There’s this saying in French that applies very well to this post: à tout seigneur, tout honneur. I wanted to talk about those veterans that, in view of first-round losses, were pushed to retirement by fans and some media alike, but the one veteran that captured everyone’s attention, today, is Roger Federer. Not talking about what he achieved today would really make no sense, as he has yet again set another mark in the history of tennis.
For Roger’s 6-3 6-2 6-7(6) 6-3 second-round victory over Romanian Adrian Ungur at the French Open was his career 234th in Grand Slam tournaments, thus passing Jimmy Connors’s 233 to set a new Open Era mark.
In fact, with this record, Federer holds most of the Grand Slams’ most prestigious records:
- 16 Grand Slam titles
- 31 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-finals (or better) and counting
- 23 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals
- Most wins in each of the four Grand Slams (51 and counting)
- Only male player in history to win two different Grand Slams five consecutive times (Wimbledon, U.S. Open)
- First man in Open Era to win his first seven Grand Slam finals
- Only male player in history to win two back-to-back Grand Slams four consecutive years (Wimbledon, U.S. Open)
Etc. The list really goes on but those are among the most important of his Grand Slam achievements. Furthermore, he’s only one Grand Slam semi-final away from tying Connors’s record of 31 overall.
I know there is this endless debate on whether or not Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all times. I think he is. His long list of credentials and records is there to prove it. Some may argue that there was “no significant competition” when he was in his prime. I disagree. Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, and Marat Safin, to name only those three, were at their prime when Federer reached his.
He is just so gifted that he set the bar very high and it took a very intent warrior, Rafael Nadal, to try and raise the bar even higher which, with his proverbial hard work, he did. Novak Djokovic put himself to it as well and this makes us live in the golden age of men’s tennis we are in at the moment.
The nice part of all these achievements? Federer is only 30 years old and can still achieve more things, even though the competition is fiercer than ever. Like a phoenix, he is really good at rising again from his own ashes every time he is buried or sent to his retirement.
Congratulations on this new, impressive, mark, Roger! And to many more!