The man needs no introduction. He is arguably the best tennis player the world has ever seen and it would be some time before we see somebody of his calibre and talent walk the court. On his birthday today, let us take you through some of the most interesting facts of his personal and professional life.
1. Federer is the first man in the last 45 years to appear in four grand slam finals in the same year. And he’s done it a staggering three times, winning three of the four titles in 2006 and 2007 and going 2-2 in 2009. The 2006 and 2007 losses were at the French to Rafael Nadal while, ironically, Federer won the French in 2009 but lost the Australian and U.S. Opens.
2. He has won 107 more grand slam matches (307) than the next active player, Rafael Nadal (200). He also has significantly more wins than the no. 2 player on the all-time list, Jimmy Connors.
3. He has won 25% of the tournaments he’s entered during his career. In simpler terms, that’s 88 titles from more than 334 tournaments. To put that still-impressive 25% in perspective, from 2004-2006 Federer won 69.4% of tournaments played (the record for a three-season stretch).
4. Federer once had a streak of 105 points without an unforced error. Granted it was against the big-serving and no-returning John Isner, but still. One hundred and five. That’s magical!
5. He is the only tennis player in history to be perfect on blue clay. The 2012 Madrid Open was played with blue clay as part of a commercial promotional push. The players hated it and Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic seemed to tank matches just so they could complain about it later. Federer, on the other hand won Madrid that year, smurf-courts and all, and now that the courts have been banned, truly has an unbreakable record.
6. In 2001 Wimbledon, he erupted as a sensation by knocking out the great Pete Sampras in the 4th round. He had entered the ATP Top 100 rankings just a year-and-a-half before that and won the Junior Wimbeldon Boys’ and Single’s Titles a year prior. Talk about speed!
7. In 2009, Federer got married to Mirka Vavrinec, a former WTA player who he met while they both represented Switzerland at the Olympics in 1997. He’s a proud father of twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene and of twin boys Leo and Lennart.
8. He established ‘Roger Federer Foundation’ in 2003, which provides relief operations such as food, shelter and other basic necessities. The Foundation began its work with the homeless in South Africa. He is also a brand ambassador for UNICEF.
9. In 2007, Roger Federer became the first living Swiss person to be featured on a Swiss stamp. The postage picture features Roger holding the Wimbledon trophy.
10. After winning his 1st Wimbledon title in 2003, he was gifted a cow, named ‘Juliette’.
Title image: GreginHwood