Re-living Federer's milestone matches after Swiss maestro beats Peter Gojowczyk in his 1500th career match
Roger Federer added another feather to his cap as he became the second player ever to play 1500 competitive matches on the ATP tour. Federer celebrated the momentous occasion by thumping Peter Gojowczk of Germany 6-2 6-1 in the opening round at Basel 2019.
The only player to have played more competitive matches on tour than the Swiss maestro is American Jimmy Connors (1556 matches; 1274-282).
During the course of his illustrious career spanning 22 years, Federer has played in eight different tournament levels (Grand Slam, World Tour Finals, Masters 1000, ATP 500, ATP 250, Olympics, Davis Cup and Laver Cup), and is one of the very few active players to have played on each of the four surfaces in tennis: hard, grass, clay and carpet.
Federer's 102 career singles titles from 156 finals are dwarfed only by Connors (109 singles titles from 163 finals). Federer's 20 Grand Slam titles, 6 ATP Finals titles, 23 ATP 500 titles, and 25 ATP 250 titles are the most by any player in the respective tournament categories.
The Swiss maestro's 1232 singles match win tally is 42 wins shy of Connors' all-time record of 1274.
On that note, here is a look back at all of Federer's milestone matches:
Match #1, Gstaad 1998 1st round: Lost to Lukas Arnold Ker
On 7th July 1998, a 17-year-old Federer, ranked 702 in the world, made his debut on the professional tour in Gstaad. Two days after his triumph in the Wimbledon junior singles, Federer skipped the customary Champions dinner in London, flew to Basel and drove to Gstaad, where he was offered a wildcard for his first ever professional match.
Federer was supposed to take on Tommy Haas, but an injury to the German meant that it was Argentinian lucky loser Lukas Arnold Ker who faced the teenage prodigy.
There was to be no debut match win for the Swiss maestro as he fell in straight sets 4-6 4-6. But he offered ample glimpse of the talent which would conquer many a tennis peak in the years to come.
Match #100, Stockholm 2000 round of 32: Beat Mikhail Youzhny
Federer faced Mikhail Youzhny on his Stockholm debut in 2000. It was the Swiss maestro's 100th professional singles match on tour.
Federer celebrated the occasion with a come-from-behind 5-7 6-4 6-3 win, which was his 51st on tour (51-49).
Federer would go on to meet the Russian 16 more times on tour, and triumph on every single occasion.
Match #200, Miami 2002 final: Lost to Andre Agassi
Federer beat Lleyton Hewitt to reach his first Masters 1000 title match (8th overall), against Andre Agassi.
In his third match with the American legend (1998 Basel first round, 2000 US Open fourth round), Federer made a slow start by dropping the first two sets 3-6 3-6. But the Swiss, determined to put up a sterner fight, took the third 6-3 and looked good to stretch the match the distance when he led 4-2 in the fourth.
Agassi then reeled off four games on the trot, as Federer was denied for the 6th time in his 8th tournament final.
Match #300, Halle 2003 round of 16: Beat Fernando Vicente
In his 300th professional singles match, Federer faced Spaniard Fernando Vicente in the 2003 Halle second round.
Federer dropped the first set 4-6 but took the next two 6-2 6-1 to improve to 198-102 in his singles career. The Swiss maestro celebrated his 200th match win en route his first Halle title.
Two weeks later Federer lifted his maiden Grand Slam title on the grasscourts of Wimbledon.
Match #400, Gstaad 2004 semifinal: Beat Potito Starace
Federer faced Italian Potito Starace in the semifinals of 2004 Gstaad. It was the Swiss maestro's 400th singles match on tour - one where he triumphed 6-3 3-6 6-3.
Federer would go on to beat Russia's Igor Andreev in the final to win a title on home soil for the very first time, in his 13th attempt (7 in Gstaad, 6 in Halle).
Match #500, US Open 2005 final: Beat Andre Agassi
In his 500th professional singles match, then five-time Grand Slam champion Federer faced Andre Agassi in the title match of the 2005 US Open.
Federer made a characteristically brisk start by taking the opening set 6-3, but Agassi squared the match at a set apiece by conceding just two games in the second set. The American looked good at 4-2 30-0 on serve in the third, but that would be as good as he got on the day, as Federer recouped the break and took a 2 sets to 1 lead via a tiebreak.
Federer breezed through the fourth for the loss of a solitary game, as the Swiss maestro celebrated his sixth Grand Slam title in as many finals. In the process, Federer became the first player in the Open Era to win consecutive Wimbledon and US Open titles in back-to-back years.
It was Federer's record-23rd consecutive win in a tour final, to improve to 32-8 in title matches.