Roger Federer is for many tennis fans and experts the greatest tennis player of all times. Not only has he won 16 Grand Slam titles, but he’s managed to win them on all surfaces (hard court, clay and grass), and has won every Grand Slam title at least once. He secured a career Grand Slam at the 2009 French Open, beating Robin Soderling in the final.
One could say, if Federer had had to play that 2009 Roland Garros final against Nadal, he might have never won it.. But then again, if Nadal hadn’t been around during Federer’s prime, Roger could have won more French Open titles, and would also have achieved the elusive calendar year Grand Slam that has not been accomplished since Rod Laver in 1969.
Federer has still got what it takes, and he proved it to everyone at the Indian Wells Masters this week, where he marched to victory, defeating his biggest nemesis Nadal in the semi finals and Isner, the new American hope in the final.
The Swiss maestro would love to reclaim the world no.1 spot again. He held it for 285 weeks alltogether, just one week shy of the record held by his good friend and idol Pete Sampras (Sampras had been at the summit of the rankings for 286 weeks).
The good news for Federer is that he won’t have to defend as many points as his rivals this year. World no.1 Djokovic’s last year’s performance was simply amazing, but he will have a tough time to maintain such a level in 2012. Many pundits would probably agree that Federer will have to win at least one Grand Slam this year to make it to the top of the rankings again. He won’t have it easy, but he has got a good chance at Wimbledon, where he lost against the Frenchman Tsonga in the 2011 quarter finals (Federer was 2 sets to love up). He also came close to playing for the 2011 US Open title, but he couldn’t convert any of the two matchpoints he had against Djokovic in the semis and lost 7-5 in the deciding set. So who knows, maybe this year will be the one..
Out of the three remaining Grand Slams, the toughest one will be Roland Garros – the kingdom of Nadal. If the Spaniard brings his best, it will almost impossible for Federer to defeat him, as he was humbled by the Spaniard on the red clay of teh French capital even when the Swiss legend was in his prime.
One thing is for sure, if Federer wants to be no.1 again, his best chance to do it will be this year as the clock is ticking and at 30 years old he’s reaching the latter stages of his legendary career. He has won 3 titles so far in 2012, quite a superb start, and he’s clearly a man on a mission.
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