Not long ago, Roger Federer he was the veteran endurance leader in tennis. Its validity was indisputable. The Swiss continued to teach on the ATP Tour. But time does not forgive. “Your Majesty”, already four decades old, has been away from the sport for a year and recently took place her disappearance from the ATP rankings, which reigned so many times in the past.
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In the latest ATP rankings update, Federer’s name does not appear for the first time since September 1997, when he began his career at number 803 in singles and 1,137 in doubles. In other words, it took nearly 25 years, exactly 9,058 days, for the Swiss legend to disappear from the world tennis rankings.
Of course, it must be taken into account that on December 7, 1998, Roger also recorded 0 points in singles for a week, although with his position 606 in doubles he was able to maintain his presence in the ranking. After this period, “Your Majesty’s” rapid rise was inevitable: it reached the top 100 the following year, the top 50 in mid-2000, and the top 10 in May 2002.
In fact, it was only a matter of time before he reached the pinnacle of the sport, setting a record 310 weeks as world number 1, a figure only surpassed by Novak Djokovic. (373). Of course, no tennis player has been able to stay as many consecutive weeks at the top of the rankings as Federer (237).
Now his final exit from the rankings has taken place, after missing an entire year in competitions due to a serious knee injury. The Swiss, due to the fact that he is still recovering, was unable to play the recent edition of Wimbledon and lost the 360 points he still had for reaching the quarter-finals of said Grand Slam in 2021. Precisely, it was the last time that competed and never again delighted the world with his talent, until now.
time is fleeting
The years go by faster than we often think. When Federer started to rise through the ranks in September 1997, he was only 16 years old. Certainly quite young, but at this age he was already making an important place on the circuit thanks to the undeniable quality of his racquet. And, little by little, he became the legend he is today with 20 majors to his credit.
During this premiere of ‘His Majesty’ in the ATP rankings, almost 25 years ago – when Wikipedia did not even exist to record all his achievements -, many of today’s so-called “Next Gen” were yet to be bornlike Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov, Frances Tiafoe.
Just then, the big Michael Jordan He always shone in the NBA. In fact, who could be considered Federer’s basketball counterpart, “Air Jordan”, already had five rings in his hand and was preparing for the sixth and final of his career with the Chicago Bulls.
In other sports and, continuing exclusively with Roger’s counterparts, Tom Brady He was not yet making his NFL debut: he was in his early years of football with the University of Michigan. For its part, Michael Schumacher he only had two Formula 1 championships out of the seven he managed to win in his career. And, precisely in the world of football, real Madrid he could only boast of having won six of the 14 champions who currently shine on his record.
With this, it became clear that when Federer just lifted the curtain on his presence in the ATP rankings, many sporting feats had to be performed, not only by him, but also by the figures who are equivalent to him in other sports and also his (Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic).
What’s next for Federer?
At this point, no one doubts that the end of Roger Federer’s career is quite close. However, there is still a little time to enjoy its last “sparks”. And it is that the Swiss tennis player, beyond the fact that he has been absent from the courts for an entire year and that his name has already disappeared from the world rankings, plans to return to the circuit as soon as possible.
Recently, ‘Her Majesty’ was present at the 100th anniversary celebration of Wimbledon’s center court, the All England Club, where he became an eight-time champion. All the public present and the stars of this sport who attended the event received and applauded him like a true hero. And it is that Roger’s greatest feats have been written on this British grass, in which he was unable to compete in 2022 for the first time in 23 years.
There, in his garden, the Swiss took the opportunity to express his desire to play at least once more at Wimbledon. “I had the chance to play here several times. It gets a little awkward to come back in a different role. This track has given me the biggest wins and losses of my career. I hope to play here one more time. Maybe I didn’t think it would take this long to come back, but my knee hurt.”said.
For now, Federer plans to return to action in the Cup of the tank, an exhibition tournament which will be played at the O2 in London from 23 to 25 September. “His Majesty” will once again form a formidable duo with Rafael Nadal, as confirmed by the organization of the event.
Now, to start from scratch in the rankings, the Swiss will reappear in his hometown, contesting the Basel ATP 500, from October 24 to 30, where he has already been crowned champion 10 times. He will go hunting for his eleventh title.
It should be noted that Federer turns 41 on August 8 and his intention is to continue competing as much as possible, but always with his health as a priority. This is already the last stage of his career and he himself recognizes it.
“Tennis is part of my life, but not my whole identity. I want to succeed and stay, put all my energy into business, even if sometimes I give a lot more than I should, but that can also be done in outside of sport. I know a professional career can’t last forever and that’s fine, I accept that.”he noted recently in an interview with the Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad.
2023 is likely to be Roger’s last season and therefore he hopes to say goodbye in a big way in the upcoming tournaments he faces. He has nothing else to prove, but the Swiss does not want to retire with an injury, but rather with a smile that sums up how happy he has been all these years on the circuit.