Roger Federer’s stint with the record books
The bond between Roger Federer and the record books seems to be growing stronger than ever, with the Swiss maestro on the verge of breaking another tennis record.
A spot in the final of the Western and Southern Financial Masters, Cincinnati, after he defeated fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, ensures that Federer will be the top seed at this year’s US Open for a sixth time, thus breaking the record he shared with John McEnroe and Pete Sampras.
Earlier this year, after his record-tying seventh Wimbledon triumph in a record eight finals, he regained the top ranking from Novak Djokovic, thus breaking Pete’s record for most number of weeks at the coveted position.
Federer’s achievements are the indication of the fact that records are made to be broken – but some of the records Roger has created in his glorious career do possess the remotest possibility of being broken. Let us take a sneak peek into such unbelievable and unbreakable records.
1. 17 Grand Slam titles:
Rightly pointed out by Jimmy Connors,” 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.”
Roger holds the record for the most Grand Slam trophies (17), a parameter that is used to categorize him as the greatest of all tennis players.
The Swiss Maestro is followed by Pete Sampras at 14. Rafael Nadal, his greatest nemesis, is at 11 and Novak Djokovic, with five at 25, may well be catching up with others soon.
But 17 trophies over a span of nine years have been the consequence of his consistency and versatility to dominate the three surfaces. For any player in recent times to dominate all the three surfaces for such a long period seems a distant reality.
2. 291 weeks and counting at No. 1; 237 consecutive weeks at the top spot
Roger Federer, one week shy of Pete Sampras’ all time record of 286 weeks at No. 1, did manage to break that after a brilliant display of tennis that earned him a record-tying seventh Wimbledon trophy this July.
And a spot in the final of the Cincinnati Masters ensures that he will continue to reign at the top spot for at least a couple of more weeks, before passing on the reins to his successors.
291 weeks in total and 237 consecutive weeks at the top has been a remarkable achievement by any sportsperson – not only in the tennis world but generally in the field of sports, which is less likely to broken.
With the field becoming more competitive and a hike in the number of injuries taking their toll, it will become next to impossible for anyone to maintain the same level of consistency and longevity which Federer has managed to do for so long.
3. 33 Consecutive Grand Slam Quarterfinals
The most astonishing thing when Roger enters a Grand Slam is that he never gets upset; he usually finds his way into the second week of the tournament. This is reflected in his 33 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances, a feat that seems unlikely to be broken by any other player.
If anyone with such consistency can play for years on end, it is Roger Federer. And who knows, he may end up in the 40s before he retires.
4. 23 Consecutive Grand Slam Semifinals
This is one of the records that will go down deep in the history books, not just of tennis but also of sports. For six years at a go between 2004 and 2010 Roland Garros, Federer managed to pull off victories in 115 consecutive matches in the earlier rounds to scale this height.
The record is nothing but a testament to the unprecedented dominance of the tennis world by Roger Federer. Dominating tennis may be witnessed in the future but for such a long period as Federer did, does not sound possible.
Pete Sampras could manage three semifinals in a row, whereas Rafael Nadal has the next longest stretch at five. Andy Roddick’s best is two consecutive semi-final appearances.
5. 40 consecutive Wimbledon and US Open victories
Roger Federer is the only player in the Open Era who can boast of five consecutive titles at Wimbledon as well as the US Open; a record whose chances to be sniffed are almost negligible.
For a five year stretch from 2003 to 2007 at Wimbledon and 2004-2008 at Flushing Meadows, Federer did not lose a single match on the surfaces. And when he lost, he lost in style – epic, five set final losses at the hands of Rafael Nadal at SW19 and Juan Martin del Potro at the Arthur Ashe stadium.
Tennis is indeed a statistician’s dream sport. The numbers – those of winners, unforced errors, forced errors, aces, first serve points won, second serve points won and total points clinched, determine the consequences of matches and these matches create records.
Records are made to be broken but some records do stand the test of time. When Roger Federer entered the tennis arena, few would have imagined that he was destined to break almost all records the tennis world was astonished of once upon a time.
His own records may get broken by someone somewhere down the line but the odds of these incredible records being broken seem incredibly slim. Unless automated machines start playing tennis.