For most of two sets, Federer struggled to string together points and his backhand was shaky early on. However, late in the second set, the Swiss maestro’s game rose, and it turned the match into a one sided affair. Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka put up a valiant effort, merely points from victory, but it was Federer who prevailed, 4-6 7-6 (4) 6-0. The win was a milestone for the Swiss, clinching 300 weeks at world #1. Along the way, Federer fired 6 aces and 28 winners in the 1 hour 56 minute match.
He spoke afterward about the historic mark.
“It’s obviously an amazing number and I never thought of anything like this when I was a little kid,” Federer said. “I just thought one day my dream would come true to play on the tour. So here I am at 300 weeks, and it’s probably one of my biggest accomplishments and something I’m very proud of. No doubt about it.”
“I just keep on trying,” he said. “I knew I had a chance going into the breaker and I was just a little lucky. But I never stopped believing. But he was the better player for two sets. It was great finding a way out.”
The Swiss maestro also reflected on his first rise to the #1 ranking.
“I do remember it very vividly, actually,” Federer told media in Shanghai Thursday. “It’s not one of those moments that happens and then you forget. It took me a lot of great performances to get there. I had an opportunity I think in the match against Roddick in Montréal. Lost 7-6 in the semis there against him. It took me to win Wimbledon, the [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals, then basically get to the finals of the Australian Open. After beating Ferrero in the semis, I knew I clinched it, but obviously I wanted to finish the tournament on a high note winning the Australian Open as well.”
“That’s what I was able to do then. But I remember after the semis how happy I was becoming World No. 1. It was for me back then sort of the ultimate accomplishment next to winning Wimbledon. That all happened in a span of sort of nine months, which was so intense, huge relief in some ways, but a big satisfaction. Here I am eight years later, even more. It’s pretty special. Obviously I lost the World No. 1 ranking a few times, but I also stayed a long time once I got there. I always felt tennis was easier for me playing as World No. 1 than actually getting there.”
“Sometimes you’re just happy playing. Some people, some media unfortunately don’t understand that it’s okay just to play tennis and enjoy it. They always think you have to win everything, it always needs to be a success story, and if it’s not obviously what is the point. Maybe you have to go back and think, Why have I started playing tennis? Because I just like it. It’s actually sort of a dream hobby that became somewhat of a job. Some people just don’t get that ever.”
Federer will face Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals of the Shanghai masters on Friday.
Wilson tribute to Federer’s 300 weeks at #1.
Watch full coverage of the 2012 Shanghai Rolex Masters on FF07tv.
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