These days it's not unusual for witnesses to Roger Federer's game to reach for superlatives like "magician" and "genius" when describing his particular brand of on-court artistry, but a mere three years ago this tennis phenomenon was just another inconsistent, if immensely talented, player. All that began to change in 2002, however, with the death of his mentor Peter Carter in a car crash in South Africa and the arrival one week later of his 21st birthday. Together the two events served as a kind of wake-up call for Federer--that the train was leaving the station and if his destination was indeed tennis greatness, then he'd better get on board.by Billie Jean Kinghttp://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... n26910625/
Roger Federer is the best tennis player the world has seen in a long time ...... True.But he is far from the best ever.
Roger Federer is no Rod Laver, by any stretch of the imagination.ROD LAVER IS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME
Rod Laver was born in Langdale, Queensland in 1938. He is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. A short (172cm) left-handed player he is the only person to have won the Grand Slam of tennis (to win all major titles, Australian, French, US and Wimbledon, in the one year) twice, in 1962 and 1969. The Grand Slam title is a phenomenal achievement as it a sign of a complete tennis player that is able to adapt their game to the different surfaces in each of the Major tournaments. He dominated the tennis in the 1960’s winning Wimbledon four times, Australian Open three times and the French and US Open twice.Rod Laver Arena
He won his first tournament in as a US Junior Champion in 1956 and later an Australian Junior Champion in 1957. His first major title was the Australian Championships in 1960, where he defeated fellow Australian Neale Fraser in a five-set final. He then captured his first Wimbledon singles crown in 1961. In 1962, Laver turned pro and dominated the year taking out 21 titles that included the Grand Slam singles titles (all four majors in a calnder year).
In 1969, Laver achieved the Grand Slam again, and won 18 of the 32 singles tournaments he entered. In that year he also won his fourth Wimbledon title, the most at the time. He retired in 1972 and became the first person to win over $US1million in prize money. In commemoration of his achievements the main Australian Open tennis stadium, the Rod Laver Arena, was named after him in 2000.Some statistics of Rod Laver (http://www.atptennis.com)
Date of birth : August 9, 1938
Place of birth : Rockhampton, QLD, Australia
Career Prize Money : US$1,564,213
Singles Career record: 392 - 99
Singles Career titles: 39
Singles Ranking : 1 for 7 years straight
Singles Grand Slam Titles
Australian Open 1960, 1962, 1969
French Open 1962, 1969
Wimbledon 1961, 1962, 1968, 1969
U.S. Open 1962, 1969
Doubles Career record : 230 - 77
Doubles Career titles : 27
Doubles Highest ranking : 11
Roger Federer: as a kid he'd throw his racket and burst into tears when he'd miss a shot, but today its Roger Federer's opponents who just can't get no satisfaction. Tennis legend Billie Jean King gets the scoop on the man many are saying may just be the best the game has ever seen
FOR several years, Roger Federer has been acclaimed as the best player tennis has seen. Now he has the grand slam title haul to prove it.
The Swiss star early today claimed a record-breaking 15th grand slam title, overcoming Andy Roddick 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 16-14 after the longest fifth set in Wimbledon history.
As Pete Sampras watched from the stands with wife Bridgette and a cast of tennis greats including Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver, Federer surpassed the American's tally of 14 major titles, a mark many had once thought unbeatable.
But Sampras's countryman Roddick, at least, ensured Federer had to fight for the record.
For almost two sets Roddick played nearly impeccable tennis, claiming the first and then repeatedly pounding Federer with heavy serves that denied him a chance to get on top.
Federer retreated into his shell, waiting for the onslaught to abate. He almost had to wait too long. Down 6-2 in the second set tie-breaker, Federer produced a cross-court half-volley that few could manage. It provided the spark that won him six straight points and got him back on level terms.
The trouble with playing Federer is his opponent needs to play at a level well above his norm - not just for a set or two, but for three or more. And therein lay the problem that Roddick faced last night. Once his standard had slipped to the point where the occasional error was creeping in and not as many first serves were hitting the mark, Federer assumed control, taking the third set in a tie-breaker.
But Roddick wasn't finished, claiming an early break in the fourth and closing it out with an unreturnable serve.
The final set was an epic, reminiscent of the marathon fourth set Borg and John McEnroe fought in the 1981 Wimbledon final. Break points were a rarity, breaks of serve non-existent _ until the 30th game when a swathe of Roddick errors and mishits handed Federer victory and a sixth Wimbledon title.
Until another tennis player of Federer's ilk - or better - comes along, the Swiss star now holds court at the pinnacle of his sport.
Much like Jack Nicklaus, who is revered by golfers worldwide for his 18 major titles. Or Michael Schumacher, whose record of seven driver's championships it is hard to see broken. Or the seemingly indomitable seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, who this weekend returned to cycling's most gruelling stage after a three-year absence.
Now, Federer has truly joined the sporting greats.
No longer encumbered by the pressure of his quest to run Sampras down, Federer is now free to leave the American's old record in his wake, starting next month at the US Open, where he has been unbeaten for five years.Split from coach.
Roger Federer's announcement that he has split from part-time coach Tony Roche has taken the world of tennis by surprise.
But René Stauffer, a sports journalist and author of "Quest for perfection: The Roger Federer Story", tells swissinfo why this decision might actually be a blessing in disguise for the Swiss tennis star.
Federer, world number one since February 2004, published the news on his website on Saturday, saying he and 62-year-old Roche had mutually decided to end their arrangement.
The move leaves Federer without a coach two weeks before the French Open, the only Grand Slam tournament he hasn't won and a title he has described as his "main goal".
"I was pretty surprised – no one expected it – but when we try to find the reasons it's pretty obvious that there was a disturbance for Roger in this collaboration," explained Stauffer.
"Why that came no one knows – neither Federer nor Roche has spoken – but it's obvious that there was a problem and some people [within tennis] have told me that the decision was overdue."
Federer brought Roche aboard before the 2005 Australian Open, working with him in Sydney for two weeks. At the time Federer said: "I hope he can improve my game just a little bit. I like the way I'm playing right now. If he can improve just a few things in my game, that will be good."
On paper it was a fairly successful relationship, as during this period the Swiss star won six of his ten grand slam titles.
"If you look at Roger's game, it's obvious that he tried to come in [to net] more and he has improved his volleys – Roche himself was one of the finest volleyers ever. Roche is also a leftie [lefthander] which surely helped Roger understand the things that go on when you play a leftie – Nadal is a leftie," said Stauffer.
"But if you look at the big picture, you'd have to say that Roche failed to lead Roger to the French Open title, which was the main goal, the only big tournament that Roger hasn't won so far."
Beginning of the end?
Roche was with Federer last week at the Rome Masters, where he was upset in the third round by Filippo Volandri, ranked 53rd in the world. That loss meant Federer has played in four consecutive tournaments without winning a title, his longest such drought since he became number one.
"I don't know what's wrong. I have to analyse it myself," Federer said after the defeat in Rome.
But Stauffer feels that it is far too early to talk about the end of a Federer era.
"When Paris and Wimbledon are behind us then you would have to [look at the situation]. If he doesn't win one of them, then you could start to talk about a crisis and also worry about his number one position."
Stauffer believes the split could even have a liberating impact on Federer.
"It could be that he starts to feel free again and really focus on his tennis – in Rome he didn't seem at all focused on the tennis, it was obvious that something was disturbing him. So maybe that will help him. I think he's just anxious for Paris to begin," he said.
Roche, the 1966 French Open champion, is one of Australia's tennis greats who also has coached top-ranked players Ivan Lendl and Patrick Rafter.
Federer has worked off and on with coaches since his longtime coach Peter Carter died in a car crash in 2002. Federer was coached by Peter Lundgren in 2003, then didn't have a coach at all the next year, when he won 11 titles, including three grand slam events.
"I actually think that Roger was not completely happy with the part-time coaching situation [Roche would only work with Federer for a couple of weeks before major tournaments]. In my opinion he might go back to a full-time coach. I don't think he wants to travel alone again like he did in 2004," Stauffer said.