Power Ranking the Top 10 Best Wins of Roger Federer's Career

Jeff CohnCorrespondent IIIJuly 31, 2011

Power Ranking the Top 10 Best Wins of Roger Federer's Career

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    Roger Federer has endured a great amount of success in his lifetime. He has won 16 Grand Slam singles titles (including the career Grand Slam), reached 23 finals and consecutive semifinal appearances in Grand Slams, and he is currently on a streak of 29 straight quarterfinal appearances as well in the Majors.

    Out of all of his several wins, some rank much higher than others because of the big stage, high stakes, ability of the opponent, and challenges that the Swiss Maestro had to overcome.

    The power rankings are in descending order and were chosen based on how special, important, and meaningful the wins were to his career.

Honorable Mention: Federer Def. Baghdatis, 2006 Australian Open

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    Marcos Baghdatis was on a remarkable run at the 2006 Australian Open. He reached the final to play, of course, the great Roger Federer.

    The Swiss had only lost one set (a tiebreak) to Baghdatis in their three prior meetings. But, the Cypriot wasn't going to let that stop him.

    Baghdatis won the first set, perhaps outplaying the World No. 1 at the time. The second set was close, too, but once Roger got that one under his belt, he also had another Major title under his belt.

    Federer was able to overcome his opponent, who was playing inspired tennis, and proved that nobody can stop him in a Grand Slam final except Rafael Nadal (although that hadn't been proven yet). 

Honorable Mention: Federer Def. Nadal, 2007 Wimbledon

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    Yes, this one could also be in the ranked section, but it didn't impact Roger's career too much.

    The feisty left-hander from Spain had always given his rival a ton of trouble on the court, but not on grass.

    In the 2006 Wimbledon final, Rafa got one set.

    In the 2007 Wimbledon final, Rafa got two sets.

    In the 2008 Wimbledon final, Rafa got three sets. You see the trend here?

    So, their 2007 encounter proved that Roger was still the King of Grass of his time—at that time. This win also proved to be the only five-setter in a Grand Slam that he could win against Nadal.

Honorable Mention: Federer Def. Murray, 2008 U.S. Open

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    After having a stellar year in 2007, Roger's 2008 quickly went into reverse. Once he caught the grandeur fever during the Australian Open, everything fell out of place.

    He lost in the semis to Djokovic (who had never beaten him in a Grand Slam before and was also the first person to defeat Roger in straight sets in a Slam since he lost to Gustavo Kuerten at the 2004 French Open).

    Then, he got demolished by Nadal at the French Open, struggling to win games. 

    Finally, to add insult to injury, he lost to Rafa at his beloved stage of Wimbledon.

    Roger had to prove that he had it in him to still win Majors and compete well. He also had to keep his streak of at least one-Slam-a-year alive.

    Andy Murray had led in head-to-head meetings against Roger prior to the 2008 U.S. Open final. Nevertheless, Roger crushed him in straight sets and proved that he was not falling down just yet. 

No. 10. Federer Def. Fish, 2010 Cincinnati Masters

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    The Fed Express was headed on a downfall yet again in 2010 after winning the Australian Open. Roger hadn't won a Major or ATP Masters 1000 title since that last victory, and many critics were accumulating more and more doubt, thinking that he was gone for good.

    Once more, he came up with the goods and had a resilient comeback against the resurgent American Mardy Fish to win a big event again. 

No. 9. Federer Def. Nadal, 2005 Miami Masters

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    The up-and-coming (didn't think he'd be this good, did you?) Nadal had upset Federer in Miami in 2004.

    He was looking to duplicate his win and was even two points away from doing it once more. Roger dropped the first two sets against the Spaniard, and Nadal was showing signs that he was the real deal and meant business.

    Roger came back from the two-set deficit to win what would be his only two-sets-to-none comeback against Nadal ever (although he was actually two points away from pulling it off at Wimbledon in 2008).

No. 8. Federer Def. Djokovic, 2011 French Open

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    Oh boy, was this one phenomenal—sorry, I couldn't resist.

    The hottest player on tour (and he still is) was on a record winning streak in 2011 and had already beaten Roger and Rafa many times that year.

    Novak had won the past two Grand Slam encounters that he and the Maestro played in: 2010 U.S. Open semifinal and 2011 Australian Open semifinal.

    But, Roger proved that nobody beats him three times in a row at a Major (except Nadal, as predicted).

    He played outstanding tennis and took on one of the biggest challenges possible and prevailed against the (now) No. 1 player in the world.

    The victory helped Roger Federer reach his 23rd Grand Slam final to tie his consecutive semifinals. And yes, that is a record as well.

No. 7. Federer Def. Every Good Player, 2010 World Tour Finals

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    In this tournament, Roger was by far the best tennis player and looked to have turned over a new leaf for 2011—so far that statement is barely backed up with results.

    Federer killed (sorry for the strong verb) Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and even Rafael Nadal (though he was the only player to take a set away from Feds) in the final.

    Roger had a new backhand, his serve was working better than ever, and his forehand and net play were superb as usual. We will have to see if he can duplicate this style at the 2011 U.S. Open—stay tuned!

No. 6. Federer Def. Agassi, 2004 U.S. Open

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    Andre Agassi, the 34-year-old legend, wasn't ready to let Roger begin a new era in men's tennis.

    These two met in the quarterfinals of the 2004 U.S. Open, and as you may have guessed, Roger was the No. 1 player in the world. In a partisan crowd that was rooting for Andre to pull off a huge win, the best player in the world stopped his run in a five-set thriller.

    Andre continued to produce great results, reaching the 2005 U.S. Open final to meet Federer again (and lose, too). Still, the American had nothing to lose for his old tennis age and gave Roger one of the toughest matches he ever played at Flushing Meadows.

    Feds would go on to win the tournament as well.

No. 5. Federer Def. Roddick, 2004 Wimbledon

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    The Andy Roddick of 2003 and 2004 had an absolutely killer forehand, decently powerful backhand, amazing serve (like I haven't said that one before), smart strategies to approach the net, and an overall aggressive game.

    Meanwhile, the Andy Roddick of 2011 is nowhere to be found, but I'll get into that some other time.

    Andy took the first set from Roger in the 2004 Wimbledon final, and he continued to slug away at his backhand.

    It appeared that the end was near for Roger, when he continued to find his own serve broken. He even led 4-0 in the second set before Roddick marched back to tie the set.

    The Maestro pulled through eventually and proved that he was better than A-Rod and that this was one of many Grand Slam beatings to come for Andy.

No. 4. Federer Def. Nadal, 2007 Hamburg

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    The King of Clay was on an 81-match winning streak on clay and looked to be literally unbeatable.

    After winning the first set 6-2 in typical Rafa fashion in the final of the 2007 Hamburg Masters against Federer, things unexpectedly changed. This match shall be forever known as the match that Roger Federer turned around against his rival and the first win over him on clay.

    Roger won the next two sets 6-2 and 6-0, respectively. It's only a shame that he couldn't do this in any of their French Open meetings—but, Nadal is just too good on La Terre Battue. 

No. 3. Federer Def. Sampras, 2001 Wimbledon

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    The almighty Pete Sampras was the biggest force at Wimbledon of all-time.

    The very young Roger Federer had reached the fourth round in 2001 to have a shot at defeating the (other) King of Grass. He showed much promise as a youngster, but he truly shocked the world when he took out the heavy favorite in five sets, playing a wonderful serve-and-volley game to match his opponent's.

    This match is very significant since it marked the changing of the guard from Pete's generation to Roger's. The match also jump-started his career and had people talking about him even before he first captured a Grand Slam title.

No. 2. Federer Def. Roddick, 2009 Wimbledon

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    Andy Roddick displayed another moment of brilliance in his amazing run at the Wimbledon Championships in 2009.

    He lost to Roger Federer with a scoreline of 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-3, 14-16. The only time he was broken was in the final game of the match.

    A-Rod played fantastically well from the baseline, dominating many of their long exchanges. This was the best shot he ever had at defeating his Swiss rival in a Major, and he remains unsuccessful in doing so to this day.

    Roger struggled to break the American's serve, but he kept his head up, displayed great patience, and had faith that he would eventually win in four sets, or break serve to win, which he did.

    This win was witnessed live by many legends, including another Wimbledon master, Pete Sampras. The victory allowed Roger Federer to break Pete's all-time record of Grand Slam titles to earn himself 15 of them. 

No. 1. Federer Def. Haas, Del Potro, and Soderling—2009 French Open

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    Roger only needed to win the French Open to complete the career Grand Slam and to prove his critics wrong. He even developed the forehand drop-shot to win the tournament that never satisfied his goals. 

    After Rafael Nadal was taken out by Robin Soderling in the fourth round of 2009 Roland Garros, the tournament was Roger's to win or lose.

    Feds found himself down two-sets-to-love in his fourth round match against Tommy Haas. Once Roger hit a magical forehand inside-out to save a break point in the third set, John McEnroe labeled it "the biggest forehand of [Roger's] life".

    He then found himself two-sets-to-one down in the semifinals against Juan Martin del Potro, who had never taken a set off Roger before the match. Roger had to remain tough, although he must have been more nervous than ever to fight off the Argentine, winning the fifth set 6-4.

    Luckily for Roger, he was facing a Swede in the final of the French Open this time. Never losing more than a set to the man before the match, Roger continued his dominance over Soderling and won the final in straight sets to earn himself the biggest victory of his life and the most meaningful title that he would ever get his hands on.