Rolex Commercial Explains How Roger Federer’s Legacy Will Outlive That of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Published 07/10/2021, 7:34 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 5, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates winning his fourth round match against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego REUTERS/Paul Childs


The opening lines of the new Rolex commercial featuring Roger Federer couldn’t have put it better. There are certain inanimate things, not ones that go into record books or feature in career stats, that testifies to one’s greatness.

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And just as the new commercial by the globally renowned luxury watchmakers seeks to convey, Federer embodies greatness that goes far beyond numbers or titles.

It says glowing stats, records or the number of Grand Slam titles can only shine a light on a part of a player’s career accomplishments, as there are many more attributes that go into building one’s legacy for generations to come but cannot be quantified or explained in numbers.

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Rolex ad for Wimbledon 2021 pays glowing tribute to Roger Federer

And Federer’s is a case in point. Though he still holds the joint lead in career Grand Slam title count with old rival Rafael Nadal, it seems only a matter of time before the record falls to resurgent current No.1 Novak Djokovic.

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In what could go down as his most memorable and fruitful season in the game, Djokovic lifted both the Australian Open and Roland-Garros titles this year, taking his career Grand Slam tally to 19, and is a final away from winning a third straight title and going level with Federer and Nadal.

Earlier this year, the Serbian upstaged the Swiss to record the most number of weeks as No.1. 

However, while Federer’s career numbers are under threat, his legacy or greatness isn’t.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 7, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer leaves Centre Court after losing his quarter final match against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz Pool via REUTERS/Edward Whitaker TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Why? As the voice in the advertisement says, “There are certain things that numbers can’t convey.”

Watch This Story: Heartbreaking Losses at Wimbledon Championships 2021: Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Nick Kyrgios, Venus Williams, Ons Jabeur, Andy Murray

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Ad says numbers don’t show that Federer’s the most revered athlete of all time

It says that numbers won’t show that Federer plays tennis “more beautifully” than any of his contemporary rivals or players who came before, they won’t convey his standing as the “all-time most revered athlete in the world for his grace and elegance on and off the court.”

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As the voice rightly puts it, Federer’s legacy will grow and far outlive any career number, either of himself or his rivals.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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