Evergreen Federer is widely regarded as the sport’s GOAT – greatest of all time – but faces fierce contest to maintain his record number of slam wins.
King of Clay Rafael Nadal has also won 20 Grand Slams, while Serb mastermind Novak Djokovic is breathing down their necks with 18 to his name.
But what makes Federer’s career entirely unique – one of many aspects – is his defiance of the aging process as he is set to turn 40 in August.
It was the 1,243rd win of Federer’s career.
In an ominous warning to the next generation of stars – led by the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas – the eight time Wimbledon winner said the original Big Three had no plans to step back.
Referring to himself, Nadal and Djokovic, he warned: “We will try to stand fast for the longest time possible and will try to increase the number of our titles.”
“Very impressive in the comeback so far.”
Eleven-time Grand Slam winning Aussie Rod Laver, 82, wrote: “Great to see you back on court @rogerfederer.”
One Twitter user wrote: “What is tennis if not Roger Federer persevering?”
Christopher Clarey, NY Times tennis correspondent, wrote: “Decades that Roger Federer has played on the ATP Tour: 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s.”
Mats Wilander, former World No1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion, told L’Equipe: “Roger Federer’s comeback at almost 40 years of age shows the incredible passion that drives him. I have never seen someone who loves tennis as much as he does. Nadal has a passion for competition. Roger, he’s interested in the game of tennis.”