15 matches in eight days. You tell me how that works. I don't know, I don't.

"So I have to figure out things and what my priority is at the end of the day.

"Martina has done a lot for tennis in Switzerland and she was, I guess, to some extent a hero of mine.

"Seeing her on the tour basically when I was not knowing what I was doing on the tennis court and she was already winning Wimbledon and all those things, it was unbelievable to watch so I'll obviously give it some thought because I have a lot of respect for her."

Hingis and Federer previously combined to win the Hopman Cup for Switzerland in 2001.

After winning gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the men's doubles with Stan Wawrinka, Federer won silver in London - losing the singles final to Andy Murray at the All England Club.

Make it happen Roger, make it happen!.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Roger Federer gets tough draw at Indian Wells

Defending champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer just might repeat their Indian Wells finals clash from last year. But to do so, each man will face very different draws to get there. 

Here's a look at who won and lost after their names were drawn out of the hat in the Southern California desert.

Top seed Djokovic certainly has to like what he sees on his draw sheet. He'll first play the winner of either Marcos Baghdatis or Jiri Vesely. 

Fellow Serb Viktor Troicki also looms early too. Djokovic might also face one of a trio of big servers in John Isner, Kevin Anderson, or Marin Cilic who is making his season debut here. Still, Djokovic with his potent return must like his chances against any of them. 

Finally, while No. 8 seed David Ferrer is a potentially testing quarterfinal foe, this section really is all about Djokovic. 

Winners: Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori While not an ideal draw, both No. 4 seed Murray and No. 5 seed Nishikori have to be happy that their section isn't littered with too many floating dangerous seeds. 

Murray certainly could have his hands full should he meet Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber early. Murray's often had trouble in the desert and that match could be his first test. Still, many expect him to take on Japan's No. 1 in what would be a must-see quarterfinal. 

Losers: Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic The bottom half of the draw is decidedly tougher and filled with potential upsets. While No. 6 Raonic and No. 11 seed Dimitrov could meet, it's not a given. Raonic will likely first meet fast-rising Simone Bolelli of Italy who beat him last month in Marseille. Dimitrov could get young Australian wonder Nick Kyrgios who always likes the spotlight and could rise to the occasion again. 

Winner: Rafael Nadal After losing early last year in a surprise upset to Alexandr Dolgopolov, the Spanish star will hope for a better start at Indian Wells this time around. Though he enters still with some question marks about his overall game, Nadal should navigate his way past several Frenchmen here including Jeremy Chardy and Richard Gasquet. Gilles Simon is one to watch though. 

Loser: Roger Federer Though not an impossible draw, Dubai champion Roger Federer may have to work some overtime to get through his section unscathed. Italy's Andreas Seppi, who beat him in Melbourne, lurks early as a potential rematch. While big serving Ivo Karlovic is always a dangerous foe, Federer will likely either meet No. 9 seed Tomas Berdych or No. 7 seed Stan Wawrinka in the quarters. Not exactly a given for Federer to get through especially if Federer is off that day and either man is playing inspired tennis as they certainly can. 

Quarterfinals (If seeds hold): Top Half: [1] Novak Djokovic vs. [8] David Ferrer [4] Andy Murray vs. [5] Kei Nishikori 

Bottom Half: [6] Milos Raonic vs. [3] Rafael Nadal [7] Stan Wawrinka vs. [2] Roger Federer 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Roger Federer & Grigor Dimitrov will battle it out in an exhibition for World Tennis Day

Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov will renew their budding rivalry in an exhibition at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Tuesday as part of World Tennis Day.

"It's not easy," said Dimitrov about facing Federer. "Obviously it's an amazing experience to be out here and participate in such a big venue against him.

"I just want to go out there and really embrace the whole atmosphere. It's always a pleasure when I play against him even though the last three times I lost. You put that aside and he's really a great guy, on and off the court."

ESPN3 will present live the 2015 BNP Paribas Showdown from Madison Square Garden in New York at 7:30 p.m. ET. WTA Hall of Famers Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini kick off proceedings, before Federer and Dimitrov provide the nightcap.

National associations will join some of the world’s leading tennis stars in celebrating the third World Tennis Day today. World Tennis Day aims to promote tennis and increase participation among players around the globe. Last year, 90 nations supported World Tennis Day, with 79 countries undertaking specific events.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced it will be hosting thousands of youth tennis events throughout the month of March. These events, part of USTA’s commitment to improve the health and wellness of children by getting active through tennis, serve as an opportunity to encourage families and children of all ages and skill levels to try the sport at local tennis facilities.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Hollywood celebrates Roger Federer's 1000 career wins

Hollywood actress Zoe Saldana toasted Roger Federer’s 1000th match win in an exclusive Moet & Chandon event in Beverly Hills on Saturday night.

Held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, brand ambassador Federer was the toast of Hollywood as his incredible 1000 match wins achievement was celebrated with a special bottle of Moet & Chandon by the likes of actresses Camilla Belle and Kate Walsh and former NBA pro Jason Collins.

The 33-year-old Federer became the third player in the Open Era, and the first since Ivan Lendl in 1992, to record 1000 tour-level wins when he beat Milos Raonic in the final of the Brisbane International to claim his 83rd title.

“It’s just cool being in LA,” said Federer, who is preparing to play at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, beginning next week. “I’m just enjoying spending time here at this Moet & Chandon event. It’s very special. I don’t do many events here on the west coast and I don’t spend enough time in LA. So when I do, I try to make the most of it.

“It’s nice to celebrate the 1000 match wins I had at the beginning of the year. For me, it’s cool being a sportsman in this entertainment world and I’m really enjoying it. I love the diverse world I’m living in.”

After his red carpet entrance, Federer joined Avatar actress Saldana in a game of mixed doubles with Grey's Anatomy star Walsh and sports broadcaster Jill Montgomery on a specially constructed mini tennis court, with gold tennis balls, before mingling with the assembled guests. He was quick to state that he hoped there would be more Moet Moments to come in 2015.

“I’d love to get back to World No. 1,” declared the Basel native. “But Novak is making it very difficult. My whole season is geared towards peaking at Wimbledon. I’d love to win there one more time.”

Federer goes into Indian Wells with an 11-1 match record in 2015 and is coming off victory over Novak Djokovic in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Federer has won four titles at the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the year and last year finished runner-up to Djokovic in the final.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Martina Hingis on partnership with Sania Mirza

Former world number one Martina Hingis says the future of her partnership with India's top player Sania Mirza would depend on the results they get on the WTA circuit.

Sania split with Chinese Taipei's Hsieh after playing only four tournaments together this season.

Hingis said since the two of them play different styles of game, it should suit them.

"Sania and I can be competitive as a pair because our style of tennis is completely different. Sania is good from the forehand side and I am known to have a really good backhand. I am looking forward to playing with Sania for next couple of months but decision to continue with her will depend upon the kind of results we get as a pair," Martina told PTI.

Hingis had recently won the Australian Open mixed doubles title with India's doubles veteran Leander Paes.

Talking about Paes, Hingis said, "Two of us compliment each other very well and that is why we were able to win the Grand Slam together."

"I played with Leander for couple of seasons in the US which gave me a lot of comfort. The best quality of Leander is that he makes the woman partner safe and protected. He covers for the void created when I am not serving well. Women's nature is as such she always wants to be felt protected, either in a relationship or while playing a match."

Talking about Champion Tennis League, Hingis said,"It is a great way to promote tennis in India. The awesome part of CTL is helping young players. I was very happy to play here."

Hingis also that CTL helped her establish great bond and rapport with Indian players.

"Of course, I had a great bonding with Indian players. We trained together. Like every time we played a match at the end of the week we are almost go like 'Oh miss you'," she said.

Hingis said Playing in CTL feels "almost like playing in Davis Cup where people also are charged up to support their players."

Talking about her recent meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Hingis said it centred around sport.

"He is a very busy man. We considered ourselves to be lucky that the Prime Minister had time for us. The Prime Minister asked us - me and Leander - to keep up good work. Leander is a great ambassador for India. He wished all the best for the future," she said.

Hingis ruled out plying singles again."It is nice to know people wishing me to play singles. I think it is too demanding for my body to play at that level," she said.

Hingis she is in India not only for tennis but also for spending some good time in the country by visiting different cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Martina Hingis & mixed doubles partner Leander Paes present India PM with a gift

Tennis stars Martina Hingis and Leander Paes on Thursday gifted a pair of tennis rackets to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a show of their support during a meeting at his official residence.

"It was wonderful meeting you @mhingis & @Leander! Kind of you @mhingis & @Leander to present autographed racquets with which you played Aus Open Mixed Doubles Finals," Modi tweeted on Thursday.

Both the players have struck up a friendship and camaraderie following their long association with tennis.

A photo of them tweeted by the PMO on Thursday shows Modi at his best, wearing a kurta-pyjama and a Nehru jacket, and flanked by the two players, also in traditional Indian attires.

Hingis, 34, who is from Switzerland, is one of the leading tennis players. She had won 5 grand slam singles title in her career.

While Paes, 41, is considered to be one of the greatest and most respected contemporary doubles and mixed doubles players in the world. He had won eight doubles and seven mixed doubles grand slam titles and finishing as runner up in numerous other grand slam finals.

Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/martina-hingis-leander-paes-tennis-rackets-pm-modi/1/422495.html

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Shania Twain announces farewell tour & new album on her 50th Birthday

Shania Twain is returning to the road. This morning, the woman behind the bestselling country album of all time, 1997's Come on Over, announced a 48-city summer tour. But the Rock This Country Tour, her first in more than 10 years, will also be her last. The singer told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts that it'll be like one big afterparty. "This is my last tour, so I'm going to make the most of it," Twain said. "I want to go out with a bang."

Kicking off June 5th with a single U.S. show in Seattle, the tour will immediately head north to Twain's native Canada for a string of homecoming concerts across the country before returning to America for a date at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Stops in Boston, Miami, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Nashville and other major markets will follow, before wrapping up in Fresno, California, in August, a few days prior to Twain's 50th birthday.

In December, Twain concluded a critically acclaimed and commercially successful residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Dubbed Shania: Still the One, the elaborate showroom production, which included multiple costume changes and the singer flying onto the stage atop a motorcycle, ran for two years. A TV special, Shania: Still the One Live From Vegas, aired last week on ABC. "I feel that Las Vegas, the show, was a huge mountain to climb for me. I not only got through it, but I enjoyed it," said Twain, promising an entirely new production. "I didn't want to take part of the show on the road, I wanted to take an entirely new show that was custom-made for touring."

Best known for such hits as "Honey I'm Home," "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" and "From This Moment On" — as well as for her midriff-baring fashion sense — Twain became the defining female country voice of the Nineties. She sold more than 75 million albums, with Come on Over making history as the bestselling album ever by a woman, in all genres. While the tour will focus on the hits, Twain revealed that she is also working on new music. "I'm working on the new record as we speak. I'm on the microphone every day recording. That will be coming up after the tour. I want to enjoy that party and then I'll get back to the record," she said. "I want it to come out when I'm 50, so I'm going to make it happen."

Following her 2004 Up Tour, Twain all but disappeared, battling vocal issues that kept her away from the stage. She documented her struggle in the 2011 Oprah Winfrey Network series Why Not? With Shania Twain, before announcing her return to live performing at a press conference in Nashville.

"I look to others for my strength. Strength is within but I draw inspiration from others' suffering. I look for the courage in others and then I find mine," Twain told Roberts. "The inspiration comes from everybody around me."

Here are the dates for the Rock This Country Tour, which features Canadian musician-actor Wes Mack opening shows from June 5th through 28th, and Gavin DeGraw filling the slot for the remainder of the tour. Following a presale, tickets for the public go on sale Friday, March 13th.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/shania-twain-announces-final-tour-20150304#ixzz3TRjmvm8T

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Martina Hingis changes doubles partner for Indian Wells and Miami

Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza are to team up for the upcoming Premier Mandatory tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

The move ends Hingis' brief yet fruitful partnership with Flavia Pennetta, with whom she won two WTA titles and reached the US Open final. Pennetta will now join forces with Mirza's former partner, Hsieh Su-Wei.

Despite only teaming up towards the end of last season, Hingis and Pennetta came within a whisker of qualifying for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, thanks in no small part to their run in New York. 

In their absence, Mirza and then partner Cara Black took home the spoils in Singapore, prevailing in a dramatic doubles competition.

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.