There Are Legends, Then There Is Roger Federer

It was inevitable but when it truly arrived, there was a sense of sadness all around. Swiss tennis player Roger Federer on September 15 finally announced that he would be retiring from the sport after the upcoming Laver Cup. The maestro will hang up his boots after winning 20 Grand Slams, and making an entire generation fall in love with the sport. There are several feats that the now 41-year-old went on to scale in his career, including being the No.1 ranked player for 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks.

There were five occasions where he ended the year as No.1. In his career, he went on to win 103 ATP singles titles, which is the second most of all time after Jimmy Connors. Now, there are Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who have won more Grand Slams than Federer, but the Swiss player has a fan following on just another level and he is credited for making the sport scale greater heights in terms of increasing the viewership.

It was in 2003 that Federer went on to win his first Grand Slam, and it was the Wimbledon that he won first. Over his career, he went on to win the All England Championships eight times and it is no surprise that when he paid a visit to the court earlier this year, he got the loudest cheer possible from the fans at Wimbledon.

Apart from eight Wimbledon titles, Federer went on to win five US Open titles, 1 French Open title and 6 Australian Open titles. Over his career, Federer enjoyed a great rivalry with the likes of Nadal and Djokovic. Touted as the ‘Big Three’, these stars dominated the sport like no one else has.

Not many will know, but Federer has also won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award a record five times. It is no surprise that Federer is deciding to hang up his boots after the Laver Cup, a competition in which he played an instrumental role.

Federer was famous for his ‘squash shot’ which is a lunging forehand slash and it is played from basically an open stance. Over his career, he became famous for his speed and exceptional shot-making. He mainly played from the baseline but was as good at the net, being one of the best volleyers in the game. His smash shot was second to none.

It was in the 2006 season, when Federer tasted the most success as he went on to win 12 singles titles and also had a match record of 92–5. The Swiss tennis maestro managed to reach the finals in an astounding 16 of the 17 tournaments he entered during the season.

In 2006, Federer also took home three Grand Slam singles titles and reached the final of the other, where he faced a defeat at the hands of a young Rafael Nadal, who was going to be his eternal rival in the days to come. Importantly, this was Federer and Nadal’s first meeting in a Grand Slam final.

In his entire career, Federer enjoyed a great rivalry with Nadal and Djokovic. Against the Spaniard Nadal, he played 40 times where the Swiss tennis player trailed 16-24. Against Djokovic, Federer is trailing 23-27. However, the matches with both Nadal and Djokovic captured everyone’s imagination and no one can forget the Wimbledon finals Federer played against Nadal and Djokovic in 2008 and 2019 respectively. Both of these were marathon matches, lasting for more than 4 hours.

Apart from playing the sport, he also established the Roger Federer Foundation to help disadvantaged children and help them gain access to education and sport. In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Federer had also arranged a collaboration with top tennis players for a special charity event during the 2010 Australian Open.

Over the last few years, Federer was hampered by injuries and he last played a Grand Slam in 2021. He had last won a Grand Slam in 2018 and it was the Australian Open. So, it is no surprise that the magician has now decided to hang up his boots. There might be players going ahead, who end up having more Grand Slams than him, but there might not be someone as good as him in terms of making people fall in love with the sport. His charisma off the court is also appreciated by fans of the sport, and this is why, the void is immediately being felt as Federer has decided to call time on his career.

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