Roger Federer ends the record-breaking streak. Will Rafael Nadal catch him?

Tennis - After 20 staight seasons, the Swiss will not play an ATP final in 2020 due to knee surgeries

by Jovica Ilic
Roger Federer ends the record-breaking streak. Will Rafael Nadal catch him?

After the second right knee surgery, Roger Federer has placed a curtain on the current season and is ready for 2021. The 20-time Major champion played only one tournament this year, reaching the semi-final at the Australian Open and still standing in the top-4 after Melbourne.

Instead of preparing for Dubai, Roger had to undergo right knee surgery in February, hoping to get ready for Halle and Wimbledon four months later. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the season has been on hold since early March, with no official tennis before August.

It was an excellent chance for Federer to fully recover and start all over at the US Open, although he couldn't practice at 100% because of that knee that required another procedure a couple of weeks ago. Not willing to rush anything, Roger will skip the rest of the year (if we see the restart of the season) and try to get ready for 2021, eager to extend his career and competing on a high level at least for a year or two.

Thus, the Swiss maestro will not continue his record-breaking streak of 20 consecutive years with at least one ATP final, starting in Marseille 2000 when he was 18!

In the previous 20 years, the Swiss had claimed 103 ATP titles from 157 finals, battling for at least one ATP trophy for two decades and passing Jimmy Connors at the top of the standings last year in Dubai.

At one of his favorite events, Federer became the only player with 20 consecutive years with at least one ATP final, leaving the great American on 19 and hoping to extend that streak for a couple more seasons. Losing that Australian Open semi-final clash to Novak Djokovic and skipping the rest of 2020, that now leaves the door open for Rafael Nadal, Gael Monfils and Novak Djokovic, the active players with the longest streaks behind Federer.

As we already said, Jimmy Connors is the second-best streak owner, with at least one ATP final between 1971-1989, standing as the leader of the pack for 30 years before Federer moved in front. Rafael Nadal is in third place with 17 seasons, competing in his first ATP final in Auckland 2004 at 17 and collecting 122 title matches in total.

His latest one came in Acapulco in February, just before the coronavirus break, becoming the third player with one ATP final in 17 straight seasons and hoping to match Roger Federer's record in 2023. Gael Monfils is hardly a player that we could link with consistent results but he also stands strong on the list, occupying the fourth place with Ivan Lendl, both playing in an ATP final for 16 consecutive years.

Novak Djokovic and Manuel Orantes are on 15, and the Serb is also a candidate for the top spot if he stays on the Tour long enough.

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal