Top 10 highlights of Roger Federer's 2019 season
- Federer had a lot of reasons to celebrate in 2019.
In his 22nd season on the ATP tour since turning professional in 1998, Roger Federer may have disappointed his fans a tad with a third consecutive semifinal loss at the ATP Finals to a semifinal debutant at the tournament.
Going into his last-four match at the 2019 ATP Finals against Stefanos Tsitsipas, Federer had momentum and an extra day of rest. He had beaten his nemesis Novak Djokovic in the round-robin stage for his first victory over the Serb in four years and six matches.
But in a near-repeat of Federer and Tsitsipas' first meeting - in the fourth round of the Australian Open - Federer stood to rue a litany of missed break point opportunities. He went 1/11 on break points in the match and lost serve thrice, ending a third straight season at the semifinal stage of the ATP Finals.
As the dust settles and Federer gets to analyse the match in detail, the Swiss maestro would realise that he did not play a terrible match by any stretch of the imagination. Of course he would have liked to have been more clinical on the numerous break point opportunities, particular the two 0-40 look-ins in both sets which he couldn't convert, and he would have also wished for a higher first serve percentage. But overall it was just one of those days when you have to tip your hat to the opponent and say "You were the better player on the day. All the best for the next match."
If Federer looks back at his season in general, it was hardly one to forget. Let us review the highlights of Federer's 2019 season.
#1 100th title: Dubai (beat Stefanos Tsitsipas)
Continuing his quest for his 100th title at a third different tournament (2018 Paris Masters, 2018 ATP Finals), Federer lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open to Stefanos Tsitsipas. But the wait ended at the next tournament.
Federer lifted his 8th title in Dubai, beating Tsitsipas in the final, to become the only player after Jimmy Connors (109) to win 100 singles titles.
#2 Second player ever to register 1200 singles match wins: Miami quarterfinals (beat Kevin Anderson)
Federer beat Kevin Anderson 6-0 6-4 in the Miami quarterfinals to become the first player after Jimmy Connors (1274) to register 1200 singles match wins.
The Swiss maestro would go on to win his fourth title at the tournament, where he beat defending champion John Isner in the final.
#3 Oldest player to win a Masters 1000 title: 2019 Miami (beat John Isner)
Following a loss in a three-set Indian Wells final for the second consecutive year, Federer dethroned defending champion John Isner in the Miami final to lift his 28th Masters 1000 title. It was Federer's first Masters title since 2017 Shanghai.
In the process, Federer extended his record (first achieved at Indian Wells 2017) of becoming the oldest player to win a Masters 1000 title.
#4 Oldest Roland Garros semifinalist in 50 years (lost to Rafael Nadal)
Opting to play on clay for the first time since 2016, Federer made consecutive quarterfinals in Madrid and Rome before arriving at Roland Garros for the first time since a quarterfinal exit to eventual winner Stan Wawrinka in 2015.
Federer exceeded his own modest expectations by reeling off consecutive straight set wins over Lorenzo Sonego, Oscar Otte, Casper Ruud and Leonardo Mayer, before taking out the 2015 champion in a four-set quarterfinal. In the process, Federer became the oldest player to reach the last-four at Roland Garros since Pancho Gonzalez in 1968.
In his 8th semifinal at Roland Garros and first since 2012, Federer went down in straight sets on a blustery evening in Paris, to eventual winner Rafael Nadal.
#5 First player to win 10 titles at a grasscourt tournament (Halle)
After falling short in his quest to become the first player to win 10 titles at a grasscourt tournament when he lost to Borna Coric in the 2018 final, Federer was ruthless in the 2019 title match against David Goffin. He beat the diminutive Belgian in straight sets to become the first 10-time champion at Halle.
It marked Federer's first double-digit haul at a tournament and made him the only active player other than Nadal (12 at Roland Garros, 11 each at Monte Carlo and Barcelona) to do so.
#6 First player to win 100 matches at Wimbledon
Making his 21st consecutive appearance at Wimbledon, his most at any tournament, Federer recovered from the loss of the first set in the quarterfinals to beat Kei Nishikori in four sets.
In the process, Federer became the first player to register 100 wins at Wimbledon, or for that matter at any tournament, as the Swiss maestro reached his 13th semifinal at SW19.
#7 Oldest Grand Slam finalist: Wimbledon (lost to Novak Djokovic)
Federer became the oldest Grand Slam finalist in the Open Era after he beat his nemesis Nadal in a four-set semifinal.
In his record-extending 12th Wimbledon final, Federer recovered from a set down on two occasions and arrived at two championship points on serve at 8-7 in the deciding set. One swing of the racquet would have made him the oldest Grand Slam champion in the Open Era.
But in a cruel twist to the tale, Federer blinked in the most inopportune moment. Djokovic went on to beat the Swiss maestro in a first-ever deciding set tiebreak at Wimbledon.
#8 First player to register 50 wins in a season on 15 occasions
Federer became the first player to register 50-plus wins in 15 different seasons, after eating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Basel semifinals. In the process, Federer broke a tie with American Jimmy Connors, who accomplished the feat on 14 occasions.
Among active players, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have done so on 12 and 11 occasions respectively.
#9 First player to win 10 titles on hardcourt, and 10 titles on 2 different surfaces
Federer became the first player to win 10 titles on two different surfaces when he beat Australian Alex De Minaur in the Basel final to win his 10th title at his hometown tournament.
In the process, Federer also became the first player to win 10 titles at a hardcourt tournament, having earlier become the first player to do so at a grasscourt tournament (Halle).
#10 Record-extending 17th appearance at the season-ending ATP Finals
Making his record-extending 17th appearance at the ATP Finals, Federer recovered from an opening loss to Dominic Thiem courtesy straight set wins over Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic to reach a record-extending 16th semifinal at the season-ending tournament.
Federer's 76 matches, 59 wins, 10 finals and 6 titles are also unrivaled by any player to have played the ATP Finals.