Roger Federer is the man to beat in men’s Olympic tennis. He’s coming off of a Wimbledon 2012 victory and is currently playing some of his best tennis.
On Day 3 of the Olympics, he easily dispatched his second-round opponent, Julien Benneteau, in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. The match took just 58 minutes and was all Federer from the get-go. He racketed off 24 winners and exuded pure dominance at Wimbledon, his most comfortable setting.
Fed’s service games were so dominant that the Frenchman didn’t even have a single break point opportunity against them.
This performance was much better for Federer than his last meeting against Bennateau just a month ago at Wimbledon 2012. After dropping the first two sets, he came storming back to win the next two, 6-2, 7-6, and then finished off the reeling Benneteau 6-1 in the fifth.
Federer went on to win Wimbledon 2012 for a record-tying seventh time after his thrilling come-from-behind win in the third round of the tournament.
More importantly, he'll be on the very same courts as he tries to bring home a gold medal to Switzerland.
Still don't get it? Roger Federer will be on grass on a world stage, playing his best tennis because of confidence he found during his Wimbledon victory that gave him the ATP’s World No. 1 rank.
In regaining the No. 1 rank, he surpassed Pete Sampras as tennis’ longest-standing top-ranked player at 287 weeks. That number is now at 289 and growing.
It almost isn’t fair.
In 2008, Federer’s last Olympic appearance, things were much much different for the Swiss player. He fell short of medaling in Beijing after a quarterfinals upset to American James Blake. That year, he also had some other factors playing against him. He was struggling as he dropped Wimbledon and the French Open to rival Rafael Nadal. In the process, he lost the No. 1 ranking for the first time in five years.
What’s different now?
His confidence is back, and he’s riding it as far as it can take him. People have asked when he will start to decline. Some, before his Wimbledon 2012 victory, even asked if he would ever even reach another Grand Slam final.
People who ask these questions don’t understand how dominant he is still capable of being. They don’t understand that Federer is the best tennis player to have ever played the game. He has clearly proven it throughout his career and isn’t ready to stop adding to the record books—until he’s good and ready.
If there was such a thing as a true favorite to win a men’s tennis gold medal, it’s clearly Roger Federer in London.
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