Roger Federer (born August 8, 1981) is a Swiss tennis professional, currently ranked World No. 1 since February 2, 2004 for a record 190 consecutive weeks. Widely regarded as the best player of his generation, he is considered among the elite group of all-time great male tennis players. Federer is the first living Swiss to be pictured on a postage stamp, issued in April 2007 depicting Federer with the Wimbledon trophy. In 2007, he was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record third consecutive time.
Federer has won 12 Grand Slam singles titles (second-most of any male player, tied with Roy Emerson), three Tennis Masters Cup titles, and 14 ATP Masters Series titles. He has won three Grand Slam singles titles in a calendar year a record three times (in 2004, 2006 and 2007). He holds the record of ten consecutive Grand Slam singles final appearances and the only male player to have played in the finals of all four Grand Slam tournaments for two consecutive years.
In 2007, by winning his third Australian Open title, he is the only male player to have won three separate Grand Slam tournaments at least three times. By winning Wimbledon in 2007, Federer tied Björn Borg's open era record of five consecutive Wimbledon championships. By winning the 2007 U.S. Open, Federer became the first player in the Open era to win four consecutive U.S. Open titles and the only player ever to win back-to-back Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles for four consecutive years (from 2004). He is also the first male player in the Open era to win at least ten singles tournaments in three consecutive years (from 2004 to 2006).
Federer was born in Basel, Switzerland, to Swiss-German Robert Federer and South African Lynette Federer. He grew up in suburban Münchenstein, 10 minutes from Basel and borders France and Germany. As a boy, Federer was very emotional and admits to being kicked off practice courts occasionally. Federer was also a talented soccer player. He had considered becoming a professional soccer player but instead decided to choose tennis. He continues to support FC Basel, his hometown club and is a fan of Italian club AS Roma. When he was younger, he liked to watch tennis player Marcelo Ríos in action. Federer especially liked Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker and has cited them as idols.
Federer currently resides in Oberwil, Switzerland and is dating former WTA player and Slovakia-born Miroslava Vavrinec (Mirka), who retired from tennis in 2002 after a foot injury. The two met at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Federer launched a fragrance called RF Cosmetics in October 2003. He considers Swiss German as his first language, but also speaks French and English fluently and conducts press conferences in all three. His favorite vacation spots are Maldives, Dubai, and Swiss mountains. He is also friends with golf superstar Tiger Woods.
He co-established the Roger Federer Foundation in December 2003. Its goals include funding projects that benefit disadvantaged children, primarily in South Africa, such as charity IMBEWU. In January 2005, he encouraged efforts from tennis players to raise funds for the people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and auctioned off his autographed racquets to raise funds for UNICEF's relief operations. On April 3, 2006, Federer was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF, which helps poor children from all parts of the world. On December 23, 2006, he visited children in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a region devastated by the tsunami, and said "It's amazing to see how young people are using the rebuilding process as an opportunity to improve their lives and strengthen their community.. The way these children are bouncing back from even the toughest tragedy is a testament to their resilience."
Federer started playing tennis at the age of six. He began having group lessons at the age of nine and weekly private coaching when he was ten. He also played soccer until the age of 12 when he decided to focus solely on tennis. At 14, he became the national champion of all groups in Switzerland and was chosen to train at the Swiss National Tennis Center at Ecublens. He joined the ITF junior tennis circuit in July 1996. In 1998, in his final year as a junior, Federer won Wimbledon juniors title and year-ending Orange Bowl. He was recognized as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion for the year. In July 1998, Federer joined the ATP tour at Gstaad. The following year he debuted for the Swiss Davis Cup team against Italy and finished the year as the youngest player (for the year) inside ATP's top 100 ranking. In 2000, Federer reached semifinals at Sydney Olympics and lost bronze medal match to Arnaud Di Pasquale of France. Federer reached his first final in Marseille which he lost to Marc Rosset and was also the runner-up in Basel. He failed to make an impression at Grand Slams and Masters Series tournaments but still ended the year ranked 29th.
Federer's first ATP tournament victory came in Milan in February 2001. During the same month, he won three matches for his country in its 3-2 Davis Cup victory over the United States. He later reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, defeating four-time defending champion and seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras in the fourth round in a closely fought match, a victory that many consider to be the turning point of his career and thus ending Sampras' 31-match winning streak in the tournament. He then lost to Tim Henman in the quarterfinal but finished the year ranked 13th.
Federer reached his first ATP Masters Series (AMS) final at the Miami Masters, where he lost to Andre Agassi. He won his next AMS final in Hamburg. He also won both his Davis Cup singles matches against former world number ones (Russians Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov). Despite early-round exits at the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open, and the untimely loss of his long-time Australian coach and mentor Peter Carter in a car crash in August, Federer reached No. 6 in the ATP Champions Race by the end of the year and qualified for the first time in the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup. Federer lost in the semifinals of that tournament to Lleyton Hewitt despite saving a matchpoint in the second set.
Federer started 2003 by winning consecutive tournaments in Dubai and Marseille. He won in Munich without losing a set, but suffered a first-round loss at the French Open. On July 6, 2003, he defeated Mark Philippoussis and won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, becoming the first Swiss male player to do so. He dropped only one set during the entire tournament. He also won four Davis Cup matches during the year to lead Switzerland to the semifinals of the World Group. He finished 2003 by winning the Tennis Masters Cup at Houston, finishing second in the ATP Champions Race behind American Andy Roddick. In December, he parted ways with Peter Lundgren, his coach for four years.
In 2004, Federer had one of the most dominating and successful years in the open era of modern men's tennis. He won three of the four Grand Slam singles tournaments, lost to no one ranked in the top ten, and won every final he reached. He won his first Australian Open title by defeating Marat Safin in straight sets, the win allowing him to succeed Andy Roddick as the World No. 1, a ranking which he has maintained as of September 2007. He successfully defended his Wimbledon title by defeating Andy Roddick, and won his first U.S. Open title by defeating Lleyton Hewitt. He finished the year by taking the Tennis Masters Cup at Houston for the second consecutive year, defeating Hewitt in the final. His win-loss record for the year was 74-6 with 11 titles. Federer was named the ITF Tennis World Champion and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year in early 2005, edging out the likes of Michael Schumacher, Valentino Rossi, Lance Armstrong, and Michael Phelps. Throughout 2004, Federer did not have a coach, relying instead on his fitness trainer Pierre Paganini, physiotherapist Pavel Kovac, and a management team composed of his parents, his girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec (also his manager), and a few friends. In 2005, Federer hired former Australian tennis player Tony Roche to coach him on a limited basis.
Federer reached the 2005 Australian Open semifinals before falling to eventual winner Marat Safin in a five-set night match that lasted more than four hours. He rebounded to win the year's first two ATP Masters Series (AMS) titles: Indian Wells (by defeating Lleyton Hewitt) and Miami (by defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain). He won his third Hamburg clay court title in May by defeating Richard Gasquet, to whom he had earlier lost in Monte Carlo. He then entered the French Open as one of the favorites, losing in the semifinals in four sets to eventual winner Nadal.
Federer successfully defended his Wimbledon title, winning for the third consecutive year by defeating Andy Roddick in a rematch of the previous year's final. Federer also defeated Roddick in Cincinnati to take his fourth AMS title of the year (and sweep all the American AMS events) and become the first player in AMS history to win four titles in one season. He then dropped only two sets en route to his second consecutive U.S. Open title, defeating Andre Agassi in four sets in the final. He became the first man in the open era to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open back-to-back in consecutive years (2004 and 2005). He failed to defend his Tennis Masters Cup title, however, losing to David Nalbandian of Argentina in a four-and-a-half hour, five-set match. Had he won the match, he would have finished the year 82-3, tying John McEnroe's 1984 record for the highest yearly winning percentage in the open era.
Federer won three of the four Grand Slam singles tournaments and ended the year ranked number one, with his points ranking several thousand points greater than that of his nearest competitor. Federer won the year's first Grand Slam tournament, the 2006 Australian Open, by defeating Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis. In March, Federer successfully defended his titles at the Indian Wells and Miami Masters, and became the first player ever to win the Indian Wells-Miami double in consecutive years. Federer then reached two consecutive ATP Masters Series finals on clay, at Monte Carlo and Rome, but lost to Rafael Nadal on both occasions. At the 2006 French Open, Federer lost in the final to defending champion Nadal in four sets. Had he won the French Open, he would have completed a Career Grand Slam and become the first man since Rod Laver to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles at the same time. Although the clay Grand Slam title eluded him, he became one of only two then-active players who had reached the finals of all four Grand Slam singles tournaments, the other being Andre Agassi.
Federer entered Wimbledon as the top seed and reached the final without dropping a set. There, Federer beat Nadal in four sets to win the championship. This was Federer's fourth consecutive Wimbledon title. Federer then started his North American tour and won the 2006 Rogers Cup in Toronto, defeating Richard Gasquet of France in the final. In the year's last Grand Slam tournament, the 2006 U.S. Open, he defeated American Andy Roddick in four sets for his third consecutive title at the Flushing Meadows. At the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup at Shanghai, Federer defeated defending champion David Nalbandian in one of his three round robin matches and Nadal in a semifinal. Federer then defeated American James Blake 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 in the final to win his third Masters Cup title. In 2006, Federer lost to only two players: Nadal in the French Open final, Rome final, Monte Carlo final, and Dubai final; and Andy Murray in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters. The Cincinnati loss to Murray was Federer's only straight-sets loss of the year and the only tournament out of 17 (Davis Cup excluded) in which he did not reach the final.
Federer won his third Australian Open and tenth Grand Slam singles title when he, as defending champion, won the tournament without dropping a set, defeating Fernando González of Chile in the final 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4. Björn Borg was the last man to win a Grand Slam singles title without dropping a set, at the 1980 French Open. Federer then won his fourth Dubai Duty Free Men's Open title, defeating Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the final 6-4, 6-3. His winning streak of 41-consecutive matches ended when he lost to Guillermo Cañas in the second round of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, after winning this tournament three consecutive years (2004-2006). At the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Florida, Federer again lost to Cañas, this time in the fourth round in three sets. However, he was awarded four ATP Awards during a ceremony at the tournament, making him the first player to receive four awards during the same year.
Federer started his clay-court season by reaching his second consecutive final of the Monte Carlo Masters. There, as in 2006, he lost to second seeded Rafael Nadal. This time, the score was 6-4, 6-4. On May 2, 2007, the "Battle of Surfaces," an exhibition event, took place at the Palma Arena in Mallorca. Federer and Nadal met on a tennis court that was half grass and half clay. Nadal won 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(10). Federer lost in the third round of the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome to Filippo Volandri 6-2, 6-4. This defeat meant he had gone four tournaments without a title, his longest stretch since becoming World No. 1. On May 20, 2007, however, Federer defeated Nadal on clay for the first time 2-6, 6-2, 6-0, winning the Hamburg Masters tournament, and ending Nadal's record of 81 consecutive match wins on clay. It was his thirteenth ATP Masters Series title, his sixth tournament win on clay, and the second time he defeated Nadal with a bagel set. At the French Open, Federer reached the final for the second consecutive time but again lost to Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The day after the final, Federer announced that he was withdrawing from the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, which he had won the last four years. He cited fatigue and fear of getting an injury. He therefore entered Wimbledon for the first time without having played a warm-up grass-court tournament. Despite this, Federer once again beat Rafael Nadal in a memorable final (7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2), winning the tournament for the fifth consecutive time, a feat only before achieved in the Open Era by Björn Borg (William Renshaw holds the all-time record with six consecutive titles from 1881 to 1886). It was the first time since the fourth round in 2001 against Sampras that Federer had played a fifth set at Wimbledon and his first five-set grand slam final. It was also Federer's 11th Grand Slam victory, tying him in third with the greats Björn Borg and Rod Laver in number of men’s Grand Slam singles titles won.
Federer competed as the defending champion at the Canada Masters in Montréal, his first tournament since Wimbledon. He lost in the final. The victory was his 50th career singles title. Federer also won the 2007 Federer competed as the defending champion at the Canada Masters in Montréal, his first tournament since Wimbledon. He lost in the final to Novak Djokovic 7-6, 2-6, 7-6. The next week Federer won the Cincinnati Masters Series for the second time, beating James BlakeUS Open Series with this victory. In the 2007 U.S. Open final, Federer beat 3rd seed Novak Djokovic in straight sets 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 6-4. En route to the final, Federer dropped just two sets—one to young American John Isner in the third round and one to Spaniard Feliciano López in the fourth round. He becomes the first male tennis player in the Open era to win four consecutive U.S. Open titles. Richard Sears holds the all-time record of seven consecutive U.S. Open titles from 1881 to 1887. This is Federer's 12th Grand Slam title, tying Roy Emerson's 12 Grand Slam victories. During this U.S. Open, Federer performed the exceptional feat of defeating the World Numbers 5,4 and 3 in successive matches, each in straight sets. As champion of the US Open Series, Federer received a bonus of $1 million, in addition to the $1.4 million prize, for winning the US Open singles title. He is the first male player to receive the bonus in the four year history of the US Open Series; (Kim Clijsters received the $1 million bonus in addition to her $1.2 million prize for winning the 2005 U.S. Open in the women's division). It was announced in May that Federer and former World #1 Pete Sampras will compete in three exhibition matches between November 20 and 24, 2007. The best-of-three-sets matches will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Macau, and Seoul.
Federer has a versatile, all-court playing style and can hit all of the fundamental shots with a high degree of proficiency. He is an adept volleyer and an excellent baseliner who can dictate play with precise groundstrokes from both wings. Federer uses fairly conventional grips. His forehand is between a modern eastern and mild semi-western as his hand is about halfway underneath the racquet, allowing for either a flat or topspin shot. He hits through his forehand on a straighter plane and finishes his swing wrapped around his back, which is not the typical technique of following through after contact and "scratching your back" with the elbow pointing skyward and the racquet coming over the shoulder. He also can generate extreme top-spin with the shot, allowing him to open up cross-court angles while still hitting the ball with pace. David Foster Wallace has described the exceptional speed, fluidity and brute force of this forehand motion as "a great liquid whip," while John McEnroe has referred to it as "the greatest shot in our sport" on numerous occasions. Federer plays with a one-handed backhand, which has improved over the last few years. Although critics and coaches consider his backhand as his weaker side, it has developed into one of the best in the game. He has an excellent slice but can also fire great top-spin shots. Federer tends to hit his groundstrokes early, while the ball is still on the rise, much like Andre Agassi did. While this requires excellent reactions and footwork, it means that Federer hits his groundstrokes closer to the net than most of his opponents. This reduces the reaction time of his opponents and allows him to hit the sharply angled winners that are a trademark of his game.
His serve is difficult to read because he tosses the ball in the same spot no matter where he intends to serve it and he turns his back to his opponents during his motion. His first serve is typically around 190 km/h (118 mph). His second serve usually has a heavily kicked delivery. Federer generally serves with placement and precision, but on occasion he will hit a powerful serve to keep his opponents off balance. His footwork, balance, and court coverage are exceptional and he is considered to be one of the fastest movers in the game. Unlike most players who take many small steps when approaching the ball, like Jimmy Connors, Federer takes long fluid strides. He can hit a strong shot on the run or while backpedaling, allowing him to switch from defense to offense. Federer's relaxed, smooth playing style belies his aggressive and opportunistic tactics as he constructs points that allows him to hit winners with his powerful groundstrokes. Federer is capable of performing in high pressure situations, often saving break, set or match points during crucial times in a match.
Federer began the year by attempting to defend his title at the Australian Open. He lost, however, in the semifinals to eventual champion Novak Djokovic 7–5, 6–3, 7–6(5). This ended his male record of ten consecutive Grand Slam finals. It was the first time that Federer had lost in straight sets in a Grand Slam singles match since he lost in the third round of the 2004 French Open. His last straight-sets loss at a hard court Grand Slam tournament was during the fourth round of the 2002 US Open.
In March, Federer revealed that he had recently been diagnosed with mononucleosis and that he may have suffered from it as early as December 2007. Federer also had an illness related to food poisoning prior to the start of the Australian Open. He noted, however, that he was now "medically cleared to compete".
Although Federer was seeded first and was the defending champion at the Dubai Tennis Championships, he lost to Andy Murray in the first round with a score of 7-6(6), 3-6, 4-6. On March 10, Federer won his third exhibition match out of four against former World No. 1 and fourteen-time Grand Slam singles titlist Pete Sampras at Madison Square Garden in New York City 6–3, 6–7, 7–6.
At the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, the first Tennis Masters Series event of the year, Federer lost in the semifinals to American Mardy Fish for the first time, thus ending his 41-match winning streak against American players dating back to August 2003. Federer's next tournament was the Masters Series 2008 Miami Masters, where he lost in the quarterfinals to American Andy Roddick. Roddick's last official win against him was in 2003.
Federer began the clay court season at the Estoril Open in Portugal, which was his first optional clay-court tournament since Gstaad in 2004 and his first tournament with coach José Higueras. Federer won his first tournament of the year when Nikolay Davydenko retired from the final while trailing 7–6, 1–2 with a leg ligament strain.
Federer then played three Masters Series tournaments on clay. At the Masters Series Monte Carlo, Federer lost to three-time defending champion Rafael Nadal in the final in straight sets. Federer made 44 unforced errors, lost a 4–0 lead in the second set, and fell to 1–7 against Nadal on clay courts. At the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome, Federer lost in the quarterfinals to Radek Št?pánek 7–6(4), 7–6(7). Federer was the defending champion at the Masters Series Hamburg and won his first four matches in straight sets to set up a repeat of the previous year's final against Nadal. In the first set of the final, Federer built a 5–1 lead and served for the set twice. Nadal, however, won six consecutive games to win the set 7–5. Nadal again broke Federer's serve in the opening game of the second set, but Federer broke back and won the set 7–6(3). Nadal then won the third set 6–3 and the tournament.
At the 2008 French Open, Federer was quickly defeated by Nadal in the finals 6–1, 6–3, 6–0.The last time Federer had lost a set 6-0 was his first round match in 1999 against Byron Black at the Artois Championships played at Queen's Club in London. This was also the fourth consecutive year that Federer and Nadal had played at the French Open, with Federer losing his third consecutive final to Nadal as well as their semifinal match in 2005.
Federer bounced back by winning the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany without dropping a set or a service game. This would be the fifth time he has won this event. With this result, he tied Pete Sampras's record for most titles on grass in the open era with ten.
At Wimbledon, Federer reached his 17th consecutive Grand Slam singles semifinal and his 16th Grand Slam final, tying Björn Borg for fourth most in male tennis history. He once again played World No. 2 Nadal in the final. A victory for Federer would mean his sixth consecutive Wimbledon singles title, breaking Borg's modern era record, and equaling the all-time record held since 1886 by William Renshaw. Federer saved two championship points in the fourth set tiebreak but eventually lost the match 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5), 6–7(8), 9–7. The rain-delayed match ended in near darkness after 4 hours, 48 minutes of play, making it the longest (in terms of elapsed time) men's final in Wimbledon recorded history, and 7 hours, 15 minutes after its scheduled start. The defeat also ended Federer's 65 match winning streak on grass. John McEnroe described the match as "The greatest match I've ever seen."After Nadal surpassed him as World No. 1 later in the year, Federer stated that his main goal would be to regain the Wimbledon title, rather than the top spot.
Federer made early exits in his next two singles tournaments. At the Masters Series Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada, Federer lost in the second round to Gilles Simon after receiving a first round bye. At the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Federer was the defending champion, but lost in the third round to Ivo Karlovi? for the first time in seven matches between them.
At the Summer Olympics in Beijing, Federer lost in the quarterfinals to James Blake for the first time in their nine matches.Federer however, finally won his first Olympic gold medal in the men's doubles when he and compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka upset favourites and World No. 1 doubles players Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan of the United States in the semifinals, and defeated Sweden's Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson in the finals, 6–3, 6–4, 6–7(4), 6–3. The following day on August 18, Federer lost his World No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal after a record 237 consecutive weeks.
At the US Open, Federer defeated Máximo González of Argentina, Thiago Alves of Brazil and Radek stEpAnek of Czech Republic to reach the fourth round without dropping a set. There he faced Russian Igor Andreev and won in a tough five setter, 6–7(5), 7–6(5), 6–3, 3–6, 6–3. He defeated Gilles Müller in the quarterfinals 7–6(5), 6–4, 7–6(5), and then in a rematch of the 2007 US Open Final, he topped No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic in 4 sets, 6–3, 5–7, 7–5, 6–2. On a Monday final, he defeated Andy Murray in straight sets (6–2, 7–5, 6–2), to win his 13th Grand Slam title, his fifth straight US Open title, and extended his win streak to 34 at the US Open.Federer became the first player in tennis history to have five consecutive wins at both Wimbledon and the US Open.
At the 2008 Madrid Masters, Federer reached the semifinals without losing a set. His run ended when he lost to Andy Murray, 6–3, 3–6, 5–7. Meanwhile, he became the all-time leader in career prize money in men's tennis, earning over $43.3 million (USD) at the end of the tournament, and surpassing former World No. 1 and 14-time Grand Slam champion, Pete Sampras.
Federer won his 57th career title at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, beating David Nalbandian in the final, 6-3, 6-4. He became the only player to win the title 3 consecutive times. He reached the quarterfinals of his next event, the Paris Masters, before withdrawing due to back pain. This is first time in Federer's career of 763 matches that he has withdrawn from a tournament.This meant that the 2008 season was his first since 2003 in which he did not win a regular season Masters Series title.
Federer entered the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup as the number one seed after Nadal withdrew from the tournament, and he drew Gilles Simon, Andy Murray, and Andy Roddick in his Red Group. In his opening match, Federer lost to Simon 6–4, 4–6, 3–6. Simon became just the second man to defeat Federer in the round robin stage of the Tennis Masters Cup. Federer kept his hopes alive by defeating Roddick's replacement, Radek Stepanek, 7–6(4) 6–4. In his third match, he faced Murray in a repeat of the US Open final and Madrid semifinal. Murray went on to win the match 4–6, 7–6(3), 7–5, although Federer fought hard, coming back from 5–2 in the second set and 3–0 in the third set. Federer had also received medical treatment for back and hip problems in the third set, and lost after saving seven match points. This was the first time that Federer had not advanced to the semifinal stage of the event. However, Federer still ended the year in second place with 1061 Race points, only two more than Novak Djokovic.He hopes to be fit and fired up by January next year.
Rivalry with Nadal
Federer and Nadal have been rivals since 2005, and this rivalry is a significant part of both men's careers:
- They are the only men in the open era who have played each other in 6 Grand Slam finals.
- Their 2008 Wimbledon final has been lauded as the greatest match of all time by many long-time tennis critics.
- Many critics consider their rivalry to be the greatest in tennis history.
The main reason why Nadal poses difficulty for Federer is because of Nadal's forehand. Nadal plays left-handed and his cross-court forehand shot is always towards Federer's backhand. Because of the amount of topspin that Nadal puts on his forehands, single-backhanders have more difficulty getting the ball across compared to double-handers. For this reason, in many of their matches, the same rally occurs in a majority of the points. Nadal continually attacks Federer's single backhand until an unforced error is made. This is most notable in the 2007 and 2008 Roland Garros finals. The same tactic was employed in the 2007 and 2008 Wimbledon finals to great effect.
However, Federer tends to beat Nadal on faster surfaces because a volley-orientated strategy works better. On clay, a volley-orientated strategy is much harder to execute given that the ball travels slower. Despite the advantage clay gives to Nadal, Federer has beaten Nadal on clay before in Hamburg. Whether Federer will beat Nadal in Roland Garros is another question altogether since the clay at Roland Garros bounces a lot higher.
In preparation for the Australian Open, Federer played two exhibition tournaments and one official tournament. He lost to Murray in the semifinals of the Capitala World Tennis exhibition in Abu Dhabi. He then lost in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour 250 series tournament in Doha, Qatar to Murray 6–7(6), 6–2, 6–2. Federer won the AAMI Classic exhibition in Melbourne when he defeated Stanislas Wawrinka in the final 6–1, 6–3.
Federer defeated each of his first three opponents in straight sets at the Australian Open. In the fourth round, Federer rallied from two sets down to defeat Tomas Berdych 4–6, 6–7(5), 6–4, 6–4, 6–2. Federer reached his record 19th consecutive Grand Slam semifinal by defeating eighth seeded Juan Martín del Potro in the quarterfinals 6–3, 6–0, 6–0 in only 80 minutes. In his 18th Grand Slam final, Federer was defeated by long-time rival Nadal in their first meeting on a hard court in a Grand Slam tournament. The match lasted over four hours with Nadal victorious in five sets. Federer broke down in tears during the trophy presentation and struggled to make his runner-up speech. Federer blamed the defeat on a lack of rhythm in his first serve. Federer withdrew from the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships and from Switzerland's Davis Cup tie against the U.S. because of a back injury he sustained in late 2008. He stated it was "a precautionary measure" to make sure his back is "fully rehabilitated ... for the rest of the 2009 season"
On 4 March, Federer's agent, Tony Godsick, announced that the Australian tennis coach Darren Cahill was working with Federer, on a trial basis, at Federer's training base in Dubai. One week later, Cahill opted out of the coaching position, citing the travel commitment needed.
Federer played both of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series tournaments in the United States. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, Federer lost to Murray in the semifinals 6–3, 4–6, 6–1. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Federer defeated his first three opponents in straight sets after receiving a first round bye. In the semi-finals against Novak Djokovic, Federer lost 3–6, 6–2, 6–3, a match that included Federer's smashing of his racket in frustration after missing a forehand approach shot by hitting it into the net, the same shot that cost him the 2008 Wimbledon final.
After initially deciding not to participate, Federer accepted a last-minute wildcard entry at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, his first clay court event of the year. He lost to Stanislas Wawrinka for the first time in the third round 6–4, 7–5.
In the semi-finals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, another ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series event on clay, Federer lost to Djokovic for the first time on clay 4–6, 6–3, 6–3.
Federer received a first-round bye in the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, the last ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series event on clay for the year. He defeated Nadal 6–4, 6–4 in the final. This ended Nadal's 33-match winning streak on clay, and for the second time Federer prevented Nadal from becoming the first man to win all 3 Masters Series on clay in the same year.
In the 2009 French Open, in a fourth round encounter, Federer had to come back from 2 sets to love down to defeat Tommy Haas, 6–7(4), 5–7, 6–4, 6–0, 6–2. He defeated Gaël Monfils in the quarter-finals 7–6(6), 6–2, 6–4, to reach his 20th consecutive Grand Slam semi-final. He reached his fourth straight final in Paris by outlasting Del Potro 3–6, 7–6(2), 2–6, 6–1, 6–4. He won the French Open for the first time by beating Robin Söderling in the final 6–1, 7–6(1), 6–4. With this win, Federer equaled Pete Sampras's men’s record of 14 Grand Slam titles and Ivan Lendl's record of 19 Grand Slam finals, and also became the sixth man in history to complete a Career Grand Slam. Owing to the overwhelming emotions and fatigue brought by the tournament, Federer withdrew from the Gerry Weber Open, his usual pre-Wimbledon tournament.
Federer became the highest seed for Wimbledon following defending champion Nadal's decision to withdraw from the tournament due to tendinitis. Federer defeated Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round 7–5, 6–3, 6–2. He moved safely into the third round with a 6–2, 6–2, 6–4 win over Guillermo García-López. In the third round Federer defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6–3, 6–2, 6–7(5), 6–1. Federer then booked a place in the quarter-finals by defeating Robin Söderling 6–4, 7–6(5), 7–6(5). In the quarter-finals, Federer cruised through Ivo Karlovi?, 6–3, 7–5, 7–6(3) to extend his all-time record of consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals to 21. In the semi-finals, Federer defeated Tommy Haas 7–6(3), 7–5, 6–3 to reach his seventh consecutive Wimbledon final, an all-time record. With this win, he also reached his 20th Grand Slam final, surpassing the previous record of 19 set by Lendl. In a match that took 4 hours and 17 minutes to complete, he beat the American Roddick in the final in the latest chapter of their long, though lopsided rivalry, regaining the World No. 1 spot from Rafael Nadal. The final score was 5–7, 7–6(6), 7–6(5), 3–6, 16–14, and the 30 total games in the fifth set was a new Grand Slam record. The match was also the longest men's singles final (in terms of games played) in Grand Slam history with 77 games played, and the fifth set alone lasted 95 minutes. The match has been called an "instant classic" by ESPN, and received the highest TV ratings in the UK for any Wimbledon final since 2001. With the win, he also became the fourth man in the open era to win both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year following Nadal in 2008, Borg in 1978-1980, and Laver in 1969. He also joined Nadal as the only players to simultaneously hold Grand Slams on clay, grass and hard court (2008 U.S. Open, 2009 French Open, 2009 Wimbledon).
Federer won his first match after a five-week break at the second round of the 2009 Rogers Cup against Frederic Niemeyer, 7–6(3), 6–4, having received a first-round bye. He then defeated countryman Stanislas Wawrinka 6–3, 7–6(5), coming back from 0–3 down in the second set; in doing so, he made more history by contributing to the first occasion where the top 8 ranked men had all made the quarterfinals of a single tournament, joining the other seven players: Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roddick, Juan Martin del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Davydenko. However, in the quarterfinals, he lost to Tsonga 6–7(5), 6–1, 6–7(3), despite leading 5–1 in final set. Despite the relatively early exit in Montreal, Federer started off well at the 2009 Cincinnati Open, beating José Acasuso in the second round (after having another bye in the first round like the other top seeds) and David Ferrer in the third round. He then beat Lleyton Hewitt in the quarter-finals, followed by Murray in the semi-finals 6–2, 7–6(8) to reach the final, where he defeated Novak Djokovic 6–1 7–5.
Federer began his US Open campaign well with a 6–1, 6–3, 7–5 victory over unseeded Devin Britton. He advanced to the third round with a second round 6–3, 7–5, 7–5 win over Simon Greul,. His third-round match was against Lleyton Hewitt, against whom he lost his first set of the tournament but eventually rallied to win 4–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–4. Federer now holds a 16-5 lead over Hewitt, continuing a fourteen match winning streak against him. Federer next defeated Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to book a quarter-final berth against Robin Söderling for the third Grand Slam in a row, which he won in four sets 6-0, 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(6) after saving a set point in the fourth set. Federer reached his 21st Grand Slam final by defeating number four seed Novak Djokovic for the third straight year. He triumphed 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-5, and in doing so reached match point by performing a between-the-legs passing shot, which he later described as "...the greatest shot I ever hit in my life." He lost to Del Potro in the final, the score being 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-7(4), 2-6. The loss broke Federer's streak of forty consecutive wins at the US Open. It also marked the first time Federer had lost in a Grand Slam final to an opponent other than Rafael Nadal.
Federer went to play in the Davis Cup tie with Italy, and in his first match on the red clay courts in Italy at Valletta Cambiaso Club won in a match against Simone Bolelli with a score of 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. He sealed Switzerland's qualification for the World Group with a 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Potito Starace. Following the match, Federer was quoted as saying "I was able to play very well. I have to go on holiday badly. I have a problem with my leg, I have a problem with my arm — everything is hurting. And I've got to do some baby-sitting." He is next scheduled to play in the 2009 Japan Open.
Federer is married to former Women's Tennis Association player Miroslava "Mirka" Vavrinec. They met while competing for Switzerland in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Vavrinec retired from the tour in 2002 because of a persistent foot injury and has since been working as Federer's public relations manager. They were married in Basel on 11 April 2009, surrounded by a small group of close friends and family at Wenkenhof Villa (municipality of Riehen). On 24 July, Federer announced on his Facebook page that Mirka had given birth to twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, on the previous day.
Equipment & Apparel
Federer currently plays with a Wilson K Factor KSix-One Tour 90 Racquet and it is characterised by its smaller hitting surface, heavy weight, and thin beam. Some speculate that it is a custom mold of the Wilson ProStaff Original 6.0 85 used by Pete Sampras. Federer strings his racquets at a relatively loose tension (53-60 pounds depending on his opponent and surface). This allows him to return balls at higher velocity with less effort but makes consistent accuracy more difficult. Federer's past racquets include Wilson nCode nSix-One Tour 90, Wilson ProStaff Tour 90, and Wilson ProStaff Original 6.0 85. Federer endorses Wilson tennis racquets and accessories and Nike apparel and footwear. For the 2006 championships at Wimbledon Nike made a jacket which had a crest with three tennis racquets symbolising the three Wimbledon Championships that he had previously won. He also has endorsement deals from various other companies, many of them being Swiss.He also endorses Gillette with French football star Thierry Henry and American golfer Tiger Woods.
Roger Federer holds a number of records in tennis history, the most prominent of which is that he has won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in the same year three times in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He has surpassed a number of long-standing records including Jimmy Connors' record of 160 consecutive weeks as #1 men's player in the world and Steffi Graf's record of 186 weeks as #1 singles player in the world. He equaled Björn Borg's open-era record of 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles in 2007 and has the open-era record of most consecutive US Open titles (4) in 2007.
Federer won numerous awards during his tennis career. His most significant achievement was winning his third consecutive Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award, in 2007.