Turning 30 in the sport of tennis generally means that you're on the downside of your career.
Not if you're Roger Federer.
Federer won more singles titles in 2012 than in any year since 2007. Federer, now 31, went 71-12 in singles matches in 2012, a statistic that was also better in than the previous five years.
How long can Federer keep this up? Here is what he needs to do to keep it going in 2013.
Federer benefited from an unhealthy Rafael Nadal and a more inconsistent Novak Djokovic compared to his 2011 campaign. However, Federer benefited most because of his nutrition and ability to stay away from the injury bug.
30 years of age is really closer to 35 in tennis years—your body wears down quicker, you get more fatigued and your shot consistency is bothered.
He keeps himself in magnificent shape, and his game allows him to stay healthy. Nadal is a more aggressive player who does more harm to his body on the tennis court.
His willingness to dive on surfaces and the constant wear and tear when his body isn't fully recovered has put him in the situation he is in today.
Federer isn't like that at all, and he's elongating his career because of it.
Capitalize on Opportunities
When the big guns are upset, Federer has to take advantage. We know his win total is going to be in the 60s or maybe 70s, but we judge Fed-Ex on Grand Slams.
When Nadal is out with an injury, Andy Murray gets upset or Djokovic does the same, Federer has to put himself in the best situation possible to win Grand Slams.
That means making it to semifinals and finals, and judging by his consistency in doing that, Federer will be fine.
Play His Game
Plain and simply put: Roger Federer needs to play his game. Even though he's not winning Grand Slams at the pace he once did, Fed-Ex still knows how to win tennis matches.
Work the corners, capitalize on first serves and his return game, limit mistakes and use every shot in the book—Federer is one of the best to ever play for a reason.
Federer consistently plays well enough to get into the semifinals, which is all you need to do when you're as talented as Federer.
Once he reaches that point, all bets are off.
Federer is getting stronger with his age. Not many in the history of tennis can say they got better after 30.
Maybe Federer is more superhuman than we thought. He's surely playing like it and he will most likely repeat his performance next year.