Roger Federer retires: Ranking his 5 most memorable matches
Roger Federer is done and dusted with his professional tennis career. Having enthralled the fans for over two decades, it is worth looking at his five most memorable matches.
Swiss tennis great Roger Federer has drawn curtains to his glorious tennis career, which has spanned over a couple of decades. On Friday, he played his final match during the 2022 Laver Cup alongside Rafael Nadal of Spain in a doubles match. After the contest, he bid an emotional farewell to the sport, applauded by thousands of fans at the O2 Arena in London.
As the tennis fraternity acknowledges his legendary career and contributions to the sport, it makes sense to look back at his celebrated career. Here, we present his five most memorable matches to date.
Wimbledon 2009 final [5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14]
By this time, Federer was nearly accustomed to winning this tournament, as he won his sixth Wimbledon title in 2009 and was dubbed the ‘King of Grass’. While he was under pressure after losing in 2008 to Nadal, up against Andy Roddick of the United States of America (USA), it was not an easy task.
Yet, Federer kept his composure, and it got heated up in the final set when he struggled to win a break point. It became the longest men’s Grand Slam final, with 77 games, as eventually, he notched it up somehow after four hours and 16 minutes. The Swiss outlasted the power hitter with 50 aces, 107 winners and 38 unforced errors.
French Open 2011 semis [7-6(5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5)]
In 2011, Federer rode along and went on to face Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Roland Garros semis, while the latter was coming off a 43-match winning streak, including three against the Swiss. While Federer managed to force a tie-break in the opening set and win it, he breezed past in the second.
While Djokovic was not someone to back down from a fight, he did well to bounce back in the third. Unfortunately, the Swiss nailed it with his aces to push the Serbian onto the backfoot. He got to the final to bag his only FO title and eventually completed his career Slam.
London Olympic 2012 semis [3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17]
Federer was lucky to compete in the Olympics in 2012 at the All England Club, where he was habituated to winning Wimbledon. However, during the tournament’s semis, he had to scramble against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina. After losing the opening set, the Swiss dug deep to take the second into the tie-breaker by playing net points and serving big.
As the contest entered the final set, both exchanged strong rallies to keep the games going. It took four hours and 26 minutes for Federer to end it in his favour, thanks to three unforced errors from del Potro, while it became the longest three-setter contest in the Open Era.
ATP Finals 2014 semis [4-6, 7-5, 7-6(6)]
Federer was a favourite to win this. However, it was never easy as he faced off against his fellow Swiss-man Stan Wawrinka. While the latter took the opening set, thanks to the one break point he attained, the former dug deep again to unearth something special to get past his counterpart.
After winning the second set similarly to Wawrinka, the final set saw the latter take a 5-3 lead. Nevertheless, Federer saved three match points to bounce back and enforce a tie-breaker. However, it turned out to be a cake-walk for Federer in the tie-break, as he won five of his six serves to close it out quickly.
Australian Open 2017 final [6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3]
While it seemed that the 2012 Wimbledon title could have been his last, Federer proved all wrong in 2017 and displayed that he still has some gas in his tank. He reached the final of the 2017 AO and was up against his fierce rival Nadal.
It was a set all after both guys broke each other once, indicating that it would be a long tie. While Federer blew away Nadal in the third with dual breaks, Nadal bounced back in the fourth again. However, the Swiss maintained his composure and crafted a break in the final set that was enough to send the Melbourne crowd frenzy on his 18th Slam title.