Wimbledon: The Real Roger Federer’s Records Are His 200 Passports

Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic could not afford to take 6 months off without any consequences. Roger Federer is the most universally loved hero for the finest fairy tale.

Roger Federer (zimbio.com)

WIMBLEDON – Since the Olympics were born in ancient Greece, sports fans have always loved to celebrate their heroes. Thousands of years later, things haven’t changed. At Wimbledon – the most prestigious sports temple – tennis is celebrating its most beloved hero. On Sunday Roger Federer captured his 8th Wimbledon title in a magnificent fairy tale.

Besides Federer, tennis can count on other popular champions, such as Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, but none of them seem to unanimously enjoy the same respect as Roger when it comes to their rivals’ biggest fans. Sometimes I wonder if Roger could be granted an honorary passport in the 196 countries that populate our planet. Everywhere he plays or whoever he faces across the net, most of the crowd’s support is always for him, which is something that doesn’t happen in other sports. Perhaps the Ferrari brand might enjoy similar support around the world, but a single athlete with such unanimous support is truly unique.

Roger’s extraordinary and miraculous 2017 season isn’t anything that could have been predicted. After a six-month hiatus from the game, he started the year seeded No. 17 at the Australian Open in January. For the first time in 15 years, he wasn’t included in the top 16 seeds.

After winning in Melbourne, Indian Wells and Miami, Roger took another ten-week break skipping the entire clay-court season. Rafa Nadal admitted that he couldn’t afford to take such long breaks from the sport and come back as if nothing happened.

Roger won 5 out of 7 tournaments in 2017, and the losses to Donskoy in Dubai and Haas in Stuttgart materialized after he squandered a match point. He captured two Slams, two Masters 1000 and the grass-court event in Halle for the ninth time. He really couldn’t have played any better.

Roger’s Wimbledon title materialized without dropping a set, 41 years after Bjorn Borg managed to accomplish the same feat.

“Creating history here at Wimbledon means a lot to me. Wimbledon has always been my favorite tournament, all my heroes triumphed on these lawns. I became a better player thanks to them,” Roger said in his post-match press conference.

This year’s tournament provided us with only one great men’s match (Muller-Nadal) and one and a half women’s match (Muguruza-Kerber and the first set of Muguruza-Venus). The tournament exposed the currently shaky psychological and physical conditions of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, and showed the poor form of Juan Martin Del Potro, who is a shadow of the player that we admired at last year’s Olympics and Davis Cup. The Argentinian’s two handed-backhand is still non-existent.

Except for the two finalists and the young Ostapenko, no other female player is worth mentioning. Women’s tennis is certainly missing Serena Williams, even if Muguruza could become one of the leading players in the future. Garbine is only 23 years-old and has already won two Slams, if she plays until 36 years of age like Federer, she will have plenty of time to break a few interesting records.

Roger won his Wimbledon titles at 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 30 and 35 years of age. In my opinion, Muguruza (1993), Kvitova (1990) and Ostapenko (1997) are the players with more chances to enhance the record books of our sport.

Federer will be the big favorite at the next US Open with a realistic chance at Grand Slam title No. 20 and a shot at the No. 1 ranking. He is currently No. 3 in the ATP rankings and No. 2 in the Race to London, trailing Rafael Nadal by only 550 points. The two legendary rivals have captured the first three majors of the year, which was unthinkable in 2016 when Novak Djokovic dominated the first semester and Andy Murray ruled the second.

Marin Cilic was very unlucky during Sunday’s final: a terrible blister under his left foot deeply affected his performance. The Croatian could have been a dangerous opponent for Roger, after the Swiss overcame the challenge presented in the semifinal by Tomas Berdych. The Czech was the only opponent to push Roger to two tie-breaks throughout the tournament.

Federer never seemed to play under pressure and always looked calm and serene during the entire fortnight. Roger rightly attributed his calmness and composure to his wife Mirka, who masterfully manages his travels, family, parents, two coaches and physio. The entire crew stayed in two mega-apartments at Wimbledon for the whole two weeks.

(Article translation provided by T&L Global – Translation & Language Solutions – www.t-lglobal.com)

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