x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Olympics are the last mountain for Roger Federer to climb

In 2008 he failed to progress beyond the quarter-final. The top seed¿s conqueror in China? Rafael Nadal? No. Have another go. Novak Djokovic? Wrong again. It was James Blake.

An Olympic gold medal in the men's singles is the only thing missing from Roger Federer's trophy cabinet.
An Olympic gold medal in the men's singles is the only thing missing from Roger Federer's trophy cabinet.

Roger Federer has won a record 17 grand slam singles titles and has spent more weeks at the top of the rankings than any other man. His list of achievements runs long, but there is a glaring absence: the Swiss has yet to win an Olympic gold in the singles competition.

Federer has been to three Olympics, but has never finished among the medals in the singles.

His best is a fourth place in Sydney 2000. In 2008 he failed to progress beyond the quarter-final. The top seed's conqueror in China? Rafael Nadal? No. Have another go. Novak Djokovic? Wrong again. It was James Blake.

Federer did win the doubles gold with Stanislas Wawrinka in Beijing and with this year's Olympic tennis competition being held on grass, his favourite surface, and at his favourite venue, Wimbledon, the Swiss had a golden opportunity to repeat that feat as an individual and correct an anomaly.

A week after his record-equalling seventh Wimbledon triumph, Federer is back in London preparing for the Olympics, which start on July 28. He has already talked about the Olympic gold being a "dream" and not many would play down his chances.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be playing at Wimbledon at the Olympic Games," he had said earlier in the year. And he will certainly be keen to make the most of this opportunity.

Whatever happens in London, Federer is guaranteed to keep the number one spot through the Olympics.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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