Roger Federer brings down curtain on his career with a defeat, but still dazzles alongside longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal at the World Tour Finals
Novak Djokovic, the most successful player in tennis history, is on the cusp of greatness. In May, the Serb finished his career at No. 1 in the ATP rankings. He has now defeated six top 10 players over the past seven months. But Federer, Nadal, Murray, Djokovic and Djokovic, the best player in the world, have all fallen short of their peak.
The four-time champion’s victory at the World Tour Finals in Marseille, France, on Saturday will bring an end to his four-year reign on the highest rung of the sport: No. 6 on the ATP rankings. But he has already accomplished something far greater. His victory at the tournament, his third in six months, and his first since 2012, will go down as the biggest surprise of his career.
His latest success at the World Tour Finals will be the final chapter of the battle he has waged since he came to prominence as a 17-year-old. Federer, who turns 38 next month, has remained virtually unbeatable in his four-decade career. Not since 2006 has a person known as “King Novak” lost a finals match.
But there is no sign of the “King Novak” losing his edge in the battle over Grand Slam titles. In the past 11 tournaments — since Federer’s quarterfinal win at the French Open in May — he has finished at least world No. 1 in six of them. He is the only active player who has reached 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals.
“Everyone says you’re unbeatable, you’re the undisputed best in the world,” Federer said. “I guess I’m still very happy with the way I’ve played. Obviously I’m happy to finally win this tournament, but I just want to congratulate all these guys that are here. I’m happy for them.”
Federer’s career has been more extraordinary than any of his rivals. He is the last tennis player capable of winning all of the eight majors every year except the French Open, which is his only title