As Roger Federer turned 33 today (born on August 8, 1981) the Swiss ace shows no signs of ageing and his performance. Federer still plays with the same grace and class. The ease with which the Swiss maestro plays makes his critics, opponents, pundits, former professionals from the sport and his audiences/fans believe that he is the greatest tennis player of all time, dominating the sport in the 21st century. The Swiss ace is not even contemplating retirement as he still continues intimidate and instill fear in the minds of his opponents.
He is hailed as the sport's all-time greatest, having won a total of 17 career men’s singles Grand Slam Championships in tennis history.
The crafty legend is referred to as Fedex or Federer Express or Swiss Maestro on the tennis circuit and outside. Fedex went on to become Switzerland's junior champion, a mere 14. In 1998 he clinched the Wimbledon junior singles championship. At the age of 17 he played American tennis legend Andre Agassi in Basel in 1998 (below). In 1999 he made his debut for the Swiss Davis Cup team and was the youngest player (18 years) to finish
Federer is known to have had several incidents of confrontations with the chair umpires or match referees. He's had several instances of outburts on the court, prompting one to believe of his aggression. Most also know that he is emotional and has considerably become calmer over the years. The tall, soft-spoken and humble Fedex has a sense of humour and is a real entertainer on and off the field.
Fedex was on a roll as he amassed several men's world records:
- He held the world No 1 position for 302 weeks overall and 237 consecutive weeks from 2004-08. He won 17 Grand Slam singles titles (2003-12)
- He reached the Grand Slam Final at least five times (an all-time record); and the Wimbledon final nine times.
- He is one of the seven men, in the Open Era, to win the career Grand Slam.
- Federer shares an Open Era record for most titles at the Australian Open with Andre Agassi and Novak Djokovic (4), at Wimbledon with Pete Sampras (7) and at the US Open with Jimmy Connors and Sampras (5).
His other records include:
- Six ATP World Tour Finals (ATP Masters 1000 tournaments)
- Olympic gold medal in doubles with close friend and countryman compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and the Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games (losing to Andy Murray).
- A mind-boggling record of eight consistent years (2003–2010) were spent by him in the top 2 and ten years (2003-12) in the year-end men's rankings
- He won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record four consecutive years (2005–2008).
Of the 11 Wimbledon tournaments that Federer has played (2003-2014) he won five years straight in a row (2003-2008) and then won again in 2010 and 2012.
Of Friends and Foes: It is a well-known fact that Fedex shares a special bond with Spanish tennis powerhouse Rafael Nadal. The two of them are bitter rivals on court but off the court have immense respect for each other. Their rivalry is the game's greatest after Nadal burst on to the scene in 2004. They have played each other 33 times with Nadal winning 23 of those encounters.
In an article published by espn.co.uk Federer has admitted that the relationship he shares with Nadal is that of a friend too than only of a professional rival. He further added that how it is not easy to be friends with competitors in the same profession. He says "Despite being on good terms with Rafael Nadal, and admitting he is closer with him than other leading players such as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, Federer says that it is difficult for today's professionals to be friends. I know his family the best, as well. I know his mum, dad and sister. Yeah, our bond goes further back than the one I have with Novak or Andy. And for that reason I feel closest and most connected to Rafa."
The matches and unparalleled rivalry made it even more special as two of the game's greatest players battled for supremacy.
On what professionals think of Fedex?
Quick Federer facts
- Spent a record 302 weeks at No 1 in Emirates ATP Rankings
- Two million Twitter followers
- 14 Grass-court titles, the most in the Open Era
- He was only 22 years of age when he became World No. 1 for the first time
- Won two titles the age of 31 in 2013-'14
- 32 Last title at this age in Halle in June
- Competed in four Olympic Games