Between Wimbledon 2003-2012, Roger Federer was the player to beat at Major tournaments, conquering 17 titles and earning many records that will never get broken. Competing on a high level on all three surfaces and with incredible consistency, Federer left Pete Sampras and other legends far behind, accomplishing a Career Grand Slam at Roland Garros 2009 and staying competitive well after turning 30.
Following that historic 2009 season, Federer started to lose ground a bit, losing crucial Major encounters to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and failing to add more trophies to his cabinet after 2012. In 2016, Federer experienced a knee injury, missing the second part of the year and bouncing back stronger at the beginning of 2017 to lift three Major trophies between the Australian Open 2017-2018 to stand on 20.
That was a necessary move from Roger to stay in front of his main rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who were more successful than him in the previous decade. Winning at least one Major in almost every season since 2005, Nadal is right behind Federer with 19 Major titles, hoping to add the 20th in Paris in two weeks and catch Roger in the GOAT race.
Still, Novak Djokovic has been the player to beat in the most notable tennis events in the previous decade, earning 16 crowns since 2011 and hoping for another one at Roland Garros that would push him one behind Rafa and two behind Roger.
As we all know, Federer had experienced another knee injury at the beginning of the current season, undergoing two surgeries and staying sidelined until 2021.
Marc Rosset believes Roger Federer needs Dominic Thiem to keep his record.
His compatriot and former doubles partner, Marc Rosset, believes Dominic Thiem is the only chance for Roger to stay in front of Rafa and Novak, hoping he can steal more Majors from them in the next couple of years.
Thiem claimed the first Major crown in New York, conquering the US Open and looking good to add another trophy in Paris, losing Roland Garros final in the previous two seasons. Despite his effort, it will be tough for Thiem to steal every Major title from Nadal and Djokovic, and they will have the opportunity to catch and pass Roger if the Swiss fails to win more Major tournaments, which seems likely considering his age and such a long break from the sport.
"To tell the truth, Dominic Thiem is Roger Federer's best ally today. If the swiss Master hopes to keep some of his records, he will have to count on Thiem in the next few years. The Austrian can become the Andy Murray of the 2020s and finally defeats the curse.
We are counting on him to continue his momentum and confirm that he is indeed a great champion by going on to defeat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on their favorite surfaces," Marc Rosset said.