To a twenty-something tennis fan in 2021, Roger Federer is the prim and proper king of tennis. Always calm and collected in the face of adversity, an entire generation of tennis fans would struggle to think of Federer as the chubby-faced teenager who was known for his temper, ponytail and racket massacres. However, this is exactly how the Roger Federer story began. A prodigious player, Federer had been tipped to be one of the greats since his junior days. However, his transition to the senior circuit was not easy.
How Federer became Federer 🙌— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 4, 2021
20 years ago today, @rogerfederer won his first ATP Tour title in Milan!
Almost three years after his 1998 debut on the senior tour, Roger Federer finally won his first ATP title. It was a fight to the end, with Federer besting then 26-year old World No.67, Julien Boutter at the Milan Indoors tournament. Despite being one break down, Federer rallied to win the first set 6-4. He lost the second set 6-7(7) but broke Boutter early in the third set to seal a 6-4 victory. “I’ve had to wait a long time for this moment,” 19-year-old Federer said after his muted celebration, adding that he believed, “It should get easier from here on out”.
Federer's words were prophetic, but it took some time for them to kick in. In the good old days, as a struggling athlete, Federer and his father had driven up to Milan for the tournament. According to René Stauffer’s biography of the GOAT, Federer almost did not make it back home after his victory, as his father had locked the car keys in the car. In the end, father and son drove back to Switzerland in a car whose windows had been smashed out by the boy who would go on to become the face of tennis for an entire generation of people across the globe.
Roger Federer has been on an extended injury hiatus since he crashed out of the Australian Open semi-finals last year. After undergoing two procedures on his knee, the 39-year-old took the entire year off to concentrate on his recuperation. Federer shocked fans by announcing that he would not be a part of the Australian Open for the first time in his career. He is now expected to make his comeback in Qatar in March.
Federer's first Grand Slam win came at Wimbledon in 2003. Starting this year, Federer will be chasing his elusive 21st Grand Slam title. His last Slam win came at the 2018 Australian Open where he defeated Marin Cilic.
Celebritynetworth estimates the Federer net worth to be somewhere around $450 million. Of this net worth, Federer's lifetime earnings, from the game, stand at $129,946,683 (ATP figures). Federer was ranked #1 on Forbes' Highest-Paid Athletes 2020 list, with an estimated salary of $6.3 million and $100 million from endorsements in 2020 alone. This is besides the Federer Uniqlo deal, which was estimated to have been worth $300 million.