“World No. 9 Roger Federer” might not sound so amazing given he’s spent 310 weeks at No. 1, but he's pulled off something very rare today. Federer is now just the second player, male or female, to be in the Top 10 since ATP and WTA rankings began in the 1970s.
Eight-time Grand Slam champion Ken Rosewall was still ranked in the Top 10 in August of 1976 at the age of 41, just a few months shy of his 42nd birthday.
“I don’t think my goal was to play until 39 or 40 or more,” Federer said at Wimbledon. “It was more like 35, which was already a high number at the time. Borg retired early. Agassi played a bit longer. Edberg and Becker and Pistol, they all retired earlier.
“I remember a conversation with Pistol 10 years ago. He was wondering how much longer I had in the tank. This was when I was just hitting 30 years old. He was thinking I was coming towards the end or something just because it was normal for him at 31, 33, with the career we’ve had, with all the sacrifice in a way that you have to go through, that it’s hard to keep on pushing for more years on tour.
“No, the goal was not to play until 40. This all mainly came the last years. I never thought also with the last surgeries I’ve had that I would still be going.”
No 40-something has been in the Top 10 of the WTA rankings. Serena Williams could be the first should she get back there after her birthday in September.
Federer and Serena already hold the record for oldest players to reach No. 1 on the ATP and WTA rankings, doing it at age 36 and 35, respectively.