2017 can be considered the most surprising season of Roger Federer's career, capable of winning one Grand Slam title and two Masters 1000 in the first months of the year despite being back from a forced stop of six months.
Returning to the circuit with a renewed backhand, the Swiss phenomenon has won the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami and three other ATP titles. Their 2017 Australian Open final was one of the more highly anticipated major finals in tennis history, in part due to the relevance within popular discussions on their placement in greatest of all time listings, coupled with that fact that they were both already in their 30s, which is usually when most male players are on the decline or have already retired.
Other matches considered particularly notable include the 2006 Italian Open final, 2007 Wimbledon final, and 2009 Australian Open final, with each match going to five sets. “It’s real now. I can actually be talking about playing a final for the first time.
I’ve been dodging that bullet for the last couple of days. I’ll leave it all out here in Australia and if I can’t walk for another five months, that’s OK,” Federer shared. “Rafa is the biggest challenge.
This court allows me to be offensive. I’m probably his number one fan. We’ve had some epic battles over the years. It would be unreal to play here”. Federer regretted not playing an exhibition match at the inaugural of Rafa’s academy in Mallorca (in 2016).
“I don’t think either of us thought we were going to be here potentially playing in the final because I went to open his academy in Mallorca with him a few months back and I told him ‘I wish we could do a charity match or something’,” Federer added.