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Roger Federer (born August 8, 1981, Basel, Switzerland) is a Swiss professional tennis player who, in 2004, became the world's top tennis player and the first man since Mats Wilander in 1988 to win three (out of four) Grand Slam events in the same year. He is noted widely for his all around tennis ability with no apparent weak points, and for his innovative, thinking approach to tennis that separates him from a vast majority of tennis players.
Federer started playing tennis for fun at the age of six. He spent hours playing softball tennis on the street or hitting tennis balls against the tennis wall in the local club. He also practiced football and was undecided about which sport he liked better until he turned twelve, when he chose tennis as the sport to focus on. At the age of 14, he became the Swiss Junior champion for all age groups and subsequently relocated to the Swiss National Tennis Center at the French-speaking part of Switzerland for more focused training. The training continued until he finished school at the age of sixteen and subsequently he started playing more international junior tournaments.
1998 was Federer's last year in the Junior circuits and he managed to win the Wimbledon Juniors title and the prestigious year-ending Orange Bowl that year. He finished the year as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion. Earlier in July, 1998, he joined the ATP tour.
In 2000, he reached the semi-finals in the Sydney Olympics, but lost the bronze-medal match. He also managed to reach the finals in Basel and Marseille but couldn't convert them into championship wins.
In February, 2001, Federer won his first ATP tournament in Milan. He also won 3 matches for his country in the Davis Cup in a 3-2 decider to eliminate the Unites States team from the first round for the first time since 1993. He advanced to the quarterfinals at both the French Open and Wimbledon. En route to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, he defeated Pete Sampras in the fourth round, ending Sampras' record of 31 consecutive wins at Wimbledon. This match marked the emergence of Federer as a prominent player on the tour. Federer finished the year ranking 13th and having a winning record on hard, grass, clay and carpet surfaces - an unusual achievement for a developing player.
In 2002, Federer started with a tournament victory at Sydney. In February, he won both his Davis Cup singles against former Russian world number ones Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, but couldn't help Switzerland get past the first round. He reached his first Masters Series final in Miami, only to be beaten by Andre Agassi. In May, he got a second opportunity to win his first Masters Series tournament in Hamburg, and made no mistake this time, defeating Marat Safin in the final, with the scalp of three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten in an earlier round as well. It was thus highly anti-climactic when he was beaten by Moroccan Hicham Arazi in the first round of the French Open. He later crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round as well, eliciting doubts among tennis-followers about his mental strength on big occasions. He also lost his long time Australian coach Peter Carter in a car crash in August and subsequently performed well below par during the U.S. Open as well. Federer picked up his game later in the year to earn 6th place in the ATP Race and qualified for the first time in the prestigious year-ending Tennis Masters Cup, where he won the round robin phase without any loss, but lost in the semi-finals against the then top tennis player Lleyton Hewitt in three hard-fought sets.
Roger started 2003 in dominating form, winning 2 tournaments in a row in Dubai and Marseille. His shaky clay court form continued as he won in Munich without losing a set but crashed out of the French Open again in the first round, this time against Luis Horna. On July 6, 2003, he made history by becoming the first Swiss man to win the Wimbledon championship, defeating Australia's Mark Philippoussis in the final and losing only one set during the entire fortnight. He also won four Davis Cup matches played throughout the year for Switzerland without losing a set to take his country through to the semi-finals. He finished 2003 by winning the Tennis Masters Cup at Houston without losing a match and ranking second in the ATP tour race. He parted ways with Peter Lundgren, his coach of four years, in December 2003.
In 2004, Federer completed arguably the most dominating and successful year by a tennis player in the Open era. He won the Australian Open for the first time defeating Marat Safin. In May 2004, he won the Hamburg Masters (clay) beating Guillermo Coria, the hottest clay court player in the circuit (Coria had won 31 successive clay-court matches before the final). He then defended his Wimbledon crown, overcoming Andy Roddick's power game in a rain-affected final. By winning the Gstaad tournament on clay and the Toronto Masters Series on hardcourt shortly after winning the Wimbledon on grass, he completed a rare triple of consecutive tournament victories on three different surfaces. In September, he crushed Lleyton Hewitt (6-0, 7-6(3), 6-0), in the most lop-sided final in the 120 year history of the tournament, to win the men's singles US Open grand slam event. He finished the year taking the Tennis Masters Cup at Houston for the second time in a row by winning 5 straight matches against the top 8 players in the world. With a win-loss record of 74-6 (18-0 against top 10 opponents; 23-0 dating back to late 2003), and 11 tournament wins (including multiple tournament wins on hard, grass and clay surfaces), the year 2004 belonged to Federer.
Perhaps what makes 2004 truly Federer's own is that he did it without a coach. Throughout 2004, Federer relied solely on his fitness trainer Pierre Paganini, physiotherapist Pavel Kovac and a management team composed of his parents, his girlfriend Mirka, and a few friends. In 2005, Federer was able to convince Tony Roche to coach him on a limited basis.
2005 began with much fanfare about Federer capturing all four Grand Slam titles the first time since Rod Laver did it back in the 1960s, but it was quickly put to rest after he was defeated in the Australian Open semi-final by Marat Safin in an epic five-set match that lasted more than four hours. The loss hardly made any impact on Federer's form, however, as he went on to win his next four tournaments, including the year's first two ATP Masters Series titles at Indian Wells and Miami. He entered the clay court season in April with a 32-1 hardcourt win-loss record since the beginning of 2005, the best start to a season by a player since John McEnroe in 1984.
Federer is touted by many (including Rod Laver, John McEnroe, and his childhood idol Boris Becker; see quotes (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Roger_Federer)) as perhaps being the best player the world has ever produced, and the most likely player with a chance to break Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles.
- 1989-1994: Seppli Kacovsky (Switzerland). Kacovsky was the head coach of the Old Boys’ Tennis Club in Federer’s home town of Basel. Roger joined Old Boys' when he was eight years old and trained there until '94.
- 1991-1995, 1997-1998: Peter Carter (Australia). Carter privately coached Federer on a weekly basis, from the age of 10 to 14. They reunited again in a new training facility in Biel in 1997 and Carter continued coaching Federer on and off until he turned pro.
- 1995-1997: After he became the Swiss junior champion, Federer was selected to join the Swiss National Tennis center in Ecublens. He continued to train there until he finished school.
- 1999-2003: Peter Lundgren (Sweden). Federer chose former top-25 player Lundgren, whom he met in Biel, as his coach, as he entered the professional circuit. He still consulted frequently with Carter.
- 2005-? : Tony Roche (Australia). Roche is a former Australian tennis champion who previously coached Patrick Rafter to the world number one ranking. He is scheduled to help Federer for a few weeks before the Grand Slam tournaments only.
Federer grew up 10 minutes from Basel proper, in suburban Münchenstein. His father, Robert, met Roger's South-African-born mother, Lynette, while on a business trip for Ciba-Geigy, South Africa (they both still work for the pharmaceutical giant). Roger has an elder sister, Diana, who is a nursing student. He speaks three languages (German, French and English) fluently and conducts press conferences in all of them.
He currently resides in Oberwil, Switzerland. He is dating former WTA player and fellow Swiss Miroslava (Mirka) Vavrinec, who retired from the game in 2002 after a foot injury. The two met at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Federer spends his off-court time playing cards, cricket, ping pong, other sports and sitting on the beach.
He co-established the Roger Federer Foundation in December 2003, whose goals include funding projects that benefit disadvantaged children, primarily in South Africa. In January 2005, he called for relief efforts from tennis players for the Tsunami-affected people, saying he would play as many matches as possible in tournaments organized to raise funds for the Tsunami victims and auctioned off his autographed rackets to raise funds for UNICEF's relief operations.
Federer also launched his signature fragrance cosmetics line called RF Cosmetics in October 2003.
See Roger Federer's playing style for an extensive description.
Records and trivia
- Federer became the youngest player (18 years, 4 months) to finish a year inside ATP Ranking's Top 100. France's Richard Gasquet broke this record in 2003.
- Federer's victory at the 2004 US Open marked the first time in the Open era (i.e., since 1968) that anyone had won his first four Grand Slam finals.
- Federer is the first player since Ivan Lendl in 1986-87 to win back-to-back Tennis Masters Cup titles without losing a match.
- Federer became the 10th different player in the Open era to win at least 10 singles titles in a season. He is the first year-end No. 1 to register 11 titles since Ivan Lendl in 1985. In addition, Federer is the only player to win at least 10 titles in a season without losing in a final.
- Federer is the first player since Björn Borg in 1979 to win consecutive tournaments on three different surfaces, having captured titles at Wimbledon (grass), Gstaad (clay) and Toronto (hard).
- Federer's tally of 1267 ATP Race points in 2004 is a new record since the Race began in 2000. The previous best was Andy Roddick's 907 in 2003.
- With a total of 6335 points, Federer finished 2004 with the highest number of year-ending ATP tour ranking points since the ATP circuit began in 1990, although the points breakdown changed slightly in 2000. The previous year-ending highest rating was Pete Sampras's 5097 points in 1994.
- With a 74-6 record in 2004, Federer's winning percentage of .925 is the best since Ivan Lendl had the same 74-6 record in 1986. John McEnroe tops the list of such players with a .965 percentage and an 82-3 record in 1984.
- He also holds a 24-match winning streak on matches played on grass; this particular streak is the best since Björn Borg, who won 41 consecutive matches on grass between 1976 and 1980.
- In the semi-final of the Tennis Masters Cup 2004, Federer won the second set tie-break against Marat Safin at 20-18 that lasted 26 minutes. It tied the record for the longest tie-break (in terms of points) ever played since the tie-break system was introduced in 1970. Besides Federer, only Björn Borg (1st round Wimbledon 1973 against Premjit Lal) and Goran Ivanisevic (1st round US Open 2003 against Daniel Nestor) won such drawn out tie-breaks.
- Federer was presented the inaugural "Golden Bagel award" in 2004, a light-hearted award based on a trivial statistic given to the men's professional tennis player who serves up more "bagels" (sets won 6-0) than any other player in any given year. Federer gave out 12 "bagels" in 2004. He also served 23 "bread sticks" (6-1 sets won).
- Federer held a record 26 consecutive wins against top ten ranked opponents; the streak spanned from October 2003 to January 2005.
- By winning in Miami (United States) in March, 2005, Federer won his 18th straight final dating back to Vienna, October 2003. His undefeated streak in finals is a new Open era record. The previous record was 12 straight final wins, shared by McEnroe and Borg.
- He has held three winning streaks that encompassed 20 consecutive matches or more (the first one was a 23-match winning streak in mid 2004, the second one was a 26-match streak spanning the latter half of 2004 and early 2005, and the third was a 25-match streak in early 2005). Pete Sampras holds the record with four such streaks in his career.
- His loss against Richard Gasquet in the Monte Carlo Masters brought his win-loss tally to 35-2 for 2005, the best start on the men's tour since John McEnroe, who holds the record with 39-0 in 1984.
- For both matches that he lost in 2005, Federer won more total points than his opponent.
- ATP European Player of the Year.
- Swiss Sportsman of the Year.
- Swiss of the Year.
- ATP European Player of the Year.
- ITF World Champion.
- Sports Illustrated Tennis Player of the Year.
- Swiss Sportsman of the Year.
- Swiss of the Year.
- European Sportsman of the Year.
- Reuters International Sportsman of the Year.
- BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.
- International Tennis Writers Association (ITWA) Player of the Year.
- Ambassador of United Nations' Year of Sport and Physical Education.
- Goldene Kamera Award.
- ATP Player of the Year 2004
- Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award
- ATPTennis.com Fan's Favourite
|Grand Slam (4)|
|Tennis Masters Cup (2)|
|ATP Masters Series (6)|
|ATP Tour (15)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Opponent in the final||Score|
|1.||Jan 29, 2001||Milan||Carpet||Julien Boutter (France)||6-4 6-7 6-4|
|2.||Jan 7, 2002||Sydney||Hard||Juan Ignacio Chela (Argentina)||6-3 6-3|
|3.||May 13, 2002||Hamburg||Clay||Marat Safin (Russia)||6-1 6-3 6-4|
|4.||Oct 7, 2002||Vienna||Hard||Jiri Novak (Czech Republic)||6-4 6-1 3-6 6-4|
|5.||Feb 10, 2003||Marseille||Hard||Jonas Björkman (Sweden)||6-2 7-6|
|6.||Feb 24, 2003||Dubai||Hard||Jiri Novak (Czech Republic)||6-1 7-6|
|7.||Apr 28, 2003||Munich||Clay||Jarkko Nieminen (Finland)||6-1 6-4|
|8.||Jun 9, 2003||Halle||Grass||Nicolas Kiefer (Germany)||6-1 6-3|
|9.||Jun 23, 2003||Wimbledon||Grass||Mark Philippoussis (Australia)||7-6 6-2 7-6|
|10.||Oct 6, 2003||Vienna||Hard||Carlos Moya (Spain)||6-3 6-3 6-3|
|11.||Nov 10, 2003||Tennis Masters Cup (Houston)||Hard||Andre Agassi (USA)||6-3 6-0 6-4|
|12.||Jan 19, 2004||Australian Open||Hard||Marat Safin (Russia)||7-6 6-4 6-2|
|13.||Mar 1, 2004||Dubai||Hard||Feliciano Lopez (Spain)||4-6 6-1 6-2|
|14.||March 8, 2004||Indian Wells||Hard||Tim Henman (UK)||6-3 6-3|
|15.||May 10, 2004||Hamburg||Clay||Guillermo Coria (Argentina)||4-6 6-4 6-2 6-3|
|16.||Jun 7, 2004||Halle||Grass||Mardy Fish (USA)||6-0 6-3|
|17.||Jun 24, 2004||Wimbledon||Grass||Andy Roddick (USA)||4-6 7-5 7-6 6-4|
|18.||Jul 5, 2004||Gstaad||Clay||Igor Andreev (Russia)||6-2 6-3 5-7 6-3|
|19.||Jul 26, 2004||Toronto||Hard||Andy Roddick (USA)||7-5 6-3|
|20.||Sep 12, 2004||US Open||Hard||Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)||6-0 7-6 6-0|
|21.||Sep 27, 2004||Bangkok||Hard||Andy Roddick (USA)||6-4 6-0|
|22.||Nov 15, 2004||Tennis Masters Cup (Houston)||Hard||Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)||6-3 6-2|
|23.||Jan 3, 2005||Doha||Hard||Ivan Ljubicic (Croatia)||6-3 6-1|
|24.||Feb 14, 2005||Rotterdam||Hard||Ivan Ljubicic (Croatia)||5-7 7-5 7-6|
|25.||Feb 21, 2005||Dubai||Hard||Ivan Ljubicic (Croatia)||6-1 6-7 6-3|
|26.||Mar 07, 2005||Indian Wells||Hard||Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)||6-2 6-4 6-4|
|27.||Mar 23, 2005||Miami||Hard||Rafael Nadal (Spain)||2-6 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-1|
|Tennis Masters Cup||W||W||SF||-||-||-||-||2|
|Grand Slam Win-Loss||5-1||22-1||13-3||6-4||13-4||7-4||0-2||0-0||67-19|
|ATP Race points||475||1267||875||518||349||216||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|ATP Entry Ranking points1||6335||4375||2590||1745||1080||749||119||N/A|
|Year End Ranking2||1||2||6||13||29||64||301||N/A|
Note 1: : End of Year Ranking points only. ATP Entry System is a rolling 52-week calculation. The highest number of ranking points ever achieved by Federer for a rolling 52-week was 6875 points in the rankings published by ATP on October 4, 2004. (Source (http://stevegtennis.com/rankings/2004/s100404.htm))
Note 2: : Ranking based on the year-end 52-week ATP Entry Ranking, not ATP Race.
|No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Partnering||Opponents in the final||Score|
|1.||Feb 19, 2001||Rotterdam||Hard||Jonas Björkman (Sweden)||Petr Pala / Pavel Vizner (Czech Republic)||6-3 6-0|
|2.||Aug 9, 2001||Gstaad||Clay||Marat Safin (Russia)||Michael Hill (Australia) / Jeff Tarango (USA)||1-0 RET|
|3.||Feb 18, 2002||Rotterdam||Hard||Max Mirnyi (Belarus)||Mark Knowles (Bahamas) / Daniel Nestor (Canada)||4-6 6-3 6-4|
|4.||Aug 30, 2002||Moscow||Hard||Max Mirnyi (Belarus)||Joshua Eagle / Sandon Stolle (Australia)||6-4 7-6|
|5.||Mar 17, 2003||Miami||Hard||Max Mirnyi (Belarus)||Leander Paes (India) / David Rikl (Czech Republic)||7-5 6-3|
|6.||Oct 6, 2003||Vienna||Hard||Yves Allegro (Switzerland)||Mahesh Bhupathi (India) / Max Mirnyi (Belarus)||7-6 7-5|
- Wimbledon 2001 4th Round: defeated Pete Sampras, 7-6 (7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5. Federer ended Sampras' 31-match winning streak at All England Club with a dramatic five-set victory on Centre Court.
- U.S. Open 2004 Final: defeated Lleyton Hewitt, 6-0, 7-6 (3), 6-0. Federer simply destroyed the in-form Hewitt, who was until then the hardcourt player of the season, in the most one-sided final in Open Era, handing him a double "bagel" (tennis lingo for 6-0 sets). No player had lost two sets at love in the Open final in 120 years.
- Tennis Masters Cup 2004 Semi-final: defeated Marat Safin, 6-3, 7-6 (18). Federer endured a 26-minute second set tiebreak to finally win it at 20-18, tied with the two other longest tiebreakers of same score, to outlast the talented Safin's instinctive power play.
- Australian Open 2005 Semi-final: defeated by Marat Safin, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(6-8), 7-9 in an epic 5-set battle of talents spanning 4 hours and 28 minutes. Federer had a match point in the 4th set, but Marat Safin finally won the match at his seventh match point. Later Safin described the match as "a brain fight."
- Miami Masters 2005 Final: defeated Rafael Nadal, 2-6, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-1 in a 3 hours and 42 minute-long epic battle. Federer was trailing at 1-4 in the third set but prevailed in what was one of the most exciting Miami Nasdaq-100 Open finals ever. On two occasions he was two points away from defeat in the third set: 3-5, 30-30 and during the tiebreak at 3-5. This victory marks only the second time Federer has come back from two-sets down to win a match.
- RogerFederer.com (http://www.rogerfederer.com/) - official site
- ATP profile for Roger Federer (http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/default2.asp?playersearch=federer)
- ITF Junior Circuit profile for Roger Federer (http://www.itftennis.com/juniors/players/activity.asp?player=10019424)
|World No. 1's in Men's Tennis|
|Andre Agassi | Boris Becker | Björn Borg | Jimmy Connors | Jim Courier | Stefan Edberg | Roger Federer | Juan Carlos Ferrero | Lleyton Hewitt | Yevgeny Kafelnikov | Gustavo Kuerten | Ivan Lendl | John McEnroe | Carlos Moyà | Thomas Muster | Ilie Nastase | John Newcombe | Patrick Rafter | Marcelo Ríos | Andy Roddick | Marat Safin | Pete Sampras | Mats Wilander|