PLAYER PROFILE – ROGER FEDERER
Full name – Roger Federer
Age – 39 (08.08.1981)
Nationality – Switzerland
Role – Right-Handed, One-handed Backhand (all-court player)
Coach – Ivan Ljubičić, Severin Lüthi
Current Ranking – No. 8
Highest Ranking – No. 1 (02.02.2004)
Career Earnings – US$129,992,673
Win/Loss – 1243/273
ATP Titles – 103
Grand Slams – 20
Having originally started as an ill-tempered youngster, Federer transformed his on-court demeanour to become one of the most level-headed and tactically astute players in the game. After winning his first Wimbledon title in 2003 aged 21, the Swiss prodigy went on to dominate the world of tennis for the next seven years.
In 2004, he announced himself to the world by winning three out of the four possible major titles and ATP Finals – a feat he again repeated in 2006 and 2007. From 2005-2010, the Swiss maestro made it to 18 out of the 19 Grand Slam finals, winning 11 of them. After dominating men’s tennis with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, his 20 Grand Slams and 103 ATP titles rank him among the greatest ever players to ever grace the tennis court.
Best Finishes at each Grand Slam
Australian Open – Champion (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018)
Roland Garros – Champion (2009)
Wimbledon – Champion (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017)
US Open – Champion (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
Style of Play
Federer’s versatility was best described by tennis legend, Jimmy Connors: “In an era of specialists, you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard-court specialist… or you’re Roger Federer.”
Federer is an all-court, all-around player best known for his speed, fluid style of play and exceptional shot-making. Federer is accomplished at serve and volleying and has also developed the drop shot to his game, which gives him variety and helps him perform a well-disguised one off both wings.
Rivalry & Legacy
The Federer-Nadal rivalry is one of the greatest sporting rivalries of the modern era, with their epic duel in the 2008 Wimbledon final lauded by many experts as the greatest match of all time. The two greats have been playing each other since 2004, and their rivalry is a significant part of both men’s careers. While Federer leads the head-to-head in the grass and hard courts with a 14-10 record, Nadal outclasses Federer in almost every clay court with a 14-2 record.
Federer and Djokovic have played each other 50 times, with Federer trailing 23-27. The Federer-Djokovic rivalry is the greatest men’s Grand Slam rivalry, as the pair have squared off against each other a record 17 times. Besides Nadal, Djokovic is the only player to have defeated Federer in consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.
Sponsorships & Endorsements
Rolex – After initially signing a five-year endorsement deal with watchmaker Maurice Lacroix from 2004-2009, the Swiss maestro ended the deal just two years into it as he had been approached by Rolex to sign a multi-year contract. The ten-year deal fetched a handsome US$15 million per year. With the deal expiring in 2016, Rolex and Federer decided to renew their partnership. The new deal earns him around US$9 million a year.
Mercedes-Benz – Federer and Mercedes joined hands in 2008 for a three-year deal focused exclusively on the Chinese market. The deal was extended in 2011 to expand Mercedes’ use of Federer’s image in its marketing around the world. With his deal expiring in 2017, Mercedes tied Federer to a new ten-year contract that will end in 2027. Under this contract, Mercedes will pay Federer US$5 million per year. The Swiss will also be rewarded with a new car every six months.
Credit Suisse – In 2009, Federer partnered with Swiss financial services company Credit Suisse. On a company page dedicated to Roger Federer, the company states: “the attributes Roger represents are 100 percent aligned with who Credit Suisse is as a brand.” The ten-year deal reportedly earns him US$2 million a year. Credit Suisse also annually contributes US$1 million to the Roger Federer Foundation.
ON Running – After his decade-long deal with Nike expired in 2018, the Swiss maestro was left with no shoe sponsors for a brief time. Federer then forged a partnership with Zürich-based start-up company ON Running, for whom the former No. 1 is an ambassador as well as an investor and contributing designer. In the 2021 Qatar Open, Federer debuted his first on-court sneaker for ON Running. The “Roger Pro” is On Running’s first tennis-specific performance shoe and the first non-Nike pair Federer has worn in a match since he was 15 years old.
Jura Elektroapparate – Roger Federer first associated with the Swiss coffee maker in 2006. Jura appointed Federer as its brand ambassador the same year with a four-year deal. Since then, the two have had a harmonious working relationship. In the five-year extension deal offered in 2015, it was revealed that Jura will be paying the Swiss maestro around US$2.3 million. On the eve of their 15th anniversary in April 2020, Jura extended the deal for another five years.
Moët & Chandon – French champagne maker Moët & Chandon roped in Roger Federer as its new brand ambassador in 2012 after the then World No. 2 parted ways with IMG. Becoming the champagne house’s new crown jewel, Federer starred in Moët & Chandon’s spring advertising campaign launched in March 2013. In 2019, the pair opted to extend the deal which will see Federer earn US$8 million a year.
Barilla – In 2017, Federer announced his partnership with the Italian food company Barilla. The food company is known for its pasta and is relatively below some of the high-end brands he is involved with. The deal, though, is a handsome US$8.1 million a year which runs till the end of 2022.
Lindt – Swiss chocolate and confectionery company Lindt first signed up Roger Federer as a global brand ambassador in 2009. Federer appeared in the company’s ” Maîtres Chocolatiers” TV campaign, becoming the first celebrity to represent Lindt in its 160-year history. In December 2017, the two extended their partnership for another five years, which would see Federer bag US$4 million a year.
Wilson – Since turning pro in 1998, Federer has been using Wilson racquets ever since and is said to have a lifetime deal with the American company. The Swiss has co-designed the Pro Staff – a version of the racquet he currently plays with. In their long association, Federer has switched frames a lot of times, most notably moving to a bigger one recently. The deal, though, only earns him US$2.8 million a year.
Uniqlo – When Federer’s Nike deal ended in March 2018 there were a lot of speculations about whether the two would renew the deal. On the first day of Wimbledon 2018, however, Japanese casual wear designer Uniqlo and Federer announced their ten-year deal. Uniqlo – who already sponsors Kei Nishikori and previously partnered with Novak Djokovic till 2017 – is said to be paying Federer US$30 million a year.
NetJets – The world’s largest private jet company, NetJets, acquired the services of Roger Federer as its brand ambassador in 2004. The company pays him US$6 million annually. As a part-owner, Federer has his private jet that helps him with his travelling on tours. As per the brand’s website, Federer has said, “NetJets is definitely part of the winning formula for me on the tennis tour.”
Sunrise – Roger Federer became the brand ambassador for Swiss telecommunications operator Sunrise in 2014. The five-year deal fetched him US$7 million annually, with Federer featuring in several commercials for the company in his home nation. In 2019, Federer extended his deal with Sunrise which would earn him US$4 million.
Rimowa – The German luggage manufacturer roped in Roger Federer in 2018 on a two-year deal. Federer featured in the company’s first global campaign to celebrate its 120th birthday. As per the brand’s website, when asked how the association came about, Federer said, “I felt it was a very natural fit for me, for both of us, I’m a world traveller for 20 years now, I love the suitcases and the brand and there’s so much potential for the Brand. Being from Switzerland, I appreciate quality and craftsmanship.”
Nike – Federer had a long, lucrative partnership with Nike since 1994; in other words, the pair had a long working relationship of over two decades. The value of the deals kept rising as the terms of the contracts changed naturally with time. His last deal in 2008 earned him around US$10 million annually, covering ten years. When it was time for contract renewal talks, Nike couldn’t put together a deal sweet enough to keep Federer.
Gillette – As a part of its three-year “Gillette Champions” marketing campaign, Gillette roped in Roger Federer as a global brand ambassador in 2007. The deal earned him US$3 million a year. They parted company in 2015, but not before we saw Federer using their products in various commercials. Though the exact sum for the payday was not revealed, it was expected to be in the region of his usual fee – US$3 million.
Emmi – Swiss dairy group Emmi and Roger Federer first joined forces in 2003 and the Swiss player endorsed a range of products, including yoghurt and muesli. Their association soon folded, however, in 2009. One of the spokesmen of the company hinted that the company’s international presence was no match to Federer’s global appeal.
Maurice Lacroix – In 2004, Federer joined Maurice Lacroix when he was managed by his family and girlfriend. The deal saw Federer become the watch manufacturer’s official global ambassador. However, his consistent performances in Grand Slam tournaments attracted other suitors and two years into the deal, Rolex wooed him away with a mega US$15 million annual deal for a span of ten years.
Business Ventures & Investments
ON Running – Founded in 2010 by former professional triathlete Oliver Bernhard and friends David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti, ON is a Zurich-based shoe manufacturing start-up. In 2019, after his shoe deal expired with Nike, Federer was without a shoe sponsor for a brief period of time before he joined hands with On Running. Federer invested a sizable amount into the start-up and was made a founder of the sporting brand as well. As a part of his role, Federer oversees product development, the design center, and sports marketing.
NetJets – Roger Federer has been an owner and brand ambassador of NetJets since 2004. The American airline company sells part ownership of their private aircrafts. In return, owners like Federer have guaranteed access to some of the special aircrafts for several hours to manage their travelling while on tours and spend quality time with their families.
Team8 – In 2013, Federer started the sports management agency Team8 with agent Tony Godsick and two other American investors. The firm aims to manage athletes and scout young upcoming stars of the future. With Team8 being Federer’s firm, he is the face of the company. In recent years, the firm has managed to attract some top tennis players like Juan Martín del Potro, a former US Open champion. Coco Gauff is the latest player to be associated with Team8; the 16-year-old is a teenage sensation and is expected to shake up the tennis world soon.
- 20 Grand Slam titles overall (tied with Nadal).
- The only player to win three Grand Slams in a year on three different occasions (2004, 2006, 2007).
- The only player to win two or more Grand Slam titles in a year in six different seasons.
- The only player to win five consecutive Grand Slams in two different tournaments (Wimbledon – 2003-2007, US Open – 2004-2008).
- The only player to reach all Grand Slam finals in a calendar year on three different occasions (2006, 2007, 2009).
- Played most number of Grand Slam finals (31).
- The only player to reach 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals.
- Has won most number of matches in Grand Slam tournaments (362).
- The only player to win 40+ consecutive matches at two different Grand Slams (Wimbledon, US Open).
- The only player to win 5+ titles at three different Grand Slam events (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open).
- The only player to play 7+ finals at three different Grand Slam events.
- The only player to play 15 semifinals at a single Grand Slam event (Australian Open).
- Federer has won 103 ATP titles, only behind Jimmy Connors (109).
- Has won the ATP Tour Finals a record six times.
Notable Charity Work
- In 2003, when he was only 22, Federer established the Roger Federer Foundation to help disadvantaged children and to promote their access to education and sports.
- Since May 2004, Federer has been supporting South African-Swiss charity IMBEWU, which helps children better connect with sports as well as social and healthcare awareness.
- In 2005, he auctioned his US Open-winning racquet to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
- In 2005, he also arranged an exhibition involving several star players from the ATP and WTA circuit, called Rally for Relief. The proceeds went to the victims of the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake.
- In December 2006, Federer visited Tamil Nadu, one of the most affected areas in India. He was also appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF and also appeared in many of their campaigns to raise public awareness of AIDS.
- In response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Federer arranged a special charity event with fellow tennis stars called “Hit for Haiti”, which generated around US$200,000. He also participated in a follow-up exhibition during the 2010 Indian Wells Open, which raised US$1 million.
- That same year, the Nadal vs Federer “Match for Africa” played in Zurich and Madrid raised around US$4 million for the Roger Federer Foundation and Fundación Rafa Nadal.
- In 2014, the “Match for Africa 2” between Federer and Stan Wawrinka raised US$850,000 for education and projects in Southern Africa.