Roger Federer has been the most successful male tennis player of the Open Era. The Swiss great whose game has been described as poetry in motion leads the ATP weeks at world number 1. He is also on top of the singles Grand Slam winners list. Both these records appeared to be unreachable some time ago. But are they safe anymore? We analyse in this article.
The Grand Slam Challenge; Nadal Marches Nearer
It was in Wimbledon 2009 that Federer took over as the winner of most singles majors. He raced ahead of 14 slams record set by the great Pete Sampras. At that time Rafael Nadal was the distant second among the active players with 6 slams. Few people fathomed that someone could pass Federer in near future when the maestro raised his count to 17 major trophies.
In the last decade much has changed. Federer’s greatest rival Nadal accumulated 13 slams and is now hunting at 19. Another great Novak Djokovic has won 16 slams since 2011.
He is also in a comfortable position to surpass Federer with current form and fitness. The Swiss on his part looks to have exhausted his chances of adding more slams to his tally.
Federer has now undergone a knee surgery and will miss the French Open. He will be back on the grass of Wimbledon, where he missed the trophy after having championship points last year.
This year his chances would certainly be lesser after the surgery comeback at the age of above 38. By that time Nadal would have equalled his record if normal order stays in Paris. The Swiss could thus find his slam record surpassed even before he retires from the game.
Djokovic Looking to Surpass the Weeks at World Number 1
It is not just the Grand Slam count that remains in danger. There is another threat looming large on Federer’s hegemony of tennis records. The 20 time Grand Slam winner was the first male player ever to cross the 300 singles weeks at world number 1. He took his total to an astonishing 310 weeks. This looked far beyond the reach of any active player. But the scenario has changed a lot now.
Novak Djokovic, the current world number one and six years Federer’s junior has already completed 280 weeks at the top of ATP singles rankings.
He has just 135 points to defend in the Sunshine Masters double. Djokovic also has less points to defend in the clay court season than the current world number two Rafa Nadal. If the Serb stays healthy and continues to perform well, he could remain world number one for most part of 2020 and thus chase down Federer’s record.
The Swiss who is now out of the tour for four months is certain to suffer a ranking down-slide. Already out of the top three, Federer now loses 1600 points he collected from Indian Wells and Miami in 2019. The clay season absence means another 1080 points lost. This would take Federer out of the top five. Another shot at world number 1 now remains a distant dream for the great Swiss.
Roger recently admitted that Rafa and Novak would surpass his Grand Slam record.
The Swiss also has a losing record against both his great rivals. Federer certainly took tennis to another level in his career. He has been regarded by most players and pundits as the GOAT. Once the two prestigious records are surpassed, the credentials of being the greatest tennis player will also certainly suffer. A complex thing to say about the player whose charisma at times transcends the game.