Roger Federer’s retirement: look back at five highlights of a tennis legend

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Romain Rouillard
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7:06 p.m., September 15, 2022

It’s a page that turns in the world of the little yellow ball. A true planetary icon, the Swiss Roger Federer announced his retirement from sport on Thursday in a press release published on social networks. The 41-year-old tennis player, winner of 103 trophies including 20 Grand Slams, already has his place in the pantheon of legends of this sport. Thanks in particular to a myriad of highlights that have forged his extraordinary career. Europe 1 looks back on five of the greatest moments of his career.

2001: a transfer of power with Pete Sampras

Back 21 years ago when Roger Federer set foot for only the third time on a turf that has seen him so triumphant. In the round of 16 Wimbledon, Roger Federer, 19 years old but already 15th player in the world, faces Pete Sampras, seven times winner in the British capital. After more than 3h40 of a fierce duel, the Swiss knocked down the master of the place in five sets (7-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5) and climbed for the first time in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.

A success in the form of a transfer of power between the two men since the American will retire a year later and Federer will perpetuate his legacy on the prestigious London lawn.

2003: his first Grand Slam title… at Wimbledon

Two years later, the student has definitely surpassed the master. Seeded number 4, Roger Federer appeared among the favorites for the final victory at Wimbledon 2003. After a fortnight flown over from start to finish, during which he conceded only one set, the Switzerland clinch their first-ever Grand Slam title by defeating surprise Australian Mark Philippoussis in the final.

The first of a very long series. Two decades later, Roger Federer became the record holder for the number of titles won at Wimbledon, with eight trophies, one more than a certain… Pete Sampras.

2009: at Roland-Garros, Federer takes the crown

This 2009 edition of Roland-Garros will remain as one of the most atypical of the last 20 years. Big favorite after four consecutive victories on Parisian clay, Rafael Nadal fell in the round of 16 against the modest Swede Robin Soderling. The Scandinavian managed a dream course until the final where Roger Federer stands more determined than ever to win the only Grand Slam that is missing from his list.

In less than two hours spent on the Philippe-Chatrier court, the Swiss leaves little room for suspense and dispatches his opponent in three sets (6-1, 7-6, 6-4) and wins at 27 his 14th Grand Slam title.

2014: Switzerland on top of the world

To perfect his legend, Roger Federer is looking for a title with his selection. Switzerland has never won the Davis Cup, this team competition which brings together the best players from each country. In the final against France, in front of more than 27,000 spectators at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, the Hélvète played a decisive match against Richard Gasquet as Switzerland lead 2-1.

Facing the tricolor, Roger Federer is on a mission and will not leave any chance to Arnaud Clément’s troops. A dry victory 6-4/6-2/6-2 which offers Switzerland a first bowl of money.

2017: Federer alongside Nadal in doubles

Roger Federer’s career is also a healthy but very real rivalry with Rafael Nadal. Their confrontations have often given rise to moments of anthology in the history of tennis. The confrontation of the two behemoths of the discipline was regularly awaited with a firm footing, especially in the Grand Slam tournaments.

But in 2017, the Swiss and the Spaniard lined up together in doubles at the Laver Cup, an exhibition tournament, created on the initiative of Federer. On this day of September 2017, in Prague, for the first edition of this new competition, the duo won the final but the result remains anecdotal. The image of these two legends, arm in arm, victorious together, will remain etched in the great history of tennis.



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