Federer | 1,200

Antonio Arenas Mutua News

Roger Federer has recorded his 1200th ATP victory by defeating Frenchman Gael Monfils at the Mutua Madrid Open, 6-0, 4-6, 7-6(3). The Swiss’ latest spectacular record puts him in position to threaten the numbers Jimmy Connors left in his wake. Not only is he challenging for the record of the most singles titles in the Open Era (since 1968), which belongs to the American with 109, just eight more than Federer after his wins this season in the Dubai ATP 500 and the Miami Masters 1000.

He is also closing in on the record for the most matches won since amateur and professional tennis joined forces. When Connors won his last match against the German Martin Sinner on the grass of Halle on the 22nd of June 1995, in the quarter finals 7-6(9), 6-0, he had racked up 1253 career victories. This means that Federer knows he will pass him with 54 more wins. To give us an idea of how long it might take him to win that many matches, counting back that many would take us to Indian Wells 2018, just 14 months ago, although last year he did not play the clay swing in Europe that we are currently in the midst of.

So, we should not be surprised therefore if he becomes the leading match winner when he is the second to shake the umpire’s hand at some point in the second half of next season. There is even a third ATP record that belongs to Connors, which could also be under threat, although it seems far less likely than the other two. It is the record for the longest career. The US player played until after his 44th birthday, while the man from Basel will have to wait until 8 August to be 38 years old, when he will still be a year behind another great of the game, the Romanian Ilie Nastase. Without forgetting that the Croatian Ivo Karlovic is still active having turned 40 on 28 February and still has a place in the top 100 players in the world.

If we take into account that Federer has been on tour since 2000, the numbers show that he has spent half of his life as a professional player. It has now been more than two decades since his first coaches started to work on “taming” his nerves and energy on court to let the most outstanding tennis talent even seen shine through. Thanks to his admiration of the German Boris Becker, once he had overcome the indecision he harboured until 12 years of age between tennis and football, just like Rafa Nadal, but also with ice hockey, the Australian Peter Carter, who died in a car accident in 2002, was his first truly influential coach. He was joined by fitness coach Paul Dorochenko, who would hit three balls at him at once and he would have to return them before the second bounce.

Victories and opponents
100. Boutter. Basel 2001
200. Youzhny. Halle 2003
300. Hewitt. US Open 2004
400. Haas. Australian Open 2006
500. Ferrer. Monte Carlo 2007
600. Alves. US Open 2008
700. Reister. French Open 2010
800. Mónaco. Paris 2011
900. Simon. French Open 2013
1,000. Raonic. Brisbane 2015
1,100. Sugita. Halle 2017
1,200. Monfils. Madrid 2019