Earlier this year, Swiss tennis dynamo, Roger Federer, beat Marin Cilic to clinch his sixth Australian Open title and record-setting 20th Grand Slam title. There are always tennis stars that dominate the circuit, taking the most prized titles from their professional counterparts and for years, that man has been Roger Federer. However, this latest win has pushed the 36-year-old superstar into a realm of his own. Here’s a look at the pantheon’s road to top.
Born in Basel, Switzerland on 8 August, 1981 to Swiss father – Robert Federer – and South African mother – Lynette du Rand – Federer took to sports from an early age with tennis taking his full focus by the age of 11, when he was one of top three junior tennis players in the country. By the age of 14, Federer was practicing six hours a week and playing two to three tournaments a month. He became the national junior champion and went to the Swiss National Tennis Centre in Ecublens to train. In 1996, he joined the International Tennis Federation junior tennis circuit and turned pro two years later, winning the junior Wimbledon title, Orange Bowl and being named ITF World Junior Tennis Champion.
Roger Federer Tennis Career Timeline
1998: Wins the Wimbledon boys’ singles and doubles titles and turns professional.
2001: Knocks out Pete Sampras in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
2003: Wins Wimbledon – the first Swiss man to win a Grand Slam title.
2004: World No. 2; wins Australian Open, US Open, ATP Masters and Wimbledon.
2005: World No. 1 (until 2008); wins US Open and Wimbledon; Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (2005 – 2008).
2006 and 2007: Wins Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
2008: World No. 2; beats Andy Murray to win US Open. Lost to Rafael Nadal at French Open and Wimbledon. Lost to Novak Djokovic at Australian Open.
2009: World No. 1; gets Career Grand Slam beating Robin Soderling to win French Open; beats Andy Roddick to win Wimbledon and break Sampras’ record of 15 Grand Slam titles. Lost in finals of Australian Open and US Open.
2012: World No. 1 (a record 302 weeks at the top); beats Andy Murray for Wimbledon title.
2015: Beat Novak Djokovic to win Dubai Championships.
2016: Beats Rafael Nadal to win Australian Open (18th Grand Slam title).
2017: Wins record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title after beating Marin Cilic. At 35, he’s also the oldest men’s champion of the tournament in the Open era.
2018: Beats Marin Cilic to win Australian Open and get record-breaking 20th Grand Slam title.
Roger Federer wins his first Grand Slam title in 2003
Federer has been referred to as the “greatest player in Tennis history” by tennis analysts and players alike. He was voted the second most trusted and respected person in the world, next to Nelson Mandela in 2011 and was declared the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for four years consecutively. Not only is he regarded as the most graceful player with continued success attributed to his dedication to hard work, not relying on natural talent alone.
Roger Federer Fun Facts
- His idols are Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Pete Sampras.
- He married former professional tennis player, Mirka Vavrinec, in 2009.
- The couple has two sets of twins – girls Myla and Charlene, and boys Leo and Lenny.
- He established the Roger Federer Foundation in 2003, which provides grants to disadvantaged countries for education- and sports-related projects.
- He has reached the semi-finals of 23 Grand Slam tournaments in a row, more than twice the number achieved by the next man on the list, Ivan Lendl.
- Pulling out of the 2016 French Open due to a back injury ended his record of playing in 65 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments over 16 years.
- He has a Swiss post stamp in his honour brought out in 2007.
- There is a street in Halle, Germany named after him – Roger-Federer-Allee.
- He enjoys playing the piano and flute in his spare time.
- He has a net wealth of around $320 million, making him one of the richest sports’ personalities ever.
Roger Federer’s wife and 4 children
Roger Federer Brand
Not only is Roger Federer the highest-paid sportsperson in the world but he also features at ‘number two’ of Forbes World’s Highest Paid Athletes list. He is the top earner in tennis with 10 endorsements to his name and is the brand ambassador for a number of top brands including Nike, Nationale Suisse, Credit, Rolex, and Lindt. Federer’s association with Mercedes-Benz China became a global partnership deal in 2010 and he also endorses Gillette, Wilson and Moët & Chandon.
With all these accolades and accomplishments it’s no wonder that Roger Federer is considered one of the most successful people in the world. Not only that, but his reputation is one of compassion, kindness and humility. An incredible man that is truly made his mark in the history books.