Grass Great Federer Nearing A New Record
Roger Federer has excelled on one surface more than any other: grass. And he is closing in on making more history on the surface. After triumphing at the MercedesCup, his first tournament in three months, the Swiss is just six match wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on the mown lawns. According to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone, no other player in history has won more than 136 grass-court matches.
Most Wins On Grass In Tennis History
|1. Jimmy Connors||174-34||83.7%|
|2. Roger Federer||168-24||87.5%|
|3. John Newcombe||136-36||79.1%|
|4. Lleyton Hewitt||129-41||75.9%|
|5. Phil Dent||123-68||64.4%|
So really, it was no surprise that Federer lifted his 18th tour-level title on the surface. The Swiss now owns a 16-match grass-court winning streak leading into the Gerry Weber Open, which he has won a record nine times.
According to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone, no active player has won a higher rate of grass-court matches than Federer at 87.5 per cent (168-24). In fact, only two other active rivals have triumphed more than 80 per cent of the time on the surface: Andy Murray (84.8 per cent) and Novak Djokovic (81.9 per cent), who have both held the No. 1 ATP Ranking for more than 40 weeks.
Highest Active Win-Rates On Grass
|1. Roger Federer||168-24||87.5%|
|2. Andy Murray||106-19||84.8%|
|3. Novak Djokovic||77-17||81.9%|
|4. Rafael Nadal||61-18||77.2%|
|5. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||47-20||70.1%|
But perhaps what is most impressive is that Federer ranks among the best in tennis history on both hard courts and clay courts, too. The Swiss is second all-time on hard courts, behind Djokovic, at 83.3 per cent (725-145) and 14th on clay at 75.9 per cent (214-68). But he has simply been better on grass.
The 36-year-old has won 42.9 per cent (18/42) of the tour-level grass-court tournaments he has played. To put his 18 titles in perspective, only two other players in the history of tennis — Bill Tilden and Pete Sampras — have lifted 10 trophies on grass. Murray, the second active player on the list, has eight grass-court titles to his name.
In a way, it’s fitting that Federer is projected to break Connors’ record at Wimbledon. Many might argue that Federer truly announced his arrival on the tennis scene when he beat Sampras on the Wimbledon grass in 2001 at the age of 19.
“I lost to a talented player that's a great shot-maker,” Sampras said at the time. “He's got a great grass-court game. He's got all the tools.”
Sampras was right. And Federer is continuing to make his mark on the surface 17 years later.