Federer struts into the US Open, armed with the 80th feather in his career cap, with a Cincinnati win – incidentally his sixth win on the surface. Often dubbed the greatest of all time, and still going strong at 33, his game has quelled any thoughts of age playing spoilsport in one of the most star- studded careers tennis has seen.
With on-court nemesis Rafael Nadal having chosen not to play, the father of two pairs of twins will kick off his 16th US Open, hoping to win his 6th US open title. While there are considerable obstacles in the form of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and rising star Nick Krygios to look out for, the masters win will definitely serve to up his confidence levels ahead of the tournament. A player who has ripped records to shreds and continues to astound, here are five defining matches in Roger Federer’s career:
Wimbledon Finals 2003
At 21, Federer clinched his first grand slam title, defeating an unseeded Mark Phillipoussis, 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 7-6 (7/3) in the Wimbledon 2003 finals, to put into gear a career marked by a deadly combination of effortless style and refined skill. The win also made him the first Swiss man to win a grand slam title.
Australian Open 2004
Seeded second, the Swiss’ outing in the opening grand slam of 2004 saw him defeat Marat Safin to claim his second grand slam title. He claimed the World No. 1 spot following his semi-final win against Juan Carlos Ferrero and crowned his accomplishment with a stunning Australian Open victory.
French Open victory 2009
With defending champion and King of Clay, Rafael Nadal exiting the tournament in the semis, Federer beat Robin Soderling to lift the French Open trophy, a cup that eluded him for over 11 years of his career. His only French Open victory till date, 2009 finally delivered him his career slam.
17th Grand Slam at Wimbledon – 2012
It was only fitting that the record for most number of Grand Slam Titles came to him as he tied Sampras for the highest number of Wimbledon titles. Creating a new record and equalling another, this match is memorable for him for all the right reasons. Who can forget the white jacket embroidered with a gold 17 that came out soon after he denied British favourite Andy Murray a much anticipated Wimbledon title?
300th week at World No. 1
By winning Wimbledon 2012, he not only equalled Pete Sampras’s number of titles on grass but also reached his record of 286 weeks at world no. 1. 14 weeks later, October 2012 saw Federer becoming the first man to hold the world no.1 position for a staggering 300 weeks. He also holds the record for remaining at the position for the longest stretch of time – 237 consecutive weeks (which is close to four and a half years).
Roger Federer, Ladies and Gentlemen.