Roger Federer is a record-holding tennis player and considered one of the greatest in history. With 17 Grand Slam singles titles and a total of 302 weeks spent at the top of the world rankings, Roger has gained a huge fan base that he holds to this day.
Born in the 1980s, Roger grew up in Switzerland where he was considered one of the country’s best players in junior tennis at only eleven-years-old. In 1998, Roger went pro. In 2003, Roger took him his first big victory at Wimbledon and he earned the title of the first Swiss male to win a Grand Slam singles title. In 2004 to 2008, Roger ranked in the number one spot across the world, and he took that place again throughout parts of 2008, 2010, and 2012.
Roger went on to set a record with 17 Grand Slam singles championships. Growing up in Basel, Switzerland, Roger’s South African mother, Lynette Du Rand, and Swiss father, Robert Federer, had first met on a business trip while working for a pharmaceutical company. Roger had begun expressing his interests in sports from a young age, and it wasn’t long before he took on soccer and tennis when he was eight. Just three years after he begun, eleven-year-old Roger was among the Top 3 of Switzerland’s junior tennis players. By the following year, Roger made the decision to quit all other sports and focus solely on tennis.
Roger has revealed during interviews that he felt he had more natural ability to play tennis over any other sport. By the age of fourteen, Roger was practicing daily and competing in two or three tournaments each month. With six hours of practice each week and many more spent conditioning, Roger was able to perfect his techniques, and his work would soon pay off.
Roger said his idols were Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg at the time, and he often did his best to imitate them while playing and practicing. At age fourteen, Roger earned the title of the national junior champion in all of Switzerland. Around that same time, he was picked to train at the Swiss National Tennis Center in Ecublens. By 1996, Roger had joined the International Tennis Federation’s junior tennis circuit. By age sixteen, Roger had already gotten his first sponsorship.
In 1998, Roger won the junior Wimbledon title along with the Orange Bowl before making the decision to go pro. That year he was selected as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion. In 1998, Roger won both the Wimbledon boys’ singles and doubles titles before going professional that same year. In 2001, Roger caused a sensation at Wimbledon when he knocked out Pete Sampras in the fourth round. A couple years later in 2003, Roger experienced even more success when he became the first ever Swiss man to win a Grand Slam title.
In 2004, Roger earned the world ranking of number two, and that same year, he won the U.S. Open, Australian Open, the ATP Masters, and held on to his Wimbledon singles title. In the beginning of 2005, he ranked number one, and that same year he earned the Wimbledon singles title for the third time, and the U.S. Open.
From 2004 to 2008, Roger remained in the number one spot. In 2006 and 2007, Roger took home the title of singles champion at the Australian Open, U.S. Open, and Wimbledon. Roger was gaining much attention as his success continued year after year, and he was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
It was during 2008 that Roger beat Scottish competitor Andy Murray while playing at the U.S. Open (at the same time he celebrated his fifth win there). But, that year proved to be troublesome for Roger when he experienced two losses to Rafael Nadal at both Wimbledon and the French Open. He also lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2008 Australian Open. For the first time in four years, he slipped down to number two.
While Roger began experiencing some losses during the 2000s, he is still considered one of the best players today. Holding multiple titles, championships, and records, Roger has maintained his huge base of fans and continues to wow each and every year.
Roger has used his exposure and athleticism to help others as well, and in 2003 he established the Roger Federer Foundation which gives grants to help communities establish education and sports projects for children in developing countries.