Roger Federer has officially claimed himself another milestone in his already impressive tennis career. With his win of the 2012 Wimbledon title, Roger Federer claimed Novak Djokovic’s #1 spot of the men’s ATP rankings.
With that move in the rankings, Roger Federer tied a long standing record by American Pete Sampras. Pete Sampras had the most weeks as the #1 player in the open era, with 286 weeks combined (5.48 years).
Roger Federer passes Pete Sampras weeks at #1
Ladies and gentlemen, mark this day, Monday July 16, 2012, as the day that Roger Federer is the outright leader of the most combined weeks at #1 with 287 weeks (exactly 5.5 years).
Way back on February 2, 2004, Roger Federer first claimed the #1 spot, for 237 weeks. That was the peRFection era, he was the leader of the pack and the one to be beat. Roger Federer won the bulk of his titles then, most of his majors came from within those 237 weeks.
During the tennis season between 2008 and 2009, Roger Federer had fallen from the #1 ranking; Rafael Nadal topped the rankings during that time, though Roger Federer eventually reclaimed the spot on July 6, 2009.
Exactly 366 days after reclaiming the #1 spot, Roger Federer fell once again, though this time it would be a longer stretch. This was sort of a “changing of the guards.” It was the era of Nadal and Djokovic. For the most part, it was Rafael Nadal riding the top spot, completing a career grand slam. Roger Federer trailed behind, eventually falling to the #3 spot.
2011 was a year, where I thought for sure, where Roger Federer was going to fall further down the rankings, essentially commencing his retirement. I mean look, he was 30 and losing early to some very easy opponents. Granted, Roger Federer did reach the semifinals and finals of the US Open and the French Open. It just seemed that Roger Federer was starting to slow down his tennis game.
2012 is when the questions started to arise more and more, “is he getting too old for the modern game?” and “Is Roger Federer thinking about retirement?”
He did start the year off with some questions, pulling out of Doha in the semifinals with a back injury. Roger Federer did nicely down under, reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open, though it was the quicker Novak Djokovic that pulled out some big points to go on to win the tournament. Roger Federer went on play exceptionally well at the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, CA; winning the title against American John Isner. Though he fell to Andy Roddick the following week in Miami.
The clay court season was pretty good, Roger Federer picked up another Masters 1000 title in Rome. He lost in Madrid and Paris to, at the time, #1 Novak Djokovic.
The grass is where Roger Federer played his best tennis. Though he only played Halle as his warm-up tournament to Wimbledon, he did reach the final where he lost to Tommy Haas. 2012 Wimbledon was by far one of the most nervous tournaments I had ever watched, especially for Roger Federer. The Swiss had a lot on the line with this tournament; the #1 ranking, proving his critics wrong, etc. I thought for sure that Julien Benneteau was going to take Roger Federer out, though I was proven wrong…again.
Roger Federer played an amazing, nearly impeccable final against Andy Murray. As you know, Roger Federer won 2012 Wimbledon and captured the #1 spot, to tie Pete Sampras. Since Novak Djokovic didn’t play a tournament this past week, Roger Federer has officially taken the record.
What’s left for Roger Federer? He basically has all the records, most majors (17), most weeks at #1 (287), 30 consecutive quarterfinals or better, and so many more. I guess the only thing that is left is an Olympic Gold Medal for singles (currently holds Olympic Gold Medal for doubles). It’s actually quite convenient that the Olympic games will be held where Roger Federer just won his 7th Wimbledon title.
In my mind, Roger Federer is truly the greatest tennis player the world has ever seen. It’s not only his tennis game that impresses me, it’s his demeanor on and off court. On court, Roger Federer is smooth and effortless; off court, Roger Federer is classy.
So now, Roger Federer has 287 weeks as the #1 player, a record that he will continue to add to.
Roger Federer, 287 weeks at #1…and counting