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Read & Watch: Federer's Two Match Point Saves Against Monfils In Madrid

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

Read & Watch: Federer’s Two Match Point Saves Against Monfils In Madrid

Swiss star into the quarter-finals, to play Thiem

Roger Federer was on the verge of defeat on Thursday against Gael Monfils at the Mutua Madrid Open. But the Swiss saved two match points to stay alive, before ultimately prevailing in a final-set tie-break.

The 37-year-old showed little apprehension on either match point. He snuffed out Monfils’ first opportunity by serving and volleying behind his second serve. Federer later dismissed the Frenchman’s second chance by punishing a short forehand into the backhand corner to elicit an error.

“I just felt not so confident to win the point from the baseline, so I said panic mode is switched on and we are coming in,” said a smiling Federer about the first match point he saved. “Regardless of how and what and when, there were no more tactics except to serve it to the forehand to mix it up and you go to the net as quick as possible so you are as close as possible and I framed the first volley, which ended up being perfect.”

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Federer will next face this year’s Indian Wells and Barcelona champion Dominic Thiem. The Austrian leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-2, including a three-set victory in the BNP Paribas Open final.

Did You Know?
Federer is 87-0 in matches when he wins a set 6-0. This is the first time any of those matches has gone to a final-set tie-break.

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Federer: 'It Cannot Go On Like This'

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

Federer: ‘It Cannot Go On Like This’

Swiss will face Thiem in the Madrid QF

If only it could have been so easy for Roger Federer on Thursday against Gael Monfils at the Mutua Madrid Open. The fourth seed breezed through the opening set of their third-round match 6-0 in only 19 minutes. Another half hour, and Federer would be through to the quarter-finals, right?

Not exactly. The experience of 1,199 match wins told the Swiss not to expect a double bagel at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

You May Also Like: Tribute: Federer Records 1200th Match Win In Madrid

It cannot go on like this. You can dream about 6-Love, 6-Love but they never happen,” Federer said with a smirk. “I think that’s the beauty of the scoring system that if you win the first set, everything’s back to scratch in the second set.

And I don’t remember the break in the first game, but I think Gael showed great intensity in the beginning of the second set to make sure that he somehow got a rhythm going, and he started playing better and he did.”

Before this week, it had been nearly three years since Federer played on clay. But the 11-time clay-court champion isn’t expecting anyone to underestimate his clay-court skills during his return to the surface in Madrid.

Monfils certainly didn’t. The Frenchman had two match points against Federer before the Swiss recovered 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(3) to advance to the quarter-finals.

I don’t think anybody’s really underestimating me because I’m not coming back from an injury. I’ve had a good start to the season this year. And it is pretty fast here in Madrid and I’ve won here in the past, so I guess players maybe know I don’t have that much clay-court tennis in me in the last few years, but that doesn’t make me less dangerous to be quite honest,” Federer said.

The Swiss won the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid in 2006, 2009 and 2012, the latter two being after the tournament transitioned to clay. In March, Federer added his 28th ATP Masters 1000 title at the Miami Open presented by Itau, the last tournament he played before returning this week in Spain.

Anything is sort of possible. The very good, the very bad, you know. But it’s tough to just come out and play fantastic tennis. I also have to come to terms with how to play on clay again, what’s normal, which points to lose and which points to win again,” Federer said.

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There’s always these natural things that you go through for weeks on the clay usually, so I don’t have that much time, so I have to accept errors that maybe I wouldn’t do normally and just move on with it.”

The 37-year-old has been playing as if he’s on a hard court at times. Federer has been his usual aggressive self, coming to net often and even serving and volleying in the high-altitude conditions.

I think it is an option to be used on a hot and sunny day in Paris, too. I always thought that serve and volleying on a hot day on clay almost has more reward than on a grass court sometimes because the ball jumps out of the strike zone a little bit more and it’s harder to press it down again into the feet of the attacking net player” Federer said. “So I think serve and volley can work very well on the clay.

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Internazionali BNL d'Italia: When Is The Draw & More

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

Internazionali BNL d’Italia: When Is The Draw & More

All about the ATP Masters 1000 tennis tournament in Rome

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia is the third and final stop of the three-tournament Clay Masters swing. Italian Fabio Fognini won the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and a champion will be crowned Sunday at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Rafael Nadal is an eight-time champion in Rome, and claimed the title last year for the first time since 2013 with victory over defending champion Alexander Zverev. Nadal and Zverev are set to return in 2019, and will be joined in the field by four-time titlist Novak Djokovic, four-time finalist Roger Federer and Barcelona champion Dominic Thiem.

Read & Watch: Rafa vs Roger, The Match That Cemented Their Rivalry

Here’s all you need to know about Rome tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who won and more. 

Established: 1930

Tournament Dates: 12-19 May 2019

Tournament Director: Sergio Palmieri 

Draw Ceremony: Friday, 10 May at 6:30pm on Court Pietrangeli

Are You In? Subscribe To Get Tournament Updates In Your Inbox

Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am
* Main draw: Sunday from 12:00pm, Monday – Friday from 11:00am and 7:30pm
* Singles semi-final: not before 4:00pm & 8:00pm
* Doubles final: Sunday, 19 May TBC
* Singles final: Sunday, 19 May not before 4:00pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV  |  View TV Schedule

Venue: Foro Italico
Main Court Seating: 10,500

Prize Money: € 5,207,405 (Total Financial Commitment: € 5,791,280)  

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now 

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Rafael Nadal (8)
Most Titles, Doubles: Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Brian Gottfried, Raul Ramirez (4)
Oldest Champion: Rod Laver, 32, in 1971
Youngest Champion: Bjorn Borg, 17, in 1974
Lowest-Ranked Champion (since 1979): No. 47 Felix Mantilla in 2003
Most Match Wins: Rafael Nadal (56)

You May Also Like: A Look Back At The 2018 Internazionali BNL d’Italia

2018 Finals
Singles: [1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d [2] Alexander Zverev (GER) 61 16 63   Read & Watch
Doubles: [6] Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) / Robert Farah (COL) d [Alt] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) / Joao Sousa (POR) 36 64 10-4  Read More

Hashtag: #ibi19
Facebook: @internazionalibnlditalia
Twitter: @InteBNLdItalia
Instagram: @internazionalibnlditalia

Did You Know… It’s a tradition for players to attend mass at the Vatican during the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. In 2013, Juan Martin del Potro met His Holiness Pope Francis, the first Pope from South America and a fellow Argentine. Del Potro presented the Pope with a racquet used during his 2009 US Open final victory over Roger Federer.  Read More

del Potro

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Nadal Sets Wawrinka Madrid QF

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

Nadal Sets Wawrinka Madrid QF

Swiss improves to 2-0 against Tiafoe this year

Rafael Nadal taught Frances Tiafoe another lesson on Thursday, beating the #NextGenATP American for the second time this year 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open.

Nadal moved into his third consecutive quarter-final on clay this year, and looks to be gaining belief with every victory at his home ATP Masters 1000 event.

The second seed has yet to win a title this year, after falling in the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. The last time he entered Madrid without winning either of the two prior clay-court tournaments was 2015.

“I’m very happy. It’s an important result against a tough opponent. As I said yesterday, he already won against Basilashvili and Kohlschreiber, so he came to this match with good confidence and winning against two great players on clay. It was a tough match. I think I did a lot of things well tonight, so I’m happy with the performance and excited to be through,” Nadal said.

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The Spaniard will face a familiar foe for a place in the semi-finals when he meets Swiss Stan Wawrinka. The 34-year-old beat Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(3) in a slugfest between former finalists.

Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 17-3, although Wawrinka does have a clay-court win against the Spaniard, in Rome 2015.

“It’s a tough one. He’s one of the best players in the world. He likes to play in these conditions, fast, altitude, big serve, big shots. It’s in this kind of match that I need to play my best. I need to add something else, and I hope to be ready to make that happen,” Nadal said.

Wawrinka broke in the second game against Nishikori and the two were trading punishing rallies in the second. But the Swiss, growing increasingly vocal, pulled away in the tie-break. After he brought up three consecutive match points, Wawrinka shouted, “Come on!”

Before this week, Wawrinka had been 1-4 in Madrid since reaching the 2013 final. But he has yet to drop a set this week.

You May Also Like: Federer Saves 2 M.P. In Madrid To Record 1,200th Match Win

Rafa, it’s a challenge to play him on the clay court. I have played him many times. It’s always difficult to play him,” Wawrinka said. “I’m happy with the way I’m playing so far. I’m happy to be in the quarter-finals again, gaining confidence little by little. I know I’m playing well. I know I’m physically good, so we will see.”

Tiafoe and Nadal met in the Australian Open quarter-finals in January, when Nadal, en route to the final, breezed past the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier in straight sets.

During their first clay-court meeting, Tiafoe hung with Nadal early, showing off his speed by defending from corner to corner. But a break in the fourth game was all the Spaniard needed as he served out the set without facing a break point.

Tiafoe had an opportunity in the second set as Nadal served 1-2, but the Spaniard erased the break point and broke the next game with an inside-out forehand winner. He dug himself out of trouble once again while serving for the match at 5-4, 0/30.

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View Schedule: Federer, Thiem In Masters 1000 Rematch Friday

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

View Schedule: Federer, Thiem In Masters 1000 Rematch Friday

Indian Wells finalists to clash for a sixth time

Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem will face off in an ATP Masters 1000 rematch on Friday in the Mutua Madrid Open quarter-finals. Thiem prevailed against Federer in the BNP Paribas Open final in March to claim his first Masters 1000 title. Federer went on to win the Miami Open presented by Itau two weeks later.

Also in quarter-final action, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will continue his bid for a record-tying 33rd Masters 1000 title when he faces ninth seed Marin Cilic. Stan Wawrinka, the 2013 Madrid finalist, awaits the winner between five-time champion Rafael Nadal and American Frances Tiafoe.

You May Also Like: Thiem Topples Federer For Maiden Masters Title


MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon
ATP – [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs [9] Marin Cilic (CRO) 
Not Before 2:30 pm
WTA match
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [4] Roger Federer (SUI) vs [5] Dominic Thiem (AUT) 
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA match
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP – Possible court change – Stan Wawrinka (SUI) vs Frances Tiafoe (USA) or [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) 

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ARANTXA SANCHEZ start 12:30 pm
2 WTA matches
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) / Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) / Horia Tecau (ROU) 
Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – Possible court change – [8] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) or Fernando Verdasco (ESP) vs [Q] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) or [3] Alexander Zverev (GER)

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Zverev Sets Blockbuster Against Tsitsipas In Madrid

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

Zverev Sets Blockbuster Against Tsitsipas In Madrid

Defending champ battles past Hurkacz in three sets

Defending Mutua Madrid Open champion Alexander Zverev is showing no intentions of letting slip his trophy.

The 22-year-old German battled hard on Thursday to defeat 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 10 minutes, advancing to the last eight. Zverev has now made the quarter-finals in Madrid on all three of his appearances (2017-19).

The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion arrived at the Caja Magica without having won multiple matches at the same event since Acapulco, where he reached the final. But Zverev is growing in confidence, defeating former World No. 3 David Ferrer in straight sets in the Spaniard’s final match and now clawing his way past an ever-improving Hurkacz.

You May Also Like: Nadal Sets Wawrinka Madrid QF

It’s a place where I always have had good memories, I always played well, and it is nice to come back here and to show that I’m still one of the best players in the world and be able to play my best and always find a way,” Zverev said.

The Pole led by a break early in the decider, and won one more point than Zverev in the match. But the third seed did especially well with his backhand, and played his best tennis in the biggest moments to advance. It appeared the two 22-year-olds were heading for a final-set tie-break, but from 4-5, 30/30, Hurkacz launched an approach shot long and then double faulted to lose his chance at matching his career-best victory (defeated World No. 4 Thiem in Miami).

“I needed that win for sure because the last two matches, I lost where I had match points, and I lost 7-5 in the third and 7-6 in the third. So a match like this I really need. And I was down a break in the second, down a break in the third, and I always try to find a way,” Zverev said.


Zverev’s quarter-final opponent, Stefanos Tsitsipas, extended his winning streak to six matches by advancing to the quarter-finals of an ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the second time on Thursday evening. The eighth-seeded Greek knocked out local resident Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 in 88 minutes.

“I played pretty good, didn’t give him lots of chances,” Tsitsipas said. “I really wanted this match badly and I think my serve and my forehand today worked very well and gave me this consistency and flexibility to do a lot of things on the court.”

Last week’s Millennium Estoril Open champion — adding to his title run at the Open 13 Provence in February — won 81 per cent of his first-service points against Verdasco to draw level with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev on 25 match wins for most victories on the ATP Tour in 2019. Last year, Tsitsipas reached his first Masters 1000 final at the Rogers Cup final (l. to Nadal).

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It was at that tournament that Tsitsipas saved two match points against Zverev to reach the quarter-finals. In the next round, the Greek became the youngest player to beat four Top 10 opponents at a single tournament since the ATP Tour was established in 1990 by ousting Kevin Anderson.

On Thursday in Madrid, Tsitsipas experienced little resistance from Verdasco and led by a set and 4-1 — which included three service breaks — before a momentary lapse in concentration in the sixth game of the second set. This was the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

“It wasn’t easy, I can tell you. I walked on the court and it felt like everybody was supporting Fernando. I understand that he comes from Madrid. People here love him, so I had to deal with this. It wasn’t easy,” Tsitsipas said. “I had a few people from Greece who came to cheer for me, so that was pretty good as well.”

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Djokovic: 'I Have To Move On'

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

Djokovic: ‘I Have To Move On’

World No. 1 to face Cilic in the Madrid quarter-finals

It’s no secret that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has not been at his best since winning the Australian Open in January, and the 31-year-old admits that. But the Serbian, who defeated Jeremy Chardy on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open, knows that as quickly as he lost his best form, he can work out some kinks and pick it right back up again.

“It’s a huge challenge always to overcome any match in the big tournaments because everyone is motivated,” Djokovic said. “I’m experienced at this level. I know what to do and the good thing about tennis is you always have an opportunity within a week or two weeks, three weeks, to rectify maybe certain things that you felt like were not working.”

You May Also Like: Djokovic Turns Up The Heat, Plays Cilic In Madrid Quarter-finals

Djokovic did not reach the quarter-finals in either Indian Wells or Miami, doing so for the second consecutive year. But the two-time Madrid champion stayed calm, and after making a step in the right direction by advancing to the last eight in Monte-Carlo, he is into the quarter-finals at the Caja Magica with a chance to go even further against ninth seed Marin Cilic, who is into this stage of a tournament for the first time all year.

“It’s all a learning curve especially when you are losing in early rounds and matches that you are supposed to win against players you are supposed to win [against],” Djokovic said. “Of course, it does feel disappointing especially because I was on such a roll for so long. But I have to move on.”

With Djokovic owning a stranglehold on the No. 1 ATP Ranking, it’s easy to forget that last July he was outside the Top 20. But the Serbian bounced back to win two ATP Masters 1000 trophies and two Grand Slam championships to finish out the season.

“It’s not the first time in my career that I’m experiencing those ups and downs,” Djokovic said. “I tried to keep it as stable as possible not to have too big of an extreme swing. But everyone plays their best when they are playing against the top players.”

Djokovic has looked in strong form in Madrid, winning all four sets he has played. The top seed saved the four break points he faced against Chardy, who was firing from the baseline in a tight second set, which went to a tie-break.

“I felt good on the court in general and played well. Of course, coming into the match with Jeremy I knew the score. I had to be quite positive so you do have a little bit more of a confidence coming into a match knowing that you’ve never lost to your opponent,” said Djokovic, who now leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 13-0. “But he was playing well here.”

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Chardy had a set point to force a decider, but Djokovic locked in, overcoming any pressure he might have felt given the moment and his recent form.

“Everyone is nervous. I mean, now how you handle that, how you control that, that’s different. So I haven’t felt extremely nervous or anything like that. It was normal because he was up in the score in the second set. I was chasing the whole second set. He played well and he was one point away to win the set,” Djokovic said. “Of course, I felt my nerves a bit that game. But nothing in particular.”

It’s all about moving forward for the 32-time Masters 1000 champion, who with a triumph this week could tie World No. 2 Rafael Nadal’s all-time title record at this level.

“I’m building slowly,” Djokovic said. “Roland Garros, on clay is where I want to peak. But of course I would love to try to get as far as in this tournament and also in Rome next week as possible.”

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Madrid Open: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic into quarter-finals

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

Roger Federer saved two match points before claiming a hard-fought victory over Gael Monfils to reach the Madrid Open quarter-finals.

The Swiss fourth seed came from a break down in the deciding set to beat the Frenchman 6-0 4-6 7-6 (7-3).

Federer will face fifth seed Dominic Thiem – who he lost the Indian Wells final to in March – in the semi-finals.

Earlier, world number one Novak Djokovic breezed past France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-1 7-6 (7-2).

The victory was Federer’s 1,200th career win and secured his place in a first clay-court quarter-final since the French Open in 2015.

Rafael Nadal continues his pursuit of a sixth title against American Frances Tiafoe later on Thursday.

  • World number one Osaka beaten by Bencic – report

World number three Federer needed just 19 minutes to take the first set over Monfils, dropping just four points on his serve.

However, world number 18 Monfils rallied in the second set, taking advantage as Federer’s first serve faded to force a decider.

Monfils raced to a 4-1 lead in the third set before Federer could force the match back on serve.

The Frenchman brought up two match points on Federer’s serve but the 20-time Grand Slam champion saved them both with a serve and volley.

Federer was the stronger of the two in the tie-break, with Monfils saving two match points before a forehand error secured victory for the Swiss.

He will play Thiem on Friday after the Austrian’s 6-4 7-5 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini.

Djokovic cruises into quarters – analysis

Jonathan Jurejko, BBC Sport in Madrid

Despite being pushed as the match progressed, Djokovic has yet to drop a set against the world number 47 Chardy, having won all 13 of their meetings.

The 15-time Grand Slam champion moved a double break up in the first set when Chardy double-faulted for 4-0, then fought off a triple break point in the next game before going on to seal the opener in 31 minutes.

Chardy stretched Djokovic more in the second set, as neither player managed to muster a break point until the Frenchman – who had lost their previous 29 successive sets – claimed a set point at 5-4.

But he batted a backhand long as Djokovic, who shook his head after receiving whistles from the Caja Magica crowd as he prepared to serve, thumped down an ace to seal the hold.

That enabled Djokovic to take early control of the tie-break, clinching victory with a forehand winner on his first match point.

The top seed will face Marin Cilic next after the Croat reached his first quarter-final of the season.

Former US Open champion Cilic recovered to win 11 of the final 13 games to beat Serb Laslo Djere 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka also reached the quarter-finals after beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

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Tribute: Federer Records 1200th Match Win In Madrid

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

Tribute: Federer Records 1200th Match Win In Madrid pays tribute to the Swiss superstar

Roger Federer has today become the second player in the Open Era (since April 1968) to record 1,200 match wins.

As a player who has long chased the past, the Swiss superstar’s historic victory over Gael Monfils in the Mutua Madrid Open third round on Thursday is another jaw-dropping achievement of longevity.

You May Also Like: Federer Saves 2 M.P. In Madrid To Record 1,200th Match Win

He will now set his sights on the 1,274 match wins record of American Jimmy Connors, who is also the all-time titles leader with 109 crowns. Connors earned his 1,200th match win in October 1988 on the indoor carpet of Toulouse and this week, in the Spanish capital, Federer is vying to capture his 102nd trophy.


Player Match Wins
1) Jimmy Connors (USA) 1,274
2) Roger Federer (SUI) 1,200 (after Madrid 3R)
3) Ivan Lendl (CZE/USA) 1,068
4) Guillermo Vilas (ARG) 949
5) Rafael Nadal (ESP) 936 (after Madrid 2R)
6) John McEnroe (USA) 881
7) Andre Agassi (USA) 870
8) Novak Djokovic (SRB) 853 (after Madrid 3R)
9) Ilie Nastase (ROM) 851
10) Stefan Edberg (SWE) 801


No. Player Year/Tournament, Round
1 Guillaume Raoux (FRA) 1998 Toulouse, 1R
100 Julien Boutter (FRA) 2001 Basel, SF
200 Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 2003 Halle, SF
300 Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 2004 US Open, Final
400 Tommy Haas (GER) 2006 Australian Open, 4R
500 David Ferrer (ESP) 2007 ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo, QF
600 Thiago Alves (BRA) 2008 US Open, 2R
700 Julian Reister (GER) 2010 Roland Garros, 3R
800 Juan Monaco (ARG) 2011 ATP Masters 1000 Paris, QF
900 Gilles Simon (FRA) 2013 Roland Garros, 4R
1,000 Milos Raonic (CAN) 2015 Brisbane, Final
1,100 Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 2017 Halle, 1R
1,200 Gael Monfils (FRA) 2019 ATP Masters 1000 Madrid, 3R

Two great Australians, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, who both won more than 1,000 matches on the amateur, pro tour and Open Eras of the sport, attribute Federer’s consistency on every surface to why he continues to be a major force.

“He can play on every surface, he looks after his body and combines great fitness, with strategy and anticipation on court,” Laver told Rosewall adds, “He simply loves to compete, because he maintains his desire to play, even under the pressure he has grown used to. He is a global icon, who has taken our sport to new levels.”

Lendl, who notched 1,068 match wins — and passed 1,000 victories during the Swiss Indoors Basel in October 1992 — told, “Winning so many matches and being consistent for so many years is a by-product of preparing and working hard. You won’t always play well, but you find a way to win. It also takes good coaches and trainers, which Federer has had, to achieve these feats.”

At the age of 37, the Swiss shows no signs of letting up. He remains the standard-bearer for modern professionalism, continually learning and evolving in a 22-year pro career, consistent and hungry for the next match win or title.


Tournament or Surface Match Wins Record (Pct.) Titles
Grand Slams 342-55 (.861) 20
ATP Masters 1000s 376-105 (.781) 28
Clay 216-68 (.761) 11
Grass 176-26 (.871) 18
Hard 758-148 (.837) 70
Carpet* 50-20 (.714) 2
Indoor 286-68 (.808) 25
Outdoor 914-194 (.825) 76
Overall Total 1,200-262 (.821) 101

*Carpet surface not used as of 2009.

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Updates: Federer vs. Monfils In Third Set

  • Posted: May 09, 2019

Updates: Federer vs. Monfils In Third Set

Swiss star attempting to follow in the footsteps of Connors

Roger Federer historic bid for a 1,200th match win has entered a third set on Thursday against Gael Monfils at the Mutua Madrid Open. Three-time former champion Federer swept through the first set 6-0, but Monfils sparked into life to clinch a dramatic second set 6-4.

The winner will play fifth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem, runner-up at the ATP Masters 1000 event for the past two years.

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Fourth seed Federer recovered from 15/40 in his first service game, and by the end of the 18-minute first set had struck seven winners.

The crowd, desperate to see a contest, was rewarded in the second set when Monfils sparked into life after holding serve — with an almighty roar — in the first game. The greater weight of shot helped Monfils to break Federer with a forehand winner en route to a 3-0 lead.

Two consecutive double faults cost Monfils at 4-3 and gifted Federer a way back into the pair’s 14th encounter. Monfils’ game faltered considerably, but he kept in control to save a break point with a serve and volley winner at 4-4, 30/40 and, in the following game, clinched the set when Federer hit a forehand long.

Earlier on Thursday afternoon, Thiem pushed his winning streak to seven matches by beating Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champion Fabio Fognini 6-4, 7-5 to reach the last eight at the Caja Magica.

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