Roger Federer, 35, is making his come-back to an official competition during this Australian Open. Exactly 10 years ago, an untouchable Federer dominated the 2007 Australian Open, winning the tournament without losing a single set - a unique feat among his 17 major titles. Therefore, as any fan of the Swiss, you know that 10 years - almost exactly - go by very quickly when…
…two of the three players which were playing along him in the 2007 Australian Open semi-finals, Fernando Gonzalez and Andy Roddick, have all retired for a while now. While Roger, on his side, is still looking to win his 18th Grand Slam tournament.
…the global reference in terms of powerful forehands wasn’t Argentinian, but Chilean : Fernando « mano de piedra » Gonzalez. « Gonzo », by the way, was at the peak of his career, having knocked out Hewitt, Blake, Nadal and Haas on his road to his only Grand Slam final.
…Novak Djokovic had only won three ATP tournaments.
…and Andy Murray only one.
…Richard Gasquet was just behind the Serb and the Scott at the ATP ranking (Novak 15th, Andy 16th, Richard 17th).
…Federer and Djokovic met for the very first time in a Grand Slam tournament during this 2007 Australian Open. 14 other matches have since been played between the two - a record in major tournaments.
…the world of tennis was only just discovering life without Andre Agassi.
…Amélie Mauresmo was defending her title of the best player of the year, which she had won in 2006.
…Rafael Nadal didn’t enjoy Melbourne and New York’s hard courts.
…and was having trouble getting rid of his reputation of being a « clay specialist. »
…Tomas Berdych was « Rafa »’s nemesis, leading 3-1 in their confrontations. After that, Nadal won the next 17 matches played between them, or eight years of invincibility.
…Marcos Baghdatis arrived in Melbourne having played the final the year before, and being quite the sensation of the following months.
…Ana Ivanovic and Nicole Vaidisova were labeled as the future of women’s tennis.
…and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was meant to break every record on the long term.
…as for the ATP, the future stars of world tennis were named Bernard Tomic and Donald Young.
…among the French, Jonathan Eysseric was considered the huge hope.
…Italy had no players featuring among the Top 40. But Italians didn’t really care : the country had just lifted the football world cup.
…Jarkko Nieminen was putting Finnish tennis on the map.
…Federer before Safin : Peter Lundgren was considered the world’s best coach.
…Robin Söderling was a terror among indoor tournaments, but was incapable of performing without a roof above his head.
…the American Brian Wilson surfed out of the qualification round to reach his only table in a Grand Slam tournament. Beach boy.
…Fabrice Santoro and his delicate strokes were still pretty solidly attached to the Top 50
…Martina Hingis was still world number 6. In the singles.
…Roger hadn’t yet become a father.
…however, he averaged three Grand Slam tournaments, the Masters, approximately twelve titles and a win ratio of 90% every year. For four consecutive years. Easy.
…Serena Williams was the world number 81 before the start of the tournament…but still managed to win in the end. By defeating Maria Sharapova. Things can’t change that much.