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By Tennis Now | Monday August 8, 2016

Roger Federer Wimbledon

We celebrate the past, present and future of Roger Federer on his 35th birthday.

Photo Source: Al Bello/Getty

He’s missing in action at the moment, but on his 35th birthday we’re taking time out from our Olympic Tennis watching to celebrate the greatness of Roger Federer.

Without any further ado:

1. His respect for the sport

It starts here and ends here for Roger Federer: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. No player has ever embraced the history of the game and shown more respect for his elders than Federer has. It’s great for fans to have an ambassador like Federer, one that bridges the past with the present.

2. The footwork

Has there ever been a player that can dance on air the way that Federer does?

3. Style

Whether he’s stepping out on the town, prowling around with the kids, or playing a Wimbledon final, Roger always puts time into his appearance. Sure, there are some misses to go with his many hits, but it’s the thought that counts. From top to bottom, Federer has always been meticulous about presenting an image to match his stylized game.

4. The languages

How many languages does Roger Federer speak? A lot, and we have mad respect for it.

5. This ‘tweener

6. His twins

Two sets of twins? No problem for the Swiss maestro, though things did get a little dicey this year when Federer injured his knee while running the bath for them. Ah, but the countless moments of cuteness that fans have seen since Charlene, Myla, Leo and Lenny have come into the world have more than made up for it.

7. His Backhand Slice

The maestro is the master of chip and charge. He can play it short, he can play it deep, and it’s super effective on the grass (one of the big reasons he’s claimed seven Wimbledon titles).

8. His hair


9. Quotes like these:

"I enjoyed the position I was in as a tennis player. I was to blame when I lost. I was to blame when I won. And I really like that, because I played soccer a lot too, and I couldn't stand it when I had to blame it on the goalkeeper."

10. The serve:

He’s frequently called one of the best spot servers of all-time. It's true. What's also true is that he's one of the best servers of all time. There is nothing like a Federer hold on a fast surface. 55 seconds of cutthroat tennis and, voila, mission accomplished.

11. The elegance:

Some players are machines. Others are fluid and mechanical. Others are quick and agile. They’re all great. But Federer has all of that and more. And to top it all off, he's got poetry in motion on his side. Andre Agassi said it best when he called Federer the most REGAL tennis player he'd ever seen. Federer’s game has to be the most elegant of all time. He’s been called the Baryshnikov of tennis. It’s no joke.

12. Shots like this

13. 17 major titles

17 majors, three more than any other male player. That’s not bad at all, Roger.

14. Over 300 weeks at No.1

Federer has logged 302 weeks at No. 1, including 237 weeks consecutively, the longest in tennis history. Just wow.

15. The Davis Cup

It took Roger (and Stan) a while to get it done, but they achieved the feat in 2014, bringing Switzerland its first Davis Cup title. Roger that!

16. The tears

Tears of joy, tears of disappointment. Federer leaves it all on the court and wears it all on his sleeve.

17. Class

Dignity. The man has it in spades, and it’s why he’s such a great ambassador for high-end brands like Moet and Rolex. And it's why he's so widely loved.

18. The courage to change

Facing a career crisis, Federer got himself a bigger racquet and became a better net player when he hired Stefan Edberg as his coach. It’s not always easy for Federer to change (why fix it if it isn’t broke?), but when the time came he proved he can make it happen. Expect more of the same in 2017.

19. The goofiness

Federer is a serious man, but he loves to let his hair down and just play around like a goofy kid.

20. The overhead

Federer has one of the best overheads in the history of tennis. Rarely does he ever not put away a smash opportunity.

21. The athleticism

Air Federer is a thing of beauty…

22. The touch

The feathery touch of the maestro. So delicate and sublime. Backhand, forehand, at the net or at the baseline—divine.

23. Sick reaction shots like this

24. The clutch

Federer has 10 comeback wins from two sets down in his career. Most recently he saved three match points to defeat Marin Cilic in this year’s Wimbledon quarterfinals after trailing two sets to love.

25. The fire

At 35 years of age, Federer is still burning to make the most out of his tennis career. He doesn’t need the money. He doesn’t need the fame. He plays for the love of tennis, for the passion—to make the most out of himself. He plays because he wants to see how good he can be.

26. The ability to inspire

How many current players say that Federer is the greatest of all-time, or say that he is their hero? There’s a reason for that. Federer is an inspiration. He’s a work of art. He’s a one of a kind.

27. The backhand smash

Federer could probably hit this shot in his sleep. Amazing.

28. The aggression

Federer in full-flight is like a race car in 6th gear. He pegs the accelerator and hugs the turns. He paints the lines and lets it rip. His brand of tennis is courageous, and full of swagger, belief and gusto. Every tennis player can learn from that.

29. The genius

Fake forehands that morph into squash shots. Crisp volleys and pretty lobs. Drop volleys to die for. Federer’s improvisational skills are second to none. He reads the play, finds the space, hits the corners and keeps his opponents guessing.

30. The forehand

Federer’s forehand is one of the best killshots in the history of tennis. And it’s so versatile. He can take it inside-out with the best of them. He can flatten it out and ram it for a winner. He can put air underneath it. He can hit it on the run. Closed stance. Open stance. High ball. Low ball. Hard, clay or grass.

31. The tricks

32. The treats

33. The rivalries

Roger vs. Rafa, Roger vs. Andy, Roger vs. Nole, Roger vs. Roddick, Roger vs. Marat, Roger vs. Lleyton, Roger vs. Andre. There have been quite a few.

34. The memories

Saving match points against Monfils at the U.S. Open. Winning the French Open in 2009. The battle with Nadal at Wimbledon in 2008. 88 titles. 1080 wins. The first week at No. 1 (Feb, 2, 2004). The first major title (2003 Wimbledon). The style of tennis that he plays. The passion, win or lose. The ability to keep playing at an elite level. The Olympic gold medal in doubles with Wawrinka. The silky smooth lateral movement. The backhand poetry. The tears and the joy. The RF logo. The millions of crazed fans. The autographs. The sincerity. The joy. The charitable work. The family. It’s all so good. Tennis history. A legend in the making. The GOAT until otherwise notified. The SABR! The class. The quickness. The backspin. The sidespin. The hangtime. The long press conferences and deep descriptions. The respect for the legends of tennis. The childlike enthusiasm.

35. The future

Taking half of a season off? Crazy! Playing two more years? Bring it on. Happy birthday, Roger Federer. Rest up and come back strong.


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