Well, it had to end some time 🙁
September, 15th, 2022: The great Roger Federer walks into the sunset.
Ever since that magical match on July 2nd, 2001, when he defeated the legendary Pete Sampras on the Center Court at Wimbledon (the only time they have played, outside of exhibitions!), Roger has given Tennis fans many moments of joy and sadness.
1st Wimbledon (and Grand Slam) title, July 6th, 2003, at Wimbledon: Ah, pristine Serve & Volley tennis. How nice it was to see Roger S&V his way to the title. Later on, due to the demands of modern Tennis, he moved to a more baseline-dominated game.
Winning 12 out of 18 Grand Slams from 2003 Wimbledon to 2007 US Open: 67%!
Tears of utter pain on July 6th, 2008, at Wimbledon: After getting thrashed by Rafael Nadal in the 2008 French Open final, Roger could not hold back his tears (in front of John McEnroe, during the post-match interview) when Rafa finally broke through at Wimbledon, in what many consider the “Greatest Tennis match of all time”.
Tears of utter pain (again!) on February 1st, 2009, at Australian Open: Rafa conquers the last frontier (Hard Courts) and defeats Roger in a riveting Men’s Final (Watch the 1st 3 sets on YouTube if you can. Absolutely mindboggling levels of Tennis from both players) and sends Roger into a tearful state, yet again.
Alone, at the top, on July 5th, 2009, at Wimbledon: A quick turnaround from the pits of 2009 Australian Open, to breaking the Pete Sampras’ barrier of 14, with his 15th Grand Slam title.
“Missed me?” – Part-1, July 8th, 2012, at Wimbledon: After almost 2 years in the Grand Slam wilderness, Roger comes back with his 17th title.
“Missed me?” = Part-2 (Bigger & better!), January 29th, 2017: After almost 5 years (!) without any Grand Slam title, after a 6+ month break to recover from yet another knee injury, against an opponent who has been residing in his head for decades, and totally out of the blue, Roger roars back to win his 18th Grand Slam title in 5 riveting sets against Rafa and kicks off a magical period where he went on to win the “Sunshine Double” (Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000 titles) and a 19th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon later that year. When he won his 20th Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open, he becomes the oldest World No:1 at 36 years of age.
Ah, what memories …