ROGER FEDERER: 20 YEARS ON GRASS
Jul 02, 2019 LifeWear
The elegance of the indomitable champion and the surface beneath his feet seem, after so many years of ascendancy, almost entwined. The grace of the one-handed backhand, the weightlessness of the footwork, the versatility of the serve; it all seems to converge with incomparable finesse on the fast-moving courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Federer made his Grand Slam grass debut on an outside court at the historic London tournament twenty years ago, where, as a 103-ranked, 17-year-old wildcard, he suffered a first round loss in four sets. The next year saw a repeat performance with another first round exit, this time in straight sets.
The world felt the first stirrings of a champion and turned its gaze on the young Swiss upstart in 2001, however, when Federer successfully vanquished reigning champion and seven-time winner Pete Sampras in the fourth round. Almost two decades on (and with the benefit of hindsight), Federer’s victory carries tremendous significance in the history of the sport as a marked changing of the guard; the calling card of a new and yet undiscovered generation. The old sovereign of the grass throne had finally abdicated; the new heir had announced his arrival.
Only two years later, the famous silver gilt trophy lifted by past men’s singles champions had a new name etched into its long list of legends: Roger Federer. The 21-year-old dropped only one set in his run to his debut championship title. The King had finally been crowned.
From there, Federer’s dominance at SW19 continued with staggering and unwavering tenacity. The Swiss went on to take consecutive championships in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 – equalling the all-time record for most back-to-back titles.
Federer returned in 2009 to lift the winner’s trophy once more in a staggering five-set thriller, concluding in a mammoth 16-14 deciding set.
A seventh title came in 2012, while a record-breaking eighth materialised in a straightforward 2017 run through the tournament.
On Tuesday 2nd July 2019, eight-time champion Roger Federer began his twentieth appearance at the All England Club seeded 2nd in the draw. Federer’s journey to the event has been characterised by an encouraging and successful run on grass outside of London. Last Sunday, the Swiss maestro re-wrote the history books by winning a record 10th title in Halle, marking the first time in Federer’s career he has lifted ten champions’ trophies at the same tournament.
UNIQLO wishes Global Brand Ambassador Roger Federer good luck in his current London 2019 grass campaign.
GAME, SET, GRASS
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