Fed's all about the record book
By Scott Riley Oct 30, 2006, 20:47 GMT
(L-R) Chile\'s Fernando Gonzalez, Switzerland\'s Roger Federer, and tournament director Roger Brennwald, pose after the final match at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel, Switzerland, Sunday 29 October 2006. Federer won the tournament. EPA/GEORGIOS KEFALAS
Philadelphia, PA - In case you haven't already noticed, the sublime Swiss that is Roger Federer is turning into a walking tennis record book.
When Federer titled at the Madrid Masters two weeks ago, he locked up his 10th championship of the year. And In the process, he became the first player in the Open Era to capture at least 10 titles in three straight seasons. In his case, the steady Swiss has won 11 titles in each of the last three years.
Also while in Madrid, Federer became the first player in 24 years to win at least 80 matches in back-to-back campaigns. Ivan Lendl last turned that impressive trick in 1981 & '82. And the Basel native has been the No. 1 player in the world for the last 144 weeks (since the first week of February 2004).
And since 2004, Federer's 33-5 in 38 finals in 48 tournaments. He titled again last week by securing his first-ever crown in his hometown of Basel, giving him his 11th title this year and the 44th of his sparkling career. Federer straight-setted Chilean strongman Fernando Gonzalez (now 0-9 lifetime against the athletic Swiss) in both the Madrid and Basel finales.
Federer's also riding yet another one of his long winning streaks, with his most recent one currently standing at 24 matches, marking his fifth streak of at least 23 wins. At one point last year he won a personal-best 35 consecutive bouts.
He's also won his last four tournaments and seven of his last eight events.
I'd say he's relatively hot.
The supreme Swiss has won eight of the 12 Grand Slam events since '04 and has won nine majors overall since nailing down his first Wimbledon title in 2003.
The reigning four-time Wimby and three-time U.S. Open champ is an eye-popping 242-15 since 2004, including a 47-6 record against top-10 opposition. These numbers, in case you haven't noticed, are insane!
By the way, five of Fed's six losses versus top-10 competition over the last three years have come against the Spanish sensation that is Rafael Nadal.
This year, the 'Fed' is 87-5 and has reached the final in 15 of his 16 events, including an 11-4 mark in the title matches.
Again, amazing (or was it insane?)!
By the way, all four of his finals setbacks this season have come against the world No. 2 Nadal, who topped Roger in the French Open finale, but lost to the serious Swiss in the Wimbledon title tilt.
The 25-year-old Federer will finish at No. 1 for a third straight year, a feat which also was accomplished by Pete Sampras, Lendl, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. And if you want to compare Roger to Pete -- when Sampras was finishing No. 1 for three straight years, he won six Grand Slam titles and lost 44 matches, while Federer tallied eight majors and dropped a mere 15 matches (with one tourney remaining on his '06 schedule).
Quite frankly, no one has enjoyed a three-year No. 1 stretch quite like Federer. Lendl would be the closest, with five Slams and only 20 losses, but that would leave the Czech native with three fewer majors and five more match L's.
How 'bout if we compare Federer to my favorite player when I was much younger, the legendary Bjorn Borg. The steely Swede (who reached 16 finals in 27 Grand Slam events, winning 11) did not finish as a year-end No. 1 more than two years in a row, but his best three-year stretch did result in six Grand Slams and a mere 18 losses (from 1978-80). And Borg decided against making the trip to the Australian Open after 1974. So he basically only ever played in three majors per year.
Still, advantage Federer.
The elegant Swiss also just eclipsed the $27-million mark in terms of career earnings...just on-court earnings. He's gaining on Andre Agassi, who retired last month after piling up just over $31 million in prize money. Sampras holds the all-time record with over $43 million in on-court dough.
And these are only some of the feats that Federer has accomplished thus far.
You can't say that Federer's the best player of all-time just yet, but when he holds all the records...you won't have a choice.
© 2006 The Sports Network