Roger Federer has catapulted himself back to the top of the tennis world thanks to some impressive career-revitalizing victories.
Federer has advanced to the final in each of the last three tournaments in which he has participated. He lost to Tommy Haas in the Gerry Webber Open in June, won Wimbledon at the All-England Club over Andy Murray, then lost at the All-England Club to Murray during the 2012 London Games.
Fortunately for Federer, he was awarded a favorable draw at the 2012 Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Fed-Ex started off the tournament with two easy victories over Alex Bogomolov Jr. and Bernard Tomic. He is now awaiting a quarterfinal matchup against Mardy Fish.
Fish isn't going to be a walkover for Federer, but the No. 1 player in the world should have no problem getting past his quarterfinal opponent. Federer has won five of the six times the two have met, the most recent being a two-set victory at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Should Federer emerge with a win over Fish, he would play the winner of the other quarterfinal match between Stanislas Wawrinka and either Milos Raonic or Tomas Berdych.
Whoever Federer faces, he has the luxury of avoiding the better players in his bracket like David Ferrer and Juan Monaco, who have already been eliminated.
If you look at Federer's road to the final compared to Novak Djokovic's, there is no question which player has the tougher task ahead.
Djokovic could have to face Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinal and Marin Cilic in the quarterfinal.
Djoker had a tougher time getting past his earlier opponent than Federer did. He beat Andreas Seppi 7-6(4), 6-2, and he will have to face Nikolay Davydenko in his next match.
Who will win the Western and Southern Open?
If there is one thing that Federer needs more than Djokovic, it is rest—not rest in the sense of time off, but rest in the sense that he doesn't have to work excessively hard to win a match over lesser opponents.
Federer has once again become the dominant player that he once was. His recent performance suggests that he is indeed capable of beating any tennis player in the world
His most recent win over Djokovic at Wimbledon provides him with even more confidence, so don't be surprised if there is a rout in the final.
Either way, we're in for some exciting action in Cincinnati this weekend.