Wimbledon Champion Roger Federer succumbed to Alexander Zverev, a man 16 years his junior, at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. The Swiss headed into the Montreal final looking to add to his five title haul in 2017 but the 20 year old German had other ideas.
Zverev won 6-3 6-4 against the 36 year old Swiss (Roger Federer) and, in doing so, claimed his second Masters 1000 title. Zverev, ranked eighth, had extended his winning run to 10 and send out a message to the rest of the tennis world that he is capable of challenging for the biggest honours.
Federer was competing in his first tournament since his extraordinary Wimbledon victory on the 16th of July after missing the entire clay court season. The Swiss was looking to claim the world number one spot from Andy Murray who has been suffering with a long term hip problem. After defeat to Zverev, only Federer’s third loss in the 38 games he’s played this year, it saw an opportunity for Rafael Nadal to claim top spot at the Cincinnati Masters.
The Cincinnati Masters was also a chance for Federer to have a second bite at the cherry by going head to head for the world number one position with Spaniard Nadal. However, the Swiss has had to pull out of the tournament due to a back complaint. It was evident that Federer was struggling during his defeat in Montreal to Zverev but he battled through until the bitter end valiantly. It reaffirms what a strong character he is as he has never retired through injury during any of the 1,363 ATP tour matches he has taken part in.
Federer’s withdrawal has opened the door for Rafa Nadal to claim the number one spot, regardless of the result in his opening game in Cincinnati. Federer’s back issue certainly made things a bit easier in the final for Zverev as the Wimbledon champion’s mobility was reduced greatly by the injury. At one point he could only serve the ball gently and he evidently lacked the crispness and power in his play that everyone has become accustomed too over the years.
Missing the Cincinnati Masters now gives The Swiss the chance to recover over the next two weeks ahead of the US Open which begins in August the 28th. Back injury blighted Federer’s 2013 campaign and that saw his winning percentage drop by around 10%. The seriousness of the injury is still not yet known but Federer will be eager to make the US Open in an attempt to end 2017 on a high. It’s expected that Andy Murray will return for the US Open too so it will be an interesting battle to see Federer, Murray and Nadal once again do battle, especially with two of the three being world number ones just recently.