Roger Federer is already considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time. From June 2003 to January 2010, in roughly 6.5 years era of Federer mayhem, he plundered a whopping 16 Grand Slam tiles, became only the second singles men’s player in the Open Era to win a career Grand Slam and also spent a record 237 consecutive weeks as No. 1.
He could have stepped down at the end of this period. After all, he has two more singles Grand Slams than his nearest rival Pete Sampras, who retired ages ago.
But he has chosen to hang around in an extremely lean period by his standards. Zero Grand Slams in two years, a world No. 3 ranking and a mere spectator in the emerging Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal rivalry.
The Australian Open final was probably one of the greatest of all time. In fact the other great match was the semi-final five-setter of Djokovic and Andy Murray who is seeded fourth and gaining in on Federer.
Contrast this with Bjorn Borg, who also had a similar career burst from 1974 to 1981, where he won six French Opens and five Wimbledon titles. When he lost in the Wimbledon and US Open finals in 1981, he immediately called it a day.
He was just 25 when he did that!
To put that in perspective, that’s Nadal’s current age. Federer is 30.
In Image: Roger Federer breaks down after his Australian Open defeat