Roger Federer is arguably the finest player to have had ever played the game. Having won 13 Grand Slam singles titles (3 Australian Opens, 5 Wimbeldons, 5 US Opens), he is just one shy of The Great Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slams.
He also holds the open era records for most consecutive wins on both grass courts (65) and hard courts (56).He also holds the open era records for most consecutive wins on both grass courts (65) and hard courts (56). He was the World No. 1 ranked player for a record 237 consecutive weeks.
Though, these stats and facts may be termed as ‘legendary’, there has always been one obstacle that he has needed to pass, the current world No.1, Rafael Nadal. “The Master of Clay” has won six Grand Slam singles titles and the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles. Yes, these facts are nothing compared to Roger Federer’s but there is a 5 year age difference between the two.
For much of his career, Nadal has had a great rivalry with Federer, with all means, the greatest rivalry in tennis to date. They are the only two men to have played each other in seven Grand Slam finals, with Nadal winning five of those matches.
Nadal was ranked World No.2 behind Federer for a record 160 weeeks before finally making the position his own.
An interesting figure, Nadal has won 13 of their 19 singles matches to date. The last 5 encounters between the two, have all gone Nadals’ way.
Nevertheless, these two have enjoyed many fantastic matches, and have played some of the finest tennis ever, whenever they come face to face. An example of the great tennis displayed by both is in the 2008 Wimbeldon Final, this final was termed by some critics as the greatest match ever played, another final displaying such tennis was in the recent Aussie Open Final which also saw some astonishing tennis.
But Now, after that Australian Open, one has to feel that the ‘Great Roger’ has passed his peak and inevitably it is Rafa, himself who is about to reach his finest form. Without any doubt, we all still feel,think and hope that the “Swiss Master” will equal the record held by Pete Sampras, as he deserves to.
But, with Nadal playing so well and Federer losing his magic touch, it is quite likely that the Legacy, that is Federer, will fall this season.
As we saw, in the concession speech at the Australian Open, Roger burst into tears and couldn’t give the speech properly. Maybe, he himself feels he will not have a better chance in the future to pass Pete Sampras’ record?
It would be a real tragedy if he doesnt, and most of us are confident that Roger Federer will be the Most Successful Tennis Player, ever. There is no doubt that he has displayed some of the best tennis ever seen on court, and we also feel that Nadal, inevitably will also become a legend, with him playing so well and playing so beautifully.
We all wait and anticipate this season with great impatience and hope to see tennis at its finest.
Hopefully, the Greatest Player in History and the Greatest Player in the world right now, will continue to play tennis the way they have started this season.