End-of-season reports 2012: Roger Federer

End-of-season reports 2012: Roger Federer
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Sports Mole reviews how the 2012 season unfolded for world number two and Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.

Having turned 30 during the previous year, there were questions over whether Roger Federer would remain at his competitive best throughout this campaign.

As the months progressed, the now 31-year-old went on to prove his doubters wrong as he held the number one spot in the world rankings for a time, while also ending his two-year wait for a Grand Slam title.

The season began in Qatar, where Federer reached the semi-finals before he was forced to withdraw with a slight injury niggle.

That break allowed him to be fully fresh for the first Grand Slam of the year in Australia. It was during this tournament that Federer played his 1000th career match against Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals. He saw off the Argentine and in doing so set up a semi-final meeting with his old foe Rafael Nadal.

Despite taking the first set, Spaniard Nadal responded by winning the next three sets to book his place in the final ahead of Federer.

Del Potro was then defeated in the final of Rotterdam Open, before he won through against Andy Murray to clinch the Dubai Tennis Championships. During that tournament Federer managed to not drop a single set.

He was then reacquainted with Nadal during the semi-finals at Indian Wells and on this occasion came out on top. John Isner was brushed aside in the final, taking Federer's titles for the year to three.

The clay court season began with a win at the Madrid Open, which in turn saw him move to second in the rankings above Nadal.

That sent him into the French Open in good form on the red stuff. However, he fell at the semi-final hurdle for the second Grand Slam in succession. This time Novak Djokovic got the better of the Swiss star in straight sets.

Grass has always been regarded as one of Federer's favourite surfaces, and he had already won Wimbledon on six previous occasions. This time around he got the better of Djokovic in the semis, sending him through to the final against home favourite Murray.

Brit Murray claimed the opening set, but Federer took control of the match thereafter and proceeded to claim the trophy in four sets. That success tied him level William Renshaw and Pete Sampras for successes at SW19.

He returned to Wimbledon in July and August for the London Olympics. Again Murray was his opponent in the final, but this time around the Scot won through and claimed the gold medal, while Federer was forced to settle for silver.

In preparation for the US Open Federer took the Cincinnati Open title at the expense of Djokovic. During that encounter he won the first set 6-0, before taking the second on a tie-break.

It was at Flushing Meadows where Federer produced his poorest showing at a Grand Slam. He was drawn against Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals - a match many expected him to win comfortably. Berdych had other ideas though and raced into a two-set lead. Federer pulled one set back, but his opponent from the Czech Republic eventually won through in four sets.

That defeat was followed by another in front of his own supporters during the final of the Swiss Open. Having previously got the better of Del Potro, the Argentine came out on top on this occasion against the two-time defending champion.

Ranked number two in the world, R-Fed headed into the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals ranked second. He got through his group with victories over Janko Tipsarevic and David Ferrer.

The semi-finals saw him outclass Murray at the O2 Arena, resulting in yet another final match-up with Djokovic.

Federer had several chances to win the opening two sets, but uncharacteristically spurned his chances. Djokovic took full advantage to win the tournament for the second time in his career.

That defeat has led to more question marks over Federer's future ahead of the 2013 campaign. As he showed this year, it will take a brave person to bet against him!

David Ferrer
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