Roger Federer still searching for elusive title

“During an era of specialists, you are either a clay-court specialist, a grass-court specialist, a hard-court specialist or… you are Roger Federer.” As said by Jimmy Connors, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, about the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer nicknamed “the GOAT” owns almost every record in the books but in the twilight of his career, Federer is still missing one title.

Still searching for that elusive title

Federer who announced his arrival when he beat 7-times Wimbledon champion in a five set thriller at Wimbledon in 2001, will be extremely motivated this season to fill the only gap in his brilliant resume. The question remains if the 34-year old -and father of four- Nike athlete still can manage one last “JUST DO IT”. It will be a huge task against a younger and fast improving new generation. Not to mention the usuals suspects like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka. Federer’s superior technique still allows him to compete at the highest level against his opponents, but his last major title was a Davis cup victory in 2014.

Federer, a true gentleman and winner of +10 STEFAN EDBERG SPORTMANSHIP awards, is considered the ultimate ambassador of the sport of tennis. But since winning the 2012 Wimbledon championships -after a two year hiatus- against Andy Murray, Federer is on another hiatus again. Last year he showed all his mesmerizing talents by reaching the final of Wimbledon 2015 and the U.S open 2015 but the tireless Novak Djokovic proved to strong in two brilliant 4-set matches. Federer although is still very hungry; “I am still motivated and these matches help me to improve my motivation.” said the seventeen-time grand slam winner (a record) after losing to Djokovic in London.

Australian open 2016

Prior to the first grand slam of the season -the Australian open next monday in Melbourne- it has to be clear that Federer’s main goal will be the olympic tennis tournament. Only one man seems to be in his way… Novak Djokovic. The man from Serbia who never seems to get tired has one big advantage and that’s age. But Federer is still trying to improve, still trying new tactics like the SABR (SNEAK ATTACK BY ROGER) and after missing out in the finals in 2012 against a very resilient Andy Murray, Federer’s agenda seems to be focussed on Rio de Janeiro for one last try. The olympic tennis tournament will be played on hardcourt and therefore Federer plays many tournaments on hardcourt this year.

Fast forward to his first big test of this year; the Australian open 2016. Having reached the semifinals or better for more than 10 consecutive years at Melbourne park, Federer lost before the semifinals when Andreas Seppi stunned him in the first week of the Australian open in 2015. Federer started this season with a final in Brisbane against Raonic (which he lost in 2 sets) but seems ready for another run in Melbourne. His next four tournaments after finishing the Australian open, including the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam, are all on hardcourt. After Rotterdam and a few other hardcourt tournaments there is a “short trip” to Paris and London before his final preparation will take place for that elusive title.

records Roger Federer
– 17 grand slam titles
– 27 grand slam finals
– 6 ATP world tour titles
– reached all grand slam finals in one season – 06/07/09
– only player to reach 10 grand slam finals – Wimbledon
– record of weeks at number 1 in the ATP rankings
– 287 weeks in a row at number 1 in the ATP rankings

(read more on the website of the Australian open: Interview with Roger Federer at the Australian open 2016)

Author: Vincent Bons // Photography: Getty Images Sport

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