Roger Federer reminded the world of his prowess with a 3-6 6-4 6-3 triumph over Tomas Berdych in the final of the Dubai Championships.
The win was a record sixth triumph in the tournament for the Swiss and just his second ATP title in the last 18 months.
And after promising early season performances in the Brisbane and Australian Open, it was the clearest indication yet that the former world number one may yet still return to the form of old.
Under new coach Stefan Edberg, his form and quality of his displays have risen. Both Berdych and Novak Djokovic, ranked sixth and second respectively, were beaten en route to the glory in the Middle East.
Despite his Australian Open final defeat to Stanislas Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal remains untouchable at the summit of the game, but Federer’s renaissance could spell trouble for the Spaniard.
Nadal is aiming to better Federer’s total of 17 Grand Slams and currently trails his rival by four, but the rejuvenation for the current world number eight could see the tally rise in the three slams remaining this calendar year.
Wimbledon remains the Swiss’ greatest chance of glory, with his domination on grass surfaces spanning back to his maiden London title back in 2003.
Dethroning Andy Murray is a possibility given the Scot’s alarming drop in form and poor injury record in recent times.
Countryman Wawrinka may have broken his slam duck with the title in Australia in January, but whether he continues to keep the pace with Djokovic and Nadal remains to be seen.
The great Federer enigma is whether he has the stamina and thirst for the game to remain a key contender.
Questions will be answered when he competes in the French Open and Wimbledon in the coming months.
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