Roger Federer moved past Rafa Nadal as the world’s number two player and matched the Spaniard’s record 20 Masters titles, after winning the Madrid Open on Sunday with 3-6 7-5 7-5 victory over Tomas Berdych.
The Swiss maestro claimed his fourth title of the season with a hard-fought battle over the Czech on the controversial blue court clay surface in the Spanish capital.
After his latest success, where Nadal crashed out in the third round, the 30-year-old Swiss knows a grand slam victory could move him above Novak Djokovic as the world’s number one player once again.
Federer, who hasn’t been number one since May 2010, would surely break Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks at the summit.
A buoyant Federer told a news conference that would be “absolutely amazing”.
“I guess I could have chased it a few years ago, just really trying to beat that record,” Federer said. “It’s no secret for any player out there that you’d rather be number one than number two.
“But I look at the long term, maybe if I wasn’t good enough to break that record then maybe I never will be.”
On the title victory, he added: “It feels amazing. Look, it’s been a tough tournament and tough to move but you just go on with it and try to make the best out of it.”
The upcoming French Open looms as a huge tournament with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all gunning for the title.
Federer continued: “It’s exciting times ahead for me. Winning so many tournaments and playing so well obviously I do believe I can win the grand slams. But I know the difficulty of the French Open and the focus will be a lot on Novak because he’s going for four in a row and on Rafa because he’s the defending champion. It’s going to be an exciting tournament.”