A look back at the best seasons of Roger Federer’s career | ATP Tour

With 20 Grand Slam titles and 310 weeks at No. 1 in the world on the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, there is no doubt that Roger Federer is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. During his nearly two decades at the forefront of tennis, the Swiss maestro’s seemingly effortless style and dominance captivated fans and confused opponents – all while rewriting the tennis record books many times.

But which of Federer’s many seasons at the helm would stand as the best of his career? Would it be 2004, 2006 or 2007 when he clinched three Grand Slam titles, or 2005 when he recorded the second best win rate in the Open Era? What about 2009 when he completed the career grand slam at Roland Garros, or 2012 when he surpassed Pete Sampras at world No. 1 for most weeks?

ATPTour.com breaks down seven of the best seasons of Federer’s legendary career, from his big breakout season to his big comeback year…

Roger Federer
Roger Federer won his second Wimbledon title in 2004. Photo by: Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images

Win-loss record: 74-6 (92.5%)
Title: 11
Grand Slam title: 3rd place

After storming the stage in 2003 by winning Wimbledon, his first major title, Federer cemented his position as a force to be reckoned with just one season later. He became the first man to win three Grand Slam singles titles in the same year since Mats Wilander in 1998 when he competed at the Australian Open (d. Safin), Wimbledon (d. Roddick) and the US Open (d. Hewitt ) trophies won. .

The 22-year-old Swiss has put together one of the most dominant seasons in the Open Era as he amassed a mind-blowing win ratio of 93 (74-6) and rose to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP world rankings for the first time (February 2). At the end of the year, his trophy count was 11, including a second Tennis Masters Cup crown [now Nitto ATP Finals].

“It’s still hard to believe because I think once I settle down, have some time off, especially at the end of the year, I’m going to look back and think, ‘How on earth did I do all this?’ Now it’s just a bit much,” Federer said after his win in New York.

He didn’t know how much more was in stock…

Andre Agassi, Roger Federer
Andre Agassi fell to Federer in four sets in the 2005 US Open final. Photo by: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Win-loss record: 81-4 (95.29%)
Title: 11
Grand Slam title: 2nd

With already four Grand Slam titles under Federer’s name, the tennis world held its breath at the beginning of 2005. The question everyone was asking was, “Will he be able to secure it?” Turns out there was nothing to worry about.

Federer won four ATP Masters 1000 titles, including the Sunshine Double, by winning back-to-back trophies in Indian Wells and Miami. At the Grand Slams, he continued his Wimbledon dominance, winning his third consecutive Gentlemen’s Singles title (d. Roddick) and adding a second US Open trophy (d. Agassi) to his cabinet.

Federer went 81-4 with a winning percentage of 95.29 in 2005 as he won 11 trophies. It was the second-best winning percentage in the Open Era, behind John McEnroe’s 96.47 (82-3) 1984 season.

Roger Federer
Federer has won the season finale six times, including in Shanghai in 2006. Photo by: Andrew Wong/Getty Images

Win-loss record: 92-5 (94.84%)
Title: 12
Grand Slam title: 3rd place

FedEx ATP Rankings

World No. 1 Federer lost to just two players in a commanding season in 2006: a rising Rafael Nadal (four times) and 19-year-old Andy Murray (once). He ended the year with an almost untouchable win ratio of 95 (92-5). Federer reached the final of all four Grand Slams, winning three as he added to his legend at the Australian Open (d. Baghdatis), Wimbledon (d. Nadal) and the US Open (d. Roddick).

He started 2006 on a 16-game winning streak and finished the season with 29 straight wins, including a third title at the Nitto ATP Finals. That unbeaten run would last through 2007 and would be a career-best 41 wins overall.

“I’ve run out of words [to describe] myself,” joked Federer after his 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 final win over James Blake in Shanghai. “Sometimes today I had to laugh about how well I played. At this point in my career, I’m so happy with my game.”

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal
Federer celebrates his second consecutive Wimbledon final win against Rafael Nadal in 2007. Photo by: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Win-loss record: 68-9 (88.3%)
title: 8
Grand Slam title: 3rd place

For the second year in a row, Federer reached the finals of all four Grand Slams and won three. He became the first player in history to win three Majors in one year on three occasions (2004, 2006, 2007) while continuing to fend off new faces and younger challengers.

Federer defeated Fernando Gonzalez at the Australian Open, Nadal at Wimbledon and Novak Djokovic at the US Open. He also won the Nitto ATP Finals and two Masters 1000 titles in Hamburg and Cincinnati, a win-loss record of 88 percent (68-9).

His 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-2 win over Nadal at Wimbledon was an instant classic and brought him close to Bjorn Borg’s record for his fifth consecutive championship All England Club. The feat also extended Federer’s winning streak on grass to 55. Between 2003 and 2008 he had 65 consecutive wins on the surface, the longest winning streak on grass in the Open Era.

Meanwhile, Federer remained firmly at the top of the game. His 237 consecutive weeks at the top of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings (2004-2008) remains an ATP Tour record.

Roger Federer
Mission accomplished! Federer finished the career grand slam at Roland Garros in 2009. Photo by: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Win-loss record: 61-12 (83.6%)
Title: 4
Grand Slam title: 2nd

After appearing in three previous Roland Garros finals, Federer finally ended the career grand slam by beating Robin Soderling in the final in Paris. He became only the sixth man in history to finish the career grand slam.

“That could be my biggest win, the one that takes the most pressure off,” Federer joked afterwards. “Now I can play relaxed for the rest of my career and never hear again that I never won the French Open.”

A few weeks later, the Swiss made history again when he clinched the Gentlemen’s Singles title again after beating Andy Roddick in an epic five-set Wimbledon final. While Roddick held serve 37 times in a row, Federer finally broke through in the final game to win 5-7 7-6(6) 7-6(5) 3-6 16-14. It was Federer’s 15th. Grand Slam triumph in singles, breaking Pete Sampras’ record.

Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray, Roger Federer
Federer adds silver in singles at the London Olympics to gold in doubles he won in Beijing. Photo by: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

Win-Loss Record: 71-12 (85.54%)
title: 6
Grand Slam title: 1st

The 2012 season marked an emphatic return to form for Federer. He won 86 percent (71-12) of the games he played and won six tour-level titles β€” his best stats in half a decade.

Federer, who last won a major title in 2010, lifted his record-breaking seventh Gentlemen’s Singles (d. Murray) trophy – a record-breaking 17th Grand Slam crown. In the process, he returned to world No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, a feat that tied (and ultimately surpassed) Pete Sampras’ record of weeks at No. 1 out of 286. The Swiss would cover a total of 310 weeks over the course of his career.

A month later he also took a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. After losing the first set to Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals, Federer overtook the Argentine 3-6 7-6(5) 19-17 in a marathon comeback to reach the final (l.v. Murray ). It was Federer’s first singles medal for Switzerland, having previously won gold in doubles (with Wawrinka) at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

β€œIt’s been a great month. I won Wimbledon, became world no. 1 again and got silver,” he reflected. β€œI’m honestly very, very proud to have won silver. I had a very emotional tournament from start to finish.”

Roger Federer
A remarkable comeback season begins in 2017 with the title win at the Australian Open. Photo by: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Win-loss record: 54-5 (91.5%)
title: 7
Grand Slam title: 2nd

With a revised game, Federer started one of the most impressive comeback seasons in tennis in 2017. At the age of 35, he won his first Grand Slam trophy since 2012 at the Australian Open after recovering from a fifth-set breakdown against Nadal, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3- 6, 6-3. The victory made him the oldest Slam champion since Ken Rosewall won there in 1972 at the age of 37. At his beloved Wimbledon, Federer upped the ante when he won his 19th Grand Slam title (d. Cilic) – and did so without dropping a set.

Federer didn’t stop there, claiming seven titles in 2017, including three Masters 1000 wins in Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai. It was the most trophies he’d won in a decade and he amassed a win-loss record of 92 percent (54-5), his best since 2006. After ending the season ranked 17th in the Pepperstone ATP rankings Federer would finish 2017 ranked No. 2 in the world due to a knee injury that sidelined him for most of 2016.

“I knew maybe one day I could be great again, but not at this level. You would have laughed too if I had told you that I would win two Slams this year,” said Federer at Wimbledon. “People wouldn’t believe me if I said that. I didn’t think I would win two this year either.”

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