World No. 1 Roger Federer lost to world No. 3 Andy Murray Saturday in the semifinals of the Shanghai Masters 1000 tournament. The straight-sets loss sets up another finals between Murray and world No. 2 Novak Djokovic.
It was still a successful week for Federer, who earned his 300th week as the top player in the world, extending his all-time record. Of the achievement, Federer said:
I never thought of something like this when I was a little kid, that’s for sure. I was just hoping one day my dream was going to come true to play on the regular tour, play Wimbledon, maybe become world No. 1 at some stage. So here I am at 300 weeks. It’s pretty incredible. Probably one of my biggest accomplishments. I’m very proud of that record, no doubt about it.
Meanwhile, Djokovic looks to close the gap on Federer in the hope of reclaiming world No. 1 for himself. Djokovic defeated world No. 7 Tomas Berdych to earn his spot in the finals. With a victory in the finals, Djokovic would pull very close to Federer in the rolling rankings.
This will be the 16th meeting between Djokovic and Murray, with Djokovic leading 8-7 so far in their all-time series. Some consider this rivalry between the two young players to be the next great rivalry, one which could potentially have some of the flavor of the Federer-Nadal rivalry.
Murray, who earned Olympic gold and his first Grand Slam title this summer, is solidifying his position as world No. 3 with Rafael Nadal sidelined effectively for the rest of the year. Murray's highest ranking has been No. 2, which he briefly held in 2009.
Looking ahead, Federer and Djokovic are on pace for an interesting clash at the World Tour Finals. It is becoming increasingly likely that the final tournament of the year will determine the No. 1 ranking, which is an uncommon occurrence in the tennis world.