Roger Federer at the Shanghai Masters
Roger Federer won his round of 16 Shanghai Masters match to become the only player to occupy the top ranking for 300 weeks.
In an all-Swiss affair, top-seed Federer overcame friend and compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka in the headline evening match that was decided in three sets: 4-6, 7-6, 6-0.
Federer lost the first set when his opponent served strongly and displayed a devastating backhand.
He broke Wawrinka in the second set, only to have his compatriot break back. They then stayed on serve, playing compelling tennis as the set went to a tiebreak, which Federer won 7-4.
With momentum, experience and the crowd on his side, Federer crushed Wawrinka in the third set, 6-0. A satisfying end to the evening for the Swiss champion, who is also chasing a record 22 Masters titles.
Wawrinka, the 27-year-old former top 10 player, had been Federer’s doubles partner, playing together at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where the pair took gold. This was Federer's second match at the Shanghai tournament, which he entered after taking a three-and-a-half week break.
Regardless of what happens in the rest of the tournament, even if Djokovic were to win the title, no one can take the No. 1 spot from the Swiss champion right now.
Earlier in the tournament, Federer told the media (reported by ATP website):
"I'm obviously excited. It's a big number, even though 299 or 300 [at the top of the rankings] doesn't make a big difference for me. It's obviously a big match for me. If you look back, there's many matches where there was a lot on the line, so this is just another one. It's just more the difficulty also playing a good friend. That adds to the special occasion..."
Will Roger Federer finish 2012 ranked No. 1 in the World?
Other top seeds also did well in their matches today. Djokovic cruised to victory against Feliciano Lopez, 6-3 6-3, and Andy Murray dominated Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-2 6-2.
Both go on to the quarterfinals where Murray will face Radek Stapanek and Djokovic will meet Tommy Haas. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych, seeded fifth and fourth respectively, make up the last matchup.
If they both win tomorrow, Federer will meet defending champion Murray in the semifinals. In high gear, Murray is attempting to win his third Shanghai Masters title in a row. Federer and Murray split their two recent high-profile meetings, with Roger taking Wimbledon and Andy winning the Olympic gold medal.
Whatever happens this time around, Roger Federer has already made history this week.