Roger Federer talked earlier this year about his desire, and belief, regarding a return to the number one spot in the World. After winning the 2012 Indian Wells Masters, his third consecutive title this season, he’s still at number 3, but it’s getting easier to believe that he’s bound to win at least one Grand Slam title before the end of the year.
If the 3 titles in one month, 15 straight wins that won him the Rotterdam Open (ABM AMRO world tennis tournament), the Dubai Championship and now his fourth title at Indian Wells, then a two set win over Rafael Nadal in the Semi Final has to make you a bit more convinced.
Federer handled John Isner pretty well. He talked about his loss to Isner in the Davis Cup, a singles loss that never happens to Federer when playing for Switzerland, saying that it’s not going to be the same in California. Federer, even when he sounds arrogant, knows what he’s talking about. Isner’s serve kept him in the first set, losing after already leading in the tie break game. The second set was easier, ending 6-3, making Federer the only player to win four times at Indian Wells.
It’s a turning point in a career, or could be. Federer hasn’t won in the American Masters tournaments of the first half of the year since 2006. He hasn’t even made the finals at Miami or Indian Wells over the last five years. He won at Madrid in 2009, but generally, his form has been disappointing in the Masters between the Australian and French in recent years. Beating Nadal for the second time in four months, building a winning streak this long for the first time in 3 years has to mean something.
He seems calm, and doesn’t breakdown even when the usual dips in ability come during matches. He shakes them off quickly, as he’s proven twice in his wins over Juan Martin Del Potro this past month. There’s been no Djokovic encounter, who still has to be regarded as the best in the world despite his form in Dubai and California, but it’ll show up at one point or another. And clay, well, injured or healthy, in form or not, that’s Nadal’s territory.
Federer himself felt surprised he won it, despite boosting in confidence after winning Dubai, claiming he fell ill during the week – I was not feeling great for five days overall and I definitely got lucky at the beginning of the tournament. I’ve really played amazing these last three matches in particular. I couldn’t be more happy. They were really great wins.
Honestly, I never looked one match ahead of me. I thought del Potro was going to be extremely difficult. Once I got through that one, I only thought of the Nadal match. So for me, maybe mentally because of what happened, it was a bit of an easier tournament.
I played with an attitude that I can only win here. I don’t favour myself because I have not felt great. It would be a surprise to come through. That’s how it feels now. I was able to come through, and so convincingly at the end is amazing. I’ve really played amazing these last three matches.
Despite losing only twice since the defeat to Novak Djokovic at the 2011 US Open, Federer has no doubt who currently is, still, the best player in the world, with Australia proving that once again – For the moment, Novak is the best player. A lot has to happen for me to come through. I am playing well and I have won six of the last eight events I have played.