Two players reached important milestones this Thursday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. In fact, one player reached it, while the other ensured himself to reach it no matter what happens in the matches left for the tournament.
Max Mirnyi finally has his 600th win
When he and partner Daniel Nestor lost in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup to Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc López, most of us thought that, at 599 wins, the 600th of the 35-year-old from Belarus was only a matter of time.
Since then, however, happened a succession of first-match defeats for Mirnyi and Nestor, thus depriving him of this coveted milestone.
On Thursday, Max Mirnyi finally triumphed for the 600th time in doubles, when he and Nestor defeated Tomas Berdych and Nenad Zimonjic, 6-2 7-6(5), signing in the wake their 40th win of the season.
In doubles, Mirnyi has won, to date, 45 titles and made 39 more finals. A very appreciated player, he is the 18th to win 600 or more doubles matches in the ATP Tour’s history.
Congratulations to Max Mirnyi on a very deserved milestone!
Roger Federer ensures himself of a 300th week at n° 1
At the beginning of the week, we knew that, in order to be sure to remain n° 1 in the world, Roger Federer would have to reach the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters, or hope that Novak Djokovic doesn’t win the event.
Since one is of his own doing and not the other, it was normal to think that he would do all he could to win his first two matches, at the very least. After all, he had a good draw to at least reach that stage.
On Thursday, he was facing countryman and good friend Stanislas Wawrinka who, like almost every time he took the court against his illustrious opponent, tried all he could to get away with a rare win.
It came really close, in a sense, as he saved both of the break points he faced and broke Federer at love, on top of losing only nine points on serve to take the first set, 6-4.
The second set was a tight battle, but after seeing Wawrinka come back from a 1-3 deficit in the tiebreak, Federer started playing much better and took the set, 7-4 in the breaker.
After that, the World n° 1 just steam-rolled his rival, clinching a 4-6 7-6(4) 6-0 win in just under two hours, to reach the quarter-finals and ensure himself to remain n° 1 for a record 300th week, as of next Monday.
Federer’s history as World n° 1
Roger Federer became World n° 1 for the first time on the 2nd of Februray 2004 and remained at the top of the ATP rankings for a record of 237 consecutive weeks. In 2008, he lost his spot to Rafael Nadal, and it took him 46 weeks to get back in the driver’s seat of the ATP, which he accomplished by winning his first French Open and his sixth Wimbledon, in 2009.
Federer remained n° 1 for almost a year, losing it, again to Nadal, only one week from tying Pete Sampras’s record of 286 weeks at the top of the rankings.
It took him a little over two years, and a seventh Wimbledon, to regain the n° 1 ranking in the world, tying, and then beating Sampras’s record in the wake, making him the player who has stayed at the top of the ATP rankings for the longest time.
This is only one of the many records held by the Swiss Maestro, and that 300th week, which he will reach next Monday, is only, to me, one more proof that he is, without a doubt, the best to ever have played the game.
The question, now, is whether he will be able to finish the year at this position, for Novak Djokovic is breathing heavily down his neck, and hungry to get back on top.
Day’s results (Thursday)
The round-of-16 was completed in Shanghai, and we know who will be in the quarter-finals, starting at 14:00 local on Friday:
-  Roger Federer d.  Stanislas Wawrinka, 4-6 7-6(4) 6-0
-  Marin Cilic d. Fernando Verdasco, 4-6 6-1 6-4
-  Andy Murray d. Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-2 6-2
- Radek Stepanek d.  John Isner, 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3, causing the surprise of the day and a second upset of a London hopeful in as many matches
-  Novak Djokovic d. Feliciano López, 6-3 6-3
- Tommy Haas d.  Janko Tipsarevic, 6-2 6-1, a non-equivocal result to set-up a rematch of his memorable Toronto quarter-final clash against Djokovic
-  Tomas Berdych d. Sam Querrey, 6-2 6-7(3) 6-4
-  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. Marcos Baghdatis, 6-2 7-6(2)