After an incredible 2004 season that had propelled him towards the ATP throne, Roger Federer was the player to beat in 2005 as well, winning 81 out of 85 encounters and lifting 11 ATP titles just like in the previous season.
Spending the entire year miles in front of all the rivals, Roger lost the Australian Open crown and suffered defeats on clay to Richard Gasquet in Monte Carlo and Rafael Nadal in the semi-final at Roland Garros, standing strong in the other events to conquer Indian Wells, Miami, Hamburg and Cincinnati alongside two Major crowns.
In the repeat of 2004, Federer celebrated titles at Wimbledon and the US Open to extend his tally of the most prominent tennis titles and stay on the path towards tennis heaven. Following that semi-final loss to Nadal in Paris, Roger turned to his beloved grass and went all the way in Halle and Wimbledon, losing just one set at the All England Club to become the three-time champion at the cathedral of tennis and building confidence ahead of the hard-court swing.
Instead of playing at home in Gstaad on clay as in the previous years, Federer decided to take a well-deserved rest and return in Cincinnati, passing six obstacles to claim the third straight title and extend the winning streak to 18 matches.
There was more to come at the US Open, defending the crown in New York for the fourth consecutive crown and 25 victories in a row. Two weeks later, Roger played for his country in the Davis Cup against Great Britain, storming over world no.
262 Alan Mackin and heading to Bangkok where he was the defending champion. With a favorable draw, the Swiss notched the fifth straight title, beating young Andy Murray in the title match in the first ATP final for the Briton who was still ranked outside the top-100.
In the semi-final, Roger took down Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-4 in 57 minutes on October 1, getting broken once and earning three breaks to control the scoreboard and deliver the 30th consecutive victory on the Tour, becoming the eighth player in the Open era with such an impressive streak, the first since Thomas Muster in 1995!
Thus, the Swiss joined some great names on this exclusive list, standing alongside Bjorn Borg, Guillermo Vilas, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Ilie Nastase and already mentioned Muster, with only Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who would achieve that after Roger.
The Swiss' streak came to its end at the Masters Cup, losing that memorable final to David Nalbandian after more than four and a half hours, standing on 35 straight wins and embracing an even more impressive run fro the US Open next year, securing 41 consecutive triumphs until Dubai 2007 and suffering a loss to Guillermo Canas at the beginning of Indian Wells next week.