Is the best tennis player in history leaving?

Roger Federer He announced his retirement last week and this Friday he will perform his ‘Last dance’ at the Laver Cup in a doubles match with Rafa Nadal. Goodbye to a champion on and off the field, the meeting point between classic and modern tennis, the evolution of a tennis player who has ended up changing his sport. The image of the Swiss, an unequaled out of series, It will remain for posterity and at one point the question arises spontaneously, is the best tennis player in history leaving?

We analyze in detail the elegant strokes, the titles and all the characteristics of Federer, who is considered by many to be the best tennis player in history. An open discussion.

His seal, the reverse to one hand

Although it seems a less natural shot than the two-handed backhand, the Helvetian managed to make it his trademark. A combination between the pure execution of a technically perfect gesture and power, which in today’s ‘super muscular’ panorama of tennis always finds less space. This shot is disappearing from the circuit, but Federer has always led the ‘aesthetic’ ranking of this shot. Rivals like Gasquet, Wawrinka Y Thiem they failed to reach the level of effectiveness of Roger’s backhand, which from now on will continue to serve as an inspiration so that this gesture does not disappear from the courts.

The right, reliable but not unbeatable

The Basel tennis player is one of the few who played forehand in the classic position called ‘Neutral Stance’, with the foot parallel to the baseline. In his fluid movement he has imposed an acceleration on the forearm: the result throughout his career has been a faster and harder to read punch for the opponent.

Despite getting most of his points with this gesture, the Swiss has not been the best tennis player to use this shot. The right is a mixture of components: speed, efficiency, explosiveness and reactivity. His greatest rival, Rafa Nadal, has made this blow his identifying signature. In one study, the ‘New York Times’ has drawn up his TOP 5 on the right: 1. Federer, 2. Nadal, 3. Juan Martin del Potro, 4. Fernando Verdasco, 5. Kyle Edmund.

Despite this result, most active players consider the unstoppable forehand to be Rafa Nadal’s.

The service, a coup matured over the years

Federer’s serve is a stroke that the Swiss developed over time. In his early days, he served without pushing with his abs, forcing the first serve and being vulnerable on the second serve. With experience he improved this blow, increasing the effect in ‘kick’. Throughout his career, his first serve average has traveled around 195-200km/h, a lower speed compared to his colleagues, but at the same time very fearsome thanks to the fluidity of the blow. Other giants are ahead of the Swiss in this blow: John Isner with its peak of 253 km/h, Ivo Karlović with 251 km/h, Andy roddick with 249.4 km/h or the Spanish Feliciano Lopez with 244.6 km/h.

Answer, the advantage of knowing how to read rivals

One of the best virtues of Federer’s game throughout his career has been reactivity and knowing how to ‘read’ the opponent’s play, which has allowed him to intuit and anticipate any rival shot. The Swiss, after a final at the Australian Open (2004), declared: «I feel when someone is hitting a ball, I know with what angle and effect it is going to arrive. This is a huge advantage.” A statistic reflects well this ability of the Helvetian: only in four of the 24 games who played against Andy Roddick, one of the tennis players who serves with more power, the American achieved more ‘aces’ than Federer. Thanks to the game of anticipation, throughout his career he has managed to hit the serve of his rivals.

The King, or almost, of the surfaces

Federer’s greatness, despite his elegance and class, comes from the number of titles he has won during his career. A total of 103 wins, that place him second in the historical classification behindJimmy Connors (109), and 20 Grand Slams, only surpassed by the other two members of the ‘Big Three’: Christmas (22) Y Djokovic (21). The one from Basel maintains the supremacy of titles in the most prestigious tournament on the circuit, Wimbledon, with 8 editions in his record. Also on the hard surface Federer has shown himself to be one of the greatest, with 11 total titles counting the Australian Open and US Open, being only surpassed by Djokovic (12). The only ‘stain’ in the Swiss’s career is the only title won on clay at Roland Garros (2009). Although this, in reality, is not strange considering that Rafa Nadal he has lifted 14 cups in the French capital in the last two decades.

Physical resistance, an energy saver

Physically, Federer has always tried to save energy thanks to a style of play that allowed him to play from baseline without wasting strength. The tennis player did not get his audience used to big marathons, despite some exceptions, such as the 2019 Wimbledon final against Djokovic. A match that lasted 4 hours and 57 minutes, the longest final in the history of the English tournament. In this sense, Federer has been the most elegant tennis player thanks to his class: no groan of effort. There are other players more predisposed to embark on long matches thanks to his style of play. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and John Isner They are some of the tennis players who have more matches of more than 5 hours.

Longevity with the crown

Federer says goodbye with the record for weeks in a row in the first position of the world tennis ranking (237 weeks). The Swiss also held the global record for weeks as ATP number one (310), until Djokovic took that reign from him (373). His longevity on the throne confirms the power that Federer has wielded in the tennis world during a career that he brought to an end this Friday.

Goodbye to Federer, an infinite champion and a true gentleman of tennis.

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