roger federer

Roger Federer
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Roger Federer out for rest of 2020 tennis season

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Roger Federer is expected to sit out the remainder of the 2020 tennis season due to a setback in his return from February right knee surgery.

“A few weeks ago, having experienced a setback during my initial rehabilitation, I had to have an additional quick arthroscopic procedure on my right knee,” was tweeted from Federer’s account. “Now, much like I did leading up to the 2017 season, I plan to take the necessary time to be 100% ready to play at my highest level. I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly but, I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season.”

Federer, who turns 39 on Aug. 8, would go nearly one year between tournaments, the longest break of a career that’s included a male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

Rafael Nadal is at 19 Grand Slams and could pass Federer if he wins the U.S. Open and French Open in September, assuming those tournaments are held amid coronavirus concerns. Novak Djokovic has 17 Grand Slams.

Federer underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery on Feb. 19 following pain that bothered him “for a little while.” He was expected to miss three months, but then the pandemic wiped out tennis through July.

Federer had been relatively healthy the previous three years, since missing the Rio Olympics and 2016 U.S. Open due to a left knee injury. He had undergone arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in February 2016.

Last year, Federer played the French Open for the first time since 2015, a sign that he was feeling very fit.

He played one tournament in 2020, reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open. He was swept by Novak Djokovic and said after that he went into the match believing he had a three percent chance to win coming off a groin muscle injury.

Federer is still likely to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, either by being ranked in the top 56 after the 2021 French Open (and among the top four Swiss) or by taking the one wild card place available for a past Olympic gold medalist or Grand Slam singles champion with priority given to the player with the most titles.

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Roger Federer is the world’s highest-paid athlete

Roger Federer
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Roger Federer is the world’s highest-paid athlete, the first time a tennis player took the No. 1 spot in Forbes’ annual list of the 100 top earners since its inception in 1990.

Federer, the 38-year-old, 20-time Grand Slam singles champion, earned $106.3 million in the last 12 months — $100 million via endorsements, according to the report.

He edged Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million) for No. 1. They were followed by fellow Olympians Lionel Messi ($104 million), Neymar ($95.5 million) and LeBron James ($88.2 million). Messi and Ronaldo were Nos. 1 and 2 in 2019, when Federer was fifth.

The highest-ranked woman, as reported last week, is Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka at No. 29 ($37.4 million), who supplanted Serena Williams ($36 million), who is No. 33. They are the lone women in the top 100, marking the first time multiple women made the list since Williams and Maria Sharapova in 2016.

The breakdown of the 100 athletes:
Basketball — 35
Football — 31
Soccer — 14
Tennis — 6
Boxing — 4
Golf — 4
Auto Racing — 3
Baseball — 1 (Clayton Kershaw)
Cricket — 1 (Virat Kohli)
MMA — 1 (Conor McGregor)

Tiger Woods was No. 1 for 11 straight years from 2001-11. Michael Jordan was No. 1 for six years in the 1990s.

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Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal rivalry swung at 2008 Wimbledon

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
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Rafael Nadal‘s win over Roger Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final proved to be more than an instant classic, a book, a documentary. It, more than any of their other 39 matches, became an enduring snapshot of a shift atop tennis.

Nadal prevailed 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 in 4 hours, 48 minutes, dropping to a flashbub-lit Centre Court lawn at 9:16 p.m. local time. The match is part of NBCSN’s Breakfast at Wimbledon programming on Tuesday night.

“Compared to the way things were for years,” Nadal said in the 2018 film, “Strokes of Genius,” “history was now being rewritten.”

Before that match, Nadal had won four Grand Slams — all at the French Open, though he had said since childhood that Wimbledon was his crown jewel. Before that match, Federer never lost a Grand Slam final outside of the French Open, including capturing the previous five Wimbledons (and the last two against Nadal in the final).

Federer had been No. 1 in the world since February 2004. In a three-month stretch in mid-2008, Nadal spanked Federer in the French Open final (6-1, 6-3, 6-0), ended Federer’s Open Era record 65-match win streak on grass and won an Olympic singles title, which remains the hole in Federer’s resume.

Wimbledon stung the most.

“In the moment itself, I was like, oh my god, this is the worst day of my life,” Federer said in “Strokes of Genius.” “It was really like maybe three, four, five, six, seven weeks after the match that I really started to feel the magnitude of the match.

“I had to embrace the idea of a rival. In the beginning, I didn’t want to have one. Then I eventually realized there’s something to get out of this situation, so I might have to adjust my game a little bit.”

After Nadal won their 2009 Australian Open final duel — Federer memorably lamenting, “God, it’s killing me,” in his tearful runner-up speech — the Spaniard had five straight victories in the rivalry, spanning all three surfaces. He went up 13-6 in their head-to-head.

Federer led the Grand Slam titles race — 13-6 — but Nadal was five years younger. At the same age, Federer had four fewer Slams than Nadal.

“The official changing of the guard,” NBC Sports analyst John McEnroe said after Nadal’s win on the 2008 Wimbledon broadcast. “He’s officially taken over the mantle of the best player in the world.”

Federer would get it back. He finally prevailed in Paris in 2009 (after Nadal was stunned by Robin Soderling), then returned to No. 1 after winning 2009 Wimbledon. Nadal missed defending his title due to knee problems.

Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic spent the 2010s trading Slams and the No. 1 ranking, each enduring lulls (Federer’s the most concerning).

After the most recent Slam, the Australian Open last January, the career Grand Slam titles tally: Federer 20, Nadal 19, Djokovic 17. The greatest-ever discussion sways with every Slam, a debate that began in earnest in 2008.

“If this doesn’t spark interest in our great sport,” McEnroe said on that Wimbledon broadcast, “I don’t know what will.”

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