Roger Federer's cup of joy overflows
Lille: It's taken him 16 years as a pro, but Roger Federer finally has won all there is to win in tennis — well almost. All four Grand Slam titles — a record 17 in total — six ATP year-end titles, 23 Masters Series, Olympic gold and now the Davis Cup for Switzerland.
Switzerland's Roger Federer during his Davis Cup final battle against Richard Gasquet of France in Lille, France on Sunday. Pic/Getty Images
The Olympic title of course was in the doubles with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing 2008 and he is yet to match Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi as the only men to have won all four Grand Slams, Olympic singles gold and the Davis Cup.
But still, it's an astonishing record for a player many consider to be the greatest of all time. The Davis Cup win was arguably the hardest of them all for Federer to win, involving as it does other players.
Asked to compare his feelings in winning Wimbledon for the first time in 2003 and what he felt on Sunday after supplying the point Switzerland needed to win the Davis Cup final over France he replied: "You can't compare. When I won Wimbledon, it was a total shock, honestly. Davis Cup is something that I knew was possible at some stage in my career.
"It is a totally different feeling. Also I was not alone on the court. This totally changes everything." Federer's first tournament as a professional was in Gstaad in 1998, where he lost in the Round of 32.
Although rated as one of best juniors in the world, there was no real hint at that time what tennis was about to witness as he entered the professional sphere. It wasn't until he defeated Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in the fourth round in 2001 that his true potential became evident.
But the Federer era began in earnest when Federer produced a majestic display over the Wimbledon fortnight in 2003, defeating Mark Philippoussis in straight sets in the final. The Swiss ace then dominated tennis over the next four years winning 10 Grand Slam titles.
Still the Davis Cup remained out of his grasp and, at 33, time was clearly running out when he and Wawrinka decided that they would commit totally to playing the Davis Cup this year 1 a decision that culminated in Switzerland becoming just the 14th country to win the Davis Cup.
The year in which Roger Federer won the first of his seven Wimbledon singles titles