Roger Federer Emerging as Top Contender for 8th Wimbledon Title

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IJune 29, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning his Gentlemen's Singles third round match against Santiago Giraldo of Colombia on day six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 28, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Throughout his career, Roger Federer has accomplished it all. The Swiss player has captured a Career Grand Slam, won the most total Grand Slams and has been ranked inside the top 10 in the world for nearly 12 consecutive years.

With a career that has broken nearly every record in the books, he is currently tied for the most Wimbledon titles in history in the Open Era with Pete Sampras. This year, at 32 years old, Federer is showing the same power and bravado at Wimbledon that earned him seven titles.

Though he hasn't exactly dropped years off his life, he has looked remarkably youthful during the Wimbledon Championships, as Craig O'Shannessy of Brain Game Tennis notes:

Federer has never wavered from his consistent play at Grand Slams, but last year at Wimbledon he was a huge disappointment.

For 10 consecutive seasons, Federer had made the finals or won eight times and had made it to at least the quarterfinals on every occasion. That made it even tougher for him to swallow when he bowed out in the second round in 2013.

The massive upset against then-No. 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky has clearly served a purpose, though, as Federer is playing inspired tennis in London this time around. Through three rounds, Federer has dominated his opponents without dropping a set. 

ESPN Tennis notes another ridiculous stat from the Swiss player's start at the All England Club:

Speaking of speed, Federer made some slightly controversial comments to the media about the style of play from some other players at Wimbledon thus far:

I just think it's important that we, as players, play up to speed, you know, and don't exceed the speed -- the time limit, because what I don't want is that we lose viewers because we play too slow. ... You cannot take 25 seconds. I mean, I know you need to focus. That you can do in 10 seconds. Just can't be that we only see two points per minute. I just feel like we need to keep up the pace and obviously play according to the rules.

One of the players criticized for slow play this week? None other than Federer's rival Rafael Nadal against Lukas Rosol in the second round.

The two players are on a collision course for the semifinals, which could mean the end of a great run for the seven-time winner. Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian celebrates Federer's play so far, with or without a possible defeat to Nadal:

It was beautiful and brutal, a cocktail only Federer can mix. He toyed with Giraldo to win 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in an hour and 20 minutes. It was a hugely contrasting victory to that of Rafael Nadal over Mikhail Kukushkin. That was one of dynamic theatre and intensity, while Federer’s a calm and graceful progression to the closing curtain. ...

Whether or not he can overcome the power of Nadal – presuming both of them get that far – is less certain. For now, we can still celebrate his genius.

Though it appears Nadal might be his toughest competition, it also has to be noted that the Spaniard has been less than convincing in recent years at Wimbledon. The nine-time French Open winner has won Wimbledon twice after taking the title at Roland Garros but made it to the third round this year for the first time in three seasons at the All England Club.

Both players have been dominant in their own right, but Nadal is certainly susceptible to dropping a match in the semifinals. Thanks to his invigorated play and precision on the court, Federer might just be the one to take down Nadal and make it to the finals in London.

With a likely matchup against either defending champion Andy Murray or tournament favorite Novak Djokovic, an eighth title is anything but promised. But after playing the way he has early on in the tournament, the Swiss master might just make more history at Wimbledon this year.


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