On this day two decades ago, Roger Federer entered the top-10 for the first time. After a notable junior career, Roger cracked the top-400 at 17 in 1998. With reliable results on the Satellite Tour, Roger finished the season just outside the top-300, with plenty more to come in 1999.
The Swiss grabbed 13 ATP wins and a Challenger title in Brest to become the force to be reckoned with on the Tour. Roger found the way to enter the top-30 in 2000 after 36 triumphs on the main level and two ATP finals, boosting his confidence and feeling ready to make that final push and hit the top-10 charts sometime in 2001.
Federer claimed 49 victories that season and found himself in the top-15 in June before missing all the action between Gstaad and the US Open due to a groin injury. Thus, Roger missed a chance to earn more points following the Wimbledon quarter-final and book a place among the world’s elite ten players.
Roger Federer secured a place in the top-10 on May 20, 2002.
Nonetheless, Federer was closing the gap in the first half of 2002, losing the Miami final to Andre Agassi and conquering the first Masters 1000 title in Hamburg.
The Swiss earned 500 ATP points and made a top-10 debut on May 20, still at 20. After early exits in Monte Carlo and Rome, the Swiss played on a high level in Hamburg, ousting Gustavo Kuerten in the quarter-final and toppling his good friend Max Mirnyi to secure a place in the title clash against Marat Safin.
Roger grabbed a 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 victory in just over two hours. He added 500 points to his tally and found himself in the elite group for the first time after spending almost a year between positions 11 and 15. As we all know, the rest is pretty much history, with the Swiss clinching numerous ranking records and spending mind-blowing 968 weeks in the top-10 so far!
After winning the Vienna title in October 2001, Federer was back inside the top-10, and he would stay there for 14 straight years before dropping out following a knee injury in 2016. Twelve weeks later, Roger was among the best players again, and he had notable runs in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to remain in the top-3 alongside Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The Swiss experienced a massive knee injury early in 2020 and underwent three surgeries. Roger played a couple of tournaments in 2021, and he finally left the top-10 in October. Turning 41 in August, Roger is still eager to make one last push and extend his career, hoping to return to the court in a couple of months.