10/12/12 3:58 PM | Johan Lindahl
Roger Federer has notched another record in his extraordinary career by assuring a 300th week atop the ATP rankings after reaching the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters.
The Swiss world-beater clinched the deal as he beat compatriot and friend Stanislas Wawrinka in China. "I'm happy I've been able to reach 300 weeks, it's an amazing number and a record for me," said Federer. "That's a big thing I've been able to achieve."
Federer leads the chase to the year-end No. 1 ranking but has winner's points to defend for his next three tournaments after winning Basel, the Paris Masters, and World Tour Final season wrap-up in 2011.
"If it (finishing No. 1) presents itself and I have the opportunity to, of course I'd love to finish there at the end of the year. It's not in my control, I have so much more to defend than Novak (Djokovic) or Andy (Murray)."
The 31-year-old has made an emphatic comeback over the past year after an unprecedented dry spell of nine majors without winning a Grand Slam. But he showed he was no spent force a year ago, winning his last three events of the season and claiming his 17th Grand Slam singles title last summer at Wimbledon over Murray.
The top seed is seeking his seventh trophy this season after he pulled level three months ago with Pete Sampras on 286 weeks on No. 1 and then powered ahead. "It's obviously an amazing number. I never thought of something like this when I was a little kid, that's for sure," said Federer.
"I was just hoping one day my dream was going to come true to play on the regular tour, play Wimbledon, maybe become No. 1 at some stage."
Federer first reached the summit in February, 2004 and held the position for 237 consecutive weeks, until August, 2008 before Rafael Nadal and then Djokovic took it from him. He got it back once more with his seventh Wimbledon triumph this season.
"Here I am eight years later, it's pretty special. Obviously I lost the ranking a few times but I also stayed a long time once I got there. I always felt tennis was easier for me playing as No. 1 than actually getting there."
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