Consistent Federer aims for more glory

Roger Federer is 30 years old and for 12 straight seasons he has lifted silverware. Last month, when he was asked to define success, the Swiss superstar said, "I'm a tennis player, so I judge success on the tennis court if I'm winning or losing... I love winning tennis tournaments, especially when you put in all the hard work."

This year, Federer has maintained his late-2011 season form and compiled a 23-3 match record, with a 4-1 mark against Top 10 opponents. By lifting three straight ATP World Tour titles at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (d. del Potro), the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Murray) and the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (d. Isner), he improved to a 73-30 record in tour-level finals.

Brad Gilbert exclusively told, "He is playing great tennis. No one can rule him out of a return to World No. 1 or adding to his major haul."

Federer started the last of his 285 weeks at No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on 1 June 2010. Over the course of the next two months, Federer must defend 1,830 points through Roland Garros. By comparison, Rafael Nadal has 4,700 points and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 2,970 points to defend.

Federer's consistency in his six tournaments this year has proven he could potentially make up ground on his higher-ranked rivals, and, ultimately, put himself in contention to break Pete Sampras' record of 286 weeks at World No. 1.

Certainly, Federer was in a positive mood in the build-up to the Sony Ericsson Open last month. He said, "I have played some of my best tennis now, since I have turned 30 last August."

A look at the record books indicates that seven players aged 30 plus have picked up major titles in the Open Era. Rod Laver was 30 when he completed his second calendar year Grand Slam in 1969, then Ken Rosewall (37 at the 1972 Australian Open), Andres Gimeno (34 at 1972 Roland Garros), Jimmy Connors (33 at the 1983 US Open), Andres Gomez (30 at 1990 Roland Garros), Pete Sampras (31 at 2002 US Open) and Andre Agassi (32 at the 2003 Australian Open).

With 16 Grand Slam championships titles, Federer should never be ruled out. As Gilbert told, "Roger is the youngest 30 year old I've ever seen. He never misses a Slam. He is always prepared for the big tournaments and has never had surgery. He has a team of geniuses. Andre was 35 when he reached the 2005 US Open final. I am sure he is an inspiration to Federer to keep playing."

Over the past three months, Federer has added 865 points to his South African Airways ATP Rankings. The World No. 3 is currently 900 points behind No. 2-ranked Nadal, which means the Spaniard and Djokovic will be looking over their shoulders, as the focus shifts to Europe and the road to Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Date: 07.04.2012, Source: ATP


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