Roger Federer and Grass: A Special Relationship
In this article we will be beginning a series analysing the ability of the Swiss superstar on the grass. Come back for why Federer’s game matches these courts so well in the coming days.
In a sport filled with surprises and uncertainties, one thing, since 2003, has remained a constant. Roger Federer loves grass. It is his favourite surface, and Wimbledon is his favourite tournament. No matter how he has played in the season coming into the grass courts, Federer’s, game seems to elevate to an extent that he is a favourite to win every year at Wimbledon, for what seems like forever.
This view is not merely opinionated. The stats back up grass as the swiss superstars most successful surface. He has won Wimbledon a record 8 times, more than any other man in history, and the most in Federer’s frankly ridiculous collection of 20 titles. More interestingly, Federer has won Wimbledon 42% of the time he has entered the event. His next most successful slam is the Australian open, but even here, where he has won 6 titles, he has won the event 31% of the time he has entered, a full 11% less. Clearly, Federer has done well at Wimbledon over his entire career, showing how comfortable he is on the surface.
With his 8 titles, many forget how well Federer has done at Wimbledon int the years he hasn’t won the event. In his 19 times playing at the all England Club, he has made the semi-finals 12 times. This may not be statistically his best slam in this area, in Australia Federer has made the semi’s 14/19 times, but I believe his grass court record means more due to the nature of the surface. The speed of a grass court means that players have the ability to take the racket out of the hands of Federer, with huge serves and groundstrokes. If Federer can’t play, he can’t win. This means the swiss is likely to get fewer chances to get breaks in sets, so his general level must be higher than in Australia if he wants to take advantage of these few and far between chances.
Federer’s love affair with this unique surface must have only increased the more he has played. This is due the epic matches, many that will go down in history as all-time greats, Federer has been involved in. These encounters have both shown Federer to be the greatest of all time on this surface, as well as elevating the sport on a world stage. These include…
A Grand Slam Champion
Roger won his first ever Grand Slam here all the way back in 2003, beating mark Philipoussis in straight sets to achieve tennis immortality.
The Roger-Rafa Trilogy
Each better than the last, these two legends played three Wimbledon finals in a row, starting with a four-set win for Roger in 2006, and culminating in the greatest match of all time in 2008.
Roger Back to Winning Ways
After a two-and-a-half-year dry spell, in 2012 Federer beat home favourite Andy Murray to win a seventh Wimbledon title. This would be his last slam for over four years.
In 2017, Federer surpasssed Pete Sampras’s 7 titles here at Wimbledon to become the greatest ever player on grass.
Clearly, Federer’s results here at Wimbledon show why he is considered the best of all time on this surface. Look out for the coming article on what exactly it is about Roger’s game that have led to him having so much success on grass.