Roger Federer has had a great start to the new year, comfortably disposing of Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4 to claim the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
The win has media outlets swirling with talk that Federer may regain number one title, a position that was snatched from him just one week shy of equaling Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks. It’s a change of heart from tennis media who were just a few months ago, once again, saying Federer was on his way out. New coach Paul Annacone is credited with turning things around.
In the rankings Rafa Nadal sits 3305 points ahead of Federer (which will change over the coming days) and Rafa only has 360 points to defend in Australia compared to Roger’s 2000. However, come clay court season and beyond Nadal has a huge task at hand if he wants to defend the following titles; Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open and Toyko all of which equals 9,500 points which doesn’t even include any other smaller tournaments where he may have had good results. After the Australian Open, however, Federer experience a relative slump and so he has the chance to make up a lot of ground – particularly if Nadal doesn’t recover fully from his mystery fever.
Nadal has held the top spot for 32 weeks so far since reclaiming the position.
The signs are good for the Swiss Maestro going into Melbourne. Not only is the man he’s looking to stop ill and being forced to change his preparation but Federer himself is in ominous form. Federer claimed the Doha title without losing a single set and took just 79 minutes to take the trophy.
“We’ll see how it goes. Look, obviously Rafa has a lot to defend, but at the same time, he’s very confident and he’s the one who is World No. 1 and has all the confidence, really.
So it’s going to be very difficult, clearly. But if I keep playing at the level I’m playing and reaching almost all these finals lately, then obviously you feel like you’ll have a chance. But I have to keep it up, and you need to do something special to get to World No. 1. It’s not enough to win a Grand Slam and the World Tour Finals anymore. You almost need to do more than that, and I’m prepared for that, so we’ll see how it goes.” – Roger Federer