Roger Federer is widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time. With his on court grace and fluiditiy, Federer entertains millions with his style of play. The former world number one possesses the complete game: a big serve, powerful groundstrokes, a delicate touch and an ability to glide over the court like no other. He truly plays with flair. Yet, what separates him from the rest is his consistency to remain at the top of the game.
Quite simply, Federer is the most succesful tennis player in history, with 17 Grand Slam titles to his name. Before the rapid rise of a certain Spaniard named Rafael Nadal, 20 titles were deemed well within his reach. However, it is his rivalry with Nadal that has become world-renowned. They have had several epic encounters over the years but their meetings at Wimbledon have been heralded by many as the best ever.
The Swiss professional is one of the 7 male tennis players who have acheived a Career Grand Slam. Although, Wimbledon is undoubtedly Roger Federer’s tournament. As a six-time champion he is loved by the centre court crowd, whose cheers for their champion rival that given to Tim Henman and Andy Murray.
‘In an era of specialists – you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist or a hard court specialist… or you’re Roger Federer.’ Jimmy Connors
It is hard to imagine such a distinguished individual having to look elsewhere for admiration. However, Federer idolised Boris Becker as a youngster and has said that Pete Sampras was ‘his favourite.’ So, the now infamous occasion when Federer beat Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001 was a special moment for him.
Their 2001 encounter is often considered to be a turning of the tide, although Federer had to wait until 2004 to officially become the world’s best. After reaching this significant milestone he then spent 237 weeks as world number one between 2004-2008 in a period of unquestioned dominance.
With the arrival of younger talents like Nadal and Djokovic, Federer’s dominance in tennis has been less apparent but he still is highly admired by experts and fans alike. His global appeal makes him one of the most recognisable men in sport. Some have named him Roger the Great, an apt title for a man whose impact on tennis has been nothing short of remarkable.