Roger Federer fails to crack the top-2 for the first time in 17 years

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Roger Federer fails to crack the top-2 for the first time in 17 years

For 16 consecutive seasons between 2003-18, Roger Federer had been ranked inside the top-2 for at least a week in every season, gathering 528 weeks among two best players in the world to keep the record for many years. Rafael Nadal has matched that achievement this week after another rock-solid season, staying as world no.

2 behind Novak Djokovic since the beginning of the season and passing the Serb on Monday to conquer the ATP throne ahead of the ultimate battle in London. This means that Roger Federer has failed to have at least one week in the top-2 for the first time since 2002, ending that record-breaking streak after not being able to match the performance of Djokovic and Nadal.

At the age of 38, Roger is still the third-strongest player on the Tour ahead of Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem, lifting one Masters 1000 title in Miami and wasting two match points in the final at Wimbledon that could have made his season an even better one.

Federer lost the ground to Djokovic and Nadal after an early exit in Melbourne, losing almost 2000 points there and struggling to match the pace of Djokovic and Nadal who are by far the best players of the season. Roger cracked the top-10 for the first time back in May 2002 after winning the maiden Masters 1000 title in Hamburg, finishing the year in the top-6 and chasing even higher goals in 2003 that saw him winning the first Major crown at Wimbledon.

That summer, Roger had found himself in the top-2 and also had the opportunity to become world no. 1, missing it but making no errors in 2004 when he started clear domination over the rest of the Tour. Since November 2003, Federer never left the top-2 for almost seven years, staying there until July 2010 when he failed to defend the title at Wimbledon, passed by both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the first time.

Roger found the way to finish the season in the top-2 and stayed there until March 2011, struggling to overpower Novak and Rafa before embracing another assault in 2012 when he became world no. 1 again. Roger lost ground in the second part of 2013 before another impressive comeback a year later that pushed him back inside the top-2 once again.

Roger was the second-best player in the world behind Novak Djokovic throughout 2015, stealing one week in the top-2 in 2016 before finishing outside the top-15 due to an injury, missing the second part of the year and returning in glory in 2017 when he found himself in the top-2, only behind Nadal.

As we all know, Federer stopped the clock once again in 2018, delivering consistent results at the biggest tournaments to become world no. 1 at the age of 36, finishing the season behind Djokovic and Nadal and not matching their pace for the first time in many years to stay out from the top-2 in the entire season.