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Sports
Written by Jeff   
Friday, 12 February 2010 00:28
I know, I know, it's been over a week since Roger Federer won the 2010 Australian Open. Sorry for the tardiness, I've just had a lot going on. So without further ado, here's another piece about the man, the myth, the legend...the great...Roger Federer.

Roger Federer won his fourth Australian Open title (and 16th overall Grand Slam title, extending his own record) by defeating Andy Murray (6-3, 6-4, 7-6). While I'm a huge Federer fan, there was still a small part of me that would have liked to have seen Murray pull off the upset. Not only would it have been Murray's first Grand Slam title, but it would have also snapped an amazing streak of 74 years since the last British man to win a Grand Slam (1936 for those without an abacus). Murray is already making great strides though. At only 22, he has already become the first British man in the Open era (which began in 1968) to reach two Grand Slam finals. I hope Murray eventually wins one. I'm sure he will (especially if Rafael Nadal continues to get injured and Federer retires).

It was just last year at the Australian Open, when Federer broke down crying during the trophy presentation, after losing an epic 5-set match against Nadal. That's one of the reasons I really like Federer, because he's not afraid to show his emotions. A lot of people think Federer is conceded and smug, but the fact that he showed that much emotion in front of his bitter rival and everybody watching, showed me how passionate he is and how much he really cares.

This year though, it was Murray that was choking back tears. This made me like Murray even more, and I'll continue to root for him in the future. It also led to a good line by Murray, when he said, “I can cry like Roger. It’s just a shame I can’t play like him.” This reminded me of a similar, but more comical quote by Robin Soderling at last year's French Open. After Federer won, during Soderling's runner-up speech, he told Federer, "My coach and I were joking before the match. You know you've beat me 9 times in a row. But nobody beats me 10 times in a row."

Federer is just unbelievable. I hope he can stay in this form for a while longer. It's an honor to witness arguably the best tennis player of all-time (not arguably if you ask me). There's no doubt, that when healthy, Nadal has Federer's number. And although he's Federer's nemesis, I like Nadal. I hope he gets healthy and stays that way. We'll just have to wait and see. But as far as all-time greatness is concerned, I think Federer is the best tennis player to ever walk this planet. He is just incredible. I know -- even though he is still winning right now -- that he is past his prime. I hope I can see at least a few more years of his legendary play though.

Finally, I'd like to take a moment to bombard you with a list of some of Federer's records & accomplishments. I fully expect none of you to read all of this, but I enjoyed looking it up anyway. Just take a look at some of this stuff, it's mind-boggling.

  • Federer has won 16 Grand Slam titles, extending his own record. The previous all-time male record was 14, held by Pete Sampras (Federer won 16 majors in a span of 27 majors, while Sampras won 14 in 45 majors).
  • Federer has won 6 Wimbledons, 5 US Opens, 4 Australian Opens and 1 French Open.
  • Federer is currently setting an all-time record, by reaching the finals in 18 out of the last 19 Grand Slam tournaments (2005 Wimbledon - present, excluding the 2008 Australian Open).
  • Federer has reached an all-time male record 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals (2004 Wimbledon - present). Breaking the previous male record of 10 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals (shared by Ivan Lendl and Rod Laver).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win at least five consecutive titles at two different Grand Slam tournaments (2003–07 Wimbledon, 2004–08 US Open).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win the same two Grand Slam tournaments back to back for four consecutive years (2004–07 Wimbledon and US Open).
  • By winning the 2010 Australian Open, Federer became the only male tennis player to win three different Grand Slam tournaments at least four times each.
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win at least two Grand Slam titles for four consecutive years and five years overall (2004–07, 2009).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win three Grand Slam tournaments in a calendar year three different times in his career (2004, 2006, 2007).
  • Federer is the sixth man to win all four Grand Slam titles during his career. And only the third man to win all four in the open era (on three different surfaces; hard, clay, and grass).
  • Federer's 16 Grand Slams in 8 years (2003-10) is an all-time male record (Sampras won 14 Grand Slams in the span of 13 years).
  • Federer is only the third man to win at least one Grand Slam per year for eight consecutive years (2003-10).
  • As of the 2010 Australian Open, Federer has appeared in an all-time male record 22 Grand Slam finals (the former record was 19, by Lendl).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach the final of all four Grand Slam tournaments in back to back calendar years and three time overall (2006–07, 2009).
  • Federer reached an all-time male record ten consecutive Grand Slam finals (2005 Wimbledon - 2007 US Open). Breaking the previous male record of seven set by Jack Crawford in the 1930's. The previous open era record was four (shared by Laver & Andre Agassi). At the 2008 French Open, Federer began another streak of eight consecutive Grand Slam finals (2008 French Open - current).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach at least three Grand Slam finals for four consecutive calendar years and five overall (2004, 2006-09).
  • Federer is the only man in history to reach seven consecutive Wimbledon finals (2003–09).
  • Federer is the only male player to reach at least six consecutive finals at two different Grand Slam tournaments (2003–09 Wimbledon, 2004–09 US Open).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach at least four consecutive finals at three different Grand Slam tournaments (2006–09 French Open, 2003–09 Wimbledon, 2004–09 US Open).
  • Federer is the only male player to reach the final of all four Grand Slam singles tournament at least four times.
  • Federer is the first male player to appear in the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open finals in a calendar year for four consecutive years (2006–09).
  • Federer is the first male player to appear in back to back Wimbledon and US Open finals in a calendar year for six consecutive years (2004-09).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach at least five consecutive semifinals at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
  • Federer's 40 consecutive match wins at the US Open (2004–09) are an open era male record.
  • Federer is the only player to win 40 consecutive matches at two different Grand Slams (2003-08 Wimbledon and 2004-09 US Open). He is also the only player to win 19 consecutive matches at three different Grand Slams (2006-08 Australian Open).
  • Federer has either won or lost to the eventual champion in a record 23 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments (2004 Wimbledon - current).
  • Federer holds the record (male or female) for being the #1 ranked player in the World at 237 consecutive weeks. The previous male record of 160 consecutive weeks was held by Jimmy Connors; and the all-time female record is 186 consecutive weeks, held by Steffi Graf.
  • Federer is the first player to finish the year as a top two player in the world for seven consecutive years (2003-09).
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