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Great sportsman Roger Federer is mortal, but still the man.. Queen Elizabeth II visits Wimbledon for 1st time in 33 years

By WcP.Story.Teller - Posted on 11 July 2010

Wimbledon 2010: Queen Elizabeth II meets Williams sisters, Roddick, Federer, King, Navratilova


For a guy who had just been knocked out of a major tournament, Roger Federer seemed remarkably composed. For a 16-time Grand Slam singles champion, he was almost jovial. The first question in his postmatch interview following a loss to Robin Soderling in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros concerned his level of disappointment. "Well, disappointed to a certain degree," Federer answered. "I don't think I played a bad match, so it's easier to go out this way. I thought he came up with some great tennis. It's a touch easier to digest this way."

Federer was trying to match the career record for consecutive men’s singles titles at Wimbledon, currently held by the 19th-century British player William Renshaw

Roger Federer even joked when the topic of his 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals appearances -- an all-time streak ended by Soderling -- came up. "It was a great run," Federer said. "Now I've got the quarterfinal streak going, I guess." When the assembled media laughed, Federer even smiled.

Top-seeded Roger Federer defeated unseeded Mario Ancic, the last man to defeat him at Wimbledon, 6-1, 7-5, 6-4. Federer has reached 17 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals since losing in the third round of the 2004 French Open

This is the place where Federer, approaching the age of 29, finds himself these days. He's nearing the end of a grand career, and he seems to have it all in perspective. How many more times will he tee it up in a major? The best guess would be 10, through 2012, or perhaps 14 if he wants to play through to the age of 32.

Federer knows that the 2009 French Open title will likely remain the only red-clay major on his championship résumé. The best possibilities will always be Wimbledon -- which opens next Monday -- and the U.S. Open.

He has won six of the past seven Wimbledon crowns and been to the past seven finals. With Federer seeded first and Rafael Nadal second, there is no compelling reason (aside from Andy Roddick?) to think the Swiss player won't make it eight consecutive finals. A win at the All England Club would lift Federer into a tie with Pete Sampras for most titles there. Federer has also won five of the past six titles at the U.S. Open, losing in last year's final to Juan Martin del Potro.

"I don't see anything specific in his form," said Patrick McEnroe, the U.S. Davis Cup captain. "But I do get the sense he might be ripe for an upset at Wimbledon this year. We all know his record at Wimbledon [51-5], but he might get picked off on the way to [the] final."

Since breaking through at Wimbledon in 2003, Federer has won 16 of the 28 Grand Slam singles titles. Put another way, Federer has won four more majors in that span than all the other male players combined. A few more wins in these second-half Slams and Federer can push his all-time total well beyond the reach of anyone.

How much of a factor will Roger Federer's disappointing results have on his Wimbledon journey? "I don't see anything different," said ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert, who coached Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray. "More than anything, day in and day out, he's maybe not as sharp. It's like when you hit .387 every year, and now you're a .347 hitter. For anybody else, it's off the charts, but at .347, he's not doing the same thing.

"He wins here, and he's having a monster season. Usually, it's win one major in a year, and it's a great year. Two is off the chart. This would be two out of three. Or, if he wins the U.S. Open, that would be two more big ones to the total. That's crazy for a guy who's almost 29."

Among the collateral damage of that loss to Soderling in Paris was Federer's No. 1 ranking. Federer has been at the top for 285 weeks of his career, one short of Pete Sampras' record. It could be a while before Federer catches him; Nadal has only 1,260 points to defend from the past two majors and two U.S. hard-court Masters 1000 events, while Federer has 4,380 points on his platter.

This doesn't seem to trouble Federer, who spoke with reporters after he arrived in Halle, Germany. "We've gotten accustomed to me or Rafa, but especially me, at No. 1 in the world, it's pretty easy to stay at the top, and it's something that comes very naturally almost," Federer said. "But it's not if you look how quickly things change.

"It's great for the media because they make a big, huge deal out of the rankings. Because, today he's great, like Rafa last year. Everything before the French he was incredible. One and a half months later, he doesn't have a French or Wimbledon title anymore and people start like, 'Will he ever come back? Will he ever play tennis again after his knee problems.' But all he did is miss six weeks of tennis and they make a huge deal out of it."

Federer, of course, knows all about this kind of scrutiny. After winning the Australian Open, he has failed to win another tournament -- and so, this will be the first time in nine years that he comes into Wimbledon without multiple titles in a single season. The man who went four straight seasons (2004-07) has become a little more mortal; his loss in the final at Halle was already his eighth of the season.

The three-set defeat was typical of the Federer we have seen in recent years. After losing to Marcos Baghdatis, Tomas Berdych, Ernests Gulbis and Albert Montanes earlier this season, Federer surprisingly lost to gritty Australian Lleyton Hewitt, a man he had beaten 15 straight times. Federer had compiled a 76-1 record in grass-court matches since 2003, but this brought his win percentage down to a tragic .974. "I guess my key shots weren't quite there, if you break it down brutally," Federer said afterward. "My serve and my forehand, when I really needed it, they we're quite there enough."

Clearly, Federer is not the dominant player he once was, but is he still good enough to win his favorite tournament? "It's unfortunate not coming through today," he said in Halle, "but I think my level of play is fine. This loss doesn't worry me in any way. I'm excited about next week."

Roger had the honour of meeting Queen Elizabeth II who only paid her second visit to the All England Club since having been there last in 1977

Queen visits Wimbledon for 1st time in 33 years

WIMBLEDON, England - Queen Elizabeth II made her first appearance at Wimbledon in 33 years Thursday — applauding Briton Andy Murray as he won his second match and shaking hands with a giddy Serena Williams, who showed off her curtsy. Neither Serena nor Roger Federer, who also met the queen, were scheduled to play on Center Court, where the monarch watched tennis from the Royal Box.

Wearing a white dress, a bright turquoise coat and matching hat, the 84-year-old queen braved scorching temperatures as she greeted onlookers and met former champions such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova before greeting the tennis tournament’s top seeds.

Murray, the only British singles player left in the tournament in a year of exceptionally poor showings by the host country, appeared nervous at first but went on to score an easy victory against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

The fourth-seeded Murray said that as they walked out to court, he took care to coordinate with his opponent when they would bow to the Royal Box. Spectators roared and wolf-whistled as the two players bowed together in the queen’s direction both before and after the match. “There’s obviously some nerves, there,” he said, referring to meeting the queen, adding that he probably got “a bit of extra luck” in his play because of her presence. “It’s probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us ... Don’t know whether she’ll be coming in the next few years, but I definitely enjoyed it,” he said.

Thousands of people welcomed her arrival earlier in the day. “She looked stunning, she’s just amazing,” said Debbie Moody, a 45-year-old nurse, after watching the queen’s arrival. “It’s a shame she hasn’t been for so long, but I’m so glad she has decided to come back.” “We are here for the tennis, but I’m delighted the queen turned up as well. I love her smile when she’s greeting people,” said Romey Allison, a retired 53-year-old attending with her husband.

The queen, who attended alongside the Duke of Kent, left Wimbledon after watching Murray’s match — to the disappointment of top-ranked Rafael Nadal, who skipped out on the chance to meet the monarch beforehand because he was too busy preparing.

The last time the queen visited in 1977, she presented Virginia Wade with the ladies’ singles championship. No Briton has won a singles title since. Although the monarch isn’t known to have a particularly strong personal interest in tennis, the royal association with Wimbledon spans more than 100 years. The queen’s, grandfather, King George V, became patron of the All England Club in 1910, and the tradition has been maintained since. The queen’s only other visits before 1977 were in 1957 and 1962.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on Sunday at Wimbledon

Becker's verdict on men's final 2008 - Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England - No man had beaten Roger Federer at Wimbledon since 2002. But in near darkness, one of the greatest tennis matches ever played concluded in the Wimbledon final Sunday with Roger Federer hitting a short forehand into the net and with a victorious Rafael Nadal flat on his back with camera flashes illuminating his drained and delighted face.

We were watching two of the greatest players to have played this beautiful game of tennis; Roger Federer, arguably the greatest player who's lived, against arguably the best player on clay who's ever lived. By winning Sunday's final Rafael Nadal became the first person since Bjorn Bjorg to win Wimbledon and the French Open in the same year. Nadal had come the closest to ending Federer’s streak at Wimbledon in last year’s final, pushing his friendly rival to five sets before ending up in tears in the locker room as Federer equaled Bjorn Borg’s modern men’s record with his fifth straight title.

Last year’s emotional tussle immediately took its place among the best Wimbledon finals, but this five-set classic — played on a rainy, gusty day — was better yet. At 4 hours 48 minutes, it was the longest singles final in Wimbledon’s 131-year history and did not finish until 9:16 p.m. local time.

By the end, as hard as it was to see, the top-seeded Federer and the second-seeded Nadal had produced so much brilliant tennis under pressure that it seemed the most normal thing in the world that Federer smacked yet another ace to get out of trouble or that Nadal hunted down yet another sharply angled ground stroke and ripped an off-balance passing shot for a winner.

match ended with Federer hitting a short forehand into the net and with Nadal flat on his back on the grass with the flash bulbs lighting up his exhausted, elated face

The capacity crowd at Centre Court, which had not diminished through two rain delays, continually roared with delight or surprise and took turns chanting each combatant’s first name, which is not the way these things usually work at proper Wimbledon. The loss kept Federer from matching the men’s record of six consecutive Wimbledon titles set by Britain’s William Renshaw in the 19th century. Federer had won 65 straight matches on grass.

It was 9:10 p.m. in London, and the light was so dim at the end of this intermittently rainy day that both players were concerned. “I almost couldn’t see who I was playing,” Federer said, shaking his head. Wimbledon’s organizers have pushed their sessions to the limit this year, with other matches finishing at 9:30 p.m. Not finishing on Sunday would have forced the tournament to extend to Monday, with all the logistical challenges that would have entailed.

“Roger Federer’s still the best,” Nadal said. “He’s still five-time champion here. Right now I have one, so for me, it’s a very, very important day.” Federer, who had not dropped a set until the final, will still be ranked No. 1 on Monday. Federer came into 2008 hoping to match Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles. He is still holding at 12, with his only tournament victories this year coming in minor tour events. Federer certainly responded like a champion to Nadal’s pressure on Sunday, and he also dispelled concerns that — after winning just four games against Nadal in last month’s lopsided French Open final — he would be unable to stay with the physically imposing Nadal on grass.

*Update Feb. 18, 2012*

Roger Federer's adorable twin daughters cheer their father on at Australia Open 2012:
"Too cute! Funny how in the 2nd picture the one on the left has Roger's 'serious game face' and in the 3rd picture the one on the right has Roger's 'happy smiling' face."

Two-year-old Myla Rose and her sister Charlene Riva looked adorable as they cheered their father Roger Federer on during his warm-up at the Australian Open

The next Williams sisters? The Federer girls looked so into the game, perhaps there is a future in tennis in store

Roger Federer's twin daughters at Australian Open 2012

*Update July 8, 2012*

Roger Federer gives the winner's trophy a kiss during the awards ceremony following his victory over Andy Murray in the Wimbledon men's final on Sunday, Federer’s 7th Wimbledon title

Andy Murray, left, and Roger Federer share a moment together after their hard-fought, four-set match in the Wimbledon men's final on Sunday

Roger Federer drops to his knees as he clinches his seventh Wimbledon men's singles title with a four-set victory over Andy Murray on Sunday

Roger Federer at the Halle Open this month. A win at Wimbledon would be Federer’s seventh, which would tie the men’s record

Federer’s 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory gave him a seventh Wimbledon singles title, which ties the all-time men’s record shared by William Renshaw and Pete Sampras. It also guaranteed that Federer, who will turn 31 next month, would reclaim the No. 1 ranking on Monday.

“It’s amazing,” Federer said of winning for the seventh time. “It equals me with Pete Sampras, who’s my hero.”

It was also Federer’s 17th Grand Slam singles title, padding his lead in the all-time standings. But this victory, though far from the most significant or emotional of his career, was particularly reaffirming because it was his first major title in over two years.

He last won a “major” at the 2010 Australian Open. Though he has continued to pile up tournament victories on the regular circuit in best-of-three-set events, he has been eclipsed at the Grand Slam events in the last two years by rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

But Wimbledon, the oldest of the Grand Slam tournaments and the only one played on grass, remains beautifully suited to Federer’s Swiss army knife of a skill set: his foot speed and innate grace on the run, his first-strike instincts, his medley of options off his single-handed backhand, his ability to improvise off a bad bounce and perhaps his sense of traditionalism as well.

Andy Murray driven to tears by Roger Federer's enduring brilliance


Photos courtesy Adrian Dennis / Agence France-Presse, Ryan Pierse, Clive Brunskill and Finney / Getty Images, Anja Niedringhaus / AP, Alan Crowhurst / Bloomberg News,, AFP / Getty Images, Reuters, Gerry Penny / European Pressphoto Agency, Ina Fassbender / Reuters, Anja Niedringhaus / Associated Press, Leon Neal / AFP / Getty Images, Clive Brunskill / Getty Images, and Glyn Kirk / AFP / Getty Images

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