Ever since the 2000s a tennis player from Switzerland has had a home of sorts in the ranks of the world’s best in his sport. He was so at the top of his game that even if he couldn’t stay in the number one spot then he was never too far from it. This was the professional tale of contemporary tennis great Roger Federer from October of 2002. Finally this November this giant fell off the big leagues leaderboard.
FOX Sports reports that on the November 7 2016 weekly world tennis ranking released by the Association of Tennis Professionals, not only was the top spot claimed by Scottish ace Andy Murray, Federer, who at the last ranking was barely hanging on to the Top Ten at number 9, finally disappeared completely from the honor roll ever since he got on way back in October 7 2002. His specific world ranking is now at number 16, a seven-rank drop. Although it was a disappointing end of his standing for the 2016 pro tennis season, his new ranking is still quite respectable considering he only got into seven major tournaments this year and hasn’t been on the court competitively since July.
To give a non-tennis follower an idea of how long Federer defended his “title” of being one of the world’s best ten players, when he got on the list in 2002, “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” was airing in theaters, the long-running TV sitcom “Friends” was still on the tube, “American Idol” had just begun its inaugural season that would see the rise of Kelly “Original American Idol” Clarkson, and the War on Terror was just barely a year old and still earning an enthusiastic public reception.
When he first got on the ATP Top 10 Federer was still an inconsistent performer, as proven when he got an early taste of the ranking that summer of 2002, only to be dislodged from the list thanks to a Wimbledon whooping at the racket of Mario Ancic. He would climb back up to number 7 by October, and by that time the then-20- year-old’s prodigious talent and skill would ensure that he’d never fall under number 10 for 14 years.
Of that long period at the sweet zone, the Swiss wonder would spend 302 weeks of it at the World Number One. His now-current Number 16 ranking is the lowest he’d ever been on the ATP charts since May 2001. And thanks to this big hiccup, brought on by his enforced absence thanks to gameplay injuries, the currently 35-year- old Federer can kiss goodbye his chances of breaking the Top 10 record of Jimmy Connors which he held from 1973 to 1988 – 788 straight weeks. Federer’s streak ended at 734.
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