Liberal Arts Blog — Roger Federer — the Sportsmanship, the Beauty of the Strokes, 20 Grand Slam Singles Titles
Liberal Arts Blog — Saturday is the Joy of Sports, Dance, Fitness, and All Things Physical Day
Today’s Topic: Roger Federer — the Sportsmanship, the Beauty of the Strokes, 20 Grand Slam Singles Titles
Federer took men’s tennis to the next level. Roy Emerson’s record of 12 Grand Slam singles titles had held for 30 years until Pete Sampras broke it in 2000. When Sampras retired his record of 14 seemed untouchable. Federer however surpassed Sampras in 2009 and went on to win 20 before being surpassed by Nadal and Djokovic in 2022. Federer ushered in the Golden Age of Men’s Tennis. Today, a summary of his record against his two arch-rivals plus a few biographical notes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
FEDERER VERSUS NADAL: 40 encounters, 16–24 (Federer/Nadal). 10–14 in Finals
1. Wimbledon 3–1 (Federer-Nadal). French Open 0–6, Australian Open 1–3.
2. Federer won his last match against Nadal at Wimbledon in 2019.
3. “Federer’s first Grand Slam matchup against Rafael Nadal was in the semifinals of the 2005 French Open, which Nadal won en route to his first major trophy at age 19. Their first Grand Slam final came a year later in Paris, when Federer was 24 and 7–0 in major title matches for his career (the best start for a man since the 1880s). He also was riding a 27-match unbeaten streak at majors overall. They had met six times previously, but what was at stake in 2006 truly marked the beginning of what would become an enduring rivalry. It was the first French Open final since 1984 between men ranked №1 (Federer) and №2 (Nadal). Nadal won 1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6 (4), using his high-bouncing, topspin-lathered lefty forehand to create big problems on Federer’s backhand side. The result made Federer 0–4 against Nadal in 2006, 44–0 against everyone else.”
NB: Nadal won his first Grand Slam at 19 (French Open, 2005). Federer his first at 22 (Wimbledon, 2003).
WAS THE 2008 WIMBLEDON FINAL AGAINST NADAL THE GREATEST MATCH IN HISTORY?
1. “After losing to Nadal in three straight French Open finals (2006–08) and beating him in two consecutive Wimbledon finals (2006–07), Federer carried winning streaks of 40 matches at the All England Club and 65 on grass courts into their latest meeting at Centre Court.”
2. “In what many consider the greatest tennis match in the sport’s long history, Nadal ended Federer’s bid for a sixth championship in a row at Wimbledon by edging him 6–4, 6–4, 6–7 (5), 6–7 (8), 9–7 as darkness descended after 9 p.m. in a 4-hour, 48-minute test of will as much as skill”
3. “Probably my hardest loss, by far.” (Federer)
FEDERER-DJOKOVIC 50 encounters, 23–27 (Federer/Djokovic)
1. Majors: 6–11 (Federer/Djokovic).
2. “Djokovic is the only player to have beaten Federer at all four majors, and likewise Federer is the only player to defeat Djokovic at each one.”
3.The most famous Djokovic-Federer encounter was in the Wimbledon final in 2019, the longest Wimbledon final in history. Djokovic won: 7–6,1–6,7–6,4–6,13–12.
NB: Djokovic won 2 French Open titles to Federer’s 1.
FOOTNOTES — biographical tidbits
1. While Roger Federer’s father is Swiss, his mother is South African and he holds dual citizenship.
2. He was exempted from Swiss compulsory military service — but the government got a good deal as the quid pro quo was 3% of his taxable income.
3.“In December 2019, Federer became the first living person to be celebrated on Swiss coins.”
NB: Federer was born in Basel and is definitely the most famous Swiss-born human that ever lived. Einstein, considered Swiss by some, was born in Ulm in the state of Baden-Wurtemberg in Germany.
For the last four years of posts organized by theme:
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to sports, dance, fitness. Or the coolest thing you learned about Sports, Dance, of Fitness in your life — whether on the field, on the dance floor or in the gym, whether from a coach, a parent, a friend, or just your own experimentation.
This is your chance to make some one else’s day. Or even change their life. It’s perhaps a chance to put into words something you have never articulated before. And to cement in your own memory something cool you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.