By Guest Writer Mukund Krishnakumar
Roger Federer, often considered the GOAT in tennis, recently became the world’s oldest tennis no.1 when he captured the Rotterdam Open in February. Turning 37 in August, keeping up his level of play while being that old seems impossible, but it’s not. Federer scaled down the number of tournaments he played in 2017 to just 12, proving to be vital for the season. He catapulted 16 places up the rankings and lost just 5 times. He strategically planned and paced out his tournaments and chose not to attend the ones that weren’t as valuable or useful.
Making his recent success even more remarkable is the fact that he was out for more than 6 months in 2016 after a torn left meniscus kept him out. At that point, it was clear to almost everyone that his career was over. But no! He kept working and pushing and fought back to first win the Australian Open, then Wimbledon, and a plethora of other tournaments to secure back the number one ranking in early 2018.
Strategy wasn’t the only factor in keeping him going. His work ethic and ability to stay motivated energized him and gave him a cause to play better and better, improving all the time. Additionally, he focused on activities in training that actually related to tennis, as he cut down on extraneous training time. As he said, it’s better to do quality, focused practices rather than long, grueling ones. That being said, he also commented that young players are fine to have extended practices because it helps their mentality and stamina.
- Total Years as #1: 5.88 (~5 years, 10½ months)
- 97 ATP Singles Titles
- 20 Grand Slams (most of any male player)
- 8 Wimbledon titles
- Most time as tennis number one
Still the Champion!