April 3, 2017
Except that Konta is now second only to Karolina Pliskova in the points rankings for 2017. And Federer is the only one accumulating thousands of points this year among the men.
The rising British woman, currently ranked seventh overall, defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-3 in their Miami final to notch the biggest title of her career so far. She is playing the big points better and better.
Can Konta go all the way to the top? ‘The belief has always been there since I was a little girl,’ said the 25-year-old. ‘I’d like to be the best player in the world but there’s a lot of work to be done between now and then.’
Could she win Wimbledon 2017? Konta must now be a genuine contender. And British fans will be salivating at the possibility that Andy Murray’s return to full fitness might create a truly historic Championships.
Could Murray and Konta become Wimbledon 2017 singles champions? Two Brits in the same year? It’s a dream that can no longer be dismissed.
Perhaps even more extraordinary to contemplate than all this is Roger Federer’s dominance of the men’s game so far this year.
He beat Rafael Nadal with relative ease, 6-3, 6-4, to register his fourth win in a row over his Spanish rival and third of 2017. The Miami title was the 91st of his career.
That leaves him only three titles behind Andy Murray’s coach, Ivan Lendl, although Federer is never likely to beat Jimmy Connors’ amazing collection of 109.
‘For me the dream continues,’ said Federer, who hit 29 winners to Nadal’s 15 to underline a surprising gulf in confidence and timing. ‘What a start to the year. I still can’t believe it.’
The achievement should not be undervalued. There were times in Miami when Federer looked shattered during earlier battles, not least against the superb Australian, Nick Kyrgios. The stamina he showed to stay the course until he was the last man standing is simply phenomenal.
We keep having to remind ourselves that the world’s greatest ever player will be 36 this summer. But Federer knows his own body better than anyone – and he is wisely going to take a break for a chunk of the clay-court season, though he will still build for the French Open itself.
Roger is realistic enough to know that Wimbledon 2017 represents his best chance of yet another Grand Slam this year.
He explained: ‘Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal…but all of the grass really is important to me, because I’ll play Stuttgart and Halle there too.
‘Then of course I am looking good for the ATP finals, for the year-end championships, where I’ve been very successful. I like the indoors as well. So for me basically the second half of the season is a big priority now. That’s why I’ll take a break.’
Federer’s decision to rest now will increase his chances of a starring role at Wimbledon 2017. So many amazing dreams could come true there.
For tennis fans in this golden era, the dream starts to come true the moment you purchase tickets for the greatest tournament of them all.