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Roger rolls on

For the 4th consecutive year, Roger Federer ends the year as the No 1 male tennis player in the world. No one expected him to have such a great season when, back in March-07, he suffered two successive shock defeats at the hands of the same player (Guillermo Canas; at Indian Wells and Miami), followed by another one against Filippo Volandri at the Rome Masters, and then finally firing his long-time coach Tony Roche. Sceptics thought this would be the year where Federer's decline would slowly begin.

And although he lost the French Open final, yet again to Nadal, he had an exceedingly good season thereafter winning Wimbledon for the 5th successive time. He equaled Bjorn Borg's record of 5 succcessive Wimbledon crowns. Later, he captured his 4th successive US open title.

2008 could be a tough year for Federer as a couple of challenges stand in his way. I feel the primemost is that of Nadal getting close to figuring out how to win Wimbledon. In the last two editions, Nadal has come closer to beating Federer at Wimbledon than Federer to beating Nadal at the French. Novak Djokovic - the talented Serb - will only get better than what he was in 2007. He has beaten Federer at the Canadian Masters, so he knows how to beat Fed. Last, but not the least, 2008 will be a tough year because of Olympics, right after Wimbledon, with the US Open to go. The schedule will be gruelling. However, with the Olympics to be played on hardcourts, i forsee only Djokovic as a major challenger to Roger, particularly when Federer is so keen to win the gold this time. Now this is what i call a sportsman deserving of a victory parade atop an open-air double decker bus. Not anything else!

(Seen in the picture attached: Roger Federer plays Andre Agassi, atop the Burj-Al-Arab hotel in Dubai a couple of years back)


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