Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, dominated the sport in the early 21st century with his exceptional all-round game. Born in Basel, Switzerland his admiral career includes 17 men’s singles Grand Slam championships, the most in tennis history.
Early playing history
Born in 1981, Roger Federer was amongst the top junior tennis players in his country by age 11. He quit all other sports activities the following year and decided to concentrate his energy on tennis. He fully immersed himself into the game by age 14, played two to three tournaments a month and practiced for six hours a week. He often imitated those who he admired such as Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker to perfect his technique.
Federer became the national junior champion in Switzerland when he was 14 and was selected to train in Ecublens at the Swiss National Tennis Center. In July 1996 he joined the International tennis Federation junior tennis circuit and by age 16 he had his first sponsorship. Shortly before he turned pro in 1998, he won the Orange Bowl & the junior Wimbledon titles, leading up to being recognized that year as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion.
In 2001 Feder stunned the world when he knocked out singles champion Pete Sampras during the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Rise to the top
Roger Federer, in 2003, was the first man from Switzerland to take a Grand Slam title, when he emerged victorious at Wimbledon. He started 2004 with a world ranking of number two, he also continued to win the Tennis Australian Open, the ATP Masters and the U.S Open while retaining his singles title at Wimbledon.
At the start of 2015, he ranked as number one and his successes included the Wimbledon singles title for the third successive year, and the U.S Open, and continued to hold his number one ranking from 2005 into 2008. He won the singles championship at the Tennis Australian Open in 2006 and 2007, the U.S Open and Wimbledon. Federer was the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year from 2005 to 2008.
His fifth U.S Open was in 2008 where he won Scottish player Andy Murray. His ranking slid to number two, after holding the number one ranking for four years when he had a difficult time and lost to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon and the French Open, plus he lost to Novak Djokovic at the 2008 Tennis Australian Open.
In 2009 he was back on the greens and the Swiss star had a memorable season, beat Robin Soderling to win the French Open, defeated Andy Roddick at the Wimbledon final and surpassed Sampras to achieve a record of 15 singles titles at the Grand Slam. He also reached the finals in the Tennis Australian Open and the U.S Open and with his brilliant play regained the world’s number one ranking.
In 2014 he was denied a record eight championship when he lost to Djokovic, but he proved he could still compete with the elite players by defeating Djokovic and winning the Dubai Championship in February 2015.
The record books suggest that Roger Federer is one of the greatest players to ever grace the centre court at Wimbledon. He powered his way to 17 Grand Slam titles of which, seven was at the prestigious SW19 and with great pride equals Pete Sampras’ record. What made his road to win 17 Grand Slam titles, impressively defeating members of the golden generation such as Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Since 2001, expectations of this professional star had been high when he proved victorious against Sampras. Federer achieved his dream when he lost just one set in the whole tournament in 2003, delivering a masterful performance and defeated Mark Philippossis in the final.
The Swiss was in scintillating form in 2006 after his Tennis Australian Open triumph, he noted of different reached the finals seven times and ended up winning three. Many expected Federer to dominate after Nadal’s withdrawal prior to the tournament, but what nobody expected to witness was the longest match in Wimbledon’s history as he faced Roddick, a duel that continued more than 4 hours, but at the end it was Federer that finally won the championship when he defeated Roddick in the fifth set. In 2007 Roger Federer made more history and joined Bjorn Borg as the only players to win five straight championships in Open era. Three years later, he proceeded to win his record equalling seventh Wimbledon crown by beating both Murray and Djokovic plus he regained his number one spot for the 287th week, breaking another record held by Pete Sampras.
Fun facts about Roger Federer
While breaking several records during his career the tennis star was also active off the greens and launched his own fragrance in 2003 named “RF- Roger Federer” and his favourite holiday destinations include the Swiss Mountains, Maldives and Dubai.
He prefers weights and despises push-ups, yet when an Indian business man offered a donation of $500 per push up, for poor tennis kids, Federer was on stage and did 30, raising 15,000 USD.
Roger Federer’s favourite movie is “Goodwill Hunting”, great off the greens achievements include his accomplishment in 2007 when he became the first living Swiss person to be featured on a stamp, the picture features him holding the Wimbledon trophy. There is also a street in Halle called the Roger Federer Alley, and after winning his very first Wimbledon title he was gifted a live cow decorated with yellow flowers, which he named Juliette.
He was the first player to earn $8 million in one season, his net worth estimated at $320 million, listed as the second highest paid athlete in the world on the Forbes list and owns luxury penthouses in the Swiss village of Valbella, Zurich and Dubai.
Roger’s favourite number is eight, he is scared of roller coasters, did paragliding once and his secret vice is milk chocolate Lindor truffles plus he can eat fondue all day long.