Getty Images

Roger Federer says he hopes to play for three or four more years

Leave a comment

PERTH, Australia — Roger Federer says he hopes to play for at least another three or four years and that his “mind-set is for the long-term” in assessing his tennis future.

Federer, who has not played since re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee at Wimbledon in July, will make his tournament return in the Jan. 1-7 Hopman Cup team event at Perth, representing Switzerland with Belinda Bencic.

The 35-year-old Federer said Friday he’s not sure of the form he’ll produce upon his return, but that retirement isn’t part of his thought process.

“Only when I get asked do I think of things like this,” said Federer, who has 17 Grand Slam singles titles, the most of any male player.

“I don’t see it like this, that this could be my last Australian trip, even though it might very well be,” he added. “I’m really positive. I took these six months off so I would be playing for hopefully another two to three years, not just another six months or so. So my mindset is for the long-term.”

Federer hasn’t won a Grand Slam singles title since Wimbledon in 2012, and with his injury, has slipped to No. 16 in the world rankings.

“Winning titles is a beautiful feeling, rankings at the moments … completely secondary,” Federer said Friday. “As long as I’m healthy and injury free I think I can really do some damage.”

Federer and Bencic begin play against Britain, represented by Heather Wilson and Dan Evans, on Monday night at Perth Arena.

Defending champions Australia, represented by Daria Gavrilova and Nick Kyrgios, begin play Sunday night against Spain.

Americans Coco Vandeweghe and Jack Sock take on Czech Republic’s Lucie Hradecka and Adam Pavlasek earlier Sunday in the men’s singles, women’s singles and mixed doubles format.

Dimitrov defeats Goffin to win ATP Finals title

AP Images
Leave a comment

LONDON — Grigor Dimitrov claimed the biggest title of his career at the season-ending ATP Finals on Sunday, prevailing on his fifth match point to beat David Goffin of Belgium 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

“It’s such an honor to play here,” Dimitrov said. “This week has been one of the best I’ve ever had.”

The sixth-seeded Bulgarian won in 2 hours, 30 minutes, 15 seconds for the longest final since the tournament returned to a three-set format in 2008.

Dimitrov won all five of his matches at the O2 Arena to become the first player to win the elite tournament on debut since 1998, when Alex Corretja of Spain triumphed in Hanover.

Goffin saved three match points on his own serve, but Dimitrov kept his cool, taking the second opportunity on his own delivery to close it out.

By reaching the final, Dimitrov had already secured a career-high No. 3-ranking to end the year. Goffin also moves up to a career-best No. 7.

The final lasted more than 11 minutes longer than Roger Federer took to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011. It was a nervous start as both players failed to hold serve in the opening three games before Goffin settled down to control the opener as Dimitrov struggled with his timing.

However, Dimitrov fought his way back into the set. He leveled in the eighth game before breaking once more in the 12th to snatch the set in which Goffin hit eight more winners.

Dimitrov’s confidence carried into the second set, where he brought up the first break point in the sixth game, only for Goffin to produce a stunning cross-court backhand winner to save it. The momentum back with him, Goffin broke the following game for a 4-3 lead and calmly closed out the set.

Having come from behind to beat Federer in Saturday’s semifinal, Goffin had every reason to be confident and could have gone ahead. But he wasted four break points in the opening game – they would turn out to be his only chances in the decider.

Dimitrov was more clinical, striking in the sixth game to take control. Goffin tested Dimitrov’s nerve by saving three match points on his own serve, before saving one on Dimitrov’s. However the Belgian’s resistance came to an end as he netted a backhand volley, leaving Dimitrov in tears.

(This story has been corrected to show it was the longest three-set final since the tournament returned to a three-set format in 2008, not longest three-set final ever.)

Goffin ousts Federer in ATP Finals semis

AP Photo
Leave a comment

LONDON — David Goffin ended Roger Federer’s bid for a seventh ATP Finals title by stunning the favorite 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals on Saturday.

The Belgian claimed the biggest win of his career and qualified for the final on Sunday, when he will face Grigor Dimitrov or Jack Sock. They play later Saturday.

Federer looked to be heading toward his 11th final at the elite season-ending tournament when he cruised through the first set, but Goffin took advantage of a drop in his play to level.

Despite having lost all six of his previous encounters with Federer, Goffin was able to execute better in the deciding set, breaking in the third game and producing a nerveless display of serving to seal victory.