Roger Federer has spoken of the importance of playing in the ATP Masters 1000 Series wins, after becoming the first player to complete 300 Masters Series wins on Wednesday.
The Swiss advanced to the last 32 of the hard court competition by beating Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 7-6, 5-7, 6-2, to improve his win-loss record in ATP Masters 1000 Series events to 300-89, and he is the first player to reach the milestone of 300 victories.
The 33-year-old missed out on his previous chance to obtain the achievement when he was beaten by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of the Toronto Masters last Sunday, and he leads Spaniard Rafael Nadal (281) and world number one Novak Djokovic (220) on the all-time list.
All players in the top 30 of the world rankings are obliged to take part in the nine scheduled Masters Series events, and they have brought much success to the world number three, as they account for 21 of his 79 career singles titles.
"Backbone of the tour"
The 17-time Grand Slam winner enjoys playing in Masters Series tournaments, as they are worth 1000 ranking points, more than any other tournaments outside of Grand Slams.
He said after his win over Pospisil: “The Masters 1000s are the backbone of the tour.
“I know a lot of people talk about the Grand Slams; we care dearly about them, but the majority of the tournaments are Masters 1000s, 500s or 250s.
“We have a certain obligation to play the 1000s, and I think that’s why they’re so popular, that’s why the people show up because they know that the best players will most likely play.”
Federer will be looking for his next win when he plays the winner of the second round match between Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut and Gael Monfils of France, and the second seed is one match away from a potential meeting with eighth seeded Briton Andy Murray.
He is aiming to win the title in Cincinnati for the sixth time, with his last tournament victory coming in 2012, when he defeated Djokovic in a two set final.
Year of progress
Reaching his latest milestone comes as an added bonus in what has been a year of progress for the former world number one, as his world ranking has risen by three positions from sixth since the start of the year, and he reached his first Grand Slam final in two years at Wimbledon in July, where he lost to Djokovic in five sets.
While he has only won two singles title in 2014, at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in March and the Gerry Weber Open in Halle in June, Federer has reached the final of three Masters Series events this year, and he is in strong form going into the US Open.
The US Open begins on August 25th, and Federer is likely to be seeded third for the final Grand Slam of the year, which he has won on five previous occasions.