Millions of hearts broke few days ago when Roger Federer lost the French Open 2010 Quarter Finals to Robin Soderling. Roger Federer is one of the most revolutionary players the tennis world has seen for a long time, since Pete Samparas. Born on 8th August, this 28 year old genius stole hearts with his quiet demeanour and powerful style on the tennis courts have awed and amazed millions across the globe. He has won 16 Grand Slam singles titles, more than any other male player. He is one of the most recent players to have won the career Grand Slam (winning all 4 grand slam events) since the beginning of an open era. Only 2 other players have achieved this feat – Rod Laver and Andre Agassi. Due to his many accomplishments and continued success in the field of tennis, Federer has been referred to “The Federer Express” or “Fed express”, “Swiss Maestro” or simply – Maestro.
Roger Federer was born in Switzerland, and holds both Swiss and South African citizenship. He was subjected to compulsory military service as per Swiss law, but was relieved from duty due to a back ache problem. His career graph started soaring long before 1998, when he won the Wimbledon juniors tournament (singles and doubles). His first notable victory in a Grand Slam event was defeating Pete Samparas, then the champion, to enter the Quarter finals. He entered the top 10 list after defeating Marat Safin at the 2002 Hamburg Masters. He won his first Grand Slam at the 2003 Wimbledon, thus entering a world where he would be known to create history. He was unstoppable after that, soaring new heights. While he established his dominance on grass courts and on hard court, clay courts eluded him until last year, when he won the French Open by defeating Robin Soderling.
Rapheal Nadal is considered to be his greatest competition. Nadal, a much younger and a promising player has been moving upwards with warp speed in his career graph ever since he entered the world of Grand Slams. Andy Roddick is yet another of his most famous rivals, although as it can be seen now, Robin Soderling is a close third as far as clay courts are concerned.
But what sets him apart from all of them is his style, his character – and his looks. Federer is known for his fluid style of playing, and his aces. His is considered to be one of the best volleys today, and his forehand shots are considered to be legendary. He often used a single handed back-hand shot to lure his opponents to the net. Once the fall into the trap, he shoots like lightning right behind them, hardly giving them any time to turn around and strike back. His moves are unpredictable and his ball placements are precise and impeccable. What sets him apart from other players is his determination and his unbeatable focus. Most players lose hope after losing 2 sets. But Federer fights till the very end. One of his most discerning styles is that he tires out his opponent within the first 2.5 sets, and then strikes back ferociously, not giving his opponent any time to recover. His endorsements are as amazing as his career itself – a lifelong contract with Nike, and other contracts with esteemed brands like Gillette, Mercedes Benz, and Rolex are few of the many bejewelled feathers in his hat.
Along with being a great player, Federer is also a great human being. His quiet devotion to his girlfriend, who became his wife, and is now mother of his twin-daughters and is also his PR manager is something that is commendable, especially when celebrities are known for their short marriages and wild lifestyles. He is very down to earth, and committed to social causes. He has contributed his valuable time and donations as well to various fund raisers, like Tsunami in India, the Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, etc. He has appeared in UNICEF to help raise AIDS awareness, and has also established the Roger Federer Foundation to help disadvantaged people and to promote sports.
Roger Federer is one of the best players in the world, not just because of his talent, but also because of his nature – down to earth, dedicated and focussed. We can learn a lot from Maestro, besides enjoying his thrilling matches.