John McEnroe has said Roger Federer might be “the best ever (tennis) player.” That is high praise, considering it came from a man who won singles championships at Wimbledon himself three times, not to mention his many other titles. Tennis professional Lleyton Hewitt has said Federer “has taken tennis to another level.” Regardless whether or not he is the best of all time, few would dispute he is the most dominant player of his era.
This year Roger Federer will attempt to win his fourth straight men’s singles championship at Wimbledon, which begins tournament play June 26. In 2004 Federer won $6,357,547 and 11 championships. He became the first man since Mats Wilander in 1988 to win three Grand Slam (Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open) tournaments in a season. He won all but the French Open. The next year was a good year too, and he started out 2006 by winning the Australian Open, beating unseeded Marcos Baghdadis. Roger Federer has not lost a match at the world’s biggest tennis tournament at Wimbledon since a first round exit in 2002.
He is the first man in the open era to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open back to back in consecutive years and has been rated the number one player in the world for 125 consecutive weeks, since February 2004, the third highest number of weeks at number one in history. Only Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl have had longer streaks. In the Open Era only two other players have won Wimbledon three straight times: Bjorn Borg (1976-1980) and Pete Sampras 1993-1995; 1997-2000.
Roger Federer was born August 8, 1981 in Basel Switzerland to Robert and Lynette Federer. Lynette is a manager of the Roger Federer Foundation. Roger has an older sister, Diana, who is a nurse and lives near Basel. Roger speaks English, French, and French fluently and conducts press conferences in all three languages.
Roger Federer spends time when he is not playing tennis playing card games, table tennis, and other sports. He lives in Oberwil Switzerland. He is dating former WTA tennis player Miroslava Vavrinec, also a Swiss citizen. She retired from tennis in 2002 after a foot injury. He met Oberwil at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Roger Federer co-established the Roger Federer Foundation in December 2003, to provide funding projects to help underprivileged children in South Africa. He also encouraged the efforts of tennis players in January 2005 to help people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. He promised to play in as many tournaments as possible that were to raise funds for the victims of the natural disaster. He also auctioned his autographed tennis rackets to give to UNICEF for the project.
Federer is also a businessman, as he launched a fragrance and cosmetic line called RF Cosmetics in October 2002.
He is also a goodwill ambassador to UNICEF and was appointed April 3, 2006.
Roger Federer’s tennis career started when he was only eight. He won the Wimbledon Junior Title in 1998 and the prestigious Orange Bowl.
Federer started his professional ATP career the same year in July. He finished the year, however, as the ITF Junior World Tennis Champion. In 1999 he played for the Swiss Davis Cup Team, and he finished the year as the youngest player (at 18) rated in the top 100 of the professional ATP rankings.
In 2001 Roger Federer won his first professional ATP tournament at Milan, Italy. The rising star also won three matches for his team, as the Swiss beat the Americans 3-2 in Davis Cup play.
In February 2002 Federer won both of his Davis Cup matches. Both were against men formerly rated number one in the world: Russians Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. He did exit Wimbledon, the French Open, and U.S. Open early, however. His long-time coach, Australian Peter Carter, was killed in a car accident.
Some might say the next year launched his career as he won tournaments in Dubai and Marseille, followed by his triumph at Wimbledon. He lost only one set during the entire tournament. Federer won four Davis Cup matches, to lead the Swiss to the semifinals.
Some believe that Roger Federer had the best year in the modern era in men’s tennis, in 2004, as he beat Marat Safin in straight sets to win the Australian Open, defended his title at Wimbledon, beating Andy Roddick, and won his first U.S. Open, defeating Lleyton Hewitt. He ended the year by winning the Tennis Master’s Cup at Houston, for the second year in a row, finishing the year with a 74-6 record, with 11 titles.
He was recognized in early 2005 as the Lauereus World Sportsman of the Year, beating Lance Armstrong and other notable sports greats.
He won so much despite not having a coach, as he relied on fitness trainer Pierre Paganini, physiotherapist Pavel Kovac, and a management team composed of a few friends, his girlfriend, and his parents.
Many former tennis greats, including Rod Laver, John McEnroe, and Boris Becker, have said they expect Federer to become one of the all time great tennis players. Some might argue he already has.