These matches helped cement the Swiss’ legendary status.
Legendary Tennis Player Roger Federer made that announcement which tennis fans would have never wanted to hear. He announced his departure from the game after a scintillating twenty-four-year career. Federer over the years has amassed several records and won numerous titles and trophies. He is also the most loved tennis player, regarded as the most humble and graceful person to weave a racket. Let’s look at some of the top matches to mark his legendary career:
10. Roger Federer vs Marin Cilic, Australian Open Final, 2018
The 2018 Australian Open final was the last grand slam title won by the Swiss-born legend. Federer defeated Marin Cilic for his 20th slam overall. He defeated Cilic in five sets 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. After the match, Federer said –“ The fairytale continues for us, for me.”
9. Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon Final, 2007
These were the starting years of what later came to be known as the greatest tennis rivalry – the Rafa vs Roger rivalry. Roger Federer met Rafael Nadal in the 2007 Wimbledon final which the Swiss-born legend won again in a five-set thriller 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-2. Nadal defeated Federer in the Roland Garros Final a few weeks earlier. He wanted to repeat the same in London but had to settle for the runner-up spot for the second straight year despite giving his everything. The match went for three hours and 45 minutes, and Roger defeated Rafa for the second consecutive year at the Wimbledon final having defeated him in 2006 also.
8. Roger Federer vs Juan Martin Del Potro, US Open Final, 2009
In the 2009 US Open final, five-time defending champion Roger Federer was up against young Argentine Juan Martin del Potro. Young Del Potro held his nerve against the fan favourite and upped his game most remarkably to script one of the greatest upsets in sporting history. He first beat Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals and then Roger in the finals 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.
This was Del Potro’s biggest achievement. After this, he became the first player to defeat both Federer and Nadal during the same major. The only man outside the Big Three to win a major between the 2005 French Open and the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. In a span of 30 tournaments, Federer entered the tournament having enjoyed a historic season up until then. He had finally won his first French Open and had followed that up by reclaiming his Wimbledon crown and the No. 1 ranking by defeating Andy Roddick in an epic at the All England Club but lost ultimately to Del Potro.
7. Roger Federer vs Mark Philippoussis, Wimbledon Final, 2003
This was the first-ever Grand Slam final that Roger participated in. And Roger Federer won the first ever Grand Slam of his career and it all started at the all England Club at the age of 21. He defeated Mark Philippoussis in the final of the Wimbledon, 2003 in straight sets 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3). After the match ended, Federer said – “There was pressure from all sides; also from myself”. Roger then went on to win seven grand slam titles without losing any final unless broken by his long-time rival and friend Rafa Nadal at the 2006 French Open final.
6. Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon Final, 2014
This was the Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer meeting for the second time in a Grand Slam final. The Wimbledon 2014 men’s final was a battle for the ages to remember between an ageless wonder and a fiery competitor in his prime years. Federer and Djokovic were involved in a five-set thriller that saw the latter edge out his opponent 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 for his ninth Grand Slam title. Federer then went on to lose two more finals against Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2015 and 2019 later.
5. Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal, Australian Open Final, 2017
It was the year 2017 Australia Open Final when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal met each other in a grand slam final after a long gap of 6 years. They last played a final in French Open where Rafa won his 12th major. But this time in 2017, Federer had got the better of Rafa in a five-set drama that unfolded at the Rod Laver arena. Federer took the last half of 2016 off after surgery on his left knee and he returned to claim his 18th Grand slam title. He defeated Rafa 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in what people will remember as his comeback from Roger. Because he hasn’t won any Grand Slam in 5 years. His last major title came in 2012 when defeating Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final. Before this clash, Roger entered the day 2-6 against Rafa in all grand slam finals they faced each other and he said after the match, “This one means a lot to me because he’s caused me problems over the years.”
4. Roger Federer vs Pete Sampras, 4th Round, Wimbledon, 2001
Federer announced his arrival in world tennis in grand style when he ended seven-time Wimbledon champions Pete Sampras’ 31-match winning streak in the fourth round in Wimbledon 2001. He defeated his childhood hero and idol’s remarkable reign – at least for the moment. He defeated Sampras 7-6(9), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-5 in an epic clash that fans still remember. After the match, Sampras said – “You know something so great isn’t going to last forever, today I just came up a little bit short.”
Sampras had won 31 consecutive Wimbledon matches and 56 of his last 57. This was Sampras’ first defeat at the All England Club since a quarterfinal loss to Richard Krajicek in 1996, ending his bid for a record-tying fifth consecutive title. The result also marked a breakthrough for the 19-year-old Federer in his Centre Court debut. The young Swiss-born was then considered a potential Grand Slam champion since winning the Wimbledon juniors title three years ago. Federer had finally dethroned Sampras and he established a new change of the guard. Such were the efforts of Federer that a short 52-minute film ‘Roger Federer vs. Pete Sampras: The Changing of the Guard’ was released in 2001.
3. Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick, Wimbledon Final, 2009
This match is the one which will go in the history books. Roger Federer and Andy Roddick created a masterpiece match at all England Club. In the 2009 Wimbledon Final, Roger and Roddick battled it out for 4 hours and 16 minutes with the fifth set alone being more than 1 and half hours. Federer beat Roddick in a five-set thriller 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14. With this victory, Federer surpassed Pete Sampras’ men’s mark for most Grand Slam trophies with his 15th grand slam title win.
2. Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Wimbledon Final, 2008
Perhaps the greatest ever match of tennis, as regarded by many tennis pundits and fans, the Wimbledon final of 2008 between Roger and Rafael Nadal ended in a thrilling finish bringing a thorough five hours of ecstasy to fans around the globe. In an encounter which went 4 hours and 48 minutes and ended in fade light, Rafael Nadal got the better of Roger in a five-set humdinger 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7. This came after Federer lost three straight French Open finals (2006-08) and lost in two consecutive Wimbledon finals (2006-07). Federer came into the match with winning streaks of 40 matches at the All England Club and 65 on grass courts.
1. Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon Final, 2019
Words become lesser to describe this epic clash. This was a breathtaking final at all England Club. At Wimbledon, 2019, the world witnessed a final to remember for lifelong. Perhaps, the scene which we won’t be able to see again in our lifetime. Two legends of the game Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer battled it out in a nerve-wracking final. Federer came as close as possible to register his ninth title at Wimbledon and No. 21 Grand Slam title but it was not to be as he failed to convert his two championships point and lost to Djokovic 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3). After the match, a down Federer said – “I don’t want to be depressed.” The match went on to 4 fours and 57 minutes and was the longest singles final in Wimbledon history and the third longest grand slam final in all slam finals.