Roger Federer: The Swiss tennis veteran

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Of: Andrew Apetz


Roger Federer plays a backhand. © Friso Gentsch / dpa

Roger Federer is one of the biggest names in tennis history. Everything you need to know about the Swiss tennis player.

Basel – Roger Federer is one of the best tennis players ever. His career is adorned with dozens of records and is shaped by his ongoing rivalry with Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal. With almost 25 years as a professional, he is one of the seasoned veterans on the current ATP world rankings. For a period of more than 300 weeks, Federer secured the title of long-term world number one. The Swiss is currently fighting for his place in the top ten. But even though the tennis veteran is not currently one of the favorites in the big tournaments, Federer should never be written off.

Roger Federer: youth and beginning as a professional

Roger Federer was born on August 8, 1981 in Basel, Switzerland. He started playing tennis at the age of three. The Swiss boy’s talent was quickly demonstrated through his constant improvements in performance and success. At the age of ten, Federer was already on the court at international youth tournaments, four years later he was already considered the great hope of tennis in Switzerland. At age 16, the school had to give way to a tennis career, and Federer decided not to pursue a postgraduate degree.

Roger Federer
August 8, 1981 in Basel, Switzerland
185 cm, 85 kg
Right, two-handed backhand
1251: 275

In 1998, Roger Federer made his professional tennis debut. At the age of 17, he participated in four professional competitions in one season. There were no major successes, but through strong performances, the Swiss finally entered the top 200 on the ATP world rankings. At the youth tournaments, he reached the final of the US Open. He won the Wimbledon Championships in both singles and doubles. His game was steadily improving, so that a year later Federer was already in the top 100 and soon after even among the top 30 players in the world.

Roger Federer: First professional title and the road to the top of the world

Roger Federer started his third professional season in 2001 with great ambitions. 15th place in the world and the first major tournament victory was on the list for the Swiss. And his goal had to be met: Federer won a tournament final in Milan for the first time in February. In the gravel season, he reached the quarterfinals at the French Open. Federer started the Wimbledon Championships as number 15 in the world. After the successful start to the season, Federer was seen by many experts as the favorite for the London tournament. After his phenomenal victory over 31 matches undefeated Pete Sampras, the 20-year-old Swiss was eliminated in the quarterfinals on Church Road.

Federer’s performance curve continued to show upward in the following seasons. Following his defeat at the Wimbledon final in 2002, there was an open Grand Slam blockade at Federer. The Swiss rarely seemed to be able to summon his best tennis in the big four tournaments. He finished the 2002 season as number six on the world rankings. A defeat in the first round of the French Open 2003 brought Federer plenty of ridicule and malice. In the press, the Swiss’ failure was attributed to his mental weakness.

Roger Federer at the Wimbledon final in 2003
Roger Federer at the Wimbledon Final in 2003. (Stock Photo) © Laci Perenyi / Imago Images

Federer silenced the voices of his critics as he reached the final of the Wimbledon Championships after an unprecedented series of victories. With a superb final victory against Australian Mark Philippoussis, Federer finally won his first Grand Slam title. He marked the end of the 2003 season by winning the final of the Masters Cup. After winning the Australian Open in the spring of 2004, Federer was number one on the ATP world rankings for the first time.

Roger Federer: World rankings and low form

From 2 February 2004, the top of the world rankings was to remain in the hands of the Swiss for a long time. For the next few years, Federer was considered the benchmark for all things in the tennis world. After a streak of 23 wins in a row and three wins in Grand Slam tournaments in one season, unmatched by any male player before him, Roger Federer ended the 2004 season as the world’s best tennis player. In 2005, Federer won the Wimbledon title again, achieving a season record of just four defeats in 81 matches. A year later, he won the Chruch Road title for the fourth time, this time in the final against his closest rival Rafael Nadal.

During this time he won several ATP tournaments as well as all Grand Slam titles with the exception of the French Open. He managed to win the US Open title five times in a row. In Beijing, he won gold for Switzerland in doubles. By the end of August 2008, Federer was stuck at the top of the world. After 237 weeks, the Swiss was replaced by Rafael Nadal as number one in the world. Between 2009 and 2013, Federer repeatedly reached the top of the world rankings until Novak Djokovic took over and the Swiss slipped into a weak phase.

Roger Federer celebrates in the 2008 season
Roger Federer Celebrates Season 2008. (Stock Photo) © Xinhua / Imago Images

In 2013, Federer dropped out of the top four in the world for the first time in ten years. He continued to fight for form and the following year he jumped back to fourth place in the world rankings. However, Federer was without success in the coming seasons at the tournaments in New York, London, Melbourne and Paris. In those years, number one in the world consisted of Serbia’s Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Roger Federer: His comeback in 2018

Federer started the Australian Open in Melbourne in February 2017 as number 17 on the world rankings. After a surprisingly good race, they finally managed to defeat Rafael Nadal in the final and thus also the 18th Grand Slam title of his career. With the season’s second title win at Indian Wells, Federer was suddenly back in sixth place in the world. At the tournament in Halle, he defeated Alexander Zverev in the final. At Wimbledon, the experienced Swiss won the Grand Slam tournament without losing a single set. But that was not enough for first place in the world rankings, as Rafael Nadal also won two Grand Slam tournaments this year. Federer had the chance to become number one several times, but stuck to his strategy of taking longer breaks after tournaments and playing fewer tournaments overall.

In early 2018, Roger Federer successfully defended his title in Melbourne, triumphing for the 20th time in a Grand Slam tournament. After world number one, Nadal, had to take a break due to an injury, Federer quickly regained pole position in the world rankings as the oldest player of all time. However, the Swiss could not hold the lead for long. After just a few weeks, he was replaced by Spaniard Nadal. Until recently, Federer was always seen as a surprise candidate and a treasure by the public, who should not be written off at major tournaments. Although there have been no successes lately, you should still have the current world ranking sixteenth (from April 2022) on your list.

Roger Federer: All titles and achievements (from April 6, 2022)

20 titles
2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
77 titles
28 titles
24 titles
25 titles
Gold Medal 2008 (double)

Roger Federer: private and personal

Roger Federer has been married to former Swiss tennis player Mirka Federer-Vavrinec since 2009. Both met at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Federer is now the father of two twins. In 2003, he founded a fund for needy children in South Africa. In addition to his own foundation, Federer has repeatedly supported social assistance projects.

The tennis veteran has lived in Valbella in his native Switzerland since 2015. Federer’s net worth is estimated at $ 130 million over the course of his career. (Andreas Apetz)

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