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103 titles, 1,251 wins, 20 Grand Slams: Roger Federer wasn't GOAT, he was more

Vivek Mishra
Vivek MishraSep 16, 2022 | 10:11

103 titles, 1,251 wins, 20 Grand Slams: Roger Federer wasn't GOAT, he was more

Federer spent 310 weeks as world number one, 237 of them consecutively. (Photo: AP)

One of the greatest tennis players of all time, Roger Federer, on Thursday (September 15) announced he will be retiring from professional tennis. Federer, 41, has won 20 Grand Slam titles, finished five seasons ranked number 1 and holds a record number of ATP titles.

Struggling with a series of knee injuries in recent times, the Swiss called his retirement a "bittersweet decision". He issued both a written statement and an audio clip on his social media pages to say that Laver Cup will be his last tennis tournament.

"As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I've worked hard to return to full competitive form. But I also know my body's capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear," Federer said.

More than the GOAT: Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have won 63 of the last 75 Grand Slams. There has always been a debate as to who is the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) among these three.

While Federer was way ahead at one time, in the last few years Nadal and Djokovic have covered a lot of ground and now finally got ahead of the Swiss in terms of number of Grand Slams.

The top 3 of the generation (Federer, Nadal and Djokovic) are undoubtedly the top 3 of men's tennis of all time. So, calling any one of them the GOAT would be unfair. It was, in a way, the GOAT era of men's tennis.

More than the numbers: And Federer, with his sheer class, unmatchable elegance and superhuman tennis skills has proven that he was a Black Swan - a rare occurrence - in the golden era of men's tennis. And with his 24-year-long career finally coming to an end, we can't define him by just numbers. But even if we did, he would stand behind only two - Nadal and Djokovic.

But here are the unbelievable numbers:

  • Federer has won a whopping 1,251 singles matches and has clinched a record 103 tour-level titles in his career. When he returned to the top spot at the age of 36, he became the oldest number 1 in ATP rankings history.
  • Federer reached 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals from 2005 to 2007 and won 8 of these majors. From 2004 to 2013, the time when the Swiss was at his prime, he reached 36 quarterfinals and 23 semifinals in a row.
  • Federer's fitness level and his discipline can be known by the fact that he made 65 consecutive Grand Slam appearances from the Australian Open in 2000 to the French Open in 2016.
  • He went on to win 8 Wimbledon titles, the most by any man, and made 22 consecutive appearances at the tournament. Federer spent 310 weeks as world number one, 237 of them consecutively.
  • He has won 369 matches in Grand Slams and has reached the final at every Grand Slam at least five times.

Reaction to Federer's retirement: His greatest rival and a great friend, the 22 time Grand Slam winner, Nadal wrote that he wished this day would have never come.

"I wish this day would have never come… it's a sad day for me personally and for sports people around the world. I said it to you when we spoke and now it's here. It's been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court," Nadal wrote on Twitter.

American tennis great Billie Jean King, a 12-time Grand Slam champion, wrote that Federer had the most complete game of his generation.

"Roger Federer is a champion's champion. He has the most complete game of his generation & captured the hearts of sports fans around the world with an amazing quickness on the court & a powerful tennis mind. He has had a historic career w/memories that will live on and on,"Β  Billie Jean King wrote on Twitter.

"Thank you for everything Roger. See you soon. Rocket" Australian great Rod Laver, who won 11 Grand Slam titles, said.

Last updated: September 16, 2022 | 10:11
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