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2 accolades Roger Federer would want to add to his CV before calling it quits

ANALYST
Feature
266   //    06 May 2019, 15:57 IST

2009 French Open Champion: Roger Federer
2009 French Open Champion: Roger Federer

When you think of Roger Federer and his style of tennis, one word that instantly strikes your mind is serenity. The way he approaches his game is like a celebration of tennis in itself, and he has mesmerized us throughout his career with an unparalleled display of elegance and tranquility.

Federer’s journey from being a temperamental, spoiled brat on the court to a person with a calm, ice-cool demeanor in both victory and defeat is an incredible story in itself, a classic example of embracing maturity.

If Rafael Nadal’s play displays passion and Novak Djokovic’s attitude is the epitome of mental toughness, Federer is a source of inspiration for all those who are undergoing mid-life crises. His continued success after turning 30 is a reflection of his undiminished love for the game which has acted like a catalyst in inducing a sense of self-belief within him.

With 20 Grand Slams and 101 career titles already in his bag full of riches, is there anything left for the Swiss maestro to achieve? Are there are any accolades he would like to have to his name before calling it quits? 

He would certainly be fancying going past Jimmy Connors' mark of 109 titles to hold the record of most titles won in the history of men’s tennis. But there are two other significant things that Federer would dearly like to achieve before he bids adieu to the game.

Here's a look at those two things:

#2 Beating Rafael Nadal at the French Open

Roger Federer suffered a demoralizing defeat at the hands of Rafael Nadal in the 2008 French Open final
Roger Federer suffered a demoralizing defeat at the hands of Rafael Nadal in the 2008 French Open final

For Federer, playing Nadal at Roland Garros has always been a painful experience. He has failed to get past the rampant Spaniard on all the five occasions when these two rivals have met on the Parisian clay.

Whenever Federer dared to dream of winning the French Open - in 2005 at the semi-final stage and in the finals of the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011 editions - the ‘King of Clay’ has always stood in his way, firm, resilient and unconquerable.

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With each passing year, Nadal’s grip on the French Open and over Federer kept strengthening, until finally the Swiss hit rock bottom at the 2008 French Open. Federer he was served a bagel in the final set of that match by the Spaniard, who completely broke Federer down mentally.

The consequences of this result were evident for a long time on the Federer's approach whenever these two met subsequently. Following the disastrous loss at Roland Garros 2008, Federer lost to Nadal again in the Wimbledon 2008 final and the Australian Open 2009 final.

Federer’s inability to beat his biggest rival at the French Open so far remains one of the biggest deficiencies in his illustrious career. But with Federer all set to return to clay this year and poised to play at the French Open, this might be Federer’s last chance to emerge victorious over Nadal at Roland Garros.

Nadal has been showing signs of vulnerability this season on his beloved red dirt. So it would be intriguing to witness another Nadal-Federer spectacle at the upcoming French Open, to see if Federer has developed any answers after all these years to the Spaniard's seemingly invincible game.

#1 Winning an Olympics singles gold medal

Federer won the Olympics gold medal in men’s doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics alongside Stan Wawrinka. However, he has been considerably less fortunate in singles; he lost to Tomas Berdych at the 2004 edition and James Blake in 2008, before facing an ignominious defeat at the hands of local boy Andy Murray in the final of the 2012 London Olympics.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics scheduled to begin on 24 July 2020, there has been a lot of speculation about whether Federer, who will turn 38 this year, can hang around for a little longer to make one final attempt at winning gold.

With his wins at Dubai and Miami this year, Federer is certainly not showing any signs of slowing down. There is no lack of passion or hunger, nor any hints of injury as of now, so the Swiss maestro very much appears to be on course to participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer.

By then he would be almost 39, and it would be a remarkable story if he does indeed manage to win the last accolade missing from his CV. It would add yet another 'golden' chapter in his already ever-so-glorious tennis journey.

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