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History |2015

In 2015, Roger yet again enjoys a streak of successes. The year brings with it a series of serious career highlights. In Brisbane, he wins the 1000th ATP match of his career, and in Dubai, he serves his 9000th ace. In Istanbul, Roger wins the inaugural clay tournament and with Wimbledon and New York, he reaches the finals of two Grand Slam tournaments. It is also during this year that Roger deploys his new tactic ‘SABR’ (sneaky attack by Roger), a half-volley return, which allows him to attack the opponent’s second serve by sprinting close to the net. Yet, in spite of 6 title wins and 11 finals, Roger is unable to hold on to his position in the ATP ranking and finishes the year ranked no. 3 in the world.



As in the previous year, Roger opens the season in Brisbane – achieving the perfect start to the 2015 season, by celebrating his 1000th victory on the ATP World Tour, after a 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 win against Milos Raonic. “No doubt, this is a special moment”, says Roger, “I have played a lot over the years, but this victory before your eyes [Laver and Emerson] means so much to me. I will certainly never forget this match.”


Seeded in the number 2 slot, Roger faces first Lu Yen-Hsun, and then Simone Bolelli in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, the Australian Open. Roger can decide both matches confidently in his favour. Yet in the third round, he is defeated, for the first time, by Andreas Seppi. The 4-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-7(5) defeat spells his early exit.


Things run much more smoothly for Roger at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The defending champion reaches the final without great difficulty after defeating Mikhail Youzhny, Fernando Verdasco, Richard Gasquet and Borna Coric, in turn, without losing a single set. Not even Novak Djokovic can take his seventh title in Dubai away from him. Roger wins 6-3, 7-5. Scoring 12 aces during that match, he also breaks the 9000 mark and is now, along with Goran Ivanisevic, Ivo Karlovic and Andy Roddick only the fourth player since records began to be kept in 1991 to accomplish this feat.


A chance for a rematch against Andreas Seppi manifests in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters. Roger takes revenge for the defeat in the Australian Open and wins convincingly 6-3, 6-4. After further victories against Jack Sock, Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic, the opponents facing each other in the final are, once again, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. But this time it is the Serb who scores the title and delivers Roger’s second defeat of the season.


Roger’s start into the clay court season is not optimal. While he clearly wins his first match at the Monte Carlo Masters against Jérémy Chardy 6-2 and 6-1, it is as early as the second round that he is defeated by a strong Gaël Monfils 4-6, 6-7(5).


In Istanbul, during the inaugural ATP 250 tournament, Roger is back to his old form. Following a bye in the first round, Roger meets opponents Jarkko Nieminen and Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the quarterfinals. After victory against Diego Schwarzman, Roger can decide the final against Pablo Cuevas in his favour. It is the 85th tournament title of his career.


Following an early exit in the second round in Madrid, Roger starts at the Internazionali BLN d’Italia in Rome, where, after strong performances, he is eventually stopped in the final round by Novak Djokovic.


During the French Open in Paris, there is the chance for a match between Roger and Stan Wawrinka, in the event that both of them reach the quarterfinals. After a nerve-racking second round that is postponed to the next day after darkness sets in, and which ends in Roger defeating Gaël Monfils in four sets, the all-Swiss match actually comes to pass. But Roger does not have his best day and loses to his strong-playing fellow countryman 4-6, 3-6, 6-7(4). Roger, after the match: “I tried a lot of things to get into this match. Perhaps, today, it just was not possible against him. It does not often happen to me that I cannot get a single break in a match.” Stan Wawrinka goes on to win the second Grand Slam tournament of the year.


As the titleholder, Roger starts into the grass season in Halle, seeking his 15th title on grass. In addition, he can also use the ATP 500 tournament as perfect preparation for Wimbledon. Following a 7-6(1), 6-4 - victory in the final over Andreas Seppi, Roger can hold up the Gerry Weber trophy for the 8th time – yet another record!


In Wimbledon, Roger is seeded no. 2. After victories over Damir Dzumhur, Sam Querrey and Sam Groth, who only force him to concede a single set, he enters the second week. In the fourth round he defeats Roberto Bautista-Agut without any trouble and reaches, after victories over Gilles Simon (quarterfinal) and Andy Murray (semi-final), the Wimbledon final for the 10th time. Unfortunately, Roger cannot keep up his convincing form against Novak Djokovic and has to concede defeat after almost three hours; the match ends 6-7(1), 7-6(10), 4-6 and 3-6.


Roger meets the Serb again during the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. He plays extremely well on the hard court and does not give his opponents any chances. Even during the final against the world seed no. 1, Roger continues to play extremely aggressively. During this week he dashes up to the net more than 100 times, putting pressure on his opponents. “Too good”, is even Djokovic’s verdict during the congratulatory handshake. With his 7-6(1), 6-3 victory against the Serb, Roger wins his 7th title in Ohio.


The final Grand Slam tournament of the season in New York continues in the same vein. Roger plays his way through the US Open without much trouble and without dropping a set until the final, where he – hardly surprising – meets again with Novak Djokovic. Yet, during their 42nd encounter, the World No 1 keeps the upper hand, and – after a hard-fought match, during which Roger misses too many break points – brings the rivalry between the two stars to an equal 21 – 21 wins.


During the Davis Cup Playoffs Roger wins, following Stan Wawrinka, both of his singles’ matches against Jesse Huta Galung and Thiemo de Bakker, thus ensuring Switzerland’s keeps its place among the 16 best tennis nations in the world.


After that it’s off to the Shanghai Masters for Roger where he is the current champion and the no. 2 seed. Surprisingly, however, the Asian adventure comes to an early end during the second round, as Roger loses to the qualifier from Spain, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, in three sets.


Back in Switzerland, Roger wins his home tournament, the Swiss Indoors in Basel, and with it his 6th title of the season. His final opponent this time is Rafael Nadal, whom Roger can defeat again for the first time since the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in 2012.


After a, sadly, very short appearance at the Paris Masters where Roger fails to get passed John Isner in the third round, it is the ATP World Tour finals in London. It is Roger’s 14th season playing on this tournament’s court and the 10th time that he makes it to the final after defeating Stan Wawrinka during the semi-final in two sets. And once again, his opponent’s name is Novak Djokovic. While our champion managed to defeat him just a few days earlier during the round robin stage, this time, Roger fails to put him under enough pressure and loses 3-6 and 4-6.


With his participation in the second International Premier Tennis League (ITPL) tournament, where Roger competes for the royal team of the United Arab Emirates, the 2015 tennis season comes to an end.


Roger deserves the greatest respect not just for his achievements on court, which earned him the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award as well as the ATP World Tour Fan’s Favourite Award this year, but also for his charitable commitment. During the summer of 2015, Roger travels to Malawi to see first-hand the impact of a local initiative for early infancy education put into action by the Roger Federer Foundation. “I have always held the opinion that children are the future and am glad to be supporting them and to give them the chance to attend school”, says Roger. So far, the programme in Malawi sponsors 50 model - and 160 smaller satellite centres in six regions across the country and reaches a total of 34,000 children.