Roger Federer achieved tennis greatness with an intoxicating blend of athleticism, artistry and unflinching nerve. Yet for all his fluid genius, the measure of a career often boils down to cold numbers.
Top seed Novak Djokovic and number two Roger Federer are favored to wage another title showdown in the last grand slam of 2014, although some emerging young guns have other ideas for the U.S. Open starting on Monday.
The switch from clay to grass did not go according to plan for Rafa Nadal on Thursday and the Spaniard was jettisoned from the Gerry Weber Open with a 6-4 6-1 second-round defeat by maverick German Dustin Brown.
Andy Murray will draw on the experience of being a grand slam champion and Ernests Gulbis will rely on his "unhealthy diet full of ketchup" as they attempt to prevent a Rafa Nadal-Novak Djokovic final at the French Open.
Spaniard David Ferrer set up a likely quarter-final against defending champion Rafa Nadal, who beat him in last year`s final, with a 6-3 6-3 6-7(5) 6-1 victory over Kevin Anderson at the French Open on Monday.
Rafa Nadal and the other members of the "big four" know that a new band of brash youngsters are on the horizon, but the Spaniard showed on Thursday they will not be handing over the keys to the game`s trophy cabinet just yet.
If this season`s records are supposed to provide an indication to the man who will be crowned `king of Roland Garros`, Rafa Nadal`s hopes of winning a record-extending ninth French Open title could be in jeopardy.
German veteran Tommy Haas provided a reminder of his claycourt skills to beat Stanislas Wawrinka on Thursday and reach the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters where Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray will resume their rivalry.
Lleyton Hewitt`s 600th win looked very much like every other of his ATP Tour career as the Australian battler scraped his way past Robin Haase 3-6 6-3 6-3 in the first round of the Sony Open on Thursday.