It’s taken him 16 years as a pro, but Roger Federer finally has won all there is to win in tennis—well almost.
All four Grand Slam titles—a record 17 in total—six ATP year-end titles, 23 Masters Series, Olympic gold and now the Davis Cup for Switzerland.
The Olympic title of course was in the doubles with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008 and he has yet to match great rival Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi as the only men to have won all four Grand Slam titles, Olympic singles gold and the Davis Cup during the course of their careers.
But still—it’s an astonishing record for a player many consider to be the greatest of all time. The Davis Cup win was arguably the hardest of them all for Federer to win, involving as it does other players and doubles action.
Asked to compare his feelings in winning Wimbledon for the first time in 2003 and what he felt on Sunday after supplying the point Switzerland needed to win the Davis Cup final over France he replied: “You can’t compare. When I won Wimbledon, it was a total shock, honestly. Davis Cup is something that I knew was possible at some stage in my career.
“Of course, there was the pressure of being able to manage all this and make everyone happy with all the support we had for the team and everything. So it is a totally different feeling. Also I was not alone on the court. This changes totally everything.”
Federer’s first tournament as a professional was in the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad in 1998, where he lost in the round of 32.
Although rated as one of best juniors in the world, there
was no real hint at that time what tennis was about to witness
as he entered the professional sphere
It wasn’t until he defeated Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in a fourth round match in five sets in 2001 that his true potential became clearer to see.
Still, he struggled to make much headway in the Grand Slam events and question marks were raised when he lost miserably to Luis Horna in the first round of the French Open in 2003.