In this era of two all-time greats, the men's game is full of number-crunching comparisons.
The most discussed stat currently revolves around the number 13 – the amount of Grand Slam titles Roger Federer has won, one shy of Pete Sampras' historical mark.
But with his tenacious victory over clay court specialist Jose Acasuso on Thursday at the French Open, the world No. 2 is close to preserving an often disregarded, yet remarkable streak.
The last time Federer failed to reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam was at Roland Garros in 2004, an exceptional feat of consistency worthy of more recognition. It could have ended in the second round against Acasuso, a big-hitting Argentinean who gave Federer all he could handle and more for three sets before falling away toward the end as the Swiss master came through 7-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2.
A less focused Federer might have lost in straight sets, but there appears to be a recaptured sense of resilience in the 27-year-old, who has surrendered supremacy toRead More »from Close encounter could be just what Federer needed