More than 97 millions dollars earned on the circuit, 17 Grand Slam Titles, 302 matches won in major tournaments, and just as many weeks spent at the top of the ATP ranking…etc. The King Roger Federer holds so many records that we wonder sometimes if he still has a few challenges to take up. We had to think, sometimes dig a little deep, but there remains a few…
1/ Number of titles : 21 titles away from Connors
It’ tennis’ Himalaya. An impregnable fortress. To catch up with Jimmy Connors’ 109 titles, bearing in mind he’s the only player to have crossed the 100 barrier in the Open era, players will probably have to gang up. Roger Federer is, with 88 trophies, 21 titles away from succeeding alone. Let’s do the math : if he decides to carry on playing next season, he has a good opportunity of catching up with Ivan Lendl, second with 94 trophies. Supposing his efficiency will not get for the better, and knowing that he spent four and half years winning his last 21 titles, another six seasons or more would be required to win the next 21. Which would bring us to…2021, the year in which he will turn 40.
2/ Number of matches won : 187 wins away from Connors
Luckily, it isn’t the number of matches won during a career which determines one’s place in the history books. If that was the case, it would be a little strange as David Ferrer would be above Björn Borg. But Roger Federer will probably like the fact that his personal record in that matter will soon surpass Ivan Lendl’s. It will probably occur in the midst of March, as he is only 4 wins away to catch up with the Czech, who ended his career with 1071 matches won. In front of them, in the first spot, we find Jimmy Connors, who won his 1254th and last match in Halle, at 42 years of age. To equal that record, Federer would need 187 victories, which is the pretty much the equivalent of his 2015 season, multiplied by three (he won 63 matches during that season).
3/ Number of matches played : 225 matches away from… Connors
Same old song regarding the number of matches played during his career. Federer will soon become Connors’ heir apparent, the American appearing to be an untouchable leader. After having surpassed Edberg (1071 matches played during his career), McEnroe (1073), Agassi (1144), and Vilas (1215), Federer (1307 for now), is still missing three steps to overtake Ivan Lendl (1310), but another 225 (more or less three complete seasons on the circuit) to catch up with Connors.
4/ Number of years in a row present in the Top 10 : hold on until 2019
From 1973 to 1989, Jimmy Connors has always finished the year in the Top 10, for 17 seasons in a row. If we consider that he was already among the best players in the world in 1972, a year before the creation of the ATP ranking, we should even count 18 ! Which leaves Federer pretty far from this record, the Swiss actually counting 14 seasons in a row among the Top 10. Will he still be in the top 10 in 2019, when the Kyrgios, Zverev, Coric or Fritz will all be aged between 20 and 25 years-old ?
5/ Best victories/defeats ratio over a single season : pray for a series of miracles
If Novak Djokovic is abducted by aliens, if Rafael Nadal keeps on getting beaten by almost everyone on the circuit, if Andy Murray remains the eternal number 2, if the young generation eternally settles with the leftovers, and if Federer, by some miracle, finds the karma of his 24-25 years old period, then yes, the Swiss might have a slight chance of holding the record of the best victories/defeats ratio over a single season. With 95,29 % of wins in 2005, his best year, he was almost within reach of Connors’ 95,87% in 1974, and even McEnroe’s 96,47% in 1984. To beat the two Americans, Novak Djokovic seems to be the favorite, as he has a 100% ratio since January 1st 2016…
6/ Number of entries in a same Grand Slam tournament
It would be anecdotal, especially for a monster like Federer, but still enjoyable. If the Swiss has just took part, in January, in his 65th Grand Slam tournament in a row (something unseen before), he might not catch up with Jimmy Connors’ 22 entries at the US Open. For now, Federer counts 17 in Paris and London, 16 in Melbourne and New-York. The question remains the same : How long does Federer wishes to carry on playing ?
7/ Number of finals in a row : tied with Djokovic !
Djokovic’s series is still ongoing : the world number one has reached the final of the last 17 tournaments he took part in, therefore equaling Federer (who’s had a 17 finals in a row series between Halle 2005 and Toronto 2006). The Swiss isn’t the single holder of this crazy record anymore. He might even be overtaken by his rival at the end of February, if Djokovic manages to reach the final of the Dubai tournament.
8/ The perfect set, without losing a point. Why not, one day ?
Here is a curious « record », as even players from lower-categories can hold it. If it must be Federer’s dream to win every point, the only two players who have managed « the golden set » are not really dream material…they are Bill Scanlon (in 1983 at Delray Beach against Marcos Hocevar) and Julian Reister (in 2013 against Tim Pütz, during the qualifying rounds of the US Open).
9/ Series of consecutive wins : Federer isn’t on the podium
King of the major tournaments with 17 titles and more than 300 matches won, Roger Federer has, as you all know, never managed to win the four Grand Slam titles in a single season. Always blocked by Nadal in Roland-Garros during his best years, he let Don Budge hold the record for the number of consecutive wins in Grand Slam tournaments (37 between 1937 and 1938), a record now only Novak Djokovic seems able to chase. Regarding the series of consecutive wins overall, Federer was stopped at 41 in 2007, one step from Novak Djokovic (2011, and John McEnroe (1984), three from Ivan Lendl (1982) and five from the current record holder Guillermo Villas (who won 46 matches in a row in 1977).
There is also a whole series of « trash » records, which are not held by legends of the game, but which contribute to write the history of tennis. Roger Federer hasn’t hit a 260 km/h serve like Sam Groth (263), hasn’t scored as many aces as John Isner during a single match (113) and was’t as quick as Jarkko Nieminen to win a match (27 minutes against Bernard Tomic in Miami, 2014), etc…But frankly, we’re not sure it prevents him from sleeping !