Can Federer break Jimmy Connors' all-time title record in 2020?
Roger Federer is widely regarded by tennis fans, pundits, and former and current players, as the greatest tennis player in the history of the sport. Despite having so many of the most meaningful records in men's tennis, there is still a big one that alludes him.
That is of course, the record for most ATP titles won, which is held by American legend Jimmy Connors. Connors's record of 109 titles has never been equalled and never looked as though it would be. To put in perspective of how amazing this record is, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi both "only" managed to win 64 and 60 titles respectively in their illustrious careers, so Connors's 109 titles almost beggars belief.
Federer currently stands on the brink of this record going into 2020. With 103 titles to his name, the Swiss legend is just 6 titles away from equalling the record and 7 titles away from breaking it.
Can the Swiss achieve this in 2020? Theoretically, of course he can break it in 2020, but it will require the maestro to play incredibly well all through the season. His best chances for titles this year are at Halle, Dubai, and Basel, as they are smaller tournaments.
This, however would only put the Swiss on 106 titles, should he win them all. Federer has said himself in the past that he wouldn't enter smaller tournaments just to break the record and if that is true, he will have to also pick up titles in the Masters series and maybe even at the Grand Slams.
Federer was unthinkably close to winning Wimbledon in 2019 and showed that it still requires a peak Novak Djokovic to defeat him on the grass. The grass of SW19 will still be his greatest chance on the Grand Slam stage to add to his tally of 103 titles won.
With the continued trivalry of the Big 3 and the rise of the NextGen it is going to take a herculean effort for Federer to break Connors's record in 2020. However, Federer is very much the Hercules of tennis and therefore, there is every chance he could do it.
If not, then the Swiss will have ample opportunity to break the record in 2021, provided that he has not retired by then. Federer has not stated this will be his last season and whilst he continues to compete for the largest prizes in the sport, there is no reason for him to retire.
Therefore, while it is too early to say whether he will break Connors's record in 2020, it will be exciting to see him try and achieve one of the ultimate records of tennis.