Roger Federer’s first, tenth, and twentieth Grand Slam.
No one's tennis journey is linear. Even one of the greats, Roger Federer, struggled to keep cool during his teenage years of tennis. As mentioned by an ESPN article, “He'd frequently smash his rackets, scream at the sun, and berate himself and others as things failed to plan.” He took his anger out on material things and could clearly not control his emotions, a critical factor in becoming a successful tennis player. Later, he started working on his self-control, becoming the gentleman people know him as today. His first breakthrough was when he won the Junior Wimbledon in 1998. This tournament helped him grow confidence and propelled his professional tennis journey.
In an interview, Federer said as a child “a grass court was always a dream.” He always wanted to play on grass courts because, in Switzerland, there were predominantly sand and clay courts. Interestingly, most of his successes were in Wimbledon, where he won 8 of his 20 grand slam titles. In 2001, with effort and dedication, he ended his idol Pete Sampras' 31-match win in the fourth round of Wimbledon. In 2002, Federer became the first Swiss to reach the top 10 and later won the men’s singles Wimbledon tournament. In future years, he won many more grand slams, winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open many times. From 2004 all the way to 2008, he had to defend his titles by playing many other great players like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who competed with him for every title. Some people call them the “Big Three” because they shared the spotlight for many years, dominating the tennis competition.
In 2009, Federer won his only French Open title, easily beating Robin Söderling 6-1, 7-6, 6-4, who beat the king of clay Nadal in the round before. However, in 2013, he struggled with a back injury and could not add to his list of grand slams until 2017, when he won the Australian Open. He was 35 years old when he won the tournament, becoming the oldest player to win the Australian Open in history. He won it again in 2018 and, after that, started his downfall.
He was injured many times, which led to his retirement. Federer announced that he will retire from competitive tennis after suffering multiple knee surgeries in recent years. The news of his retirement was shocking and pierced through the hearts of millions of devoted fans and supporters who had followed his remarkable journey over the years. The weight of sadness hung on everybody's shoulders. For countless years, Federer had not merely entertained but also inspired, leaving an indelible mark on the world. From the very beginning of his career, he had demonstrated a mastery that few could rival, becoming a true luminary in his field. His graciousness during defeat and victory has enabled people to see the value of defeat and that no journey is a straight line.
His talent and dedication became a source of inspiration for countless young tennis players. He proved that with hard work and unwavering commitment, greatness could be achieved. He is a living testament to the power of perseverance, talent, and the ability to captivate the world with one's craft.