Roger Federer brings down curtain on his career with a defeat, but still dazzles alongside longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal as the pair win five Grand Slam titles in five years
At the close of one of the most dramatic, captivating, and at times exhilarating years of tennis on earth, a man in the last moment of retirement – the greatest tennis player of the modern era – found himself once again on court, competing with the finest in the sport.
Trying to bring his career to a close, Roger Federer did so on the biggest stage imaginable: his first grand slam, his first ever major at Roland Garros, and his second.
Federer came to the final in Paris against Novak Djokovic feeling, among other things, exhausted. The Australian had won 12 straight meetings, and in Federer’s absence, the Serb had taken the last four tournaments in a row. But as he left the Court Philippe Anspach at the end of his fifth consecutive win over Djokovic, it was clear that this was nothing compared to Federer’s return.
Federer came into the French capital’s clay court season determined to add a title to the four he had already won on the red-hot surface. He was coming off a dominant win against Roger Federer in the Madrid Masters in July. Only four days earlier, in his first tournament back in Paris after the birth of his daughter, he had also dominated in the Australian Open final.
All four titles he had achieved in 2017 came on French surfaces.
At his best, Federer’s style is to attack, play the ball longer, and return it as often as possible.
He likes to play the game with the same aggression, often going for the forehand, and he always attacks with great precision.
The one man Federer fears on a tennis court is his opponent. He says that on the court he “never