Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Legend of Roger Federer

On Friday Rafael Nadal beat Nicolas Lapentti 7-6 (3), 6-1 for his 32nd straight win. This win will now make Rafael Nadal the #1 men's tennis player in the world and will end the 235 consecutive week streak of Roger Federer. With the end of the streak comes an end to the Federer dominance of men's tennis and the passing of the torch to the 22 year old Spaniard. Nadal is having one of the best seasons in tennis history having won Wimbledon and the French Open already and looking like a lock to win the US Open. With the end of the streak I feel it merits a look back at the Legend that was Roger Federer

Federer's streak began on January 26th 2004 after Federer won the Australian Open and passed Andy Roddick as the new #1. Federer would go on to win 10 more Grand Slams through the duration of the streak and would put himself in the record books multiple times. He would also enter the discussion of who is the best tennis player of all time.

To truly understand how impressive this streak is here are some facts about just how long 235 weeks truly is. The last time someone other than Roger Federer was #1:

- The #1 movie at the box office was Shrek 2
- The #1 album in the world was Confessions by Usher
- Martha Stewart was found guilty of stock tampering
- The Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years
- Survivor was in its 8th season (It is now in its 19th season)
- There was a lockout in the NHL
- Shows such as LOST, The Apprentice, and CSI: New York were making their premiers
- Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3 were not for sale
- Pluto was still a planet

By looking at these facts you can start to understand how truly impressive the streak truly was. To put it into perspective the old record was 160 weeks held by Jimmy Connor for men and 186 weeks held by Steffi Graf for women. Federer was the most dominant athlete of his time in a sport where one mistake can cost you everything.

So much has happened in the world since January 26th 2004. Things change everyday but there was one thing that never changed, Roger Federer being #1. It is an end that came seemingly out of nowhere but one that eventually had to happen.

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