Roger Federer shocked the world — and himself a little bit — by winning the Australian Open in January, marking his 18th major championship. Federer’s year didn’t seem likely to rise up precipitously from there. He’s 35 and a final Grand Slam victory over archrival Rafa Nadal was a storybook coda. Among fiction writers, for instance, only a magic realist perhaps would author more Slam victories for Federer, and yet… Federer has ridden his hot start even further, making the magic real in a way Garbriel Garcia Marquez might love. On March 19 Federer beat his countryman Stan Wawrinka (No. 3 in the world) to capture the BNP Paribas at Indian Wells and his 25th Masters 1000 title.
Two Federer titles — including a Slam — by mid-March? And the double dose is made all the sweeter by the fact that for Federer 2016 was a year of solitude — to borrow a little from Marquez. Federer skipped the Olympics and took six months off to heal various maladies including a bad back and knee , ending the year with exactly zero titles to his name. All eyes will be on Federer, now World No. 6, in Miami and beyond. What a difference 8 months makes. See Federer’s post below about calling 2016 quits: