October 1, 2022

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU EVER NEEDED

The photography skills were still in their early stages back when Open Court began covering tennis full time.

But there are still some archives of the days from 2007, when Federer was already 25 (!), through the 2009 season.

Call it early peak-Fed, including the back-to-back US Opens in 2007 and 2008.

2007

The 2007 US Open champion

2008

The 2008 season was one Federer might remember more for defeats than victories, starting with a straight-sets elimination by Novak Djokovic in the semis of the 2008 Australian Open.

After that, we traced the progress of a somewhat unsightly boil on his right cheek (not kidding – it was a big deal at the time).

And, of course, there were the cardigan moments at Wimbledon.

The final there, finishing 9-7 in the fifth set in the dark, was won by Nadal but remains one of the seminal matches of his career.

2009

No one knew for sure if Federer was going to show up in Montreal for the 2009 Rogers Cup.

His twins had just been born, and it was in doubt until the last minute.

Until Federer just casually rocked up in the late evening a few days before the start of the tournament, to have a hit along with coach Severin Luthi and countryman Marco Chiudinelli.

He also helped drop the curtain on the career of Quebec player Frederic Niemeyer, who was never a rock star but had a credible career during years when there weren’t many Canadians out there.

Niemeyer, with a ranking of No. 484, had already upset No. 39 Igor Kunitsyn in the first round when he came up against Federer, whom he had known for a long time and was on friendly terms with.

Federer, always knowing where he is and who he’s facing, had a nice, competitive match with Niemeyer, winning 76 (3), 6-4 and saying lovely things about Niemeyer in the interviews after the match.

The Swiss beat countryman Stan Wawrinka after that, before losing an absolutely bonkers match to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round, which went to a third-set tiebreak.

He went to Cincinnati after that, beating Ferrer, Hewitt, Murray and Djokovic on his way to the title. And then he reached the US Open final, losing another bonkers match to Juan Martin del Potro.