Federer first to 300 Masters 1000 match wins

Roger Federer has added yet another milestone to his long list of career highlights, becoming the first player to reach 300 match wins at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level.

The 33-year-old Swiss, who notched his first Masters 1000 win 14 years ago in Miami (d. Gimelstob), posted a 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-2 victory over Canadian Vasek Pospisil on Thursday afternoon in Cincinnati as he began his campaign for a sixth Western & Southern Open title.

“The Masters 1000s are the backbone of the tour,” said Federer. “I know a lot of people talk about the Grand Slams; we care dearly about them, but the majority of the tournaments are Masters 1000s, 500s or 250s."

“We have a certain obligation to play the 1000s, and I think that’s why they’re so popular, that’s why the people show up because they know that the best players will most likely play. I have a few exempts because I’ve been on tour for a very long time so I don’t have to always play, but I choose to because they’re very prestigious and I love playing them, so I’m happy I’m here.”

He improved to a 300-89 match record at this level, ahead of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the second and third positions on the all-time leaders list:

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Wins Leaders (as of 13 August)

1. Roger Federer - 300-89
2. Rafael Nadal - 281-54
3. Novak Djokovic - 220-54
4. Andre Agassi - 209-73
5. Pete Sampras - 190-70
6. Andy Roddick - 157-70
7. David Ferrer - 150-93
8. Andy Murray - 148-63
9. Tommy Haas - 142-102
10. Tomas Berdych - 140-85

Federer's Masters 1000 Milestone Match Wins

No. 1 Justin Gimelstob - 2000 Miami, 1R
No. 100 Ivan Ljubicic - 2006 Indian Wells, QF
No. 200 Lleyton Hewitt - 2009 Cincinnati, QF
No. 300 Vasek Pospisil - 2014 Cincinnati, 2R

Federer held a chance to clinch the milestone win on Sunday in the Rogers Cup final, but finished runner-up to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He had been attempting to win his 22nd Masters 1000 title and 80th overall.

"I was one of those guys who struggled early on in the Masters 1000," said Federer. "I know how hard it is to win all these matches because it's always against Top 50 players, if not Top 20, if not Top 10. From that standpoint I'm obviously happy that it is at 300. It's nice."

Against Pospisil, Wimbledon doubles champion with American Jack Sock, whom he had defeated in their previous two ATP Head to Head meetings, Federer edged the first-set tie-break after failing to convert three break point chances early on. With the second set headed towards another tie-break, the Canadian came up big to claim the first break of the match and draw level at one-set all.

Pospisil was unable to maintain the momentum, however, as Federer quickly pulled ahead 5-1 after earning triple break point chances in both the third and fifth games. The World No. 3 closed out the victory with a love service hold as the match passed the two-hour mark.

"We play so close to the line and margins are so small that sometimes we just miss a few shots here and there just because of not having played enough in these conditions, and that can cost you the match," said Federer. "I'm happy I found a way at least today, and I get another chance tomorrow."

In the third round, Federer will Frenchman Gael Monfils, who finished off Center Court action in Wednesday’s night session with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in 59 minutes. Monfils claimed 57 per cent of his first serve points (21 of 26) and broke his Spanish opponent four times. The flashy 27 year old holds a 2-6 ATP Head to Head record against Federer.

Date: 14th August 2014, Source: ATP


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