Update: Federer’s Timeless Records

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-Australian-Open-2010/Roger-Federer.aspx

Now that Roger has won yet another grand slam title, I thought it might a good idea to look at some of the records that Roger has set up in his career so far. This is of course and ongoing thing, because Roger’s career is far from over as he proved by winning the Australian Open, dropping only two sets in the process. I don’t know about you, but it has taken a day or two for me to sunk it what Roger has once again done in Australia last week. What a privilege to be a Fedfanatic! I always found it hard to understand why you would want to be anything other than a Fedfanatic if you are a tennis fan. Not only does Roger almost always win, but he is a great guy! I know for sure I would not want to be a Nadal fan. Why support someone that was always destined to burn out due to his taxing game style?

That’s just setting yourself up for disappointment. Well, I guess to each their own right? ;-) OK lets get back to the records then. The number one on the ATP list is the record of winning 5 majors in a row at 2 different majors. I think it’s hard to say exactly what Roger’s best record is, but this one is certainly worthy of being number one. To do something that no one in the whole history of tennis has done is truly and exceptional feat. Back in the days of Bill Tilden the top seed only played one round in the majors as they were already in the final, so I don’t rate his records very highly. Roy Emerson won 5 consecutive majors, but they were at the Australian Open, which wasn’t always the most coveted major. for me Borg comes the closest to this record of Roger, as he won five consecutive Wimbledon crowns himself, and four consecutive French Open titles, which is probably the most demanding slam to win.

Next comes the major title record which Roger has now improved to 16, two clear of Pete Sampras. Sampras himself could only manage half the amount of Oz Open titles that Roger could, and no French Open titles. The only major where Sampras is still ahead of Roger is Wimbledon with 7 titles, but you would expect that Roger will equal that record this year as well, and finally improve on it. I think eventually Roger will smash every record that Sampras has set. It doesn’t look like anyone will stop him from passing Sampras’ record of 286 total weeks at the top of the ATP rankings. He is currently on 268 total weeks in the nr. 1 spot, and it doesn’t look like anyone will catch him in time. Rafa had a chance, but after the Oz Open he has dropped to nr. 4 in the rankings, and he has a huge amount of points to defend until the French Open.

Also it looks like Roger will be year end number one again, which means that he would have equalled Sampras’ record of 6 years ending nr. 1 in the rankings. The next year Roger will have a very good chance to break this record of Sampras as well. This could be the hardest record to break, but you would never bet against Roger to do that. Another record of Sampras that Roger will soon break, is his singles titles of 64. Roger is currently on 62 titles, and unless something unforeseen happens, Roger will break that record this season as well. Roger has already surpassed Sampras in career earnings to become the all time leader in career earnings. As far as the US Open goes, I expect Roger to win at least one more US Open title to pass Sampras and Conners in the most US Open titles in the open era.

But already he has done something they haven’t done which is to win 5 consecutive US Open titles. One other record that Sampras holds with Lendl, is the 5 Masters Cup titles. Roger is currently on 4, and again you won’t put it beyond him to break or at least equal that record. One of the most astonishing things about Roger’s records is that it is still ongoing. Only the day when he finally retires will we really be able to tell how good he was. I laugh at people who want to already begin the GOAT debate, as if Roger’s career is already over. It’s far from over, you can take my word for that. Roger has now proven that parenthood hasn’t made any difference to his tennis, so expect him to keep going like this for many years to come. The next record on the ATP list is the 18 of the last 19 grand slam finals that Roger has reached, which is pretty sick in itself.

He won the title 12 out of the 18 times he made the final, losing only to his nemesis Rafa. Of those losses 4 was on clay, which is understandable, while the ones at Wimbledon and the Oz Open was during a time that Roger was at a low point in his career. Rafa is the ultimate opportunist, picking up slam titles on Roger’s worst surface and when he was at a low in his career. At nr. 4 is the record consecutive grand slam semi-finals which Roger has now extended to 23, which together with the previous record, is testament to Roger’s ridiculous consistency in the majors. Personally I thought there was a very good chance this record would come to an end when Roger played against Davydenko in the quarter finals of the Oz Open. But again Roger would show why he is the king of grand slams.

You wonder who would be the one that would finally break this streak. The interesting thing is that there is a possibility that Roger and Rafa could meet in the quarter finals of the French Open this year. With Rafa having so many points to defend until the French Open, he could well fall to nr. 5 in the rankings,  which would mean there is a little less than 25% chance that they could meet in the quarter finals. You almost feel like it would take something like this for Roger to lose before the semi-finals of a slam, or else it may never happen. The next record is the 24 consecutive finals that Roger won, which is one I often overlook. In finals you play against the other best player of the tournament who is also full of confidence, and to beat that player 24 consecutive times shows what a dominant mental force Roger was.


Then at nr. 6 is the appearance in all 4 grand slam finals 3 times in his career. Rod Laver managed that feat 2 times in his career, but that was only on two surfaces, clay and grass. Another staggering record that is not on this list which is similar to this record, is that Roger won 3 majors in a year 3 times, in 2004, 2006 and 2007. The next record is the most dominant period in tennis from 2004-2006, when Roger was just untouchable. I fondly remember those days when, if Roger lost against anyone, it was a huge upset. I mean he just didn’t lose much at all. Its very doubtful that Roger would ever be that dominant again, because even though his level may not have dropped a whole lot from then, it’s hard to stay ahead of the competition forever. I think Roger can still be that dominant in the slams, but it will be hard to be that utterly dominant again.

The next record is pretty amazing as well, where Roger has held the nr. 1 ranking for the most consecutive weeks, eclipsing the previous record of 160 weeks by Jimmy Connors. Again it just shows that Roger dominated the sport unlike any other before him. Nr. 9 on the list is Roger’s 65 consecutive wins on grass courts. I never knew that Roger has 4 match points against him against Olivier in Halle in 2006. It’s as if Roger was destined to set up this record. Finally, at nr. 10 is the record of winning at least one grand slam a year for 8 consecutive years. There is no telling how much further Roger can push this record, which he currently shares with Sampras and Borg. He is almost guaranteed to break it, and i can see him winning slams for at least 2 more years after 2010. Well that’s the whole list then.

Just one thing more I’d like to say about the list, and that is that you can’t quantify the probability of the records being broken. To me that’s totally pointless. There is a good possibility that not one of these records will ever be broken. What Roger has done in tennis is almost divine, and it’s very hard to imagine another player like him coming around, nevermind better. And the most impressive thing is that his career is not over. He has just won another grand slam in dominant fashion, which would suggest that he is far from done. There is one thing which I would really like Roger to achieve, and that is to win the grand slam itself. I made a post about this earlier this year, saying that this year could be Roger’s best chance yet of doing so. Roger is a more mature and experienced player these days, and the fact that Rafa is struggling doesn’t hurt his chances either…

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6 Comments

  1. This is a wee bit too early, what are Nadal’s chances to recover from his injury. Now that he is ranked 4th, he will fall into Roger’s half at RG, yikes :-(

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  2. I wonder how Jimmy Connors racked up a record 109 titles while he wasn’t even close as dominant as Roger, not even Sampras. But I dare to bet this record is not to be passed by any male player.

    But how did he achieve this? Jimbo is definitely not the GOAT, he wasn’t as dominant either (in his era Borg & McEnroe were arguably more dominant). Were the tournaments back then only consist of 3 matches?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah ive wondered about that too. I know for sure he wasnt as dominant as Roger. I think its just cos he had such a long career. He played till he was like 37 or something, and he played a lot.

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  3. Nice looking back on all those records, and some of them have the mention ‘still counting’ so it’s great!

    A few remarks though :

    1) “Why support someone that was always destined to burn out due to his taxing game style? That’s just setting yourself up for disappointment.”
    I reckon/hope you’re half-joking since people usually do not chose rationally what player they love and support, but anyway a very nice piece from C Note on that subject, it reminded me of living through 2008 as a Fedfan… http://cowbell.typepad.com/forty_deuce/2010/01/the-highest-of-highs-the-lowest-of-lows.html

    2) “I think eventually Roger will smash every record that Sampras has set.”
    Unfortunately he won’t break (and that’s clearly 100% sure) the 6 consecutive years a the year-end number one player in the world… Shame that he couldn’t hold onto the ranking in 2008 but that’s the way it is.

    3) “He won the title 12 out of the 18 times he made the final, losing only to his nemesis Rafa. Of those losses 4 was on clay, which is understandable, while the ones at Wimbledon and the Oz Open”
    Rafa did beat Roger 4 times at RG, but the 1st one in 2005 was in the semis. I’m surprised that as a Delpo fan you forgot that he’s actually beaten Roger, the 1st player to beat him in a major final other than Rafa :-P

    And about the calendar Slam… I have absolutely no expectations at all. Even though it may change if he defends his title at RG! *fingers crossed* I need to find tix for the final btw!

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  4. Fed is having a career no other male player dared dream.
    The impressive record of 23th GS SF.is unreal.
    He missed the GS. last year by a few games…
    We have no reason to believe he won´t stay healthy long enough to achieve more records.
    What else can we say about Roger?
    After two weeks of electrifying tennis I´m still high from Roger´s win.Still enjoying it.

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