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Roger Federer

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Biography

Roger Federer (IPA pronunciation: ; born August 8, 1981) is a Swiss tennis professional, currently ranked World No. 1 since February 2, 2004 for a record 192 consecutive weeks. Widely regarded as the best player of his generation, he is considered among the elite group of all-time great male tennis players. Federer is the first living Swiss to be pictured on a postage stamp, issued in April 2007 depicting Federer with the Wimbledon trophy. In 2007, he was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record third consecutive time.

Federer started playing tennis at the age of six. He began having group lessons at the age of nine and weekly private coaching when he was ten. He also played soccer until the age of 12 when he decided to focus solely on tennis. At 14, he became the national champion of all groups in Switzerland and was chosen to train at the Swiss National Tennis Center at Ecublens. He joined the ITF junior tennis circuit in July 1996. In 1998, in his final year as a junior, Federer won Wimbledon juniors title and year-ending Orange Bowl. He was recognized as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion for the year. In July 1998, Federer joined the ATP tour at Gstaad. The following year he debuted for the Swiss Davis Cup team against Italy and finished the year as the youngest player (for the year) inside ATP's top 100 ranking. In 2000, Federer reached semifinals at Sydney Olympics and lost bronze medal match to Arnaud Di Pasquale of France. Federer reached his first final in Marseille which he lost to Marc Rosset and was also the runner-up in Basel. He failed to make an impression at Grand Slams and Masters Series tournaments but still ended the year ranked 29th.(All results and ranking history from ATP)

His serve is difficult to read because he tosses the ball in the same spot no matter where he intends to serve it and he turns his back to his opponents during his motion. His first serve is typically around 190 km/h (118 mph). His second serve usually has a heavily kicked delivery. Federer generally serves with placement and precision, but on occasion he will hit a powerful serve to keep his opponents off balance. His footwork, balance, and court coverage are exceptional and he is considered to be one of the fastest movers in the game. Unlike most players who take many small steps when approaching the ball, like Jimmy Connors, Federer takes long fluid strides. He can hit a strong shot on the run or while backpedaling, allowing him to switch from defense to offense. Federer's relaxed, smooth playing style belies his aggressive and opportunistic tactics as he constructs points that allows him to hit winners with his powerful groundstrokes. Federer is capable of performing in high pressure situations, often saving break, set or match points during crucial times in a match.

Roger Federer holds a number of records in tennis history, the most prominent of which is that he has won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in the same year three times in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He has surpassed a number of long-standing records including Jimmy Connors' record of 160 consecutive weeks as #1 men's player in the world and Steffi Graf's record of 186 weeks as #1 singles player in the world. He equaled Björn Borg's open-era record of 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles in 2007 and has the open-era record of most consecutive US Open titles (4) in 2007.



 


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