Has the end come near for the Swiss tennis great’s Grand Slam career?
Roger Federer, the Swiss player of age 32, has long held the world record for the most number of Grand Slam titles – 17 – since he surpassed American Pete Sampras’ record of 14. Winning his first title at Wimbledon in 2003, Roger Federer quickly escalated the rungs of the tennis ladder to become a fan-favorite to many. He has currently won 4 titles at Australian Open, 1 at French Open, 7 at Wimbledon, and 5 at US Open. Additionally, he holds the remarkable record or having held the no. 1 ranked position in Men’s Tennis for 302 weeks total.
However, it seems the King of the Hill may have stepped down from his position. Currently, he is ranked no. 4 after Rafael Nadal (1), Novak Djokovic (2), and Stan Wawrinka (3). Since 2010, Federer began losing his dominance over the Grand Slam tournaments. Many fans are worried that his days of glory are over and that he might be just about finished winning any more Grand Slams.
Almost two decades earlier, a similar scenario occurred with American tennis legend Pete Sampras. Sampras was at his prime and was the best men’s tennis player by the start of the new millennium. By the end 2000, he had won 13 out of his total 14 Grand Slams. During the next two year following his 2000 Wimbledon victory, Sampras would struggle to win another title. Those two years dawned the potential end of Sampras’ Grand Slam career. He began to slip from the public eye’s liking as the younger American Andre Agassi stole the spotlight. Many fans thought he was done winning titles. Even Sampras himself realized the end was here and he hated himself for losing so often, but he refused to exit the court without a bang. Fighting hard at each Grand Slam, Sampras ended his two-year Grand Slam drought by winning his final Grand Slam title in 2002 US Open, defeating his rival Agassi. This final match was the victory that completed Sampras’ professional career.
Now the question remains, will Roger Federer be able to pull off the same feat? The eldest in the top 10 ranked men’s tennis player at 32 years, tied only to no. 5 David Ferrer, Federer is still fighting hard and struggling to move up tournament brackets with that patient-and-powerful skill and finesse that fans have loved for so long. At the on-going Roland Garros, Federer exited the tournament in Round 4 after losing to Latvian Ernests Gulbis, ranked no. 18. This was the first time since 2008 that Roger Federer did not make it to the Quarterfinal round of a Grand Slam tournament. Nonetheless, many tennis players (former and current) and tennis enthusiasts are hoping that Roger’s reign is not over and that he’ll be able to pull off at least one Grand Slam victory before he bows out and exits the stage that is the tennis court he has dominated for so many years.