Maybe, just maybe, 2013 won't be a complete wash for Roger Federer.
And if the Swiss legend is to have a significant impact on the tournaments he enters the last few weeks of the season, perhaps he could look back at his quarterfinal win over one of the game's bright young talents, Grigor Dimitrov, in Switzerland this week.
In their first career encounter, Federer defeated the young Bulgarian in straight sets. This comes on the heels of Dimitrov exhibiting signs of being able to handle expectations by winning his first singles title last week in Stockholm and his first two matches in Basel.
Dimitrov, or "Baby Fed" as he's referred to in a number of circles, had his chances to take the second set, but couldn't close it out. Federer took advantage and won against a player whose game almost seems a mirror image of his own.
It has to be an encouraging sign for the Swiss great to win a significant match over someone coming into the encounter on a seven-match winning streak.
A streak of that size, however meager, is something Federer would've liked to experience this season, especially at the Grand Slam level. But whether it was rust, injury or the elevated level of play his opponents carry to the court, it wasn't meant to be.
Federer entered the Swiss Indoors with only one tournament victory all year, an anomaly from what has been the norm for a decade. In fact, he's only made two singles finals in 2013.
But he's a step closer now to adding to that result. If anything, a win over a young player like Dimitrov in the best form of his short career shows that there is still evidence Federer is poised for continued success in '13 and running into next year.
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