Roger Federer has been the most glorified player in Men’s tennis in last 18 years. The Swiss maestro still holds most of the decisive tennis records. Among all his records Roger’s haul of 20 Grand Slam titles and 310 singles weeks at World Number 1 are the most important ones. Ever since he passed the 14 slam record Pete Sampras at Wimbledon 2009, Roger Federer has been the player with most singles Grand Slam titles.
Federer would subsequently end another great record set by Sampras of holding more than 286 weeks at ATP World Number 1 rankings. Federer not only passed Pete but made his own legacy which was even more unique. The Swiss ace became the 1st singles male player in Open Era to reach 20 Grand Slams. He also became the 1st singles male player to reach 300 weeks in the World Number 1 singles rankings. However both of these records look vulnerable now and could be chased down in season 2020 itself.
The Slam Challenger: Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal has been Federer’s nemesis for most of his career. The Spaniard also enjoys a healthy 24-16 head to head lead against his great Swiss rival. Now, Federer faces an imminent danger of Rafa equaling and possibly overtaking his Grand Slam record. Rafa is for the 1st time in his career just 1 slam shy of Roger’s record. The Spaniard could not manage to equal Federer’s slam count in Melbourne Park at the Australian Open this year, falling in the quarter-finals.
However Rafa has a great opportunity to do so in June this year on his beloved clay court tournament at the French Open. Nadal is already a 12 time champion and 3 time defending champion in Paris. He would be odds on favorite this year also in the French Open. Another win there could take his slam count to 20, which means that for the 1st time in Open Era history 2 players would be sharing the most Grand Slam trophies count.
Federer will have his chances in July on the grass of Wimbledon, a court where he has raised 8 trophies. However the Swiss maestro who lost match points there last year is nearing 39 years of age. This was very much visible in the recently concluded Australian Open, where Roger struggled even against low ranked players. If the Swiss fails to win Wimbledon this year, Nadal would most probably overtake him either by this yearend or in 2021.
The Spanish great is also the defending champ at the US Open where he has won 4 trophies in past 10 years. If Rafa repeats his US Open heroics this year along with the customary victory at Roland Garros, he could very possibly be the leader on Grand Slam winners list by the end of this season.
The Weeks At Number 1: Djokovic Inches Closer
Another prestigious record of Federer over which the threat looms large is the Weeks at World Number 1. The Swiss ace is the first ever male player to record 300 singles weeks at World Number 1. The record seemed safe a few months ago. However the current World Number 1 Novak Djokovic who has already spent 277 weeks at the top of ATP rankings is breathing down Federer’s neck.
The Serb is currently just 300 points ahead of the World Number 2 Rafael Nadal. Djokovic has already defended his Australian Open title in 2020. He now has very less points to defend at the sunshine double of Indian Wells and Miami. Considering his recent form and his mastery over the hard courts, Novak should gain more points in these US hard court events before he starts the clay court season.
If Djokovic remains World Number 1 for the larger part of 2020, he may very well surpass Federer in the hierarchy. The Serb superstar also has 17 slams in his tally now. Considering his age, fitness and form the World Number 1 also has a great chance of chasing down and maybe even surpassing Roger’s record of 20.
This would mean Roger Federer who has been over past many years declared as the greatest of all time or GOAT in men’s tennis may well lose his 2 most powerful records. This would certainly affect his reputation in the GOAT race, considering that the 20 times Grand Slam champion already has a losing head to head against both his great rivals Rafa and Novak.