With his semi-final berth at the Indian Wells tournament this week, Roger Federer has climbed his way back up the ATP rankings and will be at least the number five-ranked player in the world after this week’s action. Federer defeated South African, Kevin Anderson in straight sets on Friday 7-5, 6-1, to advance to the semi-finals in California.
Federer, who is arguably the greatest tennis player in the history of the sport, had a sub-par season last year by his standards. In 2013, the 17 time grand slam champion struggled with a string of back injuries and fell five places in the ATP ranking, down to number seven in the world, his lowest ranking in the last 11 years on tour.
2013 also saw one of Federer’s most impressive streaks come to an end when he lost in the second round of Wimbledon. Prior to Wimbledon 2013, Federer had appeared in a record 36 consecutive grand slam quarterfinals. The 2013 ATP season was the first season since 2002 where Federer did not advance to a grand slam final. The only tournament title to his name in 2013 was the Gerry Weber Open; a 250-point ATP tournament played in Halle, Germany.
Despite a disappointing 2013 season, Federer has started the 2014 season on a roll and will be looking to climb his way back to the top of the ATP rankings. Federer’s 2014 tennis season opened with the Brisbane International, a 250-point ATP event that serves as a warm up tournament to the Australian Open. Federer advanced to the finals of the tournament where he was taken down in three sets by former world number one, Lleyton Hewitt.
The next tournament of 2014 for Federer was the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open. Federer, a four-time Australian Open champion, had a good showing in the first major of the year, as he reached the semi-finals where he was defeated by long time rival, Rafael Nadal.
Following the Australian Open, Federer played at the ATP’s 500-point Dubai Tennis Championships, a venue where he has won five times in the past. Federer advanced to the finals in Dubai for the sixth time in his career, where he faced off against Tomas Berdych. After a hard-fought three set match Federer eventually prevailed earning his sixth title at the Dubai Tennis Championships and his first title of the 2014 season.
Federer has started the 2014 season reaching the semi-finals or better in all the tournaments he has entered, as well as already earning his first title of the year. Federer will be looking to continue his run at Indian Wells this weekend as he faces Ukranian, Alexandr Dolgopolov in the semi-finals in California tomorrow. Federer leads their head-to-head 1-0 thanks to a match in 2010 where Dologopolov was forced to retire in the second set.
Not only will Federer be playing in the semi-finals of men’s singles at Indian Wells, but he and countrymen Stanislas Wawrinka, also advanced to semi-finals in doubles. The Swiss duo came up short against the number two ranked pairing of Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares as they were defeated in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
Federer’s semi-final result at Indian Wells will already place him back into the top five ATP rankings and if he wins the tournament, he will climb up to number four in the world. With such positive results early in the 2014 tennis season, Perhaps 2014 will be the return of Roger Federer.
Commentary By Eric Kummel