New Delhi: He can't catch a break it seems. Just a month ago he had clinched his record eight Wimbledon title at SW19 and now he his up for yet another, not a Grand Slam final though. Breezing past Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3 7-6(5) in the semi-final round of the Rogers Cup 2017, Roger Federer has eased into yet another ATP Tour final on Sunday.
It was almost a fortnight after his 19th Grand Slam victory at the All England Club, Roger Federer had announced his entry into the Canadian hardcourt tournament. He had last played the event back in 2011 where he had lost to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round. After almost six years of gap, the Swiss maestro returned to tennis action at Montreal.
It wasn't much of a hassle for the recently turned 36-year-old at Rogers Cup 2017. It had all been straight set victories till his road to the semis. Up next was Netherlands tennis player Hasse, who was playing his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final. Federer served nine cutting edge aces and lost just nine points on his serve as he stormed into his sixth final of the year.
"I`m happy I`m playing as well as I am this year on the match courts. At the end that`s what matters because I spent hours and hours on the practice courts in the last year, he said.
With a yet another comfortable victory in the tournament, Roger Federer extended his winning streak to 16 matches, a record he had scripted back in 2012. The Swiss tennis ace will now be aiming for his third Rogers Cup title, having last won the trophy in 2004 and then in 2006. However, this will be his first trophy in Montreal, the other two were clinched in Toronto, owing to the format of the game.
In the final, he is up against fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev, who stopped Dennis Shapovalov's dream run in the campaign, early on Sunday. This will be Federer's 141st tennis final and he would be chasing his 94th ATP World Tour title, clinching which he could find his name alongside Ivan Lendl for second-most titles in Open Era. Jimmy Connors still leads the race with 109.
Now the most important...will the win on Monday make him closer to the World No. 1 spot on the ATP rankings? Yes, it is.
Up untill now, the discussion was about Rafael Nadal. With the announcement of Andy Murray's withdrawal from Rogers Cup 2017, it kept a clear road to numero uno spot on the rankings chart for Rafael Nadal. With just few hundred points behind the Brit, the 31-year-old had the opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 spot for the first time since June 2014, with the condition of a semi-final showing. But unfortunate for the Spaniard, he was shown the exit door by Shapovalov in the very third round of his tournament, putting his bid to World No. 1 spot on hold.
Speculations were also that Federer was in the race for the numero uno spot and now with Nadal's shock exit, the road seems clear for him. If he is able to win the Rogers Cup tomorrow, then he is bound to become the World No.1 yet again, on August 21 with an equal or a better finish than Nadal at the Cincinnati masters.
Well, Federer does hold a 2-1 advantage over Zverev which includes his recent victory at Wimbledon. Ergo the first step seems all clear, just the Cincinnati masters to go.