Federer embodies Swiss virtues, say newspapers

The Swiss press is full of superlatives for Roger Federer, a day after the Swiss tennis ace captured a record-breaking 15th Grand Slam title by winning Wimbledon.

This content was published on July 6, 2009

Federer defeated sixth-seeded American Andy Roddick in five sets on Sunday to surpass Pete Sampras who retired with 14 Grand Slam titles to his credit. Federer's victory also puts him back atop the ATP rankings as the world's number one tennis player.

"Enjoy Roger Federer" was the title of the commentary in the Basler Zeitung (BaZ), the newspaper in Roger's hometown of Basel. "Roger Federer has achieved more in tennis than any player before him. He is the best in a sport that is played and followed around the world."

The BaZ added that Federer's "Swiss and un-Swiss virtues" helped him secure such a lofty goal.

"Federer is a perfectionist who is in control of everything – on and off the court – and like a watchmaker ensures that every wheel locks into the next and no springs come loose," the paper commented.

"He is down to earth, works hard and has not forgotten his roots which allows him to preserve his decency, stops him from getting caught in any unsavoury light and is why he has not missed a Grand Slam tournament since 2000."

From zero to 15

The Tages-Anzeiger hyped Federer as a "top manager". "From zero to 15 in six years. He achieved a record number of Grand Slam titles in a stunningly short period of time.

"Switzerland's most famous person has shown us on the world's top tennis courts how to overcome crises," the Tages-Anzeiger said.

"After years of victories of nearly clinical precision he made us suffer with him [by winning only one Grand Slam tournament in 2008 and losing the number-one position to Rafael Nadal].

"That shows that there is a lot more behind all of his successes than a phenomenal talent. He is also a passionate fighter, and he is masterly at managing his talent, and better than his opponents at making a game plan."

The Tages-Anzeiger agreed with the Basel newspaper that Federer's display at Wimbledon should inspire his fellow Swiss and remind them of traditional Swiss virtues.

Business analogy

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) took the business analogy a step further: "He works globally and is supported by a very stable cell of close associates. But he is not afraid of shaking things up at the top. He has parted ways with several coaches over the years when they failed to help him advance.

"Federer cultivates technical and tactical versatility and at the same time his linguistic talents makes him a representative of multiculturalism," the NZZ went on. "This image has made the tennis star one of Switzerland's most important exports."

"One king, 15 crowns" was the front page title in the French-language Le Temps.

"History continues to be written, in a record book that will soon run out of pages. There are no words left to describe the heights reached by Roger Federer, already crowned 'best player of all time' since the French Open at Roland Garros."

Like other newspapers, Le Temps also wrote about Federer's next achievement – becoming a father. His wife, Mirka, is expecting the couple's first child in the coming weeks.

Imperial supremacy

"He is in top form to discover the pleasures of fatherhood after recovering the voluptuousness of imperial supremacy."

While people have been debating whether Federer is now the greatest tennis player of all time since he tied Pete Sampras's record at the French Open, the tabloid Blick left no doubt as to who was now the best: It superimposed "No. 1" in large yellow letters over a headshot of a triumphant Federer.

He is "addicted to emotions", said Blick.

"Roger Federer has reached the summit. Where can he go from here? Normally only down but not Federer. He must savour the highlights as long as he can. He has become an addict in his professional career: addicted to emotions, which he can only experience intensively on the centre courts of this world."

The Tribune de Genève gushed with rhetorical praise: "Phenomenal, incredible, historic: which adjective best describes the abnormal performances of Roger Federer?"

Dale Bechtel,

In brief

In 2001 Federer ended Pete Sampras's 31-match winning streak at Wimbledon in the fourth round of the tournament.

By winning Wimbledon in 2003, Federer joined Stefan Edberg, Pat Cash and Björn Borg as the only players to win both the juniors' and men's Wimbledon championships.

Federer won five consecutive men's singles titles at Wimbledon (2003-2007), a feat only ever accomplished by Borg.

Pete Sampras holds the record for the total number of Wimbledon wins in the modern era with seven.

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