Roger Federer has been in a lot of top matches throughout his career, and many of his most famous took place at Wimbledon, a Grand Slam he has won a record eight times. With the Championships taking place right now, let’s take a look at the Swiss maestro’s five best matches at the All England Club in London.
Federer vs. Pete Sampras, 2001 4th Round
In a passing of the torch, a 19-year-old Roger Federer outdueled the legendary Pete Sampras in the 4th round of the 2001 tournament. Federer was the young upstart, while Sampras was Wimbledon’s golden boy. Federer came through, stunning Sampras in a 5-set thriller, 7-6, 5-7 6-4, 6-7, 7-5. It would be the only time the two tennis greats would go head-to-head on the ATP tour. At the time, nobody could have guessed that Federer would be the one to break Sampras’ Wimbledon record.
Federer vs. Mark Philippoussis, 2003 Final
Federer won his first Wimbledon, and first Grand Slam, in 2003 by beating the big-serving Philippoussis, 7-6, 6-2, 7-6. It was a masterful victory for the 21-year-old Federer, who took a tight first set via a tiebreak, coasted in the second set, and withstood Philippoussis’s gallant third set stand. The 2003 final is certainly one of the most important wins of his career.
Federer vs. Rafael Nadal, 2008 Final
Federer-Nadal for the Wimbledon crown in 2008 is considered one of the greatest matches in the history of tennis. Nadal got a head start; winning the first two sets 6-4, 6-4. Federer made a huge comeback and won the next two sets 6-7, 6-7, saving championship points in both the 3rd and 4th sets. The fifth set was tightly contested, with Nadal ultimately outlasting Federer, 9-7, winning on his 4th championship point. Despite losing the match, it is still considered one of Federer’s best performances.
Federer vs. Andy Roddick, 2009 Final
After losing the previous final to rival Nadal, Federer reclaimed Wimbledon glory by beating Andy Roddick, 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14, in the 2009 final. The 30-game 5th set alone featured a match’s worth of great tennis. Like the Nadal match it was a true clash of titans, and saw Roddick play some of his best tennis. But Federer responded like the champion he is, ultimately breaking the American in the 30th game of the fifth set.
Federer vs. Andy Murray, 2012 Final
Federer won his record-tying 7th Wimbledon in 2012 by dispatching Andy Murray in 4 sets — 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. As in his finals matches against Nadal and Roddick, Federer lost the first set, but rallied thereafter, ultimately winning on a Murray forehand that landed wide on match point.
The Federer legend continues
These 5 matches are part of what has been an astonishing career at Wimbledon for Federer, and one that isn’t finished just yet. It is for this reason that Federer won a Give Me Sport poll for the greatest tennis player of all time, beating rivals Nadal and Novak Djokovic, as well as his idol, Sampras. The fact that the Swiss Maestro is regarded by many as the best is unsurprising given his dominance in the sport with 102 career titles, 20 Grand Slams, and 310 weeks as tennis’s top ranked player. bwin Tennis reports that Federer first topped the ATP rankings 15 years ago, and is one of only four players since to hold the spot (the others being Murray, Nadal, and Djokovic). Federer’s long reign at No. 1 underscores his sustained excellence, which unfortunately is nearing its twilight years.
Federer, who is turning 38 in August, could soon retire from the sport. At the moment, he is looking for a 9th Wimbledon title (and 21st Grand Slam overall), and given his form you wouldn’t put it past him to make more history. For tennis fans this could be the one of the last times that Wimbledon features the tennis star, and one of the last tournaments for Federer to create another memorable match at the All England Club.
(Credit Flip Board)