Tennis: A decade that was

Factbox on highlights from the past 10 years of world tennis.

Written by Reuters | Washington | Published: December 21, 2009 11:54 am

Factbox on highlights from the past 10 years of

world tennis.

Player of the decade:

Since winning Wimbledon in 2003 Switzerland’s Roger Federer

has spent the rest of the decade ripping up the record books,

winning a further 14 grand slam titles to surpass the total of

Pete Sampras who dominated the 1990s.

Federer has taken men’s tennis to astonishing heights with

his effortless racket skills,silky movement and steely

determination making him the benchmark for the rest to aspire

to. In 2009 he reached every grand slam final and won the French

Open for the first time to erase any doubts about his greatness.

Defining moment:

In the Wimbledon fourth round,2001,a 19-year-old Federer

defeats Wimbledon king Sampras,champion for the previous four

years,in five gripping sets to mark himself down as the man to

take the baton from the American.

Although it took Federer two more years to click all the

pieces of his game together and win his first grand slam title,

nobody who watched him in action that day had any doubt that the outrageously gifted Swiss would rise to the top of the sport

although few could have predicted the heights he has scaled.

Match of the decade:

Sport needs great rivalries and the epic 2008 Wimbledon

final between five-times winner and defending champion Federer

and Spain’s Rafael Nadal encapsulated the flair,passion and

athleticism the two players have brought to the game.

Nadal,who had looked like crushing Federer in straight

sets,finally prevailed in near darkness after four hours 48

minutes of intense combat,punctuated by rain breaks and

dazzling brilliance from two players at the peak of their

powers. Nadal’s victory prevented Federer becoming the first man since the 1880s to win six consecutive Wimbledon singles titles.

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