On This Day: Roger Federer celebrates 1000th ATP victory

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On This Day: Roger Federer celebrates 1000th ATP victory

Eight years ago, Roger Federer celebrated a massive milestone in the Brisbane final. The Swiss lifted the trophy and became the third player with 1000 ATP victories after Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl! Federer scored his first ATP win in Toulouse 1998 at 17, making significant progress through the ATP ranking list in those years.

The Swiss became a Major champion in 2003 and world no. 1 next February, sitting on the ATP throne for four and a half years. Despite losing ground a bit to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, Roger was still among the players to beat in 2014.

He scored 73 ATP wins and claimed five titles, battling with Djokovic for the year-end no. 1 spot until the ATP Finals. Roger made a fresh start in 2015 and headed to Brisbane to kick off the new season. After an early scare against John Millman, Roger raised his level and reached the title clash.

He prevailed over Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 for his 83rd ATP title. Federer needed 30 minutes to secure the opener with an extra break on his tally and moved closer to the finish line with an early break in set number two.

Milos pulled it back at 1-2 and dominated the tie break to reach a decider and improve his chances. The rivals stayed neck anc neck in the opening nine games, and the Canadian served to prolong the battle at 4-5. The Swiss earned a late break when he needed it the most to seal the deal and celebrate the title and a huge milestone, accompanied by Roy Emerson and Rod Laver during the trophy ceremony.

Roger Federer scored his 1000th ATP victory in Brisbane 2015.

"It's a lot of matches and wins; we are talking about 1000. It's a great feeling, and I could not have done it without so many people. You know, number one, just even started to play tennis.

Then, all the coaches, the conditioning coach, Federation, and my wife, who probably sat through about 800 of those. It would not have been possible without them. I have had excellent support staff throughout my career. Every one of them has made some sacrifices for me to be there today.

It's a special day for me, winning a title and reaching the magic number 1000. Yeah, it feels very different from any other match I have ever won because I never thought about anything after reaching 500 or 800. All those numbers did not mean anything, but for some reason, 1000 means a lot because it's such a huge number.

Yeah, it's funny emotions, but very proud and happy. I remember 800 of them, at least. I hope I do. It's almost more likable winning this way through a tight match with nerves and humid conditions against a great player in the final.

It means so much more than just running away with a 6-4, 6-4 win, which was looking very likely at one stage. I was much happier having to go three sets in the end than winning in straight. I did not say it on the court, but every time I see Rod or Roy, I'm thankful for them paving the way for us, having played I do not know how many exhibition matches promoting tennis and giving us this platform.

It kept improving, more people could come, and it became a professional tour. We could make a living out of it anywhere in the world. Fans have a significant impact on the game today. To win in a packed stadium is very nice. I never even thought about Jimmy Connors' record.

Next thing you know, you are in the top-3. I know how well they have played over the years, how much they have played, and how successful they were. It's not a goal of mine in any way. Clearly, at this point, I doubt it will happen, but you never know.

I have no idea how long I'm going to keep on playing. The goal is to remain in the game as long as possible. For that, I need to stay injury-free and be hungry and motivated. For the moment, I am, so that's more of a concern than reaching that number," Roger Federer said.