Roger Federer brings down curtain on his career with a defeat, but still dazzles alongside longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal and doubles up on the clay court.
On June 1, 2016, Roger Federer had been at the summit of tennis for all of two years. The last time he had climbed the mountain, Fed was on the cusp of greatness. A year before, he beat Rafael Nadal in the French Open.
Federer was then ranked No. 1 in the world and considered a sure thing for a grand slam singles title. He won his first seven career grand slam singles titles, as well as his first French Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles. His eighth-ranked ranking had him at No. 14 in the world, just one spot behind Djokovic.
But Nadal beat him in the final of the French Open. Federer fell to No. 11. On the same day, he lost in straight sets to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final. His ranking slipped to No. 10. He did not win another grand slam singles title, and at least until this November, until this year, he would not win a title on hard courts.
He fell to the No. 7 world ranking just a few months after he won his eighth grand slam title.
“It’s hard to believe I’m not No. 1 anymore,” Federer said from Vienna in January, during a round-of-96 match with his friend Andy Murray.
“I don’t know if it’s the injuries or what, but I think it’s because I had a lot of success.”
Now, after losing in the quarterfinals to Stan Wawrinka, Federer enters his final career Slam at the French Open. That is, until he retires this summer, at age 35.
“I would love to win one of these Slams,” he said. “It doesn’t matter when. The last Slam I wouldn’t mind winning was Indian Wells in 2014, because I wanted to win the title.”
While he remains close to his friend, tennis icon and current No. 1 Novak Djokovic, he also is not as close to his fellow countryman Nadal. Neither is Serena