36 years younger and still breaking records and creating history. Roger Federer, has etched his name yet again in the books of history, and taken his grand slam tally to 20. Federer prevailed over the Croat Marin Cilic in yet another five setter to defend his title in Melbourne. So, what better occasion than this, to tick off some of his most memorable moments over the years. Here are 20 golden moments from Roger Federer’s career.
20. Victory Over Pete Sampras
Federer, a lesser-known youngster back then, dethroned a man named Pete Sampras in his own backyard in 2001. Sampras had won the tournament seven times prior to that day. Federer, who was just 19 years old back then, with this victory created ripples in the tennis world and announced his arrival in style.
19. First Grand Slam Title
Federer won his first grand slam title in 2003 as he beat Mark Philippoussis in the Wimbledon finals. He also defeated Andy Roddick in the semis. This, as we know now, would just be the first of many more to come.
18. Federer Dethrones Andy Roddick
Roger Federer, went on to win his first Australian open crown in 2004, and in the process ousted Andy Roddick from his world number one position.
17. Federer Marries Mirka
Although it might seem an insignificant moment in the eyes of a neutral, tying the knot with his long time girlfriend, was an important chapter in his life.
16. Federer Wins Grand Slam As A Father
Federer went on to win his first grand slam as a father, when he triumphed in Australia in 2010, defeating Andy Murray in the finals. He was a father to his twins Myla Rose and Charlene Riva when he won the title.
15. Federer Wins Olympic Gold
Roger Federer went on to win his first and only Gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with compatriot Stan Wawrinka defeating Sweden’s Thomas Johansson and Simon Aspelin in the doubles finals. The pair also defeated the duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who were the strong favorites to win the gold that year, en route to the finals.
14. Number of Weeks As World No.1
Federer holds the record for the most number of weeks at the top spot in the ATP rankings. He has been at the pinnacle for 303 weeks. He also holds the record for the number of consecutive weeks as world no.1 (237 weeks).
13. Federer’s Winning Streak On Grass
Roger Federer still holds the record for the longest winning streak in the open era on grass. He won 65 matches on a trot from 2003 to 2008, until he met Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon finals in 2008. The rest is history.
12. Federer Defeats Rafa in Hamburg
Federer defeated Rafael Nadal in the finals of the Hamburg masters 2-6, 6-2, 6-0. This match holds a special significance as he ended Rafa’s dominance on clay. Rafael Nadal came into the match with a record 81 consecutive victories on clay.
11. Federer Defeats Del Potro
Roger Federer defeated the big Argentine in five sets in the semi finals of the 2009 French open 3–6, 7–6(2), 2–6, 6–1, 6–4. This would turn out to be one of the most important comeback victories in the career of Federer.
10. Federer Defeats Julien Benneteau
Federer came back from the jaws of defeat as he defeated the Frenchman Julien Benneteau from two sets to love down in the round of 32 in the Wimbledon championships 2012. He then went on to win the tournament defeating home favorite Andy Murray in the finals.
9. The Great Escape
Roger Federer’s maiden French open title, as he says it, was won right here in the fourth round against Tommy Haas, when he was a match point down in the third and he hit an inside out forehand that painted the line. He went on to win the match 6-7(4), 5-7, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2, and says that it was then and there that he knew it was his year.
8. The Rebirth
After the defeat in the finals of Wimbledon in 2008, Federer looked to have lost his confidence, as he cried his heart out when he lost in the finals of the Australian open in 2009. Federer was in a slump, while Novak and Rafa dominated the clay court season. However, it was in Madrid that he peaked. He defeated Rafael Nadal in the Madrid finals in 2009, to make a statement just before the start of the French open. Moreover, as we know it now he went on to lift the trophy later on. This Madrid final holds a special place in his career.
7. Wimbledon 2007
Rafa looked better than ever coming into the finals, and he troubled Roger when he won the fourth set. Since 2001, Roger was never taken to five sets in Wimbledon and it looked to be Rafa’s day. However, he turned the match around as his forehand clicked at the right time, and this victory over Rafa in Roger’s backyard remains one of the best matches that he has won on the grass.
6. Federer Snaps Novak Djokovic’s Win Streak
Nole was looking to equal McEnroe’s record of 42 consecutive wins to start a season. Federer though, looked to be unnerved by this, as he dispatched Novak in four sets of high quality tennis to reach the semis of the French open. This victory would prove to be pivotal in his bid for a maiden French open title.
5. Pete Sampras’s Record Shattered
Pete Sampras’s record of the highest total of Grand Slam titles accumulated, was shattered in a dramatic encounter between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. This match holds the record for the longest match in a grand slam finals, in terms of games played. It left Andy Roddick’s dreams in complete shambles as he believed he played the best tennis of his life, and still came up short of the title.
4. Federer wins Australian open 2017
After his defeat in the 2016 Wimbledon, Roger Federer took the rest of the season off to focus on his knee injury. He was written off as a diminishing force at the start of the year, but the kind of tennis he produced to win the Grand Slam was breathtaking. The finals in itself was a treat to watch, as he seemed to have found a new flavor in his backhand.
3. Federer’s maiden French open crown
Roger Federer defeated Robin Soderling in the finals of the 2009 French open to win an ever-elusive grand slam crown on the dirt. Soderling had ousted the defending champion and the king of clay Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the French open and had reached the finals in dramatic fashion as he defeated Fernando Gonzalez in five sets in the semis. But his dream run was halted by the maestro as he grabbed the opportunity of the absence of Rafa in the finals. This remains to be his only grand slam title on the dirt.
2. Oldest World Number 1
Roger Federer defeated Robin Haase in the semifinals of the Rotterdam Open. Federer was lying 2nd in the rankings behind Rafael Nadal. He needed to reach the semifinals to guarantee a spot as the World Number 1, and he did just that. He won 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 and at the age of 36 years and 195 days, he overtook Andre Agassi as the oldest male World Number 1 and also Serena Williams as the oldest tennis player who reached World Number 1.
1. Federer turns 20
Federer’s 20th slam is number one on our list, having not dropped a single set in the tournament until the finals. The Croatian Marin Cilic was in good form coming into the tournament, crunching up some impressive numbers on his serve. However, Federer and the grand stage of the occasion was too hot for Cilic to handle, as he was blown away in the fifth set, by the Swiss maestro.