In between his PR assignments and metro ride in Shanghai, China, Roger Federer has also been plotting to overtake Ivan Lendl’s 94 career titles mark. Considering his vacation like demeanor, and Mickey Mouse dance, in Shanghai one can easily be fooled into believing that he is there for vacation and PR blitz, but this man is dead serious about his tennis, and so is Rafael Nadal.
Nadal stands firmly between Federer and Lendl’s 94 titles record
Federer has 93 titles so far, and another one will tie him with Lendl’s record of 94 titles. While Roger Federer will go full throttle to win a couple more, Nadal will play the spoiler and do whatever it may take to stop Roger from winning his 94th title. Unluckily for Roger, Rafael Nadal is in Shanghai too, and he is in unbeatable form after winning the China Open in Beijing last week.
Nadal’s has been playing inspired tennis lately
After his US Open win, in September this year, Nadal has gained newfound confidence on hard courts and has been performing surprisingly well in the stretch which bore little fruits for him in the past. If Roger is to overtake Lendl’s record this year, he then will have to overcome the resistance of Nadal. Roger’s performance at the US Open was quite uninspiring and was beaten by Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarterfinal of that tournament. Juan Martin then went on to lose to Rafael Nadal in the semifinal.
Has Roger’s back fully healed?
Roger’s had injured his back, prior to the US Open, which had not fully healed during the US Open. His back has not been tested in a competitive match situation as yet. Roger himself is not match-hardened as he has not played any professional level match since his US Open loss to Juan Martin Del Potro.
Federer has a tough draw at the Shanghai Masters
Roger’s draw at the Shanghai Master is not easy, and he could meet Alexander Zverev in the semifinal round of the tournament. Zverev beat Roger Federer at the Canadian Master in August and Federer apparently injured his back during that match. Zverev is also the most promising next generation player and has beaten Roger twice already, and any meeting with Alexander could be dangerous to Roger Federer’s resolve of beating Lendl’s titles record.
Can Nadal be contained from thwarting Federer’s attempts to create history?
However, Federer is capable of performing miracles with his racket and his performance over the next few months will depend entirely on his hunger to ward of Nadal and create yet one more record.
Will Roger Federer be good enough to beat the bull? We all know that Roger has the goods to beat Nadal but does he have the inclination and the will to play out of his skin to beat a confident Nadal in a tournament which isn’t a slam? I guess we shall know within a week.