On Wednesday, Federer added another feather to his cap by taking his career prize-money to a whopping $11,02,35,682. This is the most any sportsperson involved in non-team sports has won in his/her career as prize money. This record was earlier held by American golfer, Tiger Woods.
Tennis – The wonder game
Tennis is a fascinating sport. It traces its roots to France in 12th century. In its primitive format, it was played as handball and known as ‘Paume’. Somewhere between 12th and 15th centuries, rackets were introduced. One would have never thought tennis would become such a phenomenal sport.
Cut to present day, tennis is played everywhere. No matter where you are, chances are there is a tennis court nearby. You can find a court and a game almost anywhere you go. And if traveling to play tennis is a plan of yours, you can find spectacular tennis resorts on almost every continent. It wouldn’t be outrageous to think that one day, people will even be playing it in Antarctica! All you need is a racket, balls, and one other person to go have a great time on the tennis court. Can’t find a partner/opponent? That’s ok! Most public tennis courts also have a backboard. Go smack the ball against the wall for a while. It will help your strokes and your timing. You will be even better off for your next match!
Professionally, we see fitter players sweating on the courts for longer. The result? Some amazing world records!
74 matches won in a row. 26 successive victories over top-10 players. 237 consecutive weeks as World No. 1. Here is a look at the 5 records in the world of tennis that are a landmark in their very own way.
1. Most consecutive singles victories
The current generation of fans, critics and former players, including John McEnroe, consider Novak Djokovic’s incredible 43-match winning streak that the Serb compiled in 2011 as the most impressive.
But, Djokovic’s undefeated run pales in comparison with former women’s No. 1 Martina Navratilova. Navratilova remained unbeaten in 74 consecutive singles matches in 1984.
The southpaw’s record breaking spree started with a comfortable straight sets win over Nancy Yeargin. Djokovic defeated Yeargin at the US Indoor Championships in February, 2011. It ended with a hard-fought three-set loss to Helena Sukova in the semi-finals of the Australian Open in December, 2011.
2. Most Grand Slam finals in a row
The much worshiped Roger Federer holds the record. Roger reached a mind-boggling ten Grand Slam finals on the trot in the men’s game. But, have you ever thought that isn’t a world record in tennis?
Yesteryear superstar Steffi Graf holds the record. Steffi raced to an unmatched 13 major finals on the bounce. Her winning spree continued from the 1987 French Open through to the title clash of the same tournament three years later in 1990.
3. Most straight points won
Only two players in the history of tennis have accomplished a Golden Set. Golden Set is basically capturing 24 straight points while not losing even one.
Bill Scanlon is the only man to achieve the feat back in 1983. Moreover, Yaroslava Shvedova repeated the act against Sara Errani of Italy. Therefore, becoming the first woman to do so in 2012.
But, it was prior to Shvedova’s exploits that the former US Open finalist Greg Rusedki managed to better Scanlon’s record. Rusedki won 25 consecutive points against Nicolas Massu of Chile at the Ericsson Open in Miami in 2001.
4. Longest continuous stay at No. 1
Roger Federer was ranked World No.1 for 237 weeks in succession. He was ranked No. 1 from February 2, 2004 to August 16, 2008 before his nemesis Rafael Nadal dethroned him from his perch by clinching the gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Federer’s stranglehold at the summit of the rankings was truly remarkable. The man who held that record before him was the American Jimmy Connors. Connors was No. 1 for 160 weeks in a row from July 29, 1974 to August 22, 1977. That’s just about one and a half years less than the Swiss maestro.
5. Most successive triumphs against top 10 opponents
Roger Federer can easily be conferred with the epithet of the ‘Record Man of Tennis’. The man virtually possesses every record that is there to be attained in the sport.
However, of his long list of career achievements the one particular record, he would be most proud of could be his utter domination of top 10 opponents from October 2003 to January 2005.
Federer’s ruthless streak began with a triumph over Andre Agassi at the Tennis Masters Cup in 2003. His winning spree was put to an end by a resurgent Marat Safin in the semis of the Australian Open in 2005.