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Roger Federer (1981-), Swiss Tennis Player Ranked #1 for 310 Weeks and with 20 Grand Slam Titles

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There are several highlight films of Roger Federer hitting near-miraculous shots on YouTube. This 2008 Wimbledon tiebreaker against Nadal is as good as any highlight film - this is some of the greatest tennis ever played (by both players):


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It kills me to say this, but typing this while Djokovic is ahead of Federer in the Wimbledon finals, 2 sets to 1, I don't see how Federer is going to win another major - if he had won that 3rd-set tiebreaker, this could have been his last, but I don't think he's going to pull this one out now. And his backhand slice return of serve is just not strong enough to take down Djokovic or Nadal anymore, not when he's played multiple matches to reach a Grand Slam final.

Any aging athlete will tell you: The first thing to go when you pass 30 is "recovery time," and there's too much non-stop tennis in Grand Slam championships, Wimbledon being the one exception because it gives players two days in-between matches.

Federer's one hope this match is that he's serving as well as I've seen him serve in years, and he's got a chance if he can get to a tiebreaker or two. He can no longer afford to conserve energy, and he'll need to leave everything he has out on the court.

He has some finals, and certainly some semi-finals, left in him, and I hope he doesn't lose his drive because he's playing better than I've seen him play in over a year. That said, he just had his second set of twins.

Today might be the last time you ever see Federer playing for the Wimbledon title, so if you're watching, make sure to take it all in.

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Well, I took it all in & it looks like you were wrong about the energy & recovery time - he looked great, right to the end.  This guy looked like the younger of the two.  What a comeback in the 4th set. Unfortunately, however, you got the result right.  I gotta give Djokovic credit for regrouping in the 5th and playing his game.  I thought Roger might have had him.  Oh well.  Great match.

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Did anyone watch Federer-Wawrinka just now? I was watching it without commentary, but it sure looked like Federer got *hosed* by the umpire in the tiebreaker - in the almost-exact opposite situation as Serena Williams - Victoria Azarenka. Federer's shot appeared to be hindered by the linesman calling Wawrinka's ball out (as opposed to Williams' missed shot, which came *before* the out call), and when the umpire overturned the call, he erroneously (in my opinion) awarded Wawrinka the point. I didn't have the luxury of replay or commentary, but it sure looked like Federer was bothered by the line call, and would have easily gotten that shot back.

Also, assuming that Federer is not taking PEDs (and I have no reason to think he is), he is *exactly* the type of person who would benefit from them, and rise back to #1 in the world rankings if he did. A few years ago, people started predicting his decline, and it's because he had mononucleosis - he has never recovered from that (he hasn't won a Grand Slam since), but if he was taking steroids, he would. It isn't right that Nadal comes out there with the physique of a bodybuilder, bullying everybody he faces, and Federer is thin as a rail and regressing in a fashion consistent with normal human aging. Nadal has robbed Federer of numerous additional Grand Slams because he has taken steroids - I understand I can't prove that, but I don't see any other way he gets that physique.

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Federererer, straight sets against Murray! The old man is looking strong.

It's very common to hear this type of thing said by over-enthusiastic commentators about an aging champion, but I'll say it anyway: Federer today looked as good as I've ever seen him.

It was really nice to see "the Federer of old," because we don't have that many more times (if any) to see him play at this level of space-alien quality. What must Murray have been thinking? "What in God's name do I have to do to *beat* this guy?!" I honestly think Federer played as well as he has ever played today; it's just that he wasn't tested by an equal. However, defeating Murray also means that Federer has defeated yet another Wimbledon champion, at Wimbledon.

Impossible to pick a winner Sunday, not the way Federer played today. If anyone saw the match, you witnessed true greatness, and a legend at his peak. But as good as Murray is, Djokovic is a level better. Federer knows this, and he also knows this may be his last chance to ever win a Grand Slam title (at least until the U.S. Open over Labor Day :)), so he's going to leave *everything* on the court on Sunday. The level of tennis in the upcoming finals just might be the highest level of tennis ever played.

I am going to be *plastered* in front of the TV set come Sunday morning.

Just to convince myself that it isn't just me pulling for one last bite from the old dog, these quotes come from this BBC article which is well-worth reading:

"I was harping on about Roger's serve before the match when his first serve success rate was 73% in his quarter-final, but it was up at 76% against Murray. I don't think I have ever seen his serve in a rhythm like this before. It was just phenomenal." -- Andy Roddick

"Federer's serve was just relentless. Andy was not getting any look-ins to break other than in the first game and that put enormous pressure on his own serve." -- Tim Henman

"It wasn't for a lack of effort, expertise or technical ability by Murray. Federer was just too good. That was an imperious performance." -- Andrew Castle

"Andy just couldn't do it with Roger's serve and he had to work hard on his own serve, which is mentally and physically tiring. Andy, along with Novak, is one the best returners in the game, and he couldn't get another break point after the first game." -- Martina Navratilova

"Andy could have changed his return positions to put pressure on Roger's serve but I am not sure it would have made a difference. I have never seen so many lines being hit on the serve." -- Pat Cash

"The stats for Andy aren't that bad, they are not great but they aren't bad either. Andy got a bit discouraged in the third set but until then he didn't do anything wrong. What he could have done was pick a side on Roger's serve and just go for it and get a few more serves back. That is just nit-picking though." -- Richard Krajicek

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Yep.  I agree with just about all of what you said, especially your statement about the semi's that "Federer today looked as good as I've ever seen him."

eta: now, after the fact (he lost in the finals today), I have to say that he looked damn good today as well.  Unfortunately,  Djokovic was even better.  I'm getting the feeling that, 10 years down the road, I might actually wind up having to admit that Djokovic was one of the greatest, if not the greatest. We'll see; still have a ways to go.

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I can agree that Federer is a great player. I just cannot be a fan because he dominated for so long that it was basically pointless to even watch any of the matches he was in. When one player (or team or whatever in other sports) is so utterly dominant in a sport for such a long string, it makes me not want to care because there is basically no chance for the dominant one to fail. Why bother being interested?

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I watched the #3-seed Roger Federer - #27-seed Grigor Dimitrov (a 24-year-old Bulgarian) 3rd-round match at the 2016 Australian Open tonight (well, I guess it's "this morning" considering it's almost 4AM EST), and while both players were excellent, Federer had a little extra - he looks superb right now, and got his 300th win at a Major - he's the only male player in history to do this.

Dimitrov is a fine player, and seems like he's a very good sportsman - when I see him, I see a class act.

"300: Federer Reaches Slam Milestone" on atpworldtour.com

"Australian Open: Roger Federer Becomes First Man to Win 300 Grand Slam Matches" on zeenews.india.com

I'm not sure who's #2, but it was implied that Navratilova has the most Grand Slam match wins overall, i.e., more than 300.

An interesting (and formidable) statistic I came across tonight: Federer has many records (he's *invented* many records), but this is one of his most impressive:

#1 all-time in most consecutive Grand Slam Final appearances is Roger Federer with 10.

#2 all-time in most consecutive Grand Slam Final appearances is Roger Federer with 8.

In between the two streaks, Novak Djokovic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2008 Australian Open, making Federer 18 for 19 in consecutive finals appearances - he was almost in the finals at every single Grand Slam Tournament for nearly 5 years. After he began to fade a bit, he set the record for consecutive semi-final appearances, and after that, quarter-final appearances.

Rafael Nadal's (with 14 Grand Slam titles) body appears to be breaking down, so he's going to have a lot of trouble winning 3 more to tie Federer; the best bet right now is Djokovic, who has 10, but even though he's in peak form, that's a pretty long way away, and I suspect he won't be able to win 7 more (but who knows?)

Federer can be thankful that both - not one, but both - of these men existed, because had there been only one of them - either one of them - his record, I believe, would be eclipsed. Since Federer moved past his prime, Nadal and Djokovic were trading victories, keeping each one short of Federer's record. I'm not ruling out Djokovic just yet, but 7 is a *lot* of Grand Slam titles, and who's to say Federer doesn't have 1-2 more in him?

There was (and still is) debate over the GOAT for years, but now I believe that Federer will come out on top. The fact that he's still playing so well is remarkable.

Stay safe and warm everyone - I'll most likely be sound asleep when you read this, but knowing me, I wouldn't bet on it.

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This is an interesting set of videos: The first is highlights from the Federer-Roddick 2009 Wimbledon Finals, where Roddick absolutely *gagged* when he had set point at the end of the second set, to potentially go up 2-0 - he was at the net, and had a floater, and the set was on his racket (you'll see if you watch) - the final score was 16-14 in the fifth set; the second video is Roddick interviewing Federer.

It's impossible not to feel sorry for Roddick when he tightened up at the end of the second set.


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One interesting statistic of Federer's is a feat that nobody else in the history of tennis - male or female - has accomplished:

If you take the number of Grand Slam tournaments in which an individual has:

1) Won
2) Gotten to the Finals
3) Gotten to the Semifinals
4) Gotten to the Quarterfinals

Federer is the only tennis player in history to be in the 20-30-40-50 club.

Here's your table of statistics on Wikipedia.

Note something extraordinary: Chris Evert got to 52 *semifinals* - that's 13-years-worth of Grand Slams!

If you look at the tables, you can also extrapolate that Evert is 52-2 in Grand Slam quarterfinal matches! That is simply amazing.

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