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Federer shares wisdom on tennis, life for his kids

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Over the course of his celebrated career, Roger Federer has acquired wisdom on the tennis courts that translates to life lessons which he hopes his children can learn from.

A father of four, Federer has two sets of twins. The girls are 6 and the boys are just 18 months and everyone travels together for his job. Young Myla and Charlene have joined their mother, Mirka, in Federer’s box at matches, their heads buried in books, as their famous dad has expertly navigated his way into the second week of his 36th consecutive Grand Slam – one of his many records.

The No. 3-ranked Federer says it might be an untraditional family life with a lot of time on the road, but he wants to keep his loved ones close.

“We’re used to this life. It’s the only thing they know and I know really for the last 20 years,” said Federer.

He faces No. 6 Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals on Tuesday and could face No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a semifinal that would be the latest installment in their long rivalry. Djokovic faces Kei Nishikori in another quarterfinal Tuesday.

During on-court interviews, the 34-year-old Federer has spoken of the pride he feels knowing that his girls are old enough now to have life-long memories of watching him play, and in post-match news conferences he has shared what he hopes they learn from him.

“I have had those conversations with them, that hard work brings you somewhere,” said the Swiss star who has won a record 17 Grand Slams.

“I told them the other day they can be anything they would want to be as long as they work hard at it,” he said, adding that he has no strong opinion whether his offspring inherit his passion for tennis, although he has started his daughters on lessons.

“I think they need to know whatever they choose, they have to work hard at it.”

“I told them after all these years, I still go out and train, trying to improve,” Federer said. “I think they see the benefit of hanging around with the same theme or subject for a while.”

Federer continues to set records all the time. In Australia, he became the first man to win 300 Grand Slam singles matches with his third-round win over Grigor Dimitrov.

To watch Federer play in Melbourne, whether you’re a fan or his children, is an unforgettable experience. His style and grace, his elegant one-handed backhand and his ability to craft shots that make the crowd gasp are enough to make you believe that age is irrelevant.

Federer joked that his children were now giving him tennis tips.

“They told me I should play on the lines. They think that’s a good thing. I was like, `OK, I’ll try that,”‘ he laughed. They came along to practice the other day at Melbourne Park and had a request that dad do a trick where he looks one way and hits the other.

“I said, OK, I’ll try that, too. It’s not as easy as you think it is but I’ll try,” Federer said, amused that the wisdom flows both ways. “They’ve give me advice, if you like. Yeah, they’re good coaches.”

Anderson beats Querrey to win New York Open title

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) Kevin Anderson had already dealt with the disappointment of falling short in a final in New York.

His surprising run to the U.S. Open final last summer jump-started his climb back into the top 10, but his loss to Rafael Nadal was a painful reminder that he kept coming up short at the finish line.

Back in New York this week, he finally got the ending he wanted.

The top seed won the first New York Open on Sunday, beating No. 2 seed Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) for his fourth career ATP Tour title.

Anderson came into Sunday 3-11 in ATP Finals, with one loss already this year.

“I have been runner-up quite a few times in my career,” Anderson said. “One of the big goals I had for this year was to try to be a bit more successful in that final stage. I fell a little short earlier this year in India and it feels great to come through and get today’s win. So, gives me a lot of confidence for the year.”

The South African dominated the tiebreaker after a tight third set, winning the first six points and leading Querrey to slam his racket to the court in frustration.

Anderson will move to career-high ninth in the ATP rankings Monday, continuing a strong rise that began in nearby Flushing Meadows when he reached his lone Grand Slam final as the world’s No. 32 player, the lowest-ranked U.S. Open finalist since the inception of the rankings in 1973.

He won his first title since 2015, when he made his only other appearance in the top 10 when he was ranked 10th for one week in October. Anderson won four consecutive three-set matches in the tournament’s first year at Nassau Coliseum after moving from Memphis, Tennessee.

“Obviously, during U.S. Open was a terrific few weeks for me. It was tough to lose in the finals so it feels very special to get today’s win,” Anderson said.

Querrey remained at 10 ATP titles, snapping a three-match winning streak in finals. He would have risen to a career-best No. 11 with a victory.

Querrey had held serve in 37 of 38 games entering this week before Anderson broke him in the second game of the final for a 2-0 lead. Querrey broke right back and broke Anderson again later in the set to move ahead.

The second set started the same way. Anderson broke again in the second game, but this time held in the third to seize control of the set en route to a 5-0 lead.

“I just kind of lost a little bit of momentum,” Querrey said. “He picked his game up, he started making a few more first serves. Feel like he was hitting the ball a little bigger, making a few more. Then I kind of got some momentum back at the end of the second there but it was kind of too little, too late.”

In the doubles final, the second-seeded team of Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Philipp Oswald of Austria edged Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Artem Sitak of New Zealand 4-6, 6-4, 10-6 in a match tiebreaker. For the 40-year-old Mirnyi, it was his 100th career ATP Tour final, with 96 having come in doubles.

Federer overpowers Dimitrov to win 97th career title

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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) Roger Federer came to the ABN AMRO World Tournament aiming to secure a return to the top of the world rankings. He achieved that goal Friday. On Sunday, he put an exclamation point on a remarkable week by winning the tournament for good measure.

Federer overpowered an ailing Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour to win his 97th career title.

“What a week it’s been. Absolutely amazing,” Federer said. “The goal was to make the semis and I won the tournament so of course I’m incredibly excited and so, so happy.”

The 36-year-old Swiss extended his domination over the player once dubbed “Baby Fed” for the similarities in their playing style, registering his seventh victory in as many meetings.

Federer’s third title at the Rotterdam tournament comes a day before he officially returns to the top of the rankings, more than five years after he was last world No. 1.

He will become the oldest person to hold the No. 1 position when the rankings are updated on Monday. It’s been more than five years since Federer was last No. 1, and 14 years since he first reached the top spot.

Federer, who has 20 Grand Slams to his name, said his next target is 100 career titles. He moved a step closer Sunday.

Federer said ahead of the final that the more aggressive player would win and Dimitrov started the strongest, winning his first game to love as he slammed powerful forehands and backhands past Federer.

But the Swiss great quickly started matching Dimitrov’s groundstrokes and converted his first break point in the fifth game. Federer broke Dimitrov again to go up 5-2 and then served out the set.

Federer kept the pressure on Dimitrov in the second set, breaking the Bulgarian in the first game and continuing to dominate on his way to victory in just 55 minutes.

Federer won a massive 82 percent of points on his service compared to 55 percent for Dimitrov.

After his strong start, the Bulgarian appeared to be struggling physically, but said afterward that he simply wasn’t good enough.

“Against Roger in the current situation he is in you can’t play any less than 100 percent,” Dimitrov said.