Cape Town – Roger Federer’s triumph in Stuttgart on Sunday took his personal tally to 98 Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) titles, and he is closing in on American legend Jimmy Connors’ record of 109 gongs.
He is currently taking part in final of the Halle Open and, if he wins in Halle Westfalen, he will be just one title win short of a magical 100th triumph.
After opting not to participate in the clay tennis season for a second year in a row, the 20-time Grand Slam champion came back during the grass season to beat Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 in the Stuttgart Open final, and thus returned to the top spot in the world rankings.
With the Wimbledon Championships starting in less than a fortnight, he will be a hot favourite to defend the title he won in spectacular fashion last year.
Federer, who turns 37 in August, beat Croatian Marin Cilic in the final to earn his eighth Wimbledon title.
This week, he rose to the occasion to reclaim the top ATP ranking, overtaking Spaniard Rafael Nadal for the third time this season.
The Swiss superstar first climbed back to the top spot after beating Grigor Dimitrov at the Rotterdam Open in February. At the age of 36, he became the oldest player to achieve that feat.
His game of musical chairs with Nadal continued in April after he failed to defend his Miami Open title against Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second-round match in March.
After not taking part in clay season, he got back to No 1 without playing a single match when Nadal surprisingly lost in the Madrid Open semi-final, thus failing to defend his title.
Playing tennis on grass is Federer’s speciality, and he could romp home with his 100th title, defying his critics and that nemesis of every sportsperson – age.