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Roger Confirmed as INDESIT ATP 2004 Race Winner

15.09.2004 | Tennis

The ATP, governing body of the men’s international pro tennis circuit, confirmed on September 14th that Roger has accumulated an insurmountable lead in the INDESIT ATP 2004 Race, marking what is believed to be the earliest a player has locked up the prestigious year-end No. 1 position in the Open Era (since 1968). Roger, who captured his third Grand Slam title of the season on Sunday, now has a number of other tennis milestones, including capturing a fourth ATP Masters Series in a season (he shares the record of three with five other players including Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras) within reach. With a 64-6 record in 2004, Roger has a 91.4 percent win-loss record which, if maintained, would make him the first player in ATP history (since 1990) to post a season win-loss percentage above .900. If he also maintains his perfect record against the game’s top players for the rest of the season (he’s 12-0 against top 10 players), he will be the first player in tennis history to do so. “Anyone who didn’t know Roger Federer was a unique and creative athlete before the US Open victory certainly knows it today,” said ATP Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles. “He’s an absolute joy to watch.” Already an international superstar, Roger proved on Monday to be an increasingly hot commodity in the United States when he embarked on a whirlwind media tour of New York City to talk about his remarkable achievements and life as the World’s No. 1 player. He appeared as a guest on ESPN’s Cold Pizza, CBS’s Early Show and Live with Regis and Kelly before hitting Times Square for a photo shoot and media roundtable. By end of day, he also had conducted talk show interviews with John McEnroe and Charlie Rose. (To see photos from Roger’s New York media tour, log on to ATP Gallery) Roger’s incredible victory at the US Open marked the first time in the Open Era that anyone had won his first four Grand Slam finals: 2003 Wimbledon, 2004 Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open. He also became the first player since Mats Wilander in 1988 to win three of the four Grand Slam titles in a year and the fourth player in the Open Era to win at least three of the four along with Jimmy Connors, who won three in 1974, and Rod Laver, who won all four in 1969. Roger’s 20th career title in New York earned him an unassailable 440-point lead in the INDESIT ATP 2004 Race over his nearest challenger Andy Roddick. Even if the American wins every tournament he plays during the rest of this year, he cannot surpass Roger’s current total of 1087 INDESIT ATP 2004 Race points. With three months of the season still remaining, there are many other milestones within reach for Roger: Having already won three of 2004’s ATP Masters Series shields in Indian Wells, Hamburg and Toronto, Roger will be looking to become the first player since the series began in 1990 to win four of the nine total in a single season. The remaining ATP Masters Series tournaments will be held in Madrid (October 18-24) and Paris (November 1-7). Should he win in Paris on carpet, Roger also would become the first player to win three ATP Masters Series shields on three difference surfaces (hard, clay and carpet) in the same year. His victory over Hewitt also marked his 17th consecutive victory over a Top 10 player in the INDESIT ATP Entry Rankings. He is 12-0 in 2004. No player has ever gone undefeated against Top 10 opponents during a season. With nine titles already under his belt, Roger could tie or surpass Thomas Muster’s record mark of 12 titles in a single year. He is scheduled to play five more ATP tournaments in 2004. Muster achieved his feat in 1995. Roger’s victory over Hewitt in the US Open final was his 11th consecutive victory in a final and his ninth in 2004. He is also looking to become the first player to appear in more than seven finals and remain undefeated during a season. His last loss in an ATP final came at the hands of Jiri Novak in Gstaad in July 2003. Having assured himself of one of the elite eight places at the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Houston, Roger will be looking to become the seventh player (since 1970) to defend the title. Roger went undefeated in Houston in 2003 and if he wins the title again he will join Lleyton Hewitt (2001-02), Pete Sampras (1996-97), John McEnroe (1983-84), Ivan Lendl (1981-82, ’85-87), Bjorn Borg (1979-80) and Ilie Nastase (1971-73) as players able to successfully defend the prestigious title. Roger’s 64-6 mark on the ATP circuit in 2004 is the best since Ivan Lendl went 79-6 in 1989. Lendl eventually lost in the semifinals of the ATP Masters in New York against Stefan Edberg to finish the year with a 79-7 record.

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