Roger Federer’s journey to the top of the men’s tennis game
Roger Federer said he will retire from competitive tennis following next week’s Laver Cup in London. Following is a timeline charting the 20-times Grand Slam champion’s rise to the top of the game:
Burst onto the scene, ending American Pete Sampras’ 31-match winning streak at Wimbledon in the fourth round before losing in the quarterfinals to Tim Henman.
Became the first Swiss man to finish in the top 10 and appear in the season-ending ATP Finals since Jakob Hlasek was number eight in 1988.
Made his Grand Slam breakthrough the following year at Wimbledon, beating Mark Philippoussis in the final for the first of his eight titles at the grasscourt major.
The Swiss flexed his muscles by winning three majors — the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, making him the first man to do so in a season since Mats Wilander in 1988.
He also became the first player in the Open Era to win his first four Grand Slam finals.
Defended Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles after failing to reach the finals in the first two majors of the year.
Reached all four Grand Slam finals, winning in Australia, Wimbledon and the U.S. among a haul of 12 titles and a 92-5 win-loss record. Finished top of the ATP rankings for a third straight year.
Became the first player in history to reach all four Grand Slam finals in back-to-back years, winning at Melbourne Park, Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows.
Extended his run of winning at least one Grand Slam title to six straight years by capturing the U.S. Open crown in a season hampered by illness and injury.
Won an Olympic men’s doubles gold medal with Stan Wawrinka at the Beijing Games.
Captured his only French Open crown after great rival Rafa Nadal’s 31-match winning streak at Roland Garros ended in the fourth round. Won his 15th major at Wimbledon, surpassing Sampras’ record tally.
Started the year by winning the Australian Open for a fourth time before a lean spell on the big stage.
Won a record-extending 17th major at Wimbledon and also claimed the silver medal in men’s singles at the 2012 London Games, losing to Andy Murray.
Struggled with a back injury and failed to add to his Grand Slam tally until 2017.
Came back from a six-month injury layoff to win the Australian Open and at 35, became the oldest player to claim a Grand Slam title since Australia’s Ken Rosewall won at Melbourne Park in 1972 at the age of 37.
Became the first man to win Wimbledon eight times with victory over Marin Cilic in the final.
Won his sixth Australian Open to become only the fourth player after Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf to win 20 or more major singles titles.
Victory helped him equal Rod Laver’s record of claiming four majors after turning 30.
After multiple knee surgeries in recent years, Federer announced that he will retire from competitive tennis.