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Federer crushed Nadal to win Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer was at his ruthless best, streaking to the Shanghai Rolex Masters title with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Rafael Nadal. It's his 27th Masters title and second in Shanghai.

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Federer wins historic 8th Wimbledon crown

Roger Federer won a record eighth title at Wimbledon, when he claimed his 19th Grand Slam championship trophy. He defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.

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Federer demolishes Zverev to win 9th Halle title

Roger Federer started perfectly and never looked back in the Gerry Weber Open final in Halle, sprinting to a 6-1, 6-3 victory against rising star Alexander Zverev.

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Federer defeats Nadal to win 3rd Miami crown

Roger Federer extended his run of dominance in 2017, clinching his third title of the season 6-3, 6-4 over Rafael Nadal at the Miami Open.

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Federer beats Wawrinka for 5th Indian Wells title

The incredible comeback continues. Roger Federer won a record-tying fifth BNP Paribas Open crown as he defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in an all-Swiss final at Indian Wells.

Federer crushed Nadal to win Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer was at his ruthless best on Sunday, streaking to the Shanghai Rolex Masters title with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Rafael Nadal. It was a vintage Federer performance, as the Swiss secured the 71-minute win with a dominant display, clinching a second Shanghai crown (2014) and 27th at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level.

With the win, Federer notched his 700th match victory on hard courts and improved to 10-1 against the Top 10 this year. It was the 94th title in his storied career, which pulls him level with Ivan Lendl for second on the Open Era list. Only Jimmy Connors owns more trophies (109).

Federer's 2017 campaign continues to set the bar, as the 36 year old added a sixth title and third at the Masters 1000 stage. Having also prevailed in Indian Wells and Miami, it marks the fifth time in his career in which he has captured at least three such championships. Moreover, with the win, Federer draws to within 1,960 points of Nadal for the top spot in the ATP Race To London, with year-end No. 1 still very much in play. Both will be competing at the Swiss Indoors Basel, followed by the Rolex Paris Masters and ATP Finals.

"I don't know what my expectations were going in. I had no nerves before the match, which was nice," said Federer. "I played a great match today with hardly any mistakes. It was very clear for me how I wanted to play and then I came out and started off very well. Felt relaxed from then on. I always know that Rafa can come back at any moment if he connects well, picks the right sides, and does the right things.

"I even felt that way being up 0/40, you know, going for the double break, but, I had a clear game plan and felt I was playing well all week. I think that settled my nerves, because I was returning well from the first match here I played against Schwartzman. The serve only got better. I guess I saved the best for last. I played some good matches now against del Potro and also now these two sets.

"In a way, it's not surprising, because I did feel good all week, and it does pay off to arrive early to an event. You can't do it all the time, but I was here since Thursday late night and that's five, six days to prepare for a Wednesday match. So I was ready."

Nadal leads their ATP Head to Head rivalry 23-15, but Federer is doing his best to narrow the margin, having won their past five match-ups. The trend continued in Sunday's final, with the Basel native capitalising on the fast conditions under the lights on Stadium Court.

With torrential rain drenching the Qi Zhong Tennis Center, the roof was closed for the blockbuster clash of titans. Federer was in control from the first ball, looking to break down Nadal's defence with an assault of forehands and backhands. The attacking Swiss made an immediate statement with a break in the opening game, carving a cross-court slice approach that caught Nadal out of position, followed by a boisterous backhand winner down the line.

In each of Federer's three previous victories over Nadal this season - at the Australian Open and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami - the Swiss won more than 75 per cent of first serve points. His delivery was on song once again in Sunday's final, claiming 83 per cent of total service points in closing out a 6-4 first set.

The second set featured more vintage Federer, as the second seed struck a stunning drop volley winner and forced Nadal to misfire on a forehand to claim the break for 3-2. Federer executed his gameplan to perfection throughout the 71-minute affair, sealing the win on his second match point when a Nadal forehand found the net.

Federer has now won five consecutive encounters in their ATP Head to Head and is 4-0 this year. It marked the third time they have met on Chinese soil, with the Swiss scoring a pair of wins at the 2006 and '07 ATP Finals, when the season finale was held in Shanghai.

"London is my priority now and I really want to win the World Tour Finals. I am very excited to have had the year that I have had and everything that comes from here is a bonus. Finishing the year as World No. 1 is a long shot, and I don't think it will happen. But if I play like this, who knows? Maybe I will get close again," Federer said.

Nadal, meanwhile, was bidding for a record 31st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. The 31-year-old Spaniard suffered his first defeat since returning to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings in August, seeing his win streak snapped at 16 straight. He was appearing in the Shanghai final for the second time, having finished runner-up to Nikolay Davydenko in the tournament's inaugural edition in 2009.

"It was a very difficult match for me," said Nadal. "He played very fast and he played well. I don't know how many unforced errors he made. I could have done some things better, but that's it. He just played too good. That's my point of view. So congrats to him.

"I played a fantastic tournament, having very good wins. Very pleased the way I played the whole Asian tour for me. Beijing and Shanghai have been a very positive two weeks for me. A lot of points, a lot of victories against great opponents. I come back with very good personal satisfaction the way that I played."

Date: 15 October 2017, Source: ATP and Shanghai

Federer and Nadal to clash in Shanghai final

Roger Federer will face longtime rival Rafael Nadal for the fourth time this season after coming from a set down to defeat Juan Martin del Potro, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. The 2014 champion advances to his third final at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event.

Federer’s win set a crucial showdown with Nadal in the battle for year-end World No. 1. Should Nadal win on Sunday he will stretch his lead over Federer in the ATP Race To London to 2,760 points and effectively put the issue beyond doubt. However, should Federer win his fifth consecutive match over Nadal, he would pull to within 1,960 points. That’s still a lot of ground to make up to finish atop the year-end standings for the first time since 2009, but within the realm of possibility if Federer finishes the year as strongly as he started it.

"It's nice at this late stage of the career that we still have these matches going on," Federer said. "There is only going to be a few chances for either player, and sometimes it's just who blinks at the wrong time."

After failing to capitalise on four consecutive break points while down a set and up 3-2 in the second set, it appeared that Federer might be denied a meeting with World No. 1 Nadal for the second time in as many months by the Argentine, who defeated him in the quarter-finals at the US Open. But when del Potro missed a forehand wide on the fifth consecutive break point he faced, the 29 year old gave the Swiss all the momentum he needed to turn the match around.

"Clearly getting the break and then holding, it's always key in tennis," Federer said. "I'm happy I was able to do it, especially with all the twists and turns and, blink at the wrong time, he might hold the game and then you don't know what's going to happen next."

The 36 year old did not face a break point in the final two sets, and broke twice in the decider to advance in one hour and 58 minutes.

It was unclear just how fit del Potro would be for the match after he fell on his surgically-repaired left wrist in the third set of his quarter-final victory against Viktor Troicki on Friday. His communications manager, Jorge Viale, tweeted that the 2013 Shanghai finalist suffered a contusion, and was in a splint Friday evening. But you would not have known it by watching the right-hander compete against the World No. 2.

Early on, he answered virtually every aggressive shot by Federer with an even bigger forehand of his own, and even stepped into a number of two-handed backhands down the line to gain control of points. The Swiss consistently attacked his opponent's weaker backhand before changing directions to finish points to del Potro's forehand, but the Argentine's rocket of a forehand proved too tough to handle more often than not. On Federer's first break point in the sixth game of the second set, he chose to approach to del Potro's forehand, which came back like a laser from meters behind the baseline, a passing shot that forced a backhand volley error.

But once Federer finally broke through in the 19-point game in the second set, del Potro appeared frustrated, especially with the pro-Federer crowd in Shanghai, which the chair umpire had to ask to quiet down.

"He took the confidence after that game. He broke me and he started to play more aggressive. He served much better after that game. I think he beat me in a good way," del Potro said.

Federer began to use his slice to throw off del Potro's rhythm and extract more errors, and using his openings to be more aggressive himself. The strategy worked, and the 26-time Masters 1000 winner won 37 per cent of points on his opponent's serve in the final set, consistently threatening to break.

Del Potro admitted he only decided when warming up for the match that he would play, having been advised it would not risk his wrist.

"I have been playing good tennis this week, but I felt good during the warm-up before the match, and I decided to play, because against Roger always is an honour to play," said del Potro. "The court was really fast, so maybe that would help my game.

"I think I did well, but Roger played much better than me some moments of the match, and he took the chances."

Federer will meet Nadal for the third time in a final in 2017, after winning the titles against him in Melbourne and Miami. The Swiss also beat his rival in their other meeting, which came in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells, and will look to close a 14-23 deficit in the pair’s ATP Head to Head rivalry.

The Spaniard carries a 16-match winning streak into the final, and will look to extend his tour lead to seven titles this season. Federer will attempt to tie Nadal by claiming his sixth trophy of the year.
Del Potro thinks Nadal is the only player capable of beating Federer in this form on the fast Shanghai courts.

"I think the court helps Federer's game a lot, and he always is in good shape," said del Potro. "He looks like an unbelievable athlete. I think on this court not many players can beat him. Maybe Rafa tomorrow, but if not, he's the only one who can play an excellent tennis on this faster surface.

"Rafa is playing so good, but I think Roger could win if he feels the ball really, really well. Because the court is so fast, and for the game of Roger it is much better than Rafa's game, but Rafa is a fighter and he never gives up. It will be interesting to watch."

Date: 14 October 2017, Source: ATP

Federer to meet Del Potro in Shanghai SF

Roger Federer moved another step closer to earning his second Shanghai Rolex Masters title on Friday with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Richard Gasquet to advance to the semi-finals, where he will play No. 16 seed Juan Martin del Potro.

"I thought it was a really good match. Some big points, important shots at the right time for both guys sometimes to stay even, and we both created chances," Federer said. "I thought we were able to keep up the level from the beginning till the very end. I enjoyed it because it was slices and topspins and angles and power and finesse. I think the match had a bit of everything."

Considering the Swiss entered the match having won the past 15 sets against the Frenchman, all by margins of 6-4 or greater, it looked like the fans in Shanghai might be in for a surprise when Gasquet held a break point while up 3-2 in the opening set.

But Federer held him off and would break at 5-5 to give him the edge that allowed him to win the opening set. He’d break in Gasquet’s next service game as well to jump to an early lead in the second set, but the 31 year old refused to lose touch, getting back on serve immediately.

However, when Federer broke for the third time in the match at 3-3, he would not relinquish the advantage again, and would close out the quarter-final in one hour and 18 minutes.

Federer said during his press conference that he saw del Potro fall and hurt his left wrist during the Argentine's quarter-final victory against Viktor Troicki, and a reporter informed the Swiss that del Potro went to the hospital to get an MRI.

"I hope for him that it's nothing serious. Of course it's on the wrist, as well, that he's had problems in the past, so this is where he's worried, rightfully so. For me, at the end of the day, nothing changes. I'm ready to come out here tomorrow and see the match like it's a revenge chance for the US Open, where it was tight and I couldn't win. So I see that more than his injury," Federer said. "But I hope for now that Juan Martin can recover and we can play a normal match."

Federer owns a 16-6 lead in his ATP Head to Head series with del Potro, including wins in three of their past four matches. But in September, del Potro prevented the first Federer-Rafael Nadal match at the US Open when he eliminated the Swiss in four sets in the quarter-finals.

The No. 2 seed has not dropped a set this week in his pursuit of a third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this season (Indian Wells, Miami), while del Potro has been pushed to a decider in three of his four matches. If Federer gets through what should be a tough battle against del Potro, it will not get easier with World No. 1 Rafael Nadal taking on fourth seed Marin Cilic in the other semi-final.

Date: 13 October 2017, Source: ATP

Federer fights through Shanghai opener

Roger Federer had to fight but eventually came through a tight opener on Wednesday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, beating Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (4), 6-4 to advance to the third round of the season's penultimate ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.

Federer improved to 4-0 against Schwartzman in their ATP Head to Head series and celebrated his 40th match win of the year with the straight-sets victory. The 36-year-old Swiss is now 40-4 during his comeback season.

“I think I served well. I had good concentration. Had good energy, as well, which I think is always important early on in a tournament,” Federer said.

During his first match in Shanghai since 2015, Federer was aggressive as he has been all season. He stepped into flat backhands and attacked the net, winning 14/24 net points. But the second seed did have to shake off a bit of rust in the big moments.

Before Wednesday, he hadn't played a tour-level match since 6 September, when he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open quarter-finals, and Federer saw break point after break point disappear in the first set.

Schwartzman, though, had much to do with that as well. The 5' 7” right-hander is enjoying his best season. He has climbed to a career-high No. 26 in the ATP Rankings and was coming off a semi-final run at the Japan Open Tennis Championships 2017 in Tokyo (l. to eventual champion Goffin).

Schwartzman fended off break points at 1-2 before Federer broke in the sixth game to lead 4-2. The very next game, though, Federer, the 2014 titlist, was broken. At 3-4, Federer again had two more chances to break but Schwartzman saved them all. They headed to a tie-break, where Federer overcame an early mini-break for the one-set lead.

“I knew going in it was not going to be easy. He's had a great run in recent weeks and months. I really felt that he was confident. He was shaking off misses, no problem. He was serving well. You could see he was taking the right decisions on his groundstrokes,” Federer said of Schwartzman.

“As an opponent, you feel that. You could see there was sort of an ease about his game today. I felt like that was going to be dangerous down the stretch of any set. I felt that tie-break was tough. I was down and then came up with some really good shot-making after that in the 'breaker to really turn it around.”

Federer can't afford to let this opportunity for a big week in Shanghai slip if he wants to stay competitive in the battle for year-end No. 1. Rafael Nadal, who also won on Wednesday, is more than 2,000 points ahead of the Swiss star.

The Basel native made life more straightforward during the second set. He broke to love to start and cruised to his 28th hard-court match win of the season (28-3). The right-hander is going for his sixth tour-level title of the year and his third Masters 1000 crown, having won the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March and the Miami Open in April.

“I think getting the break early in the second set gave me the chance to try a few more things, play more relaxed, go for my shots more, and then I was able to bring it home, coming back from 0/30 I think in the last game,” Federer said. “So it was a good match for me. I'm actually very happy with my level.”

He will next face Ukraine's Alexander Dolgopolov, who beat Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-4.

Date: 11 October 2017, Source: ATP

Federer: "Shanghai is one of the goals of the season"

Ahead of his first match at the 2017 Shanghai Rolex Masters, Roger Federer announced his intentions to walk away with his second trophy from QiZhong Stadium. The 19-time winner of majors said that his focus was not on catching Rafael Nadal for the top spot but was “right here, right now on Shanghai. Nothing else”.

Playing his first Tour event since the quarters of the US Open where he was hampered by a back injury, Federer said his training has been geared towards performing well this week. Federer arrived in Shanghai on Thursday night, as early as he’s ever been here.

“I have been practicing for hours on the centre court,” he said. “Have been kept busy, as well, which gets me into the right mindset, to be quite honest, because I’m here for a reason, here for a purpose, trying to do well, hopefully winning the tournament.

“It’s definitely one of the goals of the season for me here, this tournament. I always make it as a priority that I will be in good shape for Shanghai.”

Immensely popular in China, Federer is happy to be back after missing last year’s tournament with injury. He added: “Maybe some fans here in China or Shanghai thought I might never come back. I never thought this way, but now that I’m here I feel fans are really, really excited to see me.

“They are always there at my practice, they were there at the airport, they were there when I’m leaving from the airport, they are at any event almost I’m doing to get a glimpse of me which is very cool.”

Federer calls Shanghai his “second home away from home”, having opened the Qi Zhong Stadium here back in 2005. This year, Federer’s been making the most of his trip to Shanghai, having been spotted at an NBA game and even getting a metro line dedicated to him.

The Metro experience was a great one,” he said. “I grew up on public transport when I was younger in Switzerland. I used to take either tram, train, or bus to practice on a daily basis, and then also a lot of the train until about 20 years old, going to tournaments even to Italy, even internationally. So for me it's something very normal.

Fun and games aside, the 36-year-old says his focus is different compared to his younger years. “It’s short now. It’s compressed. So it’s week by week, and just try to do your absolute best. I have played extremely well this part of the season, but, you know, every year is different,” he said.

Despite owning 93 titles, putting him third on the all-time list behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl, Federer says he’s far from done for the year despite having one of his best seasons ever: “I’d like to win a couple of tournaments. That’s the goal. But we’ll see how it goes. It all starts here on Wednesday,” he said.

The No. 2 seed is pitted in the same half of the draw as recent ATP Finals qualifier, German Alexander Zverev, with the pair due to face off in the semi-finals in what would be a rematch of their Coupe Rogers final in Montreal, where Zverev triumphed.

I couldn't be happier with the season, to be quite honest,” Federer said. “I'm relieved that I'm feeling better since the American summer and Canada.

The Swiss will open against the winner of Rakuten Japan Open semi-finalist Diego Schwartzman and Australian qualifier Jordan Thompson in the second round.

Date: 9 October 2017, Source: Shanghai Masters and ATP

Federer's troubled preparation led to US Open exit

Roger Federer blamed troubled preparations for his US Open quarter-final exit on Wednesday, saying he had spent most of the time leading up to the year's final grand slam worrying about his back injury instead of focusing on training.

The 36-year-old Swiss, who was chasing a 20th major title and was hoping to play Rafael Nadal for the first time in Flushing Meadows in the last four, lost to Juan Martin del Potro 5-7, 6-3, 6-7 (8), 4-6 in a thrilling encounter on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It is a pity, but Juan Martin deserves it more. He came up with the goods when he needed to. He was better today, especially on the big points. I feel I have no place in the semis and he will have a better chance to beat Rafa, to be honest. The way I played or am]playing right now, it's not good enough in my opinion to win this tournament. It's better I'm out and somebody else gets a chance to do better than me.”

But it is one disappointment in a season of many highs for Federer, who won his 18th and 19th major titles at the Australian Open (d. Nadal) and Wimbledon (d. Cilic). Considering where he was this time last year, injured and unable to play for the second half of the season, it is with clear perspective that Federer was able to process the defeat.

“Of course, you're always disappointed when you lose in the very moment,” said Federer. “It's terrible to think of what lies ahead, packing bags, going home. It's just annoying as a tennis player. It's just not the fun part. You'd rather think about how you're going to relax tonight and have a massage and think about the match, think about the great shots you hit.

“Now you see all the bad stuff. And it's just not so much fun. It should hurt, and it does, rightfully so. But, I think my perspective at this age and with the season that I have had is easier to grasp faster. So I'll be fine quickly.

“It's all a bonus at this stage. I've had a wonderful year. I can't win them all. You run into guys who are better than you on the night. Juan Martin fought like a lion, so it's fine there. I'm upbeat about what's to come.”

First hampered by his back in defeat to Alexander Zverev in the Coupe Rogers final in Montreal, Federer was then forced to withdraw from the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in a bid to make sure he would be fit for the US Open. It denied him the chance to go up against Nadal for the No. 1 ranking and also sewed seeds of doubt into his mind going into the US Open.

The right-hander fought his way through two five-setters against Frances Tiafoe and Mikhail Youzhny in the first two rounds, but appeared to have settled into the tournament with straight-set wins over Feliciano Lopez and Philipp Kohlschreiber to reach the last eight. However, Federer admitted he never felt in control of his own destiny, especially against del Potro, who had beaten the Swiss in the 2009 final at Flushing Meadows.

“It was one of those matches where if I ran into a good guy, I was going to lose, I felt,” confessed Federer. “I don't want to say I was in a negative mindset, but I knew going in that I'm not in a safe place. Might have depended too much on my opponent, and I don't like that feeling. I had it throughout the tournament, and I just felt that way every single match I went into.

“I didn't have that feeling at Wimbledon or at the Australian Open, and that's why rightfully so I'm out of this tournament, because I wasn't good enough, in my mind, in my body, and in my game to overcome these three pillars.

“If you're missing all three, it's going to be tough. I'm okay with it, and I tried until the very end. And smashing certain stuff in the net that I normally wouldn't, smashing forehand volleys into the back fence, I mean, that stuff sucked. Honestly, it was terrible. Juan Martin did well. He served well, had some big shots when he needed to. That was the part that he did so much better tonight, and that's why he deserves to win.”

The season is far from over for Federer, though. After the chance to rest his body, the Swiss will look to go full throttle in his last four tournaments - in Shanghai, Basel, Paris and the ATP Finals in London -  to attempt to finish the season on a high note, and maybe even wrest the No. 1 spot from Nadal’s grip.

“I regret that I didn't get the opportunity to fight for World No. 1 in Cincinnati,” said Federer. “But that's maybe also part of the process, and I'll be fine even without No. 1. I have had a great year thus far.

“I have big priorities for the rest of the year, and I usually play very well towards the end. Now I just really need to recover and go back to the practice courts and hopefully just finish strong. Whatever that may be, I just want to play good tennis and enjoy myself.”

Date: 7 September 2017, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer sets up Del Potro clash at US Open QF

Five-time US Open champion Roger Federer set the highly anticipated quarterfinal showdown with Juan Martin del Potro after dismissing Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 on Monday night. He fired 39 winners, including 11 aces, while converting four of seven break points under the lights on Ashe.

The last time Federer and Del Potro dueled on Arthur Ashe Stadium, it was the 2009 final. Del Potro claimed a five-set thriller for his lone Grand Slam title and eight years later, Federer will finally have his shot at revenge at the US Open.

"I think we're different players today," Federer reflected. "We both play differently. Because of his surgery, I think his backhand has changed. He uses his slice much more. Just alone because of that, the game would be different.

"I'm playing more aggressive, as well, on the return. I play shorter points. I don't use my slice as much, whereas he does now. It's a bit of a change. We did play each other in Miami, so I did get a sense of how it is to play him now. But the forehand and the serve is still identical, in my opinion.

"He maybe even created more power by now just because years went by, better technology has come around. I think we're both more laid back today. It won't be a final, it will be a quarter-final. Obviously not as much riding on this match like it was in 2009."

Federer will feature in the quarter-finals in New York for the 12th time in his past 13 appearances, dating back to his maiden title in 2004. The third seed is in fine form after survivng a pair of five-setters to open the tournament, having been pushed the distance by Frances Tiafoe and Mikhail Youzhny. He has since rebounded nicely, not dropping a set in ousting Feliciano Lopez and Kohlschreiber.

Federer did not face a break point during his one-hour and 49-minute victory over Kohlschreiber. They remained on serve through the first six games of the opening set, before Federer broke for 4-3. He would take the opener after 38 minutes and converted two more break chances in the second set. Another break would prove decisive at 5-all in the third, connecting on a backhand winner, and he sealed the win in just under two hours.

If there was one worry about the Swiss in the one-sided contest, it was the sight of him leaving the court before the start of the third set to receive treatment on a back that had given him problems in the run-up to the grand slam.

Federer, however, downplayed the timeout, declaring himself healthy and ready to go.

"I just felt something, sort of my muscle being tight at the back," explained Federer. "I needed a bit of a rub on it and I just wanted to get it done as quick as possible after the set break.

"It was more precaution. It's all good. No problems there. I'm not worried about it."

After extending his ATP Head to Head advantage over Youzhny to 17-0 and to 13-0 over Lopez, Federer moved to an impressive 12-0 vs. Kohlschreiber. Against del Potro, he leads 16-5, with their most recent clash having come at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami earlier this year. The 36 year old prevailed 6-3, 6-4. Federer will have the fatigue advantage over Del Potro in their quarter-final clash, following the Argentine's stunning five-set, three-hour and 34-minute victory over Dominic Thiem.

Del Potro long has been popular, but became even more so since returning from three operations on his left wrist that kept him out of Grand Slam action for two years and sent his ranking out of the top 100.

''He was gone for so long that it's just really nice to see him back playing these kind of matches,'' Federer said. ''That's what he came back for, to get crowd support the way he got it.''

"It probably feels like one of those matches I would like to play over again," Federer said about the 2009 final. "I feel like I would probably win it somehow because I should have been up maybe two sets to love or should have been up two sets to one. I don't remember what it was. I just had all these chances in multiple moments. The only time when he was really better, in my opinion, was the fifth set. Obviously that was good enough to beat me that day.

"It was a good match. A lot of back and forth. Crowd was really into it. Started in the day, finished in the night. I mean, look, I was not too disappointed I don't think because I had a great run, you know, winning the French Open, Wimbledon and then the birth of my girls. Making the finals here was actually a good run. But it ended my five-year reign here in New York. I guess I was a bit disappointed. But Juan Martin did play extremely well. He beat Rafa and me back-to-back, so I felt like he deserved it at the end."

Date: 5 September 2017, Source: ATP and Reuters

After two marathons Federer sprints into fourth round

After two marathons, Roger Federer had the after-burners on, sprinting past Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 and into the fourth round of the US Open on Saturday.

Chasing a sixth US Open title, Federer needed just one hour and 46 minutes under a closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium to put away the 31st seed Lopez, leaving plenty in the tank after being forced to go the distance in his opening two matches.

It has been a far different start to the U.S. Open than Wimbledon where an economical Federer stormed to his 19th grand slam title without dropping a set.

In his opening two matches at Flushing Meadows, a misfiring Federer had been forced to five sets, first by American young gun Frances Tiafoe then Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny.

After being broken eight times and committing a whopping 124 unforced errors in those first two contests, a focused Federer tightened up his game against Lopez, operating with his hallmark efficiency.

He committed just 16 unforced errors while firing 32 winners to run his record to 13-0 against the 35-year-old Spaniard.

“It was clearly nice to go up two sets to love for a change. Feels different from there,” Federer grinned in reference to his opening two five-set struggles. “Overall I have felt better, too. I was happy I had good energy because I think that was my biggest worry, that somehow after the two five-setters that I had, I was going to feel a little slow, hard to throw the engine on, that I would have to force myself so much, I would get tired from that.

“It didn't happen. I think I really got off to a good start. The first set was fast. Then the second set was close. Maybe I was struggling with my serve for a little bit to keep the level up. It was also good to get through those tougher moments.

“A little bit of a wobble in the third maybe. But it's all good. I'm really pleased with the performance.”

A capacity crowd saw Federer try out everything in his tool bag. The timely big serve, the elegant backhand, laser forehands, hustle and defense were all on display.

Lopez barely had a chance to get into the match in the first set, as Federer sprinted through in 24 minutes. Federer's play in the early going indicated that he was in a hurry to make it an early night. If Lopez wanted to make it a contest, he would have to do more than just hang out at the baseline. The Spaniard approached the net only four times in the first set.

Lopez changed his strategy a bit in the second, coming in to net more and putting pressure on the Federer serve. But sometimes even your best effort against a 19-time Grand Slam champion just isn't enough. Before he knew it, Lopez was down two sets.

Lopez's first double fault of the night in the fourth game of the third set gave Federer the break on what fans had hoped would be a clear path to closing out the match. Yet the Spaniard silenced the Fed fanatics with a break of his own to get back on serve. Lopez put together a respectable effort in the third to hold off Federer, but a forehand error off the Spaniard's racquet clinched the win.

“I guess I maybe needed just a few hours here on this court,” Federer said. “I needed to get over the fear of the back issue, especially in that first match, the first set. Then I think the wobble I had in the second round was due to my preparation.

“I think now I'm just trusting my movement better. My serve is there. My mind is there. I can finally focus on playing tennis and not so much, you know, about the past. So it's nice to be in the present in my mind, looking ahead, thinking tactics.

“I think with this preparation we rolled the dice a little bit. Now we are in the fourth round and things are looking much better. I'm really excited how I feel after two five-setters. I'm confident in my physical shape.”

Federer's next test will be a fourth-round contest with No. 33 Philipp Kohlschreiber.

“I know Philipp very well. Practised with him a ton,” said Federer. “Had some good matches against him in the past.

“He's a good player. Got great rotation on the ball. Plays with a lot of topspin. Has a nice one-handed backhand, which I love to see, of course.”

Date: 3 September 2017, Source: Reuters and ATP

Federer edges Youzhny in 5 sets at US Open

After back-to-back five-set battles, third seed Roger Federer rolls on. On Thursday, the 2004-2008 US Open champion survived a 6-1, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 struggle with long-time rival, Mikhail Youhzny, a former No. 8 in the ATP Rankings and a two-time US Open semi-finalist.

Federer, had never lost to Youzhny in their 16-match series. The Russian, now at No. 101 in the ATP Rankings, had never gone as close as this.

“I'm better than the first round, so I'm happy,” Federer said. “This match wasn't about the back, which is good. This is more just a grind. I felt different, completely different, the way it played and everything. But I'm really, really happy I got through.”

The Swiss had never played consecutive five-setters in his career entering 2017. Now he has twice this year, having earlier done so in the Australian Open semi-finals and final (d. Wawrinka and Nadal). The 36 year old was downplaying any threat of fatigue going forward.

“I think because you're on a high, you're thrilled that you got through, so you don't look at the negative,” Federer said. “Yes, I might feel more tired than I normally would going into a third round, but that's OK.

“My preparation hasn't been good at all here. I knew I was going to maybe struggle early on. Maybe I struggled more than I would have liked to. But I'm still in the draw, which gives me a chance.

“I still believe I'm going to pick up my game and become just more consistent because I'm not playing all that bad. With a bit of fatigue, that's OK. I've done that hundreds of times. That's not something I'm too concerned about.”

Federer did not put a foot wrong in the 26-minute first set, which saw him win the first five games. Although he could not convert two set point chances on Youzhny’s serve with a 5-0 lead, his domination was tempered when Youhzny regrouped by winning the first two games of the second set.

Federer clinched four straight games, but when he served for the set at 5-4, three backhand errors cost him. Youzhny went on to capitalise by winning just his fifth set - also 2000 Stockholm, 2003 Halle, 2011 Wimbledon, 2013 Halle - against Federer in their 17th meeting. It broke a streak of 16 sets for Federer in hard-court matches against Youzhny, dating back to their first clash in Sweden, which the Swiss star won 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

“I think I benefited from my head-to-head in the beginning stages,” Federer said. “I should have taken advantage of the fact I was up 6-1, 4-2 maybe. Somehow in that second set, I don't care if I'm winning in the breaker or just earlier, but I have to win it somehow.

“That's where my biggest regrets are for today. I didn't get the two-sets-to-love lead. At two-sets-to-love, I'll win in three or four, that's my opinion. He doesn't have a big enough serve to consistently put me under pressure at that stage. I would be able to play more freely.”

In the third set, Federer saw his service speed drop on average by nine miles per hour from the previous two sets. Youzhny broke for 3-2 and, seizing his chance, closed out the set on his third opportunity. Federer had grit hit teeth to save two set points in a 14-point ninth game.

Federer refused to fold and took a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, but Youzhny remained competitive by striking a backhand crosscourt winner in the ninth game, with Federer serving at 30/40. Federer responded immediately to take the match to a fifth set, the first time he has played back-to-back five-setters in the opening two rounds of a major. On Tuesday, the 36 year old beat American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in the first round.

With the Swiss serving at 1-1 in the deciding set, Youzhny took an awkward fall, grasping for his right leg after he reached for a backhand lob. He limped on, however, and after the Federer let two break-point opportunities pass by with unforced errors the Russian levelled for 2-2 after a near 10-minute struggle on serve.

His resistance was broken soon after, however. A seventh double fault of the match handed Federer the break for 4-2 and the Swiss held with ease to close to within a game of victory, cleverly exploiting his opponent’s ailing movement.

The wheels had all but wobbled off for Youzhny by this point. Federer took the final four games of the match, breaking one last time with a simple overhead put-away to seal his place in the third round. He will next meet Spanish No. 31 seed Feliciano Lopez, who beat his compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in two hours and 10 minutes.

Date: 1 September 2017, Source: ATP

Federer overcomes injury fear and slow start

Worried about a recent back problem that kept him from getting ready the way he usually does for a Grand Slam tournament, Roger Federer had to overcome an early deficit and a late lapse Tuesday night to edge 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in a compelling first-round contest under the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof.

“I was maybe a bit worried from the beginning with my back issue but eventually I was able to let go,” Federer said. “I always knew I was going to come in feeling rusty or not great.”

It was the first time Federer had been taken to five sets in the opening round at Flushing Meadows since his debut against Peter Wessels in 2000. His 79th US Open match win ties him in second place with Andre Agassi, behind only Jimmy Connors on 98.

“I think in many ways people were hoping for a good battle between the Next Gen and somebody established like myself,” Federer said. “In many ways also it felt like people were happy to see me again after missing last year. I felt like the energy was in the building.

“They were very excited about seeing me back on the court, especially after the year that I've had. They seemed like really a good crowd, crowd support for both players.”

Unperturbed by the occasion, the free-swinging Tiafoe took it to the No. 3 seed throughout. Federer saw his 16-0 record in US Open first rounds come under threat, as four unforced errors in the opening game handed an initial break to the American.

Tiafoe did well to hold his serve throughout the set and gave a huge fist pump and a scream of “C'mon!” as a forehand winner saw him grab the opener. It marked the first time Federer had lost the opening set to a player outside the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings at the US Open since 2007, when he rallied past No. 60 Feliciano Lopez in the Round of 16.

“I really struggled early on,” Federer said. “I think Frances connected well. I just really kind of lost my footing sometimes. My eye wasn't working. I was misjudging distance. I think I was also being a bit cautious with my movement.”

The 36 year old’s passive start would not last, however. He would grab his first break for 3-1 in the second set and the tension released. The Swiss started finding his range with more depth and opened the court for his finishing forehand. He reeled off 12 of 15 games to grab a two-sets-to-one lead but his American opponent was not about to fade away.

Tiafoe went two from two on break points when he surged to 3-1 in the fourth set and with the errors beginning to flow from Federer’s strings, the American made it a perfect three from three on break points with a double break for 5-1. He brought up three set points with a drop-shot winner and locked it up at two sets all.

Tiafoe’s chances of winning a five-set match for the first time in his career were not looking great when Federer broke with a backhand winner down the line for 3-1. The No. 3 seed brought up match point with his 16th ace at 5-3. But Tiafoe was not done yet.

Roared on by his home crowd, he broke with a forehand pass down the line to get games back on serve for 4-5. His revival, though, was short-lived. Federer broke to close out the match when the American netted a short forehand at the two-hour, 37-minute mark.

“In the second set I think it all started to come together,” Federer said. “That was good. But because of the preparation being not the best that I've had, I think I was quite up and down.

“Every time I was down, Frances took care of it. Then in the fifth, it was just more of get the energy back, play to win, don't just play to hope that he will miss. I think I did that, so I'm really, really excited that I won tonight.

“I'm very happy that I'm feeling as good as I'm feeling right now. Honestly, if I would have felt like that going into this tournament that my back was going to get worse every match, I probably wouldn't have played. My hope and my belief is that it's only going to get better from here because every day that goes by puts me further away from what happened in Montreal. So that's how I see it.

“I think there's a lot of positives for me to look at, that I can come through a five-setter with the preparation that I had. This win will give me a lot of confidence.”

Date: 30 August 2017, Source: ATP, US Open and AP