On the 40th birthday of Roger Federer, ESPNTenis.com selected 40 moments in the Swiss’s career, from his adolescence to his present day.
Promise / reality: with 16 years, He entered the 1998 Wimbledon Junior edition as the fifth seed, in a main draw made up of the Chilean Fernando González, the Russian Mikhail Youzhny, the French Michael Llodra, the Austrian Jurgen Melzer and the American Taylor Dent, among others. He lifted the title, without giving up a set, after beating Philip Langer, Andrej Kracman, Jerome Haehnel, David Sherwood, Lovro Zovko and Irakli Labadze. In addition, he is crowned in the doubles category with the Belgian Olivier Rochus.
ATP debut: Thanks to the consecration in the London grass, he receives an invitation to the tournament held in Gstaad, Switzerland, in which he makes his absolute debut on the circuit. On July 6, 1998, the promising young man, number 702 in the world at that time, fell 4-6 to Argentine Lucas Arnold (88th) in one hour and 20 minutes.
First ATP victory: At the end of September, in his second presentation and coming from qualifying, he beat Frenchman Guillaume Raoux (45th) 6-2 and 6-2 in Toulouse and achieved his first win in the top flight. In that edition the celebration would be twofold, because he would beat the Australian Richard Fromberg (43rd) in the round of 16. However, the dream would end in the next instance, in which he would succumb 6-7 (5) and 2-6 against the Dutch Jan Siemerink (20th).
Attention: in February 1999 he hit the bump, defeat 7-6 (1), 3-6 and 6-3 to the Spanish Carlos Moyá (5th), last champion of Roland Garros, in the first round of Marseille, and defeated for the first time a Top Ten. In that tournament he would classify again until the quarterfinals, a round in which he would fall against local Arnaud Clement (103rd).
Rojiblanco: in April 1999 he made his Davis Cup debut against Italian Davide Sanguinetti (48th), whom he beat 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 and 6-4. Despite later falling in straight sets against Gianluca Pozzi (69th), Switzerland advanced to the stage.
Grand Slam Premiere: Thanks to invitations from the organization, the Basel-born man attends Roland Garros and Wimbledon for the first time in his career. Despite struggling in both first rounds, he says goodbye quickly: he falls 5-7, 3-6, 0-6 and 2-6 against Australian Patrick Rafter (3rd) in the dust and 3-6, 6-3, 6- 4, 3-6 and 4-6 against Czech Jiri Novak (59th) on the grass.
Top 100: After starting 1999 in the 301st position in the ranking, playing 14 ATP competitions (semifinal in Vienna) and proclaiming himself in the Brest Challenger, he ended the season as 64th on the planet, the best position of his career.
ATP final first: In Marseille, the city where he had achieved his first celebration on the circuit, he defeated Antony Dupuis, Thomas Johansson, Ivan Ljubicic and Fabrice Santoro, and reached his first decisive instance. However, his compatriot Marc Rosset (77th) stopped him in the final and defeated him 6-2, 3-6 and 6-7 (5).
Sweet love: Despite not hanging any medals in his Olympic debut (he fell to the German Tommy Haas in the semifinals and to the Frenchman Arnaud Di Pasquale for third place), in Sydney 2000 he met Mirka Vavrinec, representative of the women’s tennis team, from whom he falls in love and marries nine years later.
Opens his record: in Milan 2001, after surpassing the Frenchman Julien Boutter (67th), he premiered his award-winning showcase. Earlier, this week, he had beaten Rainer Schuettler, Cyril Saulnier, Goran Ivanisevic and Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
Priceless loss: In August 2002, while on vacation in South Africa, Peter Carter, childhood coach and friend, had an accident and lost his life.
Debut among the greats: Thanks to his fourth position in the ranking, he qualified for the 2002 Masters, held in Shanghai, China, where he successfully dodged the group stage by beating Juan Carlos Ferrero, Jiri Novak and Thomas Johansson. In a highly disputed match, he fell 5-7, 7-5 and 5-7 in the semifinal against Australian Lleyton Hewitt (1st), who would eventually become two-time champion.
Top Ten: after being crowned three times in 2002 (Sydney, Hamburg and Vienna), he reached 6th place in the rankings and ended the year among the top 10 on the ATP circuit for the first time. It was completed by Hewitt (1st), Andre Agassi (2nd), Marat Safin (3rd), Ferrero (4th), Carlos Moyá (5th), Novak (7th), Tim Herman (8th), Albert Costa (9th) and Andy Roddick ( 10th).
Wimbledon Champion: In his fifth edition in London, the city in which he had lost three times in the first round and once in the quarterfinals, he beat Hyung-Talk Lee (55th), Stefan Koubek (70th), Mardy Fish (45th), Feliciano López ( 52nd), Sjeng Schalken (12th), Roddick (6th) and Mark Philppoussis (48th) and lifted his first Major tournament, in 2003.
ATP Final Masters Champion: the venue chosen in 2003 was Houston, United States, where he defeated Andre Agassi (5th), David Nalbandian (8th) and Ferrero (2nd) in the round robin. In the direct elimination stage, they beat Roddick (1st) 7-6 (2) and 6-2 and reached the final, where they triumphed 6-3, 6-0 and 6-4 against Agassi, again .
Charitable: In December 2003, he created the Roger Federer Foundation, which is in charge of supporting schools, sports and events in those locations where the minimum attendance is nil or insufficient. IMBEWU, a project in development in South Africa, the native country of his mother, Lynette, is the first destination, in addition to his native Switzerland.
Owner of the Australian Open and US Open: finally, in his fifth presentation on the oceanic and North American floor, where he had never passed the round of 16, he consecrates himself and does so twice. First, on February 1, 2004, he beat Russian Marat Safin (83rd) by 7-6 (3), 6-4 and 6-2, while on September 12 he did the same by 6-0, 7-6 (3) and 6-0 against Hewitt (5th).
World Ranking Leader: On February 2, 2004, after being crowned at the Australian Open, he reached the top of the ATP rankings for the first time in his career and remained there uninterruptedly, for four years and six months, until August 18, 2008.
Grand Slam record: in 2004 he became the first player, since 1988, when the Swiss Mats Wilander had achieved it, to lift three Grand Slam in the same year (Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open).
Tthree titles in 29 days: In less than a month, between July 4 and August 1, 2004, he became a champion on three different surfaces and made it clear that his quality exceeds any terrain. Giving only five sets in the 18 matches played, he celebrated in Wimbledon (grass), in Gstaad (clay), against Igor Andreev (62nd), and in Canada (cement), against Roddick (1st).
National proud: at the 2004 Athens Olympics he lost in the second round to Czech Tomas Berdych. However, he carried the flag of his nation in the opening ceremony, an honor that he would repeat in Beijing 2008 and delegate to his partner Stan Wawrinka, in London 2012.
Unbeatable: between Vienna 2003 and Bangkok 2005, “His Majesty” was crowned in the 24 decisive instances that he contested. The enviable streak included Vienna, Masters, Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells, Hamburg, Halle, Wimbledon, Gstaad, Canada, US Open, Bangkok, Masters, Doha, Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Hamburg, Halle, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, US Open and Bangkok, and was interrupted at the 2005 Masters, when he fell in five sets, in an unforgettable match, against Argentine David Nalbandian.
Overwhelming: in 2006 he lifted 12 titles, the highest amount in his entire career, with celebrations in Doha, Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Halle, Wimbledon, Canada, US Open, Tokyo, Madrid, Basel and the Masters.
Record man: in Australia 2007 he became the first player, since the Swedish Bjorn Borg, in 1980, to consecrate himself in a Grand Slam tournament without giving up a set. The contenders were Bjorn Phau (7-5, 6-0 and 6-4), Jonas Bjorkman (6-2, 6-3 and 6-2), MIkhail Youzhny (6-3, 6-3 and 7-6) , Novak Djokovic (6-2, 7-5 and 6-3), Tommy Robredo (6-3, 7-6 and 7-5), Andy Roddick (6-4, 6-0 and 6-2) and Fernando González (7-6, 6-4 and 6-4).
Historical: in 2007 he repeated the epic of 2004 and 2006, winning three of the four Grand Slam (Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open) and became the first player in history to achieve it in three different seasons.
Habitué top: Between Wimbledon 2005 and US Open 2007, he played 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals, of which he celebrated in eight and lost in the two editions of Roland Garros, both against the Spanish Rafael Nadal.
Gold plated: in Beijing 2008, in his third Olympic event, he again carried the Swiss flag at the opening ceremony. As icing on the cake, he won the gold medal in doubles, along with Wawrinka, by defeating the Swedish duo of Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson.
End of the curse: In his eleventh participation and after three falls in a row in the last match, he became champion of Roland Garros, the only Grand Slam without lifting, by beating Sweden 6-1, 7-6 (1) and 6-4, Robin Soderling. Nadal’s executioner in the round of 16. There he equaled the then record of the American Pete Sampras of 14 Grand Slam crowns and passed it the following month by winning at Wimbledon and reaching 15.
Undisputed owner: in 2009, as in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, he finished the season as N ° 1 on the tennis planet.
Surprise: at Roland Garros 2010, for the first time since 2004 and after 23 editions in a row, he did not reach the semifinals in a Grand Slam. Soderling (7th), as in the previous edition, steals the limelight again: he defeated him 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and 6-4 and eliminated in the quarterfinals, after two hours and 30 minutes of game.
Silver plated: in London 2012, in his fourth Olympic presentation, he obtains his only medal at the individual level. On the London lawn he beat the Colombian Alejandro Falla, the French Julien Benneteau, the Uzbek Denis Istomin, the American John Isner and, in a marathon match, the Argentine Juan Martín del Potro. However, in the definition he lost 2-6, 1-6 and 4-6 against the British Andy Murray and the silver medal was hanged.
A thousand triumphs as a professional: In Brisbane 2015, against Canadian Milos Raonic, he achieved his 1,000th victory on the circuit.
Absence of weight: At Roland Garros 2016, after 65 performances in a row, he was absent from a Grand Slam for the first time since 1999.
Outside the Top Ten: On November 7, 2016, and for the first time since October 2002, it left the World Top 10 and ranked 16th. However, at the end of next January he would recover it and keep it until today.
Cup dry: the 2016 season, with an annoying injury in the second half, ended without consecrations, a record he had not registered since 2000, the season prior to his first celebration, in 2001. From then on, his year with the worst numbers had been in 2013, when he only celebrated in Halle.
Full validity: On June 18, 2018, at the age of 36, he regained the leadership of the ranking and became the oldest tennis player to do so.
Hundreds of titles: In Dubai 2019, at 37 years old, he beats Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (5th) 6-4, lifts his 100th ATP title and becomes the second maximum champion of the Open Era, only surpassed by the retired American Jimmy Connors in 1996 and who holds 109 trophies.
Injuries: He suffered a problem in his left knee that marginalized him in the second half of 2016 and another in his right knee in 2020, which he continues to suffer from to this day, for which he played only one tournament in 2020 and very little in 2021.
Absolute owner: He is the top champion in more than ten tournaments, including Wimbledon (8), ATP Finals (6), Cincinnati (7), Indian Wells (5), Halle (10), Basel (10) and Dubai (8 ).
King Major: currently, together with Serbian Novak Djokovic and Spanish Rafael Nadal, he is the top winner in the history of Grand Slam tournaments. The showcase consists of eight Wimbledon, six Australian Open, five US Open and one Roland Garros.