Roger Federer breathes Tennis. He is the very definition of the discipline, and he helped with the transition process. Twenty years ago, a young man from Switzerland was taking his first steps as a professional player. Sampras, Agassi, and Rafter were the dominant names at the time. Who would have thought that in less than a decade, that young Swiss player would become a living legend?

Roger Federer only needed two or three years at the top to create a unique legacy. By 2006, it became clear to almost everyone that we were witnessing the birth of a legend.

If it were to have a short version, maybe just three words, all that Federer represents can be described as a perfect mix of consistency, continuous learning, and love for tennis.

Roger Federer has spent more than 15 years inside the top ten

Back in 2002, Federer broke into the Top Ten for the first time. Several months later, he managed to cement his spot, and it became clear, it was only a matter of time until he would become king. 16 years later, he looks down from the summit in what represents his fourth stretch at the top. Even his most devoted fans were caught off guard by this recent surge.

Since 2002, Roger Federer has been inside the top ten and, during all this time, a single glitch occurred.

Federer dropped to 17th spot in the ranking only to surge inside the top ten following his success in Melbourne.

Federer never stopped the learning process

Unlike other players who may or may not have been committed to the same playing style from day one, Roger Federer chose the harder way. Trying to improve or to enrich a technique, a player must step outside of the comfort zone.

And Federer was determined to go off script each time an occasion emerged.

In recent years, his game improved quite a bit. A couple of years ago while being trained by Stefan Edberg, his technique at the net improved significantly. The same happened when Ivan Ljubicic stepped in as his main coach. That upgraded backhand and the damages it has delivered to his opponents has already become part of the tennis folklore.

Loving tennis is what keeps the mechanism going

Roger Federer is not the only one who loves tennis in the most genuine way, but, in his case, that feeling never went away. That's probably because it was written in his genetic code and, is the one thing that has made it all possible in the first place.

For those still in doubt, just watch a recent interview with Federer, then one from the start of his career. You may notice that there is no difference at all, the intensity, the passion for the game, that inner flame is still there, and it'll remain the same way until his last official appearance.