Section: roger federer

Tennis: Federer victory seals first Davis Cup for Swiss

Roger Federer defeated Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-2 6-2 in the first reverse singles match on Sunday as Switzerland won the Davis Cup final against France by taking an unassailable 3-1 lead.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion gave Switzerland its first title in the team competition and added the only big trophy in tennis missing from his collection.

Federer and Stan Wawrinka had put Switzerland into a 2-1 lead Saturday with a straight sets defeat of Gasquet and Julien Benneteau in the doubles. Federer was thrashed by Gael Monfils in his first singles match after struggling with a bad back but recovered as the weekend progressed and did not face a break point on Sunday.

“I’m happy I was able to stay calm and play a good match, and I’m really happy for the guys in the team, everybody worked incredibly hard to get me match ready,” Federer said.

“Stan has put in so much effort over the years and played an unbelievable weekend that gave me the opportunity today. I’m very much aware of that, this one is for the boys.”

It took 15 years for Federer to achieve glory in the Davis Cup after making his debut in the prestigious event in 1999. He fell on his knees after converting his first match point and laid face down on the court before hugging team captain Severin Luthi and his team-mates.

“It’s not for me, I’ve won enough in my career and did not need to tick any empty boxes,” Federer said. “I’m just happy for everybody else. I’m happy we could live a great tennis historic moment in our country.”

A favourite of fans when he plays at the French Open, Federer was treated to a hostile reception as he entered the clay court in the converted Pierre Mauroy football stadium. He was booed during his warm-up and large sections of the 27,448 spectators applauded the rare mistakes he made.

That did not prevent him from taking control of the match from the start. The Swiss hit an ace that travelled at 210kph (130mph) to win his first service game and never looked back. Moving well and varying with his backhand, Federer gave a tennis masterclass to Gasquet, who was overwhelmed in the rallies and struggled to read his opponent’s serve throughout.

Federer broke in the third game after hitting a subtle forehand half-volley and a stunning forehand passing shot, letting out a resounding “Come On!”

He kept piling pressure on his French rival with aggressive return games and closed out the set by holding at love, having lost just four points on his serve in the whole set.

Gasquet was made to pay for his mistakes at the start of the second set and handed another break to Federer when he netted a backhand in the net. The Frenchman gave an incredulous look when Federer hit a superb backhand return to move 0-30 on Gasquet’s serve in the seventh game before earning three new break points with a stunning forehand. Gasquet saved the first, but went long on the second.

Gasquet fought hard at the start of the third set to stay in the match by trying to come more often to the net, only to be destroyed by Federer’s pinpoint passing shots.

Gasquet finaly dropped his serve for the fourth time in the fifth game, cracking on his backhand after a baseline rally before Federer broke again for a 5-2 lead. The Swiss then held at love, sealing victory with a drop shot that Gasquet did not chase.

Read more at ESPN

Davis Cup: Federer shocked by Monfils

Despite a speedy recovery from a back injury to make it back for the Davis Cup final, Roger Federer looked a shadow of himself in a straight-sets loss to Gael Monfils as France levelled the tie at 1-1 on Friday.

Monfils triumphed 6-1 6-4 6-3 and posted his first win on clay over the 17-time Grand Slam champion, who decided to play despite the injury that forced him to pull out of the title match at the ATP Finals last Sunday.

Federer had only two short training sessions earlier this week and looked out of sorts while Monfils hit 44 winners including 10 aces. The Swiss, who is chasing a maiden win in the team competition, dropped his serve five times and could not convert the two break points he earned.

It was a stark contrast to Federer’s superb display in London last week, where he eased past opponents but hurt his back during his semi-final victory over Davis Cup team-mate Stan Wawrinka.

Monfils sealed his win in less than two hours on his first match point with a backhand down the line, getting a measure of revenge after his tough loss to Federer in the quarter-finals at the US Open in September. At Flushing Meadows, Monfils lost in five sets after going up two sets to one and failing to convert two match points.

Earlier, Wawrinka had put the Swiss ahead by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-2, which left the Frenchman upset by a lack of support from his home crowd.

Saturday’s doubles are set to pit French pair Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet against Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer. But if Federer is judged fit enough to play over three days, he is expected to be picked for the doubles alongside Wawrinka.

Read more at ESPN

ATP Finals: Federer pulls out of London final with back injury

Roger Federer pulled out of Sunday’s final at the O2 Arena with a back injury, handing Novak Djokovic his third consecutive World Tour Finals title.

Federer came out on court half an hour before the match was due to start and apologised to the crowd after revealing he was unable to play.

“I’m sorry I’m here in a tracksuit,” said Federer, 33. “Unfortunately I’m not match fit to play the match tonight. I hope you understand. Clearly I wish it wasn’t so. I didn’t want it to end this way.

“I did everything I could. I took pain-killers, had rest until the very end, but I just cannot compete at this level with Novak. At my age it would have been a risk.”

Federer, who is due to play for Switzerland in next weekend’s Davis Cup final against France, aggravated his back during the third-set tie-breaker of his semi-final win against Stan Wawrinka. The world No.2, who struggled with back problems in 2013, saved four match points before beating Wawrinka 4-6 7-5 7-6(6) in two hours and 48 minutes.

He did not finish his media duties after the win until 1am and reportedly did not leave his central London hotel until 3.30pm on Sunday, with the final due to start at 6pm, missing his scheduled afternoon practice session.

“It’s a very disappointing end to the season,” Federer added in his press conference. “I was playing so well here, had a great season so far. I was feeling great until yesterday’s tie-breaker. I felt all of a sudden the back was feeling funny.

“I tried to have treatment on it, medication on it, just tried to turn around as quick as possible really, but didn’t really feel that much of an improvement overnight.

Read more at ESPN

ATP Finals: Federer edges Wawrinka epic to set up Djokovic final

Roger Federer saved four match points before securing a dramatic 4-6 7-5 7-6(6) win against Stan Wawrinka to book a showdown with Novak Djokovic for the World Tour Finals title.

The world No.2 came from a set down to win a third-set tie-breaker against the man he will line up alongside for Switzerland in next weekend’s Davis Cup final.

At two hours and 48 minutes, it was by far the longest match at the tournament and just the fourth to go to three sets.

“I think I’m very lucky tonight,” said Federer. “Stan played better from the baseline. I kept believing, kept fighting. He did all the right things, it was tough. But I’m thrilled to be in another final here in London.

“I’ve saved a lot of break points, match points in the last few months. I thought, let’s try to do it one more time. I feel very lucky to be doing this interview right now.

“He [Djokovic] looks great, he’s playing fantastic. It was a great match against Kei [Nishikori]. He brings the best out of me. I hope I can do the same.”

Federer, featuring in a record-equalling 12th semi-final at the event, had saved all seven break points he had faced this week, however, Wawrinka managed to break him not once but twice for a 5-2 lead in the first.

The world No.2 pulled one break back, but Wawrinka held serve to close out the set in 35 minutes.

Wawrinka then managed to save three break points to keep the second set on serve at 3-3, though, serving to stay in it, he dumped a simple overhead into the net to gift Federer three set points. Federer duly took his first with Wawrinka planting a backhand into the net.

Federer, bidding for a ninth final at the event, was immediately broken to love in the decider, though, having remonstrated with the umpire at 0-40 after claiming he didn’t hear an overrule so challenged too late.

Wawrinka then denied Federer by saving two break points and going 5-3 up to close in on victory. A dramatic next game saw Federer save three match points before taking his second break point to stay in the match, with the O2 Arena erupting.

The drama didn’t end there. Federer was then forced to save two break points before going 6-5 ahead, with Wawrinka holding to ensure a tie-breaker.

Federer raced into a 2-0 lead before Wawrinka battled back to lead 6-5. However, Federer saved match point again before bringing up his first, taking the tie-breaker 8-6 to secure the win.

Read more at ESPN

Tennis: ATP Finals: Andy Murray knocked out by Roger Federer

Roger Federer thrashed Andy Murray 6-0 6-1 to end the Briton’s ATP World Tour Finals hopes in humiliating fashion.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion needed just 56 minutes to win his third Group B match and reach the semi-finals.

Murray required a straight-sets win to qualify but won only eight points in the first set and did not win a game until 6-0 5-0 down.

The result is Murray’s worst since he lost 6-1 6-0 to Novak Djokovic in Miami seven years ago.

Japanese world number five Kei Nishikori qualifies behind Federer after his earlier 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory over Spaniard David Ferrer – a replacement for the injured Milos Raonic.

“Clearly, I’m very happy to play a good match today,” Federer said. “I knew I was qualified so maybe I went in a bit more relaxed.

“It’s not the way I thought it was going to go, but there’s always next year for Andy and hopefully he can have a good season.

“At the end I was happy I didn’t win the second to last game to be quite honest.”

After 24 minutes, Murray’s progress in the tournament was over as he suffered his first 6-0 set loss in four years.

“It was a tough night,” Murray said.

“I’ve lost Grand Slam finals, which have been very tough, but in terms of the way the match went it was not ideal from my side of the court – far from it.

“He played exceptionally well, that’s for sure. I can say I’m disappointed with my level tonight but if I played well, he probably still would have won anyway.”

A tight, tense encounter had been anticipated with the Scot needing a fast start, and Federer keen to win the group and so probably avoid top seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

In the event, only one player brought anything like his best game.

The 17,000 spectators packed into the O2 must have thought they were in a for classic when Murray won the opening two points on Federer’s serve, before the Swiss won an epic 34-stroke rally on the third.

From that moment on it was one-way traffic as Murray struggled to find first serves and Federer produced some sublime tennis.

Read more on BBC Sport

Tennis: ATP Finals: Andy Murray to face Roger Federer

Britain’s Andy Murray has been drawn in the same group as Roger Federer for the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Murray, 27, has won three titles in the past six weeks to qualify for the eight-man season-ending tournament, which takes place from 9-16 November.

The Scot is in Group B along with Swiss second seed Federer, Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic of Canada.

Top seed Novak Djokovic, Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka, Czech Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic of Croatia are in Group A.

Murray will open play at the O2 at 14:00 GMT on Sunday against Nishikori, followed by Federer against Raonic at 20:00.

Wawrinka and Berdych begin proceedings on Monday, with Djokovic and Cilic in the evening session.

The top two players in each group will progress to the semi-finals, with the standings based initially on match wins, although it can come down to the percentage of games won or even world rankings as the final tie-breaker.

Murray has avoided defending champion Djokovic, who beat him at the Paris Masters last week to end his 11-match winning run.

But the 2013 Wimbledon champion will face Federer, who is attempting to regain the world number one spot and win this title for a seventh time.

Read more on BBC Sport

Tennis: Roger Federer beats David Ferrer to claim Cincinnati title

World number three Roger Federer won his sixth Cincinnati title with a hard-fought three-sets victory over David Ferrer at the Western & Southern Open.

The 33-year-old Swiss won 6-3 1-6 6-2 to extend his unbeaten run against the 32-year-old Spaniard to 16 matches.

But he was made to work by Ferrer, who was close to handing him his first love set since the 2008 French Open final.

It is the former world number one’s first Masters title since 2012, when he also won in Cincinnati.

Federer broke his opponent eight games in the match and saved four breakpoints on his own serve in the penultimate game before taking the set 6-3.

World number six Ferrer struggled to hold serve in the first game of the second set – saving five breakpoints – but then stunned Federer with a triple break to take the set 6-1.

The third set went with serve until Federer broke in the fourth game to regain momentum at 3-1 up and the Swiss took control from there on in to claim his 80th career title.

Read More on BBC Sport

Tennis: Rogers Cup: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Roger Federer to win title

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Roger Federer in straight sets to win the Rogers Cup for the first time.

The Frenchman, who recorded impressive wins over Andy Murray andGrigor Dimitrov in the previous rounds, won 7-5 7-6 (7-3) in Toronto.

The first set went with serve until former world number one Federer went long on Tsonga’s first break point.

Federer saved a championship point before Tsonga, 29, claimed his second ATP Masters 1000 title.

The Frenchman’s powerful display against the 17-time Grand Slam winner capped a fine few days in Canada that also saw him down Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, as well as Murray and Dimitrov.

Federer said Tsonga “deserved this title”, adding “he beat some amazing players on the way”.

Tsonga said: “If you believe in something it can happen. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved this week.”

Despite Tsonga winning 93% of points on his first serve, Federer clung on on the first set, and was 30-0 up on Tsonga’s service at 5-5.

But the world number 15 fought back, and after a Federer challenge was overruled at 30-30 in the next game, Tsonga took the set at the first opportunity when the 33-year-old Swiss sent a forehand a long way out.

Federer saved five break points in the second set, but when Tsonga had championship point at 5-4 a shout from the crowd appeared to upset his concentration and allow Federer a life.

However, after he edged ahead in the tie-break Tsonga set himself up for victory with a powerful forehand, before Federer found the net on the next point to give his French opponent his first ATP 1000 title since the Paris Masters in 2008.