Federer climbs up to third in ATP rankings

LONDON: Roger Fede­rer’s eighth Wimbledon title pushed him back up to third in the ATP rankings on Monday after he ended last season at 16th spot.

And, because he sat out the last half of 2016, his points will only continue to accumulate, making a return to world number one a real possibility.

“I’m playing for titles at this stage of my career. Rankings, not so much, unless I’m as close as I am right now,” said the 35-year-old Federer, who also clinched a berth in the season-ending ATP Finals, held in London on Nov 12-19. “So I just have to check the situation, if it’s worth it to run after it or not.”

Federer eased past injury-hit Marin Cilic to become the oldest Wimbledon men’s champion of the modern era on Sunday, breaking the tie for seven All England Club titles he had shared with Pete Sampras since his last triumph in 2012.

It also gave him a 19th Grand Slam title in his 29th final at the majors.

Asked if he was now targeting a 20th Slam, or perhaps 10 Wimbledon titles, Federer said he had learned from his six months out not to look too far ahead.

“The target now is to enjoy being Wimbledon champion,” he said. “I haven’t set a sight on a number of Grand Slams; I was very content at 17, that was a wonderful number. So was 18, and now 19 is great.

“I think now it’s about enjoying myself, staying healthy and playing for titles.”

Andy Murray held onto top spot despite losing in the quarter-finals of his title defence at the All England Club, ahead of second-placed Rafael Nadal, who lost in the fourth round of Wimbledon after winning the French Open.

Novak Djokovic remained fourth, while Stan Wawrinka dropped two spots to fifth after a first-round exit.

Muguruza rises

Garbine Muguruza’s first championship at the All England Club returned her to the WTA’s top 10 at fifth, a rise of 10 spots.

Muguruza said she will savour her victory in order to prevent a similar slump in form to the one she suffered after winning the French Open in 2016.

The Spaniard earned her first Grand Slam at Roland Garros, beating Serena Williams in the final, but then meekly capitulated at Wimbledon to Jana Cepelova in the second round, also experiencing early elimination at the Rio Olympics and the US Open.

However, after defeating veteran American Venus Williams at the All England Club on Saturday to break a run of disappointing tournaments, the 23-year-old believes she knows how to handle victory better and will avoid the pitfalls of the last year.

“I will try to learn from what I felt after winning at Roland Garros, taking it all more calmly and enjoying it,” Muguruza told Spanish newspaper Marca.

“Digesting success is difficult. In Paris I won and the next day I was already playing again. I want to enjoy the moment a little more.

“I always try to keep my feet on the ground and I repeat, this victory will not change my life.”

Karolina Pliskova became the new women’s world number one despite never having won a major tournament.

The 25-year-old Czech jumped from third place to the top after world number two Simona Halep lost in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, and previous top ranked Angelique Kerber fell in the fourth round.

Pliskova becomes number one without ever having lifted one of the four majors in tennis.

She did however reach the US Open final last year, the French Open semi-finals this year and has won three tour titles in 2017: Brisbane, Doha and Eastbourne.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2017

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