Roger Federer has a record that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic cannot beat. 369 victories in the main draw of the men’s Grand Slam tournaments: nobody like the Swiss Maestro. Another milestone in the career of the Swiss legend who announced on Thursday 15 September his retirement from a tennis that has scored perhaps more than anyone else in this new millennium.
January 2000. In the first round of the Australian Open, a young Roger Federer, who has been on the professional circuit for less than two years, achieves a round first-round success 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 with Michael Chang. Two days later he will also get the better of Jan Kroslak, before falling with Arnauld Clement.
But it is the first game that he counts. Because it is the first victory of the Swiss phenomenon in a Grand Slam tournament. Another 368 will arrive. The last one with Lorenzo Sonego, in July 2021, in the round of 16 at Wimbledon.
A record, one of many, one of the most impressive, in a career that will nevertheless remain unattainable. Until that day in January, Roger had only warmed his legs before embarking on an unprecedented journey, and difficult to match.
In 1998 he only plays in Toulouse and at home in Basel. The following year, after the misstep in qualifying in Australia, the debut came in the first round of Roland Garros, where the then world number 3 Pat Rafter won three sets to one.
At Wimbleon Kiri Novak has to sweat 5 sets with what will become the biggest winner ever on the grass of London, while in the United States the qualifiers will still be fatal. 369 W therefore in Roger Federer’s Grand Slam curriculum.
Behind Nole Djokovic can count 334, Rafa Nadal 313. Returning to the previous generation, we find the 224 of Andre Agassi and the 203 of Pete Sampras. A long, infinite love between Roger and the top four world tournaments. The only player to play more than 400 races (429 to be exact), for him at least one final in a Grand Slam tournament for 15 years, 10 of which consecutively. The Basel phenomenon is the only one to have won three of these tournaments at least 5 times.