Introduction: The Greatest Tennis Player to Ever Hold the Tennis Racket
Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player to ever hold the tennis racket, announced his decision to leave the competitive arena that he ruled with signature one-handed backhand and graced the tennis court with style. The legend from Switzerland leaves the tennis court with a list of records unmatched by few and out of reach to others.
In a long statement, on September 16, 2022, tennis legend Roger Federer announced his decision to retire from the sport after Laver Cup 2022. Federer was struggling with knee injuries for a long time and informed of his decision to retire with a post on his Twitter handle.
Growing Years in Basel
Roger Federer was born on August 8, 1981, in Basel, Switzerland, to his Swiss-German father, Robert Federer, and his Afrikaner mother, Lynette Federer. He holds both Swiss and South African citizenship as Federer’s mother is from South Africa. He grew up in Birsfelden, Riehen, and then Münchenstein, which is close to the French and German borders, and his native language is Swiss German.
In 1992 and 1993, at his hometown Basel tournament, he was a ball boy. In his early days, Federer played sports like badminton and basketball, which improved his hand-eye coordination. In his growing years, his idols were Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras. Federer married former Women’s Tennis Association player Miroslava Federer on April 11, 2009, whom he met while they were both playing for Switzerland at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
He began playing tennis at the age of 8. Earlier in his career, Federer was regarded as an enormously talented youngster after winning the Wimbledon junior title in 1998. And, after three years, he beat American great Pete Sampras on his way to the quarter-finals at the All England Club.
Grand Slam: First to Reach 20 Grand Slam Trophies
In 2003, Roger Federer outshined Mark Philippoussis on Wimbledon’s Centre Court to commence a Grand Slam collection that for many was a dream. But, at the moment, Federer is at third position with 20 Grand Slam trophies behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at 22 and 21, respectively.
Federer was the first men’s player to win 20 grand slam titles. His Grand Slam collections are eight Wimbledon titles, five US Open titles, six Australian crowns and one French Open, which came in 2009, to complete his career Slam trophies.
Records and Milestones to Remember
Roger Federer claimed 103 titles, which is second only to Jimmy Connors’ Open Era record of 109 titles. He has won 1,251 singles matches, which is also second in the Open Era behind Connors’ 1,274 singles matches. Roger Federer holds the record as the world number one for 237 consecutive weeks. He was also the oldest player to hold the number one ranking, at 36 years and 320 days. He also has eight Wimbledon titles, which is most for a men’s singles player.
In his tennis career, he never retired from a match having played 1,526 singles and 223 doubles matches. He is the only player to win two Grand Slams five consecutive times, Wimbledon in 2003-2007 and the US Open during 2004-2008. Federer is the only player to reach 10 straight men’s Grand Slam finals during 2005-2007. On the ATP Tour, he has won 24 straight finals during 2003-2005.
The only omission from his glittering career is an Olympic singles gold medal, although he did win the gold medal in the doubles event in 2008.
Awards and Recognitions
Roger Federer was the winner of a record 40 ATP Tour Awards: ATP Tour No. 1 (2004-2007, 2009), Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of Year (2006, 2013), Comeback Player of the Year (2017), Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship (2004-2009, 2011-2017) and Fans’ Favourite (2003-2021).
He was the most decorated athlete in history of Laureus World Sports Awards, winning Sportsman of the Year five times (2005-2008, 2018). He was also awarded with Swiss of the Year (2003, 2017), ITF Player of the Year (2004-2007, 2009), ITWA Player of Year and Ambassador for Tennis (2004-2006), BBC Sports Overseas Personality of Year (2004, 2006-2007), L’Equipe’s Champion of Champions (2005-2007) and US Open Sportsmanship Award (2014).
Foundations and Donations
He founded the Roger Federer Foundation in 2003, which supports more than 1 million children and invested more than $50 million in community-driven initiatives to improve education in Southern Africa and Switzerland. In January 2020, Roger Federer partnered with Rafael Nadal to donate $250,000 towards Australian bushfire relief. Also, in 2020, donated $1 million to vulnerable families in Switzerland and $1 million to vulnerable families in South Africa during COVID-19 pandemic, providing healthy meals for 64,000 people. He was the first person to be pictured on official Swiss stamps (2007) and coins (2020) while still living.