While his critics have tried to write him off, Roger Federer continues to both triumph and prove them wrong.
Dmitry Tursunov certainly didn't make it easy on the Swiss player, but Federer still came away with a 7-6 (7), 7-6 (2) win in straight sets in the BNP Paribas Open. The tournament's official Twitter account announced the news when the match finished:
With the win, Federer assured himself a spot in the fourth round of the competition at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Southern California. After knocking off both Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych en route to winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, it appears he's still at the top of his game.
The match was close due in large part to the fact that Federer was able to limit his mistakes while Tursunov wasn't able to find any consistency.
Federer did come away with 23 unforced errors, but his Russian opponent outdid him with 27 total. Tennis TV provides a snapshot of the match statistics, showing Tursunov was also erratic in his service game:
Following a strong showing in Dubai, Federer's serving has also been a big asset for the tennis great thus far in the BNP Paribas Open. He wrapped up the entire match with nine aces, but the last one was the sweetest.
Douglas Robson of USA Today notes that Federer put down a strong serve to clinch the match:
The Swiss player currently sits at No. 8 in the world, but he hasn't been as crisp in recent memory as the man who won a record 17 Grand Slams from 2003 to 2012. With his recent string of success, it's hard to argue that Federer will go off into the sunset anytime soon.
Tennis Channel analyst Justin Gimelstob believes Federer is playing much better than last season and looks fresh on the court, via Greg Garber of ESPN.com:
Roger looks sharper and fresher and is already more dynamic in 2014 than he was in 2013. Beating Djokovic, who he hasn't beaten in a while, was impressive. Roger has shown he's back in the conversation, and deservedly so.
Along with the fact that he's playing much better as of late, Federer is simply much happier thanks to his recent success.
Following his wins, Federer has become known for signing a camera upon his departure. After defeating Tursunov, he went with a new-age style of announcing his feelings with a hashtag, per Tennis TV:
The win not only shores up a spot for Federer in the fourth round of a tournament that he last won in 2012, but it also gives his fans faith that he's firmly back in the tennis world.
With Federer's success continuing, he has a shot to add to his record collection of Grand Slams. Thanks to a boost of confidence after defeating Djokovic and getting an early win out of the way in Dubai, the 32-year-old yet again looks like a contender for the rest of the season.
Before he can get back into a potential spot in the top five, though, Federer will need to continue his run against either Kei Nishikori or Tommy Haas, who are both ranked in the top 20.