You can be the hero
You can get the gold
Breaking all the records they thought never could be broke
For once it really is all about the numbers. The numbers, the stats, the records… and they all come tumbling down. In case you hadn’t noticed, I didn’t mention the possibility of this momentous occasion the past few posts. I was so nervous that I actually side-stepped the topic altogether. I figured I would mention it if it happened and just hoped it would happen soon. Because no matter how you slice it, 1000 match wins is a BIG deal. So either I was going to have to put proper emphasis on it from the start or not mention it at all. I chose the latter more for my own sanity than anything else. But before delving into what the win today means, let me take you 3 years back in time…
Q. There are endless milestones you have been passing on the way. What does it actually mean to you to rack up 1000 and do it in such style, as well?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, 1000 matches, not 1000 wins. Big difference. (Laughter.)
I wish it was 1000 wins, but I’m happy with 1000 matches in total, too. It’s nice to win this one […] It’s a big milestone, I agree. It’s a lot of matches and a lot tennis. Either I have been around for a long time or I’m extremely fit. You decide which way you want to describe it. I don’t know. But I’m happy.
That excerpt is from the 2012 Australian Open presser after his QF win over Juan Martin del Potro. Now almost 3 years later, here we are. The Maestro’s wish came true and what’s more it was a final match win too, his 125th final. Even more special was the fact that he had never won a title in Brisbane so it was a new title too. This is what he had to say in his presser last night.
Q. What does 1000 mean to you?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. It’s a lot of matches. A lot of wins thankfully. A lot of wins, the 1000 we’re talking about. Yeah, clearly it’s a great feeling. Couldn’t have done it without so many people. You know, number one, just even started to play tennis, and then all the coaches and everybody, conditioning coach, Federation, my wife, who probably sat through about 800 of them, wouldn’t have been possible without them. So I had great support staff throughout my whole career. Every one of them has made some sort of a sacrifice for me to be there today. Clearly it’s a special day for me, winning a title plus getting to the magic number of 1000.Yeah, it feels very different to any other match I’ve ever won, because I never thought about anything, reaching 500 or 800. All those numbers didn’t mean anything to me, but for some reason 1000 means a lot because it’s such a huge number. Just alone to count to 1000 is going to take a while. Yeah, it’s funny emotions right now, but clearly very proud and happy.
The match looked straightforward in the beginning as Roger was up a set and a break. Then Milos made things very difficult and a combination of roger’s level dipping and I’m sure some nerves kicking in, made the 3rd set an all-out brutal war. In the end, Roger won it the hard way and when he converted the match point you could see how much this win really meant to him. He became teary a few times, especially when he saw his twin girls waving at him 😀 To top it off, Roy Emerson handed him the Roy Emerson trophy and Rod Laver presented him with a memento for commemorating 1000 match wins so the two legends made the occasion even more special. Here is the small clip of highlights and here is the on-court ceremony. Here is the presser clip and lastly, here is the ATP tribute video for Roger.
Here are some of the records he achieved with winning this match and the Brisbane title:
- Roger won his 1,000th career match. He is in 3rd place behind Lendl and Connors.
- Roger has now played 1,227 matches in his career. He is in 3rd place behind Lendl and Connors.
- Roger won his 83rd career title. He is in 3rd place behind Lendl and Connors.
- Roger played his 125th career final. He is in 3rd place behind Lendl and Connors.
- Roger won his 23rd ATP 250 title. He is in 2nd place behind Muster with 26.
- Roger played his 31st ATP 250 final. He is in 3rd place behind Muster and Roddick who reached 32 finals each.
- Roger won his 62nd outdoor title. He is tied at 1st place with Nadal.
- Roger won his 57th hardcourt title extending his own all-time record.
- Roger won his 1st Brisbane title.
- This was Roger’s 748th outdoor match win.
- This was Roger’s 621st hardcourt match win.
- Roger set a new record for winning at least one title for 15 consecutive years from 2001 to 2015. The previous record was by Lendl for 14 consecutive years.
This was a happy day for Roger and his fans. We celebrate the 1,000 wonderful moments he has given us and look forward to sharing many more. A special thank you goes out to his team for supporting him always, especially Severin Luthi, who in the past few years has traveled with him non-stop. I also want to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to his family for not only being supportive but also being willing to share him with us. We know if they didn’t want to put up with the traveling and the jet lag, we would have lost him from the tour a while ago. So thank you Mirka, Myla, Charlene, Leo and Lenny. We know how precious he truly is and we are grateful.
I leave you with his two tweets that aptly sum up how happy we ALL feel including Roger. The first from that night:
and the second from the following morning 🙂
It’s been a fantastic ride Maestro! And there’s no chance we’re getting off the train. Not now, not ever.
Standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world’s gonna know your name
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame
– Lyrics by The Script from the song “Hall of Fame”
***Photo is an AFP photo from the Chicago Tribune site***