The illustrious tennis career of the great Roger Federer will come to an emotional end at the Laver Cup this evening. The Swiss Maestro will contest one final doubles match alongside his dear friend and rival Rafael Nadal before hanging up his racket.
The 41-year-old will be fondly remembered for his elegance and grace on court while systematically dissecting his opponents with his sheer artistry and efficiency. His period of dominance throughout the mid-late 2000s, including five consecutive Wimbledon and US Open victories is unlikely to be replicated and the legend’s longevity in the game is something very few will be able to match.
Following his success throughout a career spanning over two decades, Mirror Sport has highlighted two records held by the 20-time major winner that may never be broken. The first of those feats, and the most impressive, highlights Federer’s incredible durability throughout the majority of his time as a player.
He competed in 1526 matches and 223 doubles matches over 24 years, and not once did Federer retire mid-match. Even his greatest rivals Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who have both usurped him in the Grand Slam victories count, and lead their respective head-to-head records against the retiring icon, have been forced to retire during matches.
Early in his career, the Serbian retired from several matches due to extremely warm weather as well as injuries, while Nadal has suffered his fair share of physical issues. Perhaps Federer’s effortlessness in his movement while hitting the ball are largely responsible for becoming tennis’ version of Iron Man, and no doubt contributed to the length of his career. It is unlikely another player will pass that feat let alone match it, and his record of 100 grand slam victories at two different majors will also be tough to emulate.
During his run to his epic Wimbledon final with Djokovic in 2019, Federer became the first man in tennis history to record 100 career wins at a single major after defeating Kei Nishikori in round four. “A fan reminded me on court while I was signing autographs,” the Swiss said in his post-match press conference when asked about the milestone. “It’s special. I guess so. It’s been a lot of years I’ve been coming here, you know.
“It’s nice, because if I look back at the hundred that have happened, some were so incredibly cool. Today again was a big match going into the semis, maybe facing Rafa—Rafa, now that he won. Yeah, a hundred wins here at Wimbledon. Who would’ve thought? I didn’t, for sure.”
At the following year’s Australian Open, Federer made history by once again recording a century of wins at a major after reversing an 8-4 deficit in the 10-point final set tie-break to defeat John Millman 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8) in the third round. That event would soon prove to be very significant in Roger’s career, as he underwent knee surgery after his semi-final loss to Djokovic.
A short comeback in 2021 was cut short as the tennis icon went under the knife yet again. After trying to make another comeback this year, Federer decided his body will not allow him to continue and he selected the Laver Cup as the stage in which to bid farewell to adoring fans. With the addition of having Nadal by his side, Federer is set for a fairytale ending to a truly remarkable career, and the world will be watching with a box of tissues at hand.