They thought Sampras had achieved the pinnacle at the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon, no one shall ever better that. In came a guy from Basel. Calm and with a dream to lift the trophy, to live his dream. He made the departure of Sampras, a bit more easy to sink in. A little did people know, that Federer was destined to break the records of Sampras, to better the game American had produced, to surpass the legend at his own turf. And en route became the greatest champion of Centre Court.
Ever since he broke onto the scene in 2001, it has been a ‘religious experience’ to watch him hover on the grass, and mesmerise people with his sheer genius shot making.
Amidst all the speculations about his retirement and tough days ahead, Federer prepares for a record 20th straight appearance at SW19. Having skipped clay and reaching consecutive finals at Stuttgart and Halle, Federer is the guy to beat at AELTC. There’s nothing better than watching the maestro at The Championships.
So out of all his phenomenal achievements at the biggest stage we have picked 5 most special ones. Ones which left the most impact on Federer’s glorious journey at SW19.
#5. The Godly Backhand Winner (2008 Final)
This match could well have been at the top of this countdown, had the result been different. Federer was on the losing side, a defeat that he considers to be one of the toughest in his career. But apart from the historic Rafa Nadal performance, it was a shot from Federer that possibly took this match to the pinnacle of records. Nadal was cruising – having won the first two sets and had two Championship points in the fourth. It would have gone down as just another major final, only if Nadal would have sealed a win in the fourth.
Rather, it went on to become arguably the greatest match ever because of a Federer comeback. Roger came back to take the next two sets in the tiebreak and on the second Championship point, he produced a backhand passing winner down the line – the Centre Court crowd erupted like never before, a moment that is yet to be replicated! That shot and the furore that followed marked one of the peaks of this modern sporting rivalry. Federer cherishes this shot as one of his favorites. Do yourselves a favor, and watch it again!
#4. 2017 Wimbledon Title
Federer entered Wimbledon in 2017, eyeing to break Pete’s record of 7 Wimbledons. A year prior, he was reduced to his knees on the ground, lying flat, by Milos Raonic and then took a 6-month sabbatical from the game. Having got the monkey of 18th major of his back earlier in Melbourne, Roger was the favorite heading into but had to face the likes of Dimitrov, Berdych, Raonic and finally Cilic to win his 8th title here. And boy didn’t he do it with style, brushing each of them aside with Swiss precision.
Federer was just a 19-years-old teen from Switzerland up against the seven-time Wimbledon Champion Pete Sampras, who was also chasing a record-equalling fifth consecutive title – this thing alone can overwhelm most of the young tennis stars. But Federer rose to the occasion and notched up one of the greatest victories of his career against his idol Sampras.
#1. First GS Title (2003)
You were lucky if you were there at the inception, of what has now turned out to be the most legendary chapter in the history of the game. As a 21-year-old Swiss- who had failed to go past the QF stage at any of his previous slams- took his casual stance at 6-1 in the third set tiebreak, his emotions knew no bounds. He could hardly believe that he was a point away from living his dream. And after winning the final point and contesting an almost flawless match, as Federer crumbled to his knees, the world knew they had witnessed the first of many slams. It was the finest moment of Federer’s journey at the Centre Court.
“It’s an absolute dream for me “ – ROGER FEDERER