Factbox on highlights from the past 10 years of
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.
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.