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6 Federer records that could stand the test of time

Roger Federer
Roger Federer
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Roger Federer is one of the most successful tennis players of all time. The holder of a record 20 Grand Slam titles, Federer has been the all-time title leader in Majors ever since downing Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final to win his 15th Grand Slam.

Although this record looks likely to be surpassed by one of Rafael Nadal (19 Slams) or Novak Djokovic (17 Slams) in the near future, the 38-year-old's 358 Grand Slam match wins remains likely to be unsurpassed for a while.

You may also like: 3 milestones Federer achieved at the 2020 Australian Open

Federer also holds the records for most finals (31), semifinals (46), and quarterfinals (57) in Grand Slams, while the Swiss maestro's 11 final defeats is a joint-record with Ivan Lendl.

The first player to appear in five finals and win 70 matches at each of the 4 Grand Slam tournaments, Federer is one of only two players in the Open Era to win over 1200 singles matches (1242 after the 2020 Australian Open) and 100 singles titles (103 to be exact) - the other being Jimmy Connors (1274 singles match wins, 109 singles titles).

Amidst a plethora of milestones set by the 38-year-old, let us take a look at 6 Federer records which look likely to stand the test of time.

#1 Only player to win his first 7 Grand Slam finals

Federer won his 7th consecutive Grand Slam final at the 2006 Australian Open
Federer won his 7th consecutive Grand Slam final at the 2006 Australian Open

Among 17 players in the Open Era to have played 7 or more Grand Slam singles finals, Federer is the only one to go undefeated in his first 7 - doing so from 2003 Wimbledon to 2006 Australian Open.

Bjorn Borg's defeat in the 1976 US Open final was the Swede's only reverse in his first 7 Grand Slam finals. 6 other players, including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, have won 5 of their first 7 Major finals.

At the other end of the spectrum, Lendl lost 6 of his first 7 Grand Slam finals, including his first 4.

#2 Win 40 consecutive matches at 2 Grand Slam tournaments

Federer is the only player to win 5 consecutive US Open titles
Federer is the only player to win 5 consecutive US Open titles

While William Lernad, Richard Sears and Bill Tilden each won a record 7 US Open titles, the trio's triumphs came at a time when Grand Slam tennis was open to amateur players only.

In the Open Era (1968 onwards), only 3 players have lifted the US Open title on 5 occasions - Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. But unlike his two American counterparts, Federer's 5 triumphs in New York came in successive years.

Only 2 other players - John McEnroe (1979-81) and Ivan Lendl (1985-87) - have won 3 consecutive US Open titles in the Open Era.

Federer's 40-match win streak at Flushing Meadows (2004 to 2009), a streak that he repeated at Wimbledon (2003 to 2008), is unheard of. Bjorn Borg had also won 40 consecutive matches at Wimbledon (1976-81), but the Swede never won a US Open title.

It is thus safe to surmise that Federer's 40-match win streaks at 2 different Grand Slam tournaments is unlikely to be surpassed by anyone in a long long time.

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#3 Wimbledon - US Open double in 4 consecutive years

Roger Federer emulated Bjorn Borg by winning a 5th consecutive Wimbledon title in 2008
Roger Federer emulated Bjorn Borg by winning a 5th consecutive Wimbledon title in 2008

A dominant Federer in the 2000s reeled off his 5th consecutive title at Wimbledon in 2007 to emulate Swede Bjorn Borg (1976-80) as the only players to complete the 5-peat at the grasscourt Major in the Open Era.

Although Federer almost surpassed Borg by arriving within 2 points of a sixth consecutive title in 2008, the elegant Swiss came unstuck against a tenacious left-hander in Rafael Nadal - just like Borg had, 27 summers ago against John McEnroe.

If Federer's 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles isn't impressive enough, the dominant World No. 1 at the peak of his powers also completed a 5-peat at the US Open.

Federer is the only player to win the Wimbledon - US Open double in 4 consecutive years (2004 to 2007). In the Open Era, no other player has accomplished the same in consecutive years.

Novak Djokovic (2011, 2015, 2018), Pete Sampras (1993, 1995), John McEnroe (1981, 1984), and Jimmy Connors (1974, 1982) are the only players, other than Federer, to have achieved the Wimbledon - US Open double on multiple occasions.

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#4 237 consecutive weeks at No. 1

Roger Federer
Roger Federer

By winning the 2004 Australian Open title, Federer ascended to the top of the ATP singles rankings for the first time in his career.

It was August 2008 when the Swiss was knocked off the perch, following a record 237 consecutive weeks at the top. To put the achievement in perspective, only 4 of the 25 other players to be ranked No. 1 have occupied the numero uno spot for a longer duration overall than Federer's mark of 237 consecutive weeks.

In the process, Federer streaked well clear of the erstwhile record of 159 weeks set by Jimmy Connors in the late 70s.

Among active players, Novak Djokovic's 122 weeks at No. 1 is the fourth longest consecutive stint atop the singles rankings in the all-time list. While Nadal is one of 9 players to be ranked No. 1 for 200 or more weeks, the Spaniard has never occupied the top spot for more than 56 consecutive weeks.

Although Federer's record of 310 weeks overall at No. 1 looks likely to be surpassed in the near future by Djokovic, the Swiss maestro's record of consecutive weeks atop the rankings looks safe for a long long time.

You may also like: Was Federer of the 2000s a more dominant player than Djokovic of the 2010s?

#5 24 consecutive wins in tournament finals

Federer beat Murray in the 2005 Bangkok final for his 24th consecutive win in a tournament final
Federer beat Murray in the 2005 Bangkok final for his 24th consecutive win in a tournament final

From 2003 Vienna to 2005 Bangkok, Federer reeled off a record 24 consecutive wins in tournament finals.

That streak looked good to get extended to 25 as the Swiss maestro took a two set lead in the title match of the 2005 year-end ATP Finals (then called the Tennis Masters Cup) against David Nalbandian.

The Argentinian won the next two sets and went ahead by a double break in the decider, but Federer served for the title at 6-5 - before Nalbandian broke back and won the ensuing tiebreak to end the Swiss' stunning final record.

A win against Nalbandian would have also allowed Federer to emulate John McEnroe's 82-3 win-loss record set in 1984 for the best win-loss mark in a ATP season.

Among active players, Nadal won 14 consecutive finals from 2005 Monte Carlo to 2006 Roland Garros while Djokovic has 10 consecutive final triumphs - from 2015 US Open to 2016 Rome.

#6 65 consecutive match wins on grass

Roger Federer
Roger Federer

With 19 titles and 187 match wins, no other player has won as many titles or matches on grass as Federer.

If that is already not impressive enough, Federer's streak of 65 consecutive wins on the surface (2003 to 2008) is the best on the surface by a country mile. Swede Bjorn Borg won 41 consecutive matches between 1976 to 1981 (all at Wimbledon), while the next best on the all-time list is John McEnroe's 23 between 1980 and 1982.

Among active players, Andy Murray won 19 consecutive grass-court matches between 2012 and 2014. And in terms of titles on the surface, the Scot's 8 titles are good enough for joint fourth-place in the all-time list, while his 107 grass-court match wins places him in 15th place in the all-time list.

The Swiss failed to land a record-extending 9th Wimbledon title and 20th grass-court title when he squandered consecutive match points on serve against Djokovic in the 2019 final. However, Federer's grass-court records remain likely to be beyond the reach of any player for a very long time.

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Edited by Musab Abid
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