Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung-Jan capture Madrid-Rome double

Martina Hingis Twitter

ROME, Italy - Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan will come into this year's French Open as heavy favorites after they clinched the Madrid/Rome double at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, winning their eighth straight match, 7-5, 7-6(4) over reigning Olympic champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in Sunday's final.

Hingis and Chan paired up at the start of the Middle East Swing and have quickly become the team to beat, winning two of the season's three Premier Mandatory titles at the BNP Paribas Open and Mutua Madrid Open, and reaching the semifinals at the Miami Open.

The Swiss Miss was playing her third straight final at the Foro Italico, having won the title last year with Sania Mirza; Hingis and Chan beat the former No.1 with new partner Yaroslava Shvedova en route to the championship match.

Across the net was last year's finalists and top seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who were in their first final since winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships back in February.

Recovering from a 3-5 deficit in the second set, Hingis and Chan saved a set point to ultimately outlast the Russians in an ensuing tiebreak, taking home their fourth title of the season and become the first team to win both Rome and Madrid since 2012, when Italian duo Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani did it before winning their maiden major title at the French Open.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung-Jan advance to Rome doubles final

Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis of Switzerland kept their bid for a second straight title on track at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia yesterday, while sixth seed Simona Halep advanced to the final of the singles.

Second seeds Chan and Hingis battled to a 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) semi-final victory over third seeds Sania Mirza of India and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in 1 hour, 44 minutes at the Foro Italico in Rome.

The Taiwanese-Swiss duo saved three of five break points and converted three of eight to advance to a final against top-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina or fourth seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic, who were playing later yesterday.

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung-Jan reach semis in Rome

Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and doubles partner Martina Hingis reached the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the the Internazionali BNL d’Italia yesterday.

The Taiwanese-Swiss pairing defeated Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Abigail Spears of the US 6-2, 6-4 to stay on track for back-to-back titles after winning the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday last week.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan survive to reach doubles quarters in Rome

Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis survived a huge scare to keep their bid for back-to-back doubles titles on track at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Wednesday, while top seed Angelique Kerber was not so fortunate, losing her opening match at the Foro Italico to Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit.

Second seeds Chan and Hingis rallied from a set down against Nao Hibino of Japan and Alicja Rosolska of Poland to edge a tight second-round contest 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 in 1 hour, 38 minutes.

The Taiwanese-Swiss duo saved three of six break points and converted three of six, winning 75 of the 144 points contested to advance to the quarter-finals in Rome.

The second seeds are looking for a third title as a pairing and the second in a week after they triumphed at the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Song of the Moment : Hanson- I Was Born

Still enjoy these guys so much. With every passing year. Weirdly enough I think they're the only band I listen to these days.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Martina Hingis wins 100th career title with Madrid win

If you blinked, you might have missed them: At the WTA Premier Mandatory tournament in Madrid this past weekend, the top two seeded teams—Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova and Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina—both lost their opening matches.

That opened things up for the third-seeded pairing of Yung-Jan Chan and Martina Hingis, who took home the title with a straight-sets win over Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova. It’s Chan and Hingis’ second title of the year after winning in Indian Wells. The two—newly partnered this year—were facing a team coming off a title in Prague the previous week.

This was Hingis’ 100th career title between singles and doubles. (She’s also won five mixed-doubles titles, all of which came at majors.) It was cause for celebration, and this pair could be going for another title—post-victory dance champs—that would threaten the reign of Team Bucie.

Hingis, 36, won her first doubles title all the way back in 1995. (Her first singles title came a year later.)

Chan, 27, has won 20 doubles titles in her 13-year career.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Roger Federer to skip French Open after all, focus on grass & hard court season

After spending a few days practicing on clay courts in Switzerland, a healthy and well-rested Roger Federer settled on his upcoming schedule: He will bypass the French Open and turn his focus to Wimbledon, then the U.S. Open.

"It was a tough decision to take, because he likes to play the French Open, likes to play the big tournaments," Severin Luthi, who coaches Federer, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Monday. "But I think it was the best decision for him. It’s an investment in his career — for this season and for the coming seasons."

Federer posted a message entitled "Roger to skip Roland Garros" on his website on Monday, announcing that he will stay away from competing on clay entirely in 2017 and instead will prepare for the grass- and hard-court events that follow.

"I’ve been working really hard, both on and off the court, during the last month," Federer wrote, "but in order to try and play on the ATP World Tour for many years to come, I feel it’s best to skip the clay court season this year."

It's the second year in a row that Federer pulled out of the French Open, where main-draw play begins in Paris on May 28. He won the title at the clay-court major in 2009 to complete a career Grand Slam.

His absence a year ago, because of back and knee problems that plagued him in 2016, ended his record streak of appearing in 65 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments -- every one since the start of 2000.

Now, though, the owner of a record 18 major championships feels great.

And he wants to keep it that way.

"We are in a good situation. He is (healthier than he's) been in the last five years. We could take the decision out of a position of strength," Luthi said about pulling out of the French Open.

"We talked a few times about it but wanted to give ourselves time to think about it," he added. "We spoke again yesterday and made the final decision today."

Luthi said Federer plans to play at two grass-court tournaments in Germany -- at Stuttgard starting June 12, and at Halle the week after that -- before heading to Wimbledon, where play begins on July 3.

The 35-year-old Federer has not played in a tournament since April 2, when he won his third title of 2017 at the Miami Open and improved his record this year to 19-1, all on hard courts, his best start in more than a decade. At the time, he said he would be taking a break from the tour and did not commit to returning in time for the French Open.

"The start to the year has been magical for me but I need to recognize that scheduling will be the key to my longevity moving forward," Federer wrote. "Thus, my team and I concluded today that playing just one event on clay was not in the best interest of my tennis and physical preparation for the remainder of the season."

Clay tends to be the most physically demanding of tennis' surfaces, requiring plenty of tricky movement and sliding, along with lengthy, grind-it-out points.

Federer's great rival and the man known as the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, has been back to his dominant self on the red stuff lately, compiling a 15-match winning streak and three consecutive titles, including at the Madrid Open on Sunday. That has made Nadal the favourite to collect a record 10th trophy at Roland Garros, which would be his 15th overall at majors, three away from Federer.

Luthi said Federer didn't take Nadal's recent play -- or anyone else's -- into account as he weighed his options.

"It's really more a decision about him than the others," Luthi said. "It would be a mistake to look at them too much."

Federer missed the last half of 2016, including the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the U.S. Open, because of his surgically repaired left knee. He started this season the best way possible, winning the Australian Open in January.

As for Paris, if there were those worrying about whether they might have seen the last of the Swiss superstar there, Federer offered a message about the future.

"I will miss the French fans, who have always been so supportive," Federer said, "and I look forward to seeing them at Roland Garros next year."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Martina Hingis & Chan-Yung Jan take home Madrid Open doubles title!

Matua Madrid Open Twitter

Martina Hingis Official Facebook

MADRID, Spain - Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan took home their second title together at the Mutua Madrid Open after defeating Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

The pair took home the first title of their partnership at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier in the season and reached the semifinals in Doha and Miami, and now they can add a win at their first clay court tournament together.

“I think that we both have playing styles that complement the other perfectly,” Chan said afterwards. “It’s our fifth tournament together and we’ve already won two titles. In fact, this is our first tournament on clay and we’re so happy to win here and looking forward to the next tournaments.”

Chan and Hingis edged past Babos and Hlavackova – who were fresh off a title in Rabat at their debut tournament – in a rollercoaster opening set that featured seven breaks of serve. Hingis was broken serving for the set at 5-3, but the pair recovered strongly to break straight back with a flurry of winners at the net to wrap up the opening tilt.

It was more straightforward in the second; after trading breaks to start, Hingis and Chan reeled off three games in a row to march ahead 5-2 and comfortably serve out the match to take home the title.

“I think having fun on the court is a part of the success, and it’s important to have a good relationship with your partner,” Hingis assessed. “It doesn’t matter if you have a good day or a bad day, but obviously everything is easier when the things are going well.

“We had to face two very tough matches at the start of the tournament, and I feel like we just got better and better with every match.”


1st clay title together. Congrats ladies!.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Roger Federer to make his 15th appearance at Halle this June

18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is all set to make his 15th appearance at Halle's ATP tournament next month where he will aim to clinch the title for the ninth time.

Confirming the news, tournament director Ralf Weber said that they are looking forward to the return of Federer, who had played a pivotal role in the making the tournament popular worldwide.

"We are looking forward to Roger's return. He has finally helped bring the tournament into a new dimension and made it even more popular worldwide," Sport24 quoted Weber as saying.

Besides Swiss maestro Federer, eight of the top 20 players in the world will feature in Halle including last year's runner-up Alexander Zverev, who won the Munich clay-court ATP tournament last week.

The grass-court tournament, which is traditionally a warm-up for Wimbledon, is slated to be held from June 17 and runs until June 25.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pros and Cons of Roger Federer playing the French Open

Every week Tennis Channel and TENNIS.com will be introducing a Tough Call around a thought-provoking topic, and our panel of experts will chime in both on-air and online. Be sure to join the discussion, weigh in on our polls, or comment on Facebook and Twitter using #TennisToughCall.

Here is this week's edition of Tough Call. Should Roger Federer play Roland Garros?

Ready, set, go...


- His focus at this point in his career is winning majors, so why skip any major?

- If he wins, it’ll be his 19th major and the second leg of a calendar-year Grand Slam.

- He missed Roland Garros last year, so will only be adding points onto his ranking.

- It’s his worst major, but he’s done very well there before (one title and four finals).

- He’ll have had two months off the tour, so he’ll be fully rested and recovered.


- He could skip his worst major to focus on his best major, Wimbledon.

- He’ll have missed the clay-court lead-up, so it’ll be harder for him to win there anyway.

- He could transition straight from hard to grass (easier than hard to clay to grass).

- He could make sure he avoids injuring himself during best-of-five play on clay.

- He can relax as the rest of the field wears themselves out … then pounce at Wimbledon.


Steve Flink says: No

In my view, unless he changes his mind and plays in Rome, Federer should not play the French Open. Without any tournament preparation, he would risk an injury or a surprising loss. He achieved an almost miraculous triumph at the Australian Open after six months away from the game, but at least then he competed in the Hopman Cup. He ruled in Melbourne on fast hard courts, a far cry from the slow clay of Roland Garros. Federer should save himself for the grass-court season and a serious pursuit of an eighth title at Wimbledon.

Steve Tignor says: Yes

Federer said he would play in 2017 only when he felt like he could be the “real me”—in other words, only when he’s rested and at full strength. By entering Paris, he'll risk getting injured or worn down before Wimbledon. But that risk is worth the possible reward. With his three wins over Rafael Nadal this year, and with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray struggling, Federer has a real chance to win the French. He can’t pass it up.

Ed McGrogan says: Yes

Who in tennis is bigger than Federer? In 2017, only the sport itself surpasses its greatest star. Which is why Federer’s presence is needed in Paris. Title contender or not, it’s a bad look for the game if its top draw and runaway player of the year can’t find it within himself to play for a week or two at one of the game’s four pillar events. An early-round loss won’t sully his season or legacy, and the only way he can outdo himself at this point is to—wait for it—beat Rafa at Roland Garros.

Nina Pantic says: Yes

Federer has played just four events this year, so he’ll certainly enter the French Open well-rested, both mentally and physically. Of course, he doesn't have much left to prove in his career, but no one can argue against the fact that the one-time Roland Garros champion still has work left to do in Paris. He's 0-5 against Nadal on Court Philippe Chatrier; that should be motivation enough to return.

Ashley Ndebele says: No

If Federer wants to maintain his winning record and a shot at winning his 19th slam, skipping Roland Garros is the way to go. He was smart enough to forego the lead-up tournaments to avoid the clay-court grind, considering his age. It makes a lot of sense for him to just segue into grass, where he's had a lot of success. Besides, the Roland Garros-Wimbledon back-to-back schedule can be brutal to a 35-year-old body, so why risk the injury?

Brad Kallet Says: Yes

Without question. Federer already cemented his status as the GOAT in January with his 18th major title, and reminded us that he’s superhuman in winning a Slam at 35 after six months off the tour. It’s all gravy from here, isn’t it? By Roland Garros, he won’t have played a match in two months, so he should be fresh. He’ll also be playing with house money: Rafa will be the favorite after his brilliant clay season. With limited pressure and every chance to win, it’s a no-brainer.


I'm not sure why this is a debate, since Roger pretty much said he already registered for Roland Garros. But I'm still on the fence about it myself.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Martina Hingis and doubles partner reach semi- finals at Madrid Open

Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis of Switzerland yesterday advanced to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Mutua Madrid Open, while defending men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic survived a scare on Wednesday.

Third seeds Chan and Hingis rallied from a set down to defeat Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in 1 hour, 23 minutes in their quarter-final at La Caja Magica in the Spanish capital.

The Taiwanese-Swiss duo saved three of eight break points and converted five of 14, winning 68 of the 132 points to improve their career record against Groenefeld and Peschke to 2-0 after a round-of-16 victory in Dubai in February.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Roger Federer reveals real reason behind his amazing resurrection

Bengaluru, May 7: The legend of Roger Federer is truly a treat to watch. The Swiss ace keeps mesmerising the whole sporting world and we feel greatly privileged to be able to see him gracing his magic in the tennis court year after year.

However, it always has not been an easy ride for the iconic Tennis star. Just like every other athlete, he also had his lows in his career but legends always know how to make a comeback and that is why Federer is still ruling the Tennis world and hearts even at the age of 35 with his sheer grace and aura.

The 18-time Grand Slam winner had a very poor 2016 when he was struggling with injuries but now looks better than ever making his best start to a season since 2009. Federer missed the entire second half of the season last year, undergoing knee surgery after also struggling with a back injury. But the 35-year-old is off to an incredible 19-1 start in 2017 on the back of victory at the Australian Open, as well as titles at Indian Wells and the Miami Open. And the 18-time grand slam champion has now revealed the biggest reason behind his amazing comeback. 

"I got really rejuvenated and fresh and ready, and excited to come back on tour again," Federer said. "And I was finally able to speak differently to the press and everybody, and just tell everybody how little expectations I really have. "Because for the last 15 years I always said, more or less, 'I want to win the next tournament I enter,' because that was reality. Because of this injury, it sorts of reset everything, and it was a beautiful thing".

Federer recently ended speculation about his participation in this year's French Open, confirming that he will take part in it. "I am registered and my intention is to play Roland Garros," the 18-time Grand Slam champion said in a post-match interview. Now World number 4, Federer, had an early exit from the French Open in 2015 where he was ousted of the quarter finals and he could not participate last year. His records in the Red clay of Paris is not the best boasting just one title back in 2009 but his form this campaign suggests that Federer fans might get something to cheer about. 

"I feel very privileged to be back on a tennis court," Federer told Yahoo News. "Last year was extremely difficult, having had surgery and the knee never healing. Then I had back pain too, and it all got too much at Wimbledon and I was out for six months. "But I was able to spend some incredible time with the family and start preparing for this season and hoping that the work that I put in the off season was going to really pay off.

"I was going to get a second chance to really play tennis again on the professional tour and so when I did come back in Australia was really exciting." French Open is all set to start on 22nd of this month and this will be a highly-anticipated tournament with Djokovic making his comeback after a poor spell and Nadal and Federer both in good form while Andy Murray will be looking to keep his number one position at all costs.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Roger Federer is Barilla's new Global Brand Ambassador

The Barilla Group has reached a long-term agreement with Roger Federer, considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, for the promotion of its pasta and sauces products around the world.

Throughout his long and brilliant career, Federer has won numerous titles and achieved many records: he holds the record for number of weeks as the world’s no. 1 tennis player (302) and he has won 91 singles titles, including a record 18 Grand Slam titles. He has also won two Olympic medals. So far in 2017, he has already won three singles titles, including the Australian Open in January

"For years it has been my dream that Roger could join Barilla in the fascinating mission of helping people eat better, in favor of their health and the sustainability of the Planet," said Vice Chairman Luca Barilla. "Now this dream has come true."

Sport is energy, drive, commitment. Pasta is not just an essential food for athletes: it is an indispensable source of carbohydrates for everyone. At the heart of the Mediterranean diet, pasta tastes good and is good for people's health and for the health of the Planet.

For Luca Barilla “Roger is an extraordinary person and athlete who, during his long career, has demonstrated principles and a conduct that have enabled him to conquer the hearts of millions of people in the world. We are confident that his values and global star power, coupled with our history and our way of doing business, will be of great help in bringing Barilla even further into its mission."

“Barilla pasta and sauces provide the energy that I need to succeed on the tennis court and enjoy my family’s favorite activities. Pasta has been part of my daily diet for so many years that this partnership is a natural. I am excited to be joining forces with Barilla. They are the best in the business,” said Roger Federer.

Starting with its sponsorship of football team AS Roma, which won the Serie A title in the 1982-83 season, the Barilla Group has often worked with leading figures from the world of sport. From Alberto Tomba in skiing, to tennis players Steffi Graf and Stefan Edberg; from Francesco Moser in cycling, to the more recent partnerships with Alex Zanardi, Federica Pellegrini, Ricardo Kakà, Stephan El Shaarawy, Thomas Müller and Mikaela Shiffrin.
Since 2015, Barilla has also been the main sponsor of the Italian national basketball teams.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Roger Federer Mr. GQ at the Met Gala

A black tie fit worthy of the tennis ace's GOAT status.

"I've never worn anything close to this," Roger Federer says of his Gucci tuxedo at a fitting this Sunday. The tennis star is putting the final touches on his outfit before this year's Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, the annual fundraiser that brings together the biggest names in fashion, film, politics, sports, art, and, more recently, social media entrepreneurship.

For a guy like Federer, suiting up for a black tie gala is no sweat. (If there's one thing the tennis star knows, it's how to wear a suit and wear it well). But this year Federer has a reputation to uphold, a title as illustrious as any of the 18 Grand Slam he's taken home in his storied career. Right now, Roger Federer is the Most Stylish Man alive, voted into power by the readers of GQ.

So what does a man who excels at understated, elegant tailored menswear wear to an event steeped in capital 'F' fashion—the kind you rarely see in real life—and in a year where the event celebrates Rei Kawakubo, the most avant garde designer of them all? Gucci, of course.

The white-hot Italian label dominates the sartorial swerve market right now, with designer Alessandro Michele injecting even the most staid menswear staples with unexpected flourishes (peeping snake ties, anyone?). Michele's more-is-best approach to tailoring has yielded suits in retro eye-popping plaids, wallpaper florals, piped school boy blazers, and embroidered with motifs as varied as Donald Duck and dragon heads. You think a tux is just going to be simple and black in Michele's hands? No. It's going to have a twist. It's going to have...a cobra.

An embroidered crystal king cobra, to be exact. Designed with Michele and the help of GQ's own creative director Jim Moore and made through Gucci's DIY custom program, the one-button, shawl lapel tux (Signoria is the model name, if you want to order your own) is equal parts classic and brash. In other words, it's the Roger Federer of tuxedo jackets. As Federer describes it, it's "business in the front, party in the back."

"I appreciate craftsmanship and details—and here, we have a lot of details," says Federer. "I think it's beautiful, especially inside with the floral lining. The cobra, I think, is going to be quite unexpected." (The Swiss have always been big on understatement.) Federer knows the reptilian vibes aren't a game-set-match guaranteed victory. "Either you're going to like it or not," he says. "We just have to appreciate taking risks at the Met Gala." Even in matters of sartorial swerves, Federer is still the ultimate sportsman.


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

WTA Insider Podcast: WTA Finals Ambassador Kim Clijsters

Former World No.1 Kim Clijsters weighs in on her new role as ambassador for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, and what we can expect from Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka in their post-motherhood careers.

STUTTGART, Germany - Former No.1 Kim Clijsters has been announced as the new WTA Finals Legend Ambassador, joining the Martina Navratilova and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario to promote the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global throughout the year. Clijsters is a four-time major champion who captured three WTA Finals titles and 41 singles titles overall, before retiring in 2012.

"I felt very honored when they asked me, so it was a no-brainer to try and help out and be involved in the WTA Finals because the WTA Finals have been a very important tournament in my career.

"I won the WTA Finals before I won a grand slam. It was my first big result and I was able to beat the best players that were on tour at that time. They helped me a lot with my confidence. They've always been a very unique experience, the WTA Finals. Sharing moments when I was younger, my father being there, playing in the States and playing at the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden, they were unique experiences. I feel very lucky that I've been able to experience those. I also played in Doha after I had Jada and I won there. They were all very unique in their own way.

"I see that now with Singapore having watched it on TV. Last year I was up at night and watching Dominika Cibulkova with all her emotions, kind of dragging you into the matches. It just brings back memories for me. Little flashes of my past life on tour."

In addition to her role as a WTA Finals ambassador, Clijsters will be on the road more than she has in the past few years, as she also plans to play the legends events at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Now 33, Clijsters says tournament life still feels very foreign to her.

"I'm just so used to my life and my routine at home that this almost feels selfish in a way, being here, being in a hotel room and not having much to do," Clijsters said. "Yesterday I arrived, I drove here, and I had a few hours before the event started. I was in my room and I was like 'What do I do?' So I called home and Skyped with the kids," she said with an embarrassed laugh.

Listen to Clijsters discuss a whole range of topics, from the state of the tour to her thoughts on Serena Williams' pregnancy, and Victoria Azarenka's impending return after having a child. Few have a better understanding of what it's like to be a mother on tour. After retiring in 2007, Clijsters came out of retirement in 2009 and proceeded to win three Slams as well as the 2010 WTA Finals in Doha. Her romp to the 2009 US Open title, which came within months of returning to the tour, left an indelible mark on the sport, with heart-warming scenes of her daughter Jada running around Arthur Ashe Stadium celebrating her triumph.

"No, she does not remember," Clijsters said, when asked if Jada remembers being on court that day. "Of course we have photos and videos. She's at that age where she goes on YouTube and she types in my name. She sees her at the US Open and she's telling her friends "That's me! My mom won this big trophy!" and then she runs and gets the trophy.

"She asked me the other day if I can start playing tennis again so she doesn't have to go to school anymore and she can go back on tour."

That return isn't likely, but it will be fantastic to see Clijsters around the tour more often over the next year. Always a tour favorite among players, fans, and writers, the tour is a happier place whenever Kim is around.

On how she decided to come out of retirement after having her first child:

"I think one of the biggest differences with me was that when I retired I didn't think I was going to play tennis again. I was like, I'm done. I had a year to deal with the grief of my father passing away at the time, and then having a baby and everything that comes with that, finding your way as a mother. I was very happy.

"I know that it helped me further down the road to win the US Open as quickly as I did because I had a full year before I was an athlete again. I started playing tennis and practicing because I was going to play some exhibitions. I called my trainer and he said, ok, let's start with a light schedule. Gradually I thought, huh, this is still going well and maybe I'm too young to just play exhibitions. But I kept that to myself. I needed to think this through and maybe it will pass. But the motivation only grew stronger."

"My initial plan was to start at the 2010 Australian Open, but then I thought well, I don't want to have all that attention at a big tournament straight away. So I played some tournaments in the States. We planned to play those to play some matches and get the feel for traveling with a baby on tour. And before you know it..."

On the motivation that drove her comeback:

"I did feel at times that I had some unfinished business. That feeling came back. I felt like I had more in me than I showed in my first career. So that is a motivation. You forget after a while. A lot of people talk about you being a mother, but as a player you forget about that. That's a question that's being asked by the media after every match. What are you going to do now? Is your daughter waiting, is she still going to be up? I never thought about that."

On Serena and Azarenka:

"It's really exciting. I'm really excited for Serena and Vika because this is real life stuff. I'm not saying tennis isn't real life but sometimes it's not really reality. But parenting, giving birth, there's no feeling, no win, no tennis trophy comes even close to how you feel after having a baby. I'm happy that they get to experience that."

On the importance of experience on tour:

"There comes a point in your career where you feel like you have it figured out. By figured out I don't mean how to play tennis, but you learn to deal with everything. You learn how to deal with things that affect you a certain way. What affects you negatively, what makes you play better. That's an important thing to figure out. That's such an important thing to have when you come back.

"When I play a tournament now, I can switch on. Physically I'm not the same, but mentally I can switch on. I know how I react and I know the tricks of the game. That's there and nobody can teach you that except experience."

"Mentally being composed out there and not wasting energy on pointless stuff, which I guess is life in general. Once you figure that out on court, something gets added on and you become a better player when you have that. I see that with Serena. She was always a great tennis player. But she was not that consistent. Now you can see she has it figured out. I'll be very excited to watch when Serena comes back on tour."

Podcast included in article link.  Great listen. 

Monday, May 01, 2017

Roger Federer says he will play Roland Garros

Roger Federer, coming off victories at the Australian Open and ATP events in Miami and Indian Wells, says he plans to play in next month's French Open.

After defeating John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (9/7) in an exhibition at Seattle, Washington, to benefit his charity foundation, Federer told the Tennis Channel he plans to play at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015.

"I am registered and my intention is to play Roland Garros," the 18-time Grand Slam champion said in a post-match interview.

The 35-year-old Swiss star, ranked fourth in the world, made a quarter-final exit in the 2015 French Open and missed last year's event while dealing with knee and back injuries.

His lone title on the red clay in Paris came in 2009 and completed a career Grand Slam. He owns five US and Australian Open crowns and seven Wimbledon titles.

""Last year was extremely difficult, having had surgery and the knee never healing. Then I had back pain too, and it all got too much at Wimbledon and I was out for six months.I feel very privileged to be back on a tennis court," Federer told the network.

"But I was able to spend some incredible time with the family and start preparing for this season and hoping that the work that I put in the off season was going to really pay off.

"I was going to get a second chance to really play tennis again on the professional tour and so when I did come back in Australia was really exciting."

Federer, whose first three exhibitions for African children's charities were played in Switzerland, raised almost $2 million and also played a doubles exhibition alongside Microsoft founder Bill Gates, beating Isner and Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Kim Clijsters says Maria Sharapova has been punished enough

Despite rivals' chorus of disapproval, former star says Sharapova has served her time.

If the dipping temperatures in Stuttgart, looking to turn icy in the coming days, are getting to Maria Sharapova a little more than others, she can hardly be blamed.

After all, more of her peers on the professional women's tennis tour have publicly disagreed with the concept of her getting a wild card into tournaments than those who spoke out in her defence.

But the Russian, who returns to competition today at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix following a 15-month doping ban, can at least count on some warmth from Kim Clijsters, a former rival who has exchanged several steely stares with her across the net before.

As far as the Belgian is concerned, Sharapova - who tested positive for meldonium at last year's Australian Open - has paid her dues.

Said the former world No. 1, who is in Germany as a legend ambassador for the Oct 22-29 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore: "(Sharapova) has done her time, and she's done her punishment.

"I was disappointed and surprised when the news came out, but now she's done her punishment and she's starting her career with zero ranking. She has to build her way up anyway."

Clijsters struck a different tune from many active players on tour.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki have been among the most vocal, objecting to tournament organisers handing Sharapova a way into tournaments. The Russian no longer has a ranking and is dependent on wild cards to compete at WTA events.

The 30-year-old tennis star with five Grand Slam titles will also be playing in Madrid and Rome. She opens her campaign against Italian Roberta Vinci, an opponent she has not lost to in two meetings so far. It will be the first time the Russian is allowed on-site at the Porsche Arena.

Clijsters' more forgiving stance, perhaps, stems from a unique perspective as former player and official. The 33-year-old was tournament director of a WTA tournament in Antwerp in 2015.

Said Clijsters: "Having been both sides, as a tournament director and as a player, it's up to the tournament whether they want to give a wild card or not.

"She still has all the Grand Slams that she's won, she's still the name. I assume for sponsors, spectators, especially in this situation, everyone wants to see how well she will do.

"It's a tough situation for Maria to be in. All eyes will be on her. I'm sure it was really tough for her to be on the sidelines for that long. She's had the career that she's had - and I don't think she needs to be punished more because of 'the reason'," added the four-time Grand Slam champion.

"In a week's time, this news will be over and she will be back on tour, maybe playing some of her best tennis. I'm excited to watch her play... I'm interested to see, just like everyone else is, to see how she will do."

Interesting, but I'm also not surprised that Kim is supportive, she's always been one of the nicest, and most level headed players on the WTA Tour. 

I also find it interesting that Maris is getting so much flack (even though I do tend to agree with it to an extant).  

But I don't recall Martina Hingis having the same problem. Granted hers was a completely different case in that it was not a performance enhancing drug, and she was away a lot longer (2 full years), but still. I don't recall her getting a lot of complaints from players on receiving wild cards. 

It could also be that Martina is mostly a doubles specialists these days, but she did have as high a profile and still does, if not higher as Sharapova and clearly people have forgiven her. 

It's just something that has been on mind with Sharapova's return to the tour this week. 

I also find it unfair, that when male tennis athletes get caught for doping it's never as hot a topic, and certainly never seems as highly covered by the main stream media.  

Usually it's jut a blurb or a highlight on the news.  It's so sad how there's still such a sexist double standard when it comes to elite female athletes.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Kim Clijsters new legend ambassador for WTA finals in Singapore

STUTTGART (Germany) - Former world No. 1 tennis player Kim Clijsters will make her first trip to Singapore this October, after being announced as a legend ambassador for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, the prestigious season ender of the women's professional tour.

The four-time Grand Slam winner will join fellow WTA legends Martina Navratilova and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in the role, and will be in Singapore during the Oct 22-29 event.

She was unveiled in her new role on the sidelines of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart on Tuesday (April 25), where the ticket sales were also launched.

Clijsters, who retired in 2012 and now is a mother of three, won the year-ender three times (2002, 2003, 2010).

She said: "There's always something special about the WTA Finals. It's one of the biggest and proudest achievements of my career and I'm really excited to be an ambassador for the WTA Finals. I look forward to see who will make it to the top eight."

Reigning champion Dominika Cibulkova was also at the launch, despite having to pull out from the Stuttgart competition due to a wrist injury.

Re-living the biggest win of her career, she said: "I look at my trophy almost every day and it reminds me of a great moment of what I was able to win. It was full of emotion."

Players on the WTA began earning for one of eight singles slots available for the WTA Finals. Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova and Dane Caroline Wozniakci currently lead the leaderboard on the Road to Singapore.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Roger Federer getting ready for Seattle match with Bill Gates and John Isner

After sitting out the second half of the 2016 season with a knee injury, tennis great Roger Federer has made a remarkable comeback. At the age of 35, he has won the three biggest tournaments of the year so far, including the Australian Open back in January. Now the living tennis legend is coming to Seattle. Federer will be at Key Arena for the "Match 4 Africa 4" along with Bill Gates and American tennis pro John Isner on Saturday April 29th. KOMO's Frank Lenzi chatted with Federer, who is training right now in Dubai.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Roger Federer says he's a 'totally normal guy not- Mr. perfect'

Roger Federer is firmly established as one of the world's most popular athletes, but he says he isn't under pressure to keep up that image.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion has gained a huge following for his pleasing game, sportsmanship and accessible personality, yet he describes himself as just another normal guy.

"It's not a burden," he said in an interview with Tages Anzeiger and German-speaking reporters to promote his scheduled appearance in Stuttgart. "I can, happily, be myself. The picture is also distorted. Everyone thinks [that] because I have success, everything is wonderful.

"But, also, I am constantly working to improve myself. Whether it's organization, the father of a family, a tennis player."

Federer added that fans have gotten to know him as a player and a public figure, though he is quite private away from the courts.

"Happily, I give many interviews, where I can be normal,” he said. “People can feel, ‘This is not Mr. Perfect. This is someone who is totally normal.' It's nice that I have such a good image. But it is primarily around sport."


Monday, April 17, 2017

Roger Federer still undecided on this year's Roland Garros

(CNN)Will he? Won't he? Roger Federer has cast an element of doubt over whether he will compete in the tennis season's second grand slam -- next month's French Open.

The Swiss great told CNN Sport that missing the second major of the year to extend his current break from the Tour was "still an option right now" and he will make a firm decision just before the French Open starts.

Federer, who missed six months of last season with a knee injury, surprised the tennis world in March by announcing he would take eight weeks off to recover from a fairytale start to the year.

At 35, and having won the three biggest titles of the year to date -- the Australian Open, Indian Wells and the Miami Open -- the 18-time grand slam champion decided he needed to rest and would return to action two weeks before the start of the French Open on May 22.

But Federer, who has won the French Open once, in 2009, told CNN Sport: "I don't think I will skip it, but I will have to see in, say, four or five weeks how I feel when I get on the clay, how my mood is.

"If I feel like I'm not 100% in it, that I'm (not) really fired up -- and I believe that is something possible -- then it is better to skip it.

"But then I think maybe the break is a long one. It will be 10 weeks until the grass -- that could be a bit long, but I will make a definite decision in five weeks. But I think I will play the French."

Last month the world No.4 revealed his physiotherapist had advised him not to play too many matches on clay because of the impact the demanding red dirt would have on his knee.

He had, after all, taken an enforced six months off after Wimbledon last year because of an injury which had threatened to end his glorious career.

After winning the Miami Open in March, his 20th match of the season, Federer said his body and his mind needed time away from the grueling Tour.

Roger Federer (L) plays world No.1 Andy Murray on a floating tennis court before the pair prepared to play each other in 'Match for Africa 3' to raise money for the Swiss' foundation.

Federer, outside the world's top 10 before his incredible Australian Open triumph in January, has climbed to No.4 in the world rankings, having suffered defeat just once this year.

The Swiss will not currently play enough matches to close the big gap between him and world No.1 Andy Murray, who is six years his junior.

In fact, these days Federer is less concerned about his ranking and has no intention of changing his schedule in a bid to knock Murray off the top spot.

"I just don't think I can," said Federer, speaking before his exhibition match with Murray for the Swiss' foundation earlier this month.

"I would like to. At 23 years old, absolutely, you can start saying I'll play the last 20 tournaments of the season if it helps with me getting a better chance with the world No.1.

"That's exactly, though, when I get injured. That's exactly when I burn out and that's exactly when it all ends so that's exactly why I did take a break for six to seven weeks and just really relax the body again.

"I also said the mind needs a break, the stress and pressure that I have every single day from playing is a lot.

"I won't change anything. If it happens great, but I really think it's a long, long shot. But, who knows. I really hope I can do very well at Wimbledon and the US Open this year."

It is at Wimbledon, not the French Open, where Federer is more likely to claim his 19th grand slam.

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Murray will be above him in the pecking order in Paris on a surface he has not always enjoyed playing on.

But even if he did win a record eighth Wimbledon title, Federer said he had no plans to retire
"Honestly, I wish I knew a date, where I said 'okay this is going to be my last tournament,' then I could plan my whole life around it, but I don't," he said.

"I want to leave it open. We'll see what happens, see what I feel. I just hope when I leave, I can do it on my terms."

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Martina Hingis & Timea Bacsinszky thrill home crowd at Ladies Open Biele Bienne

BIEL/BIENNE, Switzerland - Former World No.1 Martina Hingis and fellow Olympic Silver medalist Timea Bacsinszky enjoyed a happy reunion at home, knocking out Diana Marcinkevica and Carina Witthoeft, 6-2, 6-3, in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Ladies Open Biel Bienne.

"It's really cool," Bacsinszky said after the match. "What we have together, we shared so many big emotions and two unbelievable weeks. Those memories will stay with me forever."

Bacsinszky and Hingis paired up for the first time at the Olympic tennis event, stunning 2012 silver medalists Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka en route to the Gold medal match, where they lost a tense two-setter to Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Back together in Biel/Bienne, the pair reunited with the upcoming Fed Cup semifinal in mind; the Swiss team takes on Belarus in two weeks for a spot in their first final since 1998, when Hingis helmed the squad in singles and doubles.

"It was amazing to play again with her here, and great preparation for Fed Cup," Bacsinszky added, "because you never know, if it's 2-2 in a semifinal, you'll want to have some matches under your belt to get the connection back.

"That was important for us, so that's why we decided to play here. I'm thrilled to play here again in Switzerland with my home crowd!"

The Swiss are certainly looking strong at home. With Hingis and Bacsinszky cheering her on from the stands, Viktorija Golubic extended her winning streak to eight straight matches on Swiss soil, having won both singles rubbers in last year's Fed Cup semifinal against the Czech Republic, her maiden title at the Ladies Championship Gstaad, and her first round match in Biel/Bienne, a nail-biting three-set win over Volvo Car Open semifinalist Laura Siegemund.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Andre Agassi: Roger Federer can play for 4 or 5 more years

Last month Roger Federer signed a three-year contract with Basel event until 2019, when he will turn 38. Playing until that year would mean being on the ATP Tour for two years and a half more, but according to Andre Agassi the Swiss tennis player would be able to play also until 2022 when he will be 41. 

Asked if seeing Federer still competitive makes Agassi think that he could have played more, the former American player himself, interviewed by Marca, said: 'No no. Coming back I would have probably called it a career before. 

Every tennis player has a different career and each one has his reason to retire. In my case my body had told me to stop and I didn't have other choice. Also, I never had Roger's game. For me it was easy, but it seems that he can keep going for other four or five years. The only thing I can say is that when the end comes, it comes in a fast way and you do not expect it. Something happens and everything changes.'

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Roger Federer plays fun match for Africa vs Andy Murray in Zurich Switzerland


Tennis fans got to see Andy Murray back in action after a spell out injured...but probably not how they expected .

The World No.1 was forced to withdraw from the Miami Open in March after injuring his elbow. He has also has suffered with shingles and illness since the turn of the year.

The Brit subsequently missed Great Britain's exit from the Davis Cup against France over the weekend but kept up his promise to play against Roger Federer in 'The Match for Africa 3' at the Hallenstadion on Monday night..but not before he had taken on the Swiss champ on a FLOATING tennis court.

The duo knocked balls about on a raft as it floated down the river Limmat in Zurich.

And later than night they returned to more normal surroundings as Murray 6-3 7-6 (7/5) against in-form Federer.

Reigning Australian Open champion Federer is set to take a voluntary sabbatical before the French Open begins at the end of May.

Asked what his plans were over the coming weeks, Federer responded: "Not very much."I'll be resting most of the time. The body needs a rest, I can feel it.

"Everything is good. I should be back for the French Open, that's the plan."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Roger Federer prioritizing health over tournaments

Roger Federer has reiterated that it is all about maintaining good health at the moment rather than chasing records after making his best start to a season since 2016.

The Swiss ace has won three titles – Australian Open, BNP Paribas Masters and Miami Masters – from the four tournaments he has played in 2017 and it has seen him rise from number 17 in the world to number four within a space of three months.

Federer has surprised himself with his current run, especially since he is returning from a six-month injury layoff that forced him to cut his 2016 season short in July. The 18-time Grand Slam champion has been tipped to reach the summit of the men's world rankings again, but made it clear that it is not his goal at the moment. He is presently focusing on remaining fit.

He announced a ten-week break after his win at Miami, which will see him return to the court only for the French Open that begins 22 May.

The 35-year-old won his 91st career singles title by defeating Rafael Nadal in the final of the Miami Masters recently and is now just three behind Ivan Lendl (94) who is second on the all-time list and 18 behind leader Jimmy Connors (109).

Further, Federer admitted that it will be nice to achieve 100 titles before calling time on his career, but insisted that he will not chase it by playing smaller events where he will have a better chance of winning.

"I guess it would be nice to reach 100 just because it´s a good number. But then again, I´m not picking the easy ones to win, to be honest. I´m not going to play smaller tournaments just to chase that, as you can see. I´m even now taking a ten-week break," Federer said, as quoted by tennisworldusa.org.

"Like I said, health comes before everything, before every record at this point. But sure, this has been an incredible start winning three titles this year and none last year. Things are definitely better this year. But for those kinds of numbers I need to stick around for a while and play very, very well at the high level. It´s going to be difficult so we´ll see what happens. 100 would be a great number, of course," the former world number one added.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Martina Hingis, Belinda Bencic enjoy Biel/Bienne Kids Day

BIEL/BIENNE, Switzerland -- Children attending the Ladies Open Biel Bienne over the weekend got to get a glimpse of two of their country's biggest WTA stars, as Switzerland's Belinda Bencic and Martina Hingis participated in the tournament's Kids' Day festivities, organized by Swiss Tennis.

The duo forms quite the Swiss trifecta on the WTA Tour alongside Timea Bacsinszky and held a youth clinic as part of the event ahead of the Monday's main draw.

Both players will face Carina Witthoeft in the first round of their respective tournaments, as the wildcard Bencic will face the German in singles while Hingis and Bacsinszky will square off against Witthoeft and Diana Marcinkevica in doubles.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Martina Hingis says her generation had more distinguishable players

Tennis - Former World No. 1 Martina Hingis, still a world-class doubles player, says her generation of  WTA players was for more interesting than the current set of players. In an interview with "Westfälische Rundschau", the 36-year-old says, 

"I think a lot of players today are more interchangeable. The fans can hardly distinguish them with their names, all ending in 'Ova'. This is perhaps a bit exaggerated, but it goes in that direction. Our generation was certainly one of the best. With the Williams sisters, with Steffi Graf, Monica Seles or Jennifer Capriati. We pushed each other mutually. Under no circumstances did any of us want to fall out of the top ten."

Hingis also commented that today's players are satisifed much more easily as compared to players of earlier eras. 

"Especially with the boys, I observe that they are good for a few weeks and then leave the training as soon as they reach a highlight. I have the impression that the players are satisfied too early."

Hingis became World No. 1 at the age of 16 and won 3 of the 4 Grand Slam titles in 1997. She won two more Slams in singles before injuries curtailed her singles career. She has luanched a comeback as a doubles specialist in recent years and was ranked No. 1 in doubles as recently as last year.

Can't say I disagree honestly. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Roger Federer says he won't chase #1, but it may come to him

After winning the three biggest titles of the year so far, Roger Federer fans dare to dream of the Swiss returning to World No. 1

Let's be clear about one thing: While Roger Federer would welcome a thoroughly unexpected return to the top of the Emirates ATP Rankings, he has no interest in grinding his way back to World No. 1.

At 35, No. 1 is not the priority. Physically and mentally, it can't be. Winning Grand Slams and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, leading a balanced family life and staying healthy and motivated is what's most important to the Swiss, who holds the record for spending 302 weeks at the top spot.

Andre Agassi (33 years, 4 months) was the oldest man to reign as World No. 1. Federer, who was last No. 1 in October 2012, would be more than two years older than the American should he reclaim top spot later this year.

After sweeping the March Masters at the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open presented by Itau, Federer said that he would likely shut it down this month and next before returning for Roland Garros (beginning 28 May). Currently 1,810 points clear of second-placed Rafael Nadal in the calendar-year Emirates ATP Race To London (a predictor of the year-end rankings), Federer’s sabbatical will see the Spaniard cut or possibly wipe out the Swiss’ lead in the Race during the clay swing.

ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert, a former World No. 4 and a winner of 20 titles, says, “Right now Fed’s got a better than 50 percent chance of finishing the year No. 1. When you look at how far Djoker and Murray are behind, I think it's going to come down to Roger and Rafa.

“Roger has finished the year No. 1 five times and in four of those five times he's left Miami first in the Race. He told me after the match that he's not 24 anymore and that possibly he'll only play the French. That's three Masters 1000s out of the way, but he can finish No. 1 if he wins one of the last three majors, which is certainly possible. He belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of the seven greatest athletes of all time, along with Michael Jordan and Tom Brady.”

Federer told Gilbert and ESPN viewers on court that he was “focussing on the French, the grass and then the hard courts is going to be the key for me. And if things happen for World No. 1 that would be great, but I still believe I’m a long way away.”

Later, in his press conference, Federer expanded on his goals for the rest of the season, saying, “Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal... but all of the grass really is important to me because I'll play Stuttgart and Halle there, too. Then of course I am looking very good for the [ATP] Finals, for the year-end championships, where I've been very successful. I like the indoors as well. So for me basically the second half of the season is a big priority now. That's why I'll take a break.”

Federer has opened a significant gap on the rest of the field in the Emirates ATP Race To London after winning the three biggest titles so far this year: The Australian Open and ATP World Tour Masters 1000s in Indian Wells and Miami. At the beginning of the season it looked like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray would battle each other for No. 1, especially after they played an epic final in Doha in the first week of the season.

But unpredictability is one of the beauties of sport, and after a stunning first quarter of the season that no one saw coming, Murray (840 points) is 12th in the Race, 3,205 points adrift of Federer, and Djokovic (475) is 22nd, 3,570 points behind the Swiss. With Federer (4,045) first and Nadal (2,235) second, it feels more like 2007 than 2017.

Except for one thing: Gilbert believes Federer is playing better today than 10 years ago.

“I’ve been watching Roger since 1998 and in my humble opinion he is playing better tennis than at any point in his career,” Gilbert says. “He’s been forced to get better and he’s had to raise his backhand and return of serve. He’s playing more complete tennis. I look at the numbers and sometimes when something goes up, something goes down. But Roger’s breaking five per cent more while still holding 90 per cent of the time. And he’s converting 50 per cent of break points.”

Federer is determined that another key measure – his fitness – also remains in positive territory, hence his decision to embark on an extended break now. “I'm not 24 anymore. I have to pick my moments where I can peak and stay healthy,” Federer said in his presser.

“At the end of the day, I need to look out for my health, that I'm happy in all parts of my life, personal, private, on-court life, professional life, and I can't keep this pace up on every single day. Just too much and I'll run out. The desire will run out.

“I would rather take a step back and then really come back with a lot of energy and happiness. Then I can share that with everybody. Otherwise you'll see me here and you will see that all I want to do is get out of here. I don't want to be that guy. I really don't.”

Monday, April 03, 2017

Miami Open 2017 Champion Federer Reflects On The Journey

Sad he won't play any other clay event, but makes perfect sense if he even wants a shot at Roland Garros.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Roger Federer completes 3rd Sunshine Double with Miami title, his 91st!

Roger Federer Tumblr

Roger Federer Official Facebook

The legend continues to grow. Roger Federer extended his run of dominance in 2017, clinching his third title of the season 6-3, 6-4 over Rafael Nadal on Sunday at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Federer added to his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 legacy, notching his 26th crown and third Sunshine Double (2005-06), having lifted the trophy in Indian Wells two weeks prior. The Swiss, who is projected to return to the Top 5 of the Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 4 on Monday, earned his 91st tour-level title in total.

On song throughout the fortnight in Miami, Federer rarely put a foot wrong in Sunday’s final, prevailing after one hour and 34 minutes. He fired 29 winners, including 19 off his forehand wing and five aces. The Swiss claimed two of nine break points, while turning aside all four faced. It was Federer’s first title at the hard-court event since defeating coach Ivan Ljubicic in 2006.

"I'm moving up in the [Emirates ATP Rankings] and I just want to stay healthy," Federer told Brad Gilbert of ESPN following the match. "When I'm healthy and feeling good, I can produce tennis like this. That's why taking a break and resting during the clay season and focusing on Roland Garros, the grass and the hard courts after that is best. I would be great to be No. 1 again, but it's a long way away."

Arguably the biggest storyline on the ATP World Tour this year has been the renewal of one of the most storied rivalries in the history of sport. It was front and centre once again at the Crandon Park Tennis Center, with Federer and Nadal writing a 37th captivating chapter. With the Spaniard seeking revenge after falling at both the Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open, it marked the earliest they've played each other three times in a season.

Heavy and humid conditions greeted both competitors as they sought to take the initiative early and often. Federer showed his resilience following a three-hour semi-final epic against Nick Kyrgios on Friday. Looking to carry the momentum after a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Nadal in Indian Wells, he would deny break points in three of his first four service games. Federer struck first at 4-3, flattening an inside-out forehand to push Nadal off the court and secure the opening break of the match. He would consolidate a game later to seize the 48-minute opener.

Looking to turn the tables in the second set, Nadal would overcome a break point at 3-3 30/40 with a lunging volley winner. Despite employing a more aggressive gameplan, he was unable to change the momentum, as Federer remained calm in the big moments and eventually captured the decisive break for 5-4. The fourth seed emerged victorious on his first championship point as a Nadal forehand sailed long.

Flawless against the Top 10 this season, Federer improved to a staggering 7-0 against elite competition and is now 19-1 overall. It is his best start to a season since 2006, when he went 33-1. The first 30 & over final in tournament history, at 35 years and seven months, Federer became the oldest Miami champion.

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Title Leaders

Player Titles

Novak Djokovic 30

Rafael Nadal 28

Roger Federer 26

Andre Agassi 17
Andy Murray 14

Exactly 12 years removed from their first-ever meeting in a final, won by the Basel native in five sets, he took a 10-9 lead on hard courts in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry. Nadal still leads 23-14 overall, but the Spaniard has dropped their four most recent encounters, dating back to 2015.

With both players projected to return to the Top 5 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, Federer earned 1,000 points and $1,175,505 in prize money and Nadal took home 600 points and $573,680. The Mallorca native was bidding to claim his first title in his fifth final appearance in Miami and join Andre Agassi as the only players to win ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in their teens, 20s and 30s. Nadal was seeking a 29th Masters 1000 crown in total and 70th at the tour-level. He remains in search of his first hard-court crown since Doha 2014.

Someone pinch me, I think I'm dreaming.  

On second thought, don't wake me up. 

Congrats Swiss Maestro, now get some well deserved rest.  

See you at Roland Garros in May!.