No matter how much greatness a player has gathered over the years, at a certain point, the aging process proves its superiority above everything. It`s about the lack of ability rather than decay and it is applicable to even the greatest characters. Roger Federer who earlier this week saw his ranking plunging down to the 16th position represents the matter of discussion here. During the past couple of years, a strange sense of criticism has swarmed around behing Federer`s back due to lack of success.

Federer made a breakthrough 15 years ago

It`s been 15 years since Roger Federer captured the spotlight for the first time with his tremendous Tennis display against his idol.

It was during the 2001 Wimbledon when the young Swiss player crushed Pete Sampras in the 3rd round of the tournament. Although he lost in the next round, that match against Sampras is widely considered as the starting point of a virtuous career.

In 2003, on the same grass court, Federer put the first Grand Slam on his showcase. It was the beginning of a new era in men`s tennis with Federer leading the herd. Subsequently, he was joined by Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Tsonga, Berdych, and Ferrer - each of them very skillful players eventually giving the world a great deal of entertainment and sparkling rivalry.

Of all those listed above, only a few tasted the real success and greatness. Federer once again was at the top with his 17 Grand Slam titles that he won.

Between 2004 and 2008, except for Nadal, there was no obstacle threatening Federer`s dominance.

10 years after he turned pro, the Swiss star gained immortality by winning that elusive French Open, the only Grand Slam missing from his pocket at that time. That year also marked the first signs of rust as he got a back injury that slowed down his pace.

Few seasons in the shadow

In 2012 Federer made his last statement regarding great successes by winning Wimbledon thus leveling his role model`s achievement of 7 singles titles in Wimbledon. Over the past seasons, while competing in the World Tour, Federer was forced to live in the shadow of either Nadal or Djokovic lately.

Against these players, he developed some sort of complex losing many encounters, especially in the finals. Murray is the only player of the Big Four against which Federer has a positive balance overall.

Maybe he is aware of his limits due to his age, but Federer is still eager to compete. He is expected to return to the tour in January in what may be his last season as a professional tennis player.

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