At 31 How Much Better Can Roger Federer Get?
Roger Federer capped a marvelous week of tennis today winning a record-breaking fifth Cincinnati title in flawless fashion devouring Novak Djokovic 6-0, 7-6.
Just weeks after celebrating his 31st birthday, Federer put on one the best perfomances I’ve seen from the Swiss in quite a while leaving Djokovic, six years his younger, in bewilderment and fans like me in awe.
Federer never faced a break point and like he had all week moved, er glided, around the court incredible well, forced the issue when needed and was rock solid off both groundstroke wings.
For a guy his age playing someone like Djokovic who is in his prime, it’s really remarkable what Roger did today. Pure precision.
Perhaps Djokovic was struggling with some fatigue from a busy summer, but Federer was playing his first hardcourt event since losing to Andy Roddick of all people in March! And in his last big match Andy Murray mashed him up like potatoes in that Olympic final earlier this month. Yet what does Federer do? He wins the title without losing serve or dropping a set, then in the final not only did he beat the man who had won six of eight coming in and been the victor at the last three hardcourt Slam Majors, he force fed him a bagel! That’s what he did.
It’s truly remarkable.
What’s also amazing and under publicized somewhat is his ability to shake off devastating defeats. I mentioned the Murray loss at the Olympics. Earlier this this year he lost that tough match against Nadal in Australia and promptly rebounded to win Rotterdam and then Indian Wells. Last year he had those two match points against Djokovic at the US Open. Rather than sour as many players would have understandably done he went on a tear the rest of the season.
Since reaching his 30s, in the last 12 months all Federer’s done is defy the odds and rewrite history by winning nine titles and a 17th Grand Slam. He’s also beaten all three of his rivals – Nadal, Djokovic and Murray – in straight sets this year and he’s reclaimed the No. 1 ranking, a position it looks like he’ll hold a lot longer.
Did I mention he’s the oldest guy in the Top 20?
So what’s next? A US Open title? Year-end No. 1 ranking? Calendar slam next year? Sure, why not. The more we write Roger off the more he proves us wrong. The guy is the greatest.
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