It was back in 2009 that Roger Federer had first equalled and then broken Pete Sampras’ then record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles. At the 2009 French Open, Federer won his 14th major title, thereby also completing the career Grand Slam. In the ensuing Wimbledon Championships, he broke the record, lifting his 15th Grand Slam title, following one of the all-time great matches against Andy Roddick. These were also his 19th and 20th Grand Slam finals, helping him break Ivan Lendl’s then record of 19 major finals played.
Almost 9 years later, Federer is still going strong. Following today’s somewhat anticlimactic win over Hyeon Chung, the Swiss maestro has reached his 30th Grand Slam final. On Sunday, he will be looking to win his 20th major title.
Extraordinary numbers – hell, yes! Unprecedented – hell, yes!
30 major finals! How can we even begin to quantify this? It’s the most by any male player, by a distance. The closest is Rafael Nadal, with 23.
Here’s trying to put it into some sort of context, with the numbers of some of the other greatest tennis players of all time:
- After Federer, Novak Djokovic and Jimmy Connors are tied for the second highest number of Grand Slam semi finals reached. They’ve both reached 31 semis, which is just 1 more than the number of finals now reached by Federer.
- Ivan Lendl, who held the record for the most major finals before Federer, has reached only 28 major semis.
- With 26 major semis, Rafael Nadal has played 4 less major semis than Federer has played finals. Nadal has reached 32 major quarter finals, 2 more than the number of finals Federer has reached.
- Pete Sampras held the record for the most major titles before Federer. He has reached 23 major semis and 29 major quarter finals in his career.
- Bjorn Borg, winner of 11 major titles, took part in only 27 Grand Slam tournaments throughout his entire career.