Monday 16 July 2012

Roger Federer - Surpassing Samprass

Roger Federer surpassed his childhood idol Pete Samprass to set stand alone for yet another record. Federer surpassed Samprass for most weeks spent at the top spot, making it 287 weeks. Samprass had held the record previously, standing at 286 weeks. "I am extremely proud and honoured to have beaten Pete's record as he was my childhood hero and I have always looked up to him", Federer on the record.

With his win at Wimbledon, Federer not only levelled Pete Samprass's record of 7 Wimbledon titles, he also made a return to the top spot. By reaching the final, Federer set another mile-stone of making it to 8 Wimbledon finals (7-1), a record. The previous record was set by none other than Pete Samprass of reaching and winning 7 Wimbledon finals.

Federer also holds the record of making it to the finals of all grand slams at least 5 times.

Australian Open (2004,06-07,08-10)
French Open (2006-09,11)
Wimbledon (2003-09,12)
U.S Open (2004-09)

Federer turned professional in 1998, and made it to his first tour level final in 2000 at Marseille Open, where he lost to country man Marc Rosset.

Although 2003 was the year Federer made his breakthrough and won his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon, 2001 remains the year Federer got himself noticed. It was in 2001 that Federer won his first tour level title and it was in 2001 that he made it to his first Grand Slam quarter-final, doing it at Roland Garros. Federer entered Wimbledon on a high note, coming off his first Grand Slam QF at Roland Garros. Awaiting Federer in the 4th round round was Pete Samprass. It was a clash of current 7 time Wimbledon champion and future 7 time Wimbledon champion, and it did not fail to entertain the viewers, with Federer coming on top in the 5 set thriller. 

Federer first captured the top spot in 2004 on 2nd February, 2004, after his first Australian Open title, where he defeated Marat Safin. Federer overtook Andy Roddick and became the 23rd player since the computer rankings began to capture the top spot.. It started a magnificent reign at the top spot that saw Federer win three grand slam titles (Australian Open, Wimbledon, U.S Open) for three seasons (2004, 2006 and 2007). Federer's reign at the top spot came to an end  on August 18, 2008, when he failed to defend his Australian Open title (loosing in the semi-finals to eventual champion Djokovic) and his Wimbledon crown (lost to Nadal 9-7 in the fifth set in one of the best matches ever played). However, during the process Federer set the record of most consecutive weeks spent at the top spot by any player, male or female at 237.

2009 Saw Federer lose yet another Grand Slam final to Nadal at Australian Open, but Federer rebounded to win French Open and hence complete his career slam and in the process tie Pete Samprass's record of most Grand Slam titles. Federer then went on to win Wimbledon, thus surpassing Samprass's record of most grand slam titles won. In doing so Federer also completed the rarer French Open - Wimbledon double and recaptured the top spot on July 05, 2009.

In 2010, Federer won record equalling 4th Australian Open title, but went on to lose in the quarter-finals of French Open and Wimbledon, thus ending Federer's streak of 23 consecutive Grand-Slam semi-finals. Federer also lost his top spot after his quarter-final loss at Roland Garros on June 7, 2010.

2011 marked the first year since 2003 that Federer failed to win a Grand Slam. However, the highlights of the season were Federer's win in the semi-finals of Roland Garros, thus putting an end to the astonishing season opening winning streak of Novak Djokovic, and Federer's record breaking 6th title at Year end Championships.

Here we stand in 2012, with Australian Open going into Djokovic's pocket, French Open going into Nadal's hand and Wimbledon going into Federer's books, thus enabling the Swiss Express to win the coveted top spot again to break yet another of Smaprass's records.

No one could have said it better than Jimmy Connors "In an era of specialists, you're either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist...or you're Roger Federer."


  1. Fun read, thanks. As a Nadal fan as well, I'm worried that he will not fair well in phase 2 of his carrer.

    1. Thanks for the appreciation :)
      Nadal will bounce back! His main problem at the moment is staying healthy and injury free! I hope he gets back to full health and gets back in action!

  2. Fun read, thanks. As a Nadal fan as well, I'm worried that he will not fair well in phase 2 of his carrer.

  3. Thanks rooruffneck for the appreciation :)
    Yup you are right about fearing for Nadal, his game style is too physical demanding a lot from his body, and his injuries are not helping either. I just hope he can stay healthy and play at the level he had been playing.