Monday, August 23, 2010

Roger Federer Battles On....

Yesterday, World No. 2 Roger Federer won the Cincinnati Masters (6-7, 7-6, 6-4) over American Mardy Fish.

The win in Cincy gives Federer 63 career titles, which ties Bjorn Borg for fifth all-time in career victories.

The win is only Federer's second title of the year (the Australian Open being the other) which by Federer's standards is a bad year. Aside from not winning many tournaments, he also lost the No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal earlier in the year when he "only" reached the quarterfinals at the French Open and Wimbledon, which were both won by Nadal.

To any other mere mortal this would be a great year, but in Federer's world, it's unacceptable.

So there is no question, Federer, who has won a record 16 Grand Slam titles, has his eyes on the only "big fish" left in 2010. No, not Mardy Fish. Federer took care of him in Cincinnati. The "big fish" I'm referring to is the U.S. Open.

If Federer wins the Open it would be career Grand Slam No. 17 for him and a huge step in his quest to win 20 Grand Slam titles. Yes folks, Federer has his eyes on winning 20 before he hangs up his racket. And he's made no bones about it.

When asked about winning 20, Federer said, "I believe that having won three Grand Slams per season three times, and two per year a couple of times, it's something do-able for me. I only play 16-20 tournaments per year, so I'm not over-playing, and that keeps the fire burning."

Aside from wanting to win 4 more Grand Slams, another goal, which I'm sure is in Federer's radar, is regaining the No. 1 ranking and holding it for at least 2 more weeks.

And why is this important? Why only 2 more weeks?

When Nadal took over the No. 1 ranking from Federer back on June 7, it left Federer with 285 TOTAL weeks at No. 1 for his career, which is ONE WEEK short of the all-time record of 286, held by Pete Sampras. He fell just two puny weeks short of setting a new record.

Federer already holds an unbreakable record of 237 CONSECUTIVE weeks at No. 1, which began on February 2, 2004 and ended on August 18, 2008, when Nadal first took over the No. 1 ranking.

So now Federer must regain the No. 1 ranking (once again) from Nadal in order to break Sampras' record, which will be no easy task judging by how well Nadal has played this year.

But who can blame Federer for wanting it all. Players of Federer's superiority come around once in a lifetime and if he's within a whisker of holding every record imaginable-- he might as well, go for it.

And the quest for 20 begins with the upcoming U.S. Open.

Federer has already gone where no man has gone before, but the competitor in him wants more. And my goodness, how much more can he accomplish?

To be continued....

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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