With a forehand smash, Roger Federer brought up his 300th career Grand Slam match victory. Only Martina Navratilova has more wins in majors than Federer, and she’s only on 306. But can arguably the greatest tennis player of all time continue his fairy tale and bring a fifth Australian Open title?
The standard of Federer’s tennis for his age is astonishing . He struck 13 aces and 48 winners in the 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Grigor Dimitrov He is the oldest man to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open since Andre Agassi reached the quarter-finals in 2005. He is the only player to have won 75 or more games at three of the majors, the only player to have over 65 at all four. Out of those 300 match victories have come 17 Grand Slam tournament wins and 27 finals reached. Since bursting onto the scene in 2003, he’s appeared in a Grand Slam final in every year bar 2012.
It’s a cliche, but it rings true. Form is temporary and class is permanent, which Federer proves. Not many would’ve predicted how great his resurgence would be after injury in 2013 but a Davis Cup win and six major semi-final appearances since then has brought the Swiss back to World Number 3. But can he capture another Australian Open to chase down Roy Emerson’s record in the major? He’s looking to win his fifth, which would bring him level with another player. That player? His semi-final opponent and major hurdle to the trophy, Novak Djokovic
Federer’s got David Goffin in the next round, which should be easy for him. A 3-0 straight sets victory is.
Get past Tomas Berdych in the quarters and it’s a clash of the titans with the Serb. Should Federer beat Djokovic, we can’t see anyone denying him the title. Right now he’s to win the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, to be beaten by Djokovic in the semi’s, and to lose in the final for the second time.