Federer to play at 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

By Sports Desk October 14, 2019

Roger Federer has confirmed he will play at the 2020 Olympic Games, revealing his "heart decided" to compete again.

The Swiss will be aiming to secure a third medal next year in Tokyo; he struck gold playing alongside Stan Wawrinka in the men's doubles in Beijing in 2008, then collected silver in the singles tournament four years later in London, falling in the final to home favourite Andy Murray.

Federer, 38, also represented his country at the Olympics in 2000, losing out in the bronze-medal match to Arnaud Di Pasquale, and 2004, but missed Rio 2016 while recovering from a knee injury.

The 20-time grand slam champion announced his decision to compete again after an exhibition match against John Isner staged in the host city for next year's Games.

"I've been debating with my team for a few weeks now, months actually, what I should do in the summer time [of 2020] after Wimbledon and before the US Open," he said, according to the Olympic Channel website.

"At the end of the day my heart decided I would love to play the Olympic Games again.

"I carried the flag twice for Switzerland in Athens and Beijing, I've got a gold and a silver, and I would love to play again so I'm very excited."

Federer has won three titles on the ATP Tour this season, while he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon after reaching the last four at the French Open.

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    Stefanos Tsitsipas described himself as "living the dream" after knocking out Roger Federer to book an ATP Finals showpiece against Dominic Thiem.

    Greek star Tsitsipas ousted Federer 6-3 6-4 in the semi-final of the season-ending event to reach the biggest final of his career.

    Tsitsipas has had an up-and-down year which started with a run to the last four of the Australian Open and was followed by a mid-season slump, but he appears to be keeping his best until last.

    The 21-year-old saved 11 of Federer's 12 break points on Saturday and explained beating the 20-time grand slam champion, who he watched winning major tournaments growing up, was difficult to comprehend.

    "I grew up watching Roger here at the ATP Finals and Wimbledon and other finals," said Tsitsipas, who also beat Federer in the last 16 of the Australian Open.

    "I wished one day I could face him and now I'm here living the dream.

    "I remember myself being one of the kids here watching the event and I could never picture myself here. But it can happen.

    "This victory is probably one of my best moments of the season. These are the moments I live for.

    "This does feel, in a way, like a grand slam, because all eyes are here. Everyone knows this event. Everyone who watches tennis knows what the ATP Finals are.

    "For me, it's a great new start, great new beginning to be here, playing in the Finals. It's really very difficult to be in that position I am in right now and it counts a lot."

    Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the prime minister of Greece, was in attendance for the match and greeted Tsitsipas afterwards, highlighting the magnitude of his triumph.

    "I'm really glad I played well, stayed calm," Tsitsipas said.

    "It's a great moment not just for me, for everyone else, my country, my team. I'm proud of myself, how hard I fought, how concentrated I stayed in the break points. 

    "I didn't crack under pressure. I was very composed and very mature in my decisions."

    Tsitsipas and Thiem have met on six occasions over the last two years.

    Thiem won four of those, including the most recent clash last month, which was a three-set battle in the China Open final.

  • Federer rues missed chances and 'pretty bad' mistakes after ATP Finals exit Federer rues missed chances and 'pretty bad' mistakes after ATP Finals exit

    Roger Federer conceded he had let chances slip through his fingers and made "pretty bad" mistakes as he crashed out of the ATP Finals with defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

    The Swiss star went down 6-3 6-4 in London, taking only one of his 12 break-point opportunities to lose the semi-final in straight sets just two days on from a near-faultless victory over Novak Djokovic.

    It means he ends the year having not won any of the four grand slams or the season-ending event, with Sunday's final to be contested by Dominic Thiem and Tsitsipas.

    Federer turns 39 in 2020 but, as he reflected on a year that saw him squander two championship points against Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, he is optimistic he will have plenty more opportunities to win top tournaments.

    "No doubt I had my chances," Federer – who hit 26 unforced errors including two wayward smashes in his opening service game – said after his defeat, which leaves him without an ATP Finals title since 2011. 

    "The break points were part of it. I had some good spells, but the spells where things were not working well, they were pretty bad.

    "Getting broken and missing two smashes in one game – that hasn't happened in a long, long time or ever, so that was tough.

    "At this level, you just can't have it happen, so that was pretty disappointing."

    Of his 2020 hopes, Federer said: "I've got to keep on playing at the level like I have this year and then I will create some chances. 

    "[I have] Got to take care of my body, listen to the signs, work well with the team and get the balance right with everything that's happening in my life."

    Federer had produced a fine display to see off Djokovic in the round-robin stage but conceded he cannot afford to let his level drop when big matches and important moments arrive in quick succession.

    He added: "When the matches come, it's not maybe as easy as it was maybe 10, 15 years ago, where you're just going to play very good day in, day out. 

    "Maybe you need to do extra effort sometimes for that to happen. Maybe that's what it felt like, just things were complicated. 

    "But I've got to maybe do even a better job at figuring these moments out, because the opportunities were there. They were there in other moments as well this season, maybe Indian Wells [in a final defeat to Thiem] or Wimbledon.

    "That can change an entire season around, the confidence, the flow of things."

    Federer retained an optimistic outlook going into another season on the ATP Tour, adding: "I'm happy [with] how I played this season. I thought I played some consistent, solid tennis and I'm extremely excited for next season."

  • Thiem dethrones Zverev to set up Tsitsipas final Thiem dethrones Zverev to set up Tsitsipas final

    Dominic Thiem will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the ATP Finals title after dethroning Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

    Thiem beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to reach the last four of the season-ending tournament for the first time and dispatched Zverev 7-5 6-3 at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday.

    Zverev was unable to break the fifth seed, who was more composed than the defending champion and broke once in each set to set up a showdown with Tsitsipas - conqueror of Federer earlier in the day.

    Thiem has won five titles in a stellar season and the two-time French Open runner-up will claim the biggest of his career if he gets the better of Tsitsipas on Sunday, having struck 21 winners in his sixth victory in eight meetings with Zverev.

    The first break point came for Zverev, but Thiem denied his close friend to level at 2-2 after unleashing one of a number of blistering backhands.

    Zverev saw another break point pass him by and it was his opponent - wearing exactly the same attire - who got the decisive break of a tight opening set. 

    A couple of sloppy errors from Zverev gave Thiem two set points and the German thrashed his racket into the ground after returning to his chair following a costly double fault.

    Zverev headed off court after watching his racket fly up in the air when he drilled it against the hard court in fury and the seventh seed was a break down at 4-2 in the second following a string of unforced errors.

    Thiem got himself out of trouble when Zverev forced two break points in the next game and sealed victory with a forehand winner.

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