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Korda Kick-Starts Metz Bid As Wawrinka Reaches Main Draw

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2022

Korda Kick-Starts Metz Bid As Wawrinka Reaches Main Draw

Sonego takes out sixth seed Karatsev at indoor ATP 250 event

Sebastian Korda has only just begun his 2022 indoor season at the Moselle Open in Metz, but already the American is coming across some familiar faces.

The World No. 49 held firm against his former #NextGenATP rival Hugo Gaston on Monday to secure a 6-3, 7-6(2) first-round victory at the ATP 250 tournament in France. It is Korda’s first indoor event since he reached the final of the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last November, when he squeezed past the Frenchman in five sets en route to championship match.

Korda was given a similarly stern test by Gaston in Metz on Monday. The The 22-year-old fended off two set points when trailing 5-6 in the second set as Gaston ramped up the pressure in front of his home fans, but after digging deep to hold serve Korda carried the momentum with him into the tie-break. He opened a 5/1 lead that proved unassailable as he sealed a one-hour, 37-minute victory on tournament debut.

Awaiting Korda in the second round is another player he beat in Milan 10 months ago, Lorenzo Musetti. Despite that defeat in his home country, Hamburg champion Musetti leads Korda 2-1 in their ATP Head2Head series.

In the day’s other main draw clash, Lorenzo Sonego upset sixth seed Aslan Karatsev 7-5, 6-3 to reach the second round in Metz for the third time. Sonego notched two breaks of his opponent’s serve in each set to register his first tour-level victory against Karatsev in four attempts. The Italian will next take on the winner of Tuesday’s matchup between David Goffin and home favourite Gilles Simon.

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Also on Monday, Stan Wawrinka booked his spot in the main draw in Metz after completing a 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-0 second-round qualifying victory against Zsombor Piros.

The 16-time tour-level titlist Wawrinka found his rhythm after dropping the first-set tie-break against the World No. 160 Piros. The Swiss saved all four break points he faced and converted five from nine of his own opportunities to break serve to complete a one-hour, 55-minute win in north-eastern France.

Wawrinka is competing in Metz for the first time since 2015, when he reached the quarter-finals. The former World No. 3 is seeking to build some form after enduring a tough run of results since returning to the Tour in April following 13 months out with a foot injury. He will take on Joao Sousa in the first round of the main draw, with the winner to face a second-round showdown with top seed Daniil Medvedev.

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Re-living Roger Federer's 7 Best Seasons

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2022

Re-living Roger Federer’s 7 Best Seasons

From breakout year to his big comeback, Federer’s string of dominant seasons spanned nearly two decades

With 20 Grand Slam titles and 310 weeks at World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, there is no doubt that Roger Federer is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Across his nearly two decades at the top of the game, the Swiss maestro’s seemingly effortless style and dominance captivated fans and confounded opponents – as he rewrote the tennis record books many times over. 

But which of Federer’s many seasons at the top would rank as the best of his career? Would it be 2004, 2006 or 2007, when he lifted three Grand Slam titles, or 2005 when he recorded the second-best winning percentage in the Open Era? What about 2009 when he completed the career Grand Slam at Roland Garros, or 2012 when he surpassed Pete Sampras for most weeks at World No. 1? breaks down seven of the best seasons of Federer’s legendary career, from his big breakout season to his major comeback year…

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Roger Federer captures his second Wimbledon title in 2004. Photo by: Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images

Win-Loss Record: 74-6 (92.5%)
Titles: 11
Grand Slam Titles: 3

After bursting onto the scene by winning Wimbledon, his first major title, in 2003, Federer reinforced his position as a force to be reckoned with just one season later. He became the first man to win three Grand Slam singles titles in the same year since Mats Wilander in 1998 as he captured trophies at the Australian Open (d. Safin), Wimbledon (d. Roddick) and the US Open (d. Hewitt). 

The Swiss 22-year-old put together one of the most dominant seasons in the Open Era as he amassed a head-turning winning percentage of 93 (74-6) and rose to World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time (2 February). His trophy count totalled 11 by the time the year was done, and included a second Tennis Masters Cup crown [now Nitto ATP Finals]. 

“It’s still tough to believe because I think once I settle down, have some time off, at the end of the year especially, I’ll be looking back thinking, ‘How in the world did I do all this?’ Now, it’s just a little bit much,” Federer said after his win in New York. 

Little did he know how much more was in store…

<a href=''>Andre Agassi</a>, <a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Andre Agassi fell victim to Federer in four sets in the 2005 US Open final. Photo by: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Win-Loss Record: 81-4 (95.29%)
Titles: 11
Grand Slam Titles: 2

With four Grand Slam titles already to Federer’s name, the tennis world held its breath as 2005 dawned. The question on everyone’s mind was, ‘Will he be able to back it up?’ Turns out, there would not be any need to worry. 

Federer won four ATP Masters 1000 titles, including the ‘Sunshine Double’ by lifting back-to-back trophies in Indian Wells and Miami. At the Grand Slams, he continued his dominance at Wimbledon, winning his third consecutive Gentlemen’s Singles title (d. Roddick), and added a second US Open (d. Agassi) trophy to his cabinet. 

Federer went 81-4 in 2005, with a winning percentage of 95.29 as he won 11 trophies. It was the second-best winning percentage in the Open Era after John McEnroe’s 96.47 (82-3) season in 1984.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Six times Federer has won the season finale, including in 2006 in Shanghai. Photo by: Andrew Wong/Getty Images

Win-Loss Record: 92-5 (94.84%)
Titles: 12
Grand Slam Titles: 3

FedEx ATP Rankings

The World No. 1 Federer only lost to two players during an imperious 2006 season: an on-the-rise Rafael Nadal (four times) and 19-year-old Andy Murray (once). He ended the year with a nearly untouchable winning percentage of 95 (92-5). Federer reached the final at all four Grand Slams and won three, as he added to his legend at the Australian Open (d. Baghdatis), Wimbledon (d. Nadal) and the US Open (d. Roddick). 

He started 2006 on a 16-match win streak and finished the season winning 29 matches in a row, including a third Nitto ATP Finals title. That undefeated run would continue into 2007, and total a career-best 41 consecutive wins.

“I’ve run out of words [to describe] myself,” Federer joked after his 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 final win over James Blake in Shanghai. “I had to laugh at times today at how well I was playing. At this point in my career I’m so happy with my game.”

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>, <a href=''>Rafael Nadal</a>
Federer claims his second consecutive Wimbledon final win over Rafael Nadal in 2007. Photo by: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Win-Loss Record: 68-9 (88.3%)
Titles: 8
Grand Slam Titles: 3

For the second year in a row, Federer reached the finals at all four Grand Slams, winning three. He became the first player in history to win three majors in a year three times (2004, 2006, 2007) as he continued to fend off new faces and younger challengers. 

Federer defeated Fernando Gonzalez at the Australian Open, Nadal at Wimbledon, and Novak Djokovic at the US Open. He also won the Nitto ATP Finals and two Masters 1000 titles in Hamburg and Cincinnati, an 88 per cent (68-9) win-loss record.

His 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-2 victory over Nadal at Wimbledon was an instant classic, and saw him equal Bjorn Borg’s record with his fifth consecutive championship at the All England Club. The feat also extended Federer’s grass-court winning streak to 55. He would rack up 65 wins in a row on the surface between 2003 and 2008, the longest grass-court streak in the Open Era.

All the while, Federer remained firmly at the top of the game. His 237 consecutive weeks at the top of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings (2004-2008) remains an ATP Tour record.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Mission accomplished! Federer completes the career Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2009. Photo by: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Win-Loss Record: 61-12 (83.6%)
Titles: 4
Grand Slam Titles: 2

After being denied in three previous Roland Garros finals, Federer finally completed the career Grand Slam with a victory over Robin Soderling in the final in Paris. He became just the sixth man in history to complete the career Grand Slam. 

“This could be my biggest victory, the one that takes off the most pressure,” Federer quipped afterwards. “Now for the rest of my career, I can play relaxed and never hear again that I never won the French Open.”

A few weeks later, the Swiss once again made history as he lifted the Gentlemen’s Singles title once again, after defeating Andy Roddick in an epic five-set Wimbledon final. As Roddick held serve 37 times in a row, Federer finally broke through in the final game to win 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14. It was Federer’s 15th Grand Slam singles triumph, breaking Pete Sampras’ all-time record. 

<a href=''>Juan Martin</a> del Potro, <a href=''>Andy Murray</a>, <a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Federer adds singles silver at the London Olympics to the doubles gold he won in Beijing. Photo by: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

Win-Loss Record: 71-12 (85.54%)
Titles: 6
Grand Slam Titles: 1

The 2012 season marked an emphatic return to form for Federer. He won 86 per cent (71-12) of the matches he played and won six tour-level titles – his best stats in half a decade. 

Federer, who last won a major title in 2010, lifted his record-equalling seventh Gentlemen’s Singles trophy (d. Murray) – a record-extending 17th Grand Slam crown. In the process, he returned to World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, a feat that tied (and ultimately surpassed) Pete Sampras’ record for weeks at No. 1 of 286. The Swiss would go on to tally 310 weeks in total over the course of his career. 

A month later, he also clinched a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics. After dropping the first set to Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals, Federer outlasted the Argentine in a marathon 3-6, 7-6(5), 19-17 comeback to reach the final (l. to Murray). It was Federer’s first medal in singles for Switzerland, after previously winning gold in doubles (w/ Wawrinka) at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 

“It’s been a great month. I won Wimbledon, became World No. 1 again, and I got silver,” he reflected. “I am very, very proud honestly to have won a silver. I had a very emotional tournament from start to finish.”

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
A remarkable comeback season in 2017 begins with the Australian Open title. Photo by: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Win-Loss Record: 54-5 (91.5%)
Titles: 7
Grand Slam Titles: 2

With a revamped game, Federer embarked on one of the most impressive comeback seasons in tennis in 2017. At the age of 35, he won his first Grand Slam trophy since 2012 at the Australian Open after rallying from a break down in the fifth set against Nadal, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. The win made him the oldest Slam champion since Ken Rosewall won there in 1972 at 37. At his beloved Wimbledon, Federer kicked things up a notch as he won his 19th Grand Slam title  (d. Cilic) – and did so without dropping a set. 

Federer didn’t stop there, and he would go on to claim seven titles in 2017, including three Masters 1000 wins at Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai. It was the most trophies he had won in a decade, and he amassed a 92 per cent (54-5) win-loss record, his best percentage since 2006. After starting the season at No. 17 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings due to a knee injury that sidelined him for much of 2016, Federer would finish 2017 at World No. 2. 

“I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level. You would have laughed, too, if I told you I was going to win two Slams this year,” Federer said at Wimbledon. “People wouldn’t believe me if I said that. I also didn’t believe that I was going to win two this year.”

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Humbert Downs Thiem To Claim Rennes ATP Challenger Title

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2022

Humbert Downs Thiem To Claim Rennes ATP Challenger Title

Mmoh also claims title on home soil

Two French lefties won ATP Challenger Tour titles Sunday. Ugo Humbert defeated former US Open Dominic Thiem on home soil in Rennes to win his seventh Challenger title while Corentin Moutet triumphed at the Szczecin Challenger to claim his second Challenger title of the season (Lyon).

Players from France have now won 17 Challenger Tour titles this season, tying Argentina’s season-leading mark.

Humbert fended off all 21 break points faced this past week en route to capturing the Open Blot Rennes. In the championship match, the 24-year-old cruised to a comfortable 6-3, 6-0 victory over Thiem.

“I’m super happy, it was a very big match. A final is never easy, I managed to raise my level of play today,” Humbert said. “I couldn’t have hoped for better, I had been looking for this level for a long time. I managed to play well on the important points and I felt that I had managed to crack him. To finish the week like this is very strong. I worked hard to get to this level of play.”

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The Frenchman has won his past nine finals at all levels, including the ATP 500 event in Halle in 2021 (d. Rublev), which propelled the lefty to a career-high No. 25 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. This week was Humbert’s first appearance in a final since claiming the title in Halle and his first Challenger final appearance since October 2019 (Brest).

Humbert, who holds three Tour-levels, began this season with a win over then-World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev at the season opening ATP Cup. This summer, he reached three straight Challenger semi-finals: Pozoblanco, Segovia, and Vancouver. Humbert’s title on home soil this week lifts him to No. 110 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

“The Challengers are so tough, over time I knew it was going to bring a smile to my face,” Humbert said. “In the end, it’s this week and in France, which makes it even better. I want to finish in the Top 100 and be on the table for a Grand Slam. When I play at this level, I can hope for better things.”

Thiem, 29, was competing in his third Challenger event of the year as he looks to return to form after suffering a wrist injury last season that forced him to miss nine months. In his semi-final match, he defeated top-seed Hugo Gaston 6-2, 7-5.

At the Peko Szczecin Open, Moutet claimed his sixth Challenger title, defeating Austrian Dennis Novak 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4 in the final.

The 23-year-old arrived in Poland after reaching the fourth round of the US Open, where he lost to eventual finalist Casper Ruud in four sets. The title lifts the Frenchman to a career-high World No. 64.

<a href=''>Corentin Moutet</a> claims his second Challenger title this season.
Corentin Moutet claims his second Challenger title this season. Credit: Peko Szczecin Open

“I’m really happy to win here, especially today, it was a really hard match,” Moutet said. “Every time I’m playing against Dennis it is a hard fight, so I am really glad that I won this time. After the US Open, it is a good result for the first tournament on clay. I feel healthy and I still feel fresh for the next week.”

In the final, Moutet avenged his 2021 loss to Novak, who won in a three hour, 10 minute clash at the Orleans Challenger. It was another tight battle in Szczecin as the Frenchman held his nerve and converted 7/14 break points to triumph.

At the Atlantic Tire Championships in Cary, North Carolina, home favourite Michael Mmoh took down German Dominik Koepfer 7-5, 6-3 to capture his first Challenger title since 2019. The 24-year-old, who boasts six Challenger titles (all on home soil), rises to No. 133 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and sets his sights on a strong finish to the season.

“I have a gear I can work up towards, which is exciting, but I still played this match at a high level,” Mmoh said. “When the opportunities were there to be taken, I took them. Whoever changed direction first with a good ball was winning the point.

“At the beginning of this year, I said my goal was to finish Top 100. After this event and the momentum I have, that goal is still alive.”

American <a href=''>Michael Mmoh</a> claims the Cary Challenger.
American Michael Mmoh claims the Cary Challenger. Credit: Atlantic Tire Championships

Mmoh, who won the Tallahassee Challenger in April and reached the semi-finals in Cleveland and Malaga, reached a career-high World No. 96 in October 2018 after collecting back-to-back titles in Columbus, Ohio and Tiburon, California.

Moldova’s Radu Albot needed just 66 minutes to defeat Lukas Rosol 6-2, 6-0, winning 21/23 points off his first delivery to win the Istanbul Challenger TED Open.

<a href=''>Radu Albot</a> captures the title in Istanbul, Turkey.
Radu Albot captures the title in Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: Istanbul Challenger TED Open

Albot, seeded second, claimed his ninth Challenger title and his first this season. In 2019, the 32-year-old earned a personal-best 31 Tour-level wins, including his first ATP Tour title at Delray Beach (d. Evans, saving 3 MPs), and climbed to a career-high No. 39 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Rosol ousted top-seeded Australian James Duckworth in the first round and didn’t drop a set en route to the final in Turkey.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Roger Federer Fashion Trailblazer

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2022

Roger Federer Fashion Trailblazer

A look back at Federer’s most memorable fashion moments

For more than two decades, Roger Federer has enthralled fans with his play, personality, and superior fashion sense. His style has evolved from his long-haired teenage years to the detail-orientated, meticulously put together icon of modern day.

Though Wimbledon made expressing fashion a unique challenge with the white dress code, Federer rose to the occasion time and time again, managing to make his warm-up outfits as resplendent as his tuxedos for the champion’s ball (a celebration he starred in eight times). At the US Open, he appropriately went for bold, loud looks to rev up the New York crowds, while at Roland Garros he counterbalanced the red background by donning blue and neutral hues. At the Australian Open, where he won six times, he stayed effortlessly cool and chic in the sweltering heat every year.

Off the court, the Swiss has been a regular at the front rows of fashion shows and on best dressed lists alike. When Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine, was asked about her favourite looks at New York Fashion Week in 2007, she famously declared, “Anything that Roger wears!”

In honour of the 20-time Grand Slam champion’s decorated career, let’s take a journey through his most memorable looks.

Wimbledon 2006
On his way to winning his fourth Wimbledon trophy in a row, Federer made a fashion statement with a cream jacket more appropriate for a black-tie gala than a tennis court. He donned the perfectly tailored outerwear for the trophy ceremony with Rafael Nadal, all but breaking the internet.

<a href=''>Rafael Nadal</a>, <a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

US Open 2007
While Wimbledon was strictly all white, Federer wasn’t afraid to go to the opposite extremes elsewhere. In New York on his way to the 2007 title, he put together an all-back kit that intimidated every opponent. The look included black socks, black shoes and black wristbands.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

New York Fashion Week 2007
Off the tennis court, Federer continued to cement his place as a fashion ace as a regular guest at New York Fashion Week. Joined by Mirka and Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, he was pictured here at Oscar de la Renta’s spring 2007 fashion show.

“I grew up enjoying Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. I love Dior and Louis Vuitton. I also have a lot of Tom Ford’s suits, so that’s kind of how I got into [fashion],” Federer later told Esquire. “And I was lucky enough to meet a lot of those designers as well through Anna Wintour, who is a really close friend of mine. And moving about in big cities and meeting people like Oscar de la Renta and talking to them about fashion. Meeting people from the art world, it’s been very inspiring.”

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Peter Kramer/Getty Images For IMG

Wimbledon 2008
After the suit jacket at the All-England Club came the cardigan with the finely stitched gold RF logo. Going for his sixth straight Wimbledon title, Federer was upset by Nadal in one of the best matches of the Open Era as the daylight hours waned on Centre Court.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Roland Garros 2009
Of course, the outfit Federer wore on his way to his first, and only, Roland Garros crown is going to be significant. Fitted in a baby blue collared shirt with dark blue trim and red detailing, Federer managed to finally raise the La Coupe des Mousquetaires with a win over Robin Soderling in the final.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images

Wimbledon 2009
Instead of slowing down his fashion risks, Federer took things up a notch in London with a full three-piece suit for his walk out onto the court. Despite being made up of multiple pieces, the loose-fitting ensemble looked comfortable and breezy as Federer made his way to a sixth Wimbledon title.
“I did feel a bit funny in the locker room with other players looking at me and going, ‘What’s he thinking?’” Federer recalled in Esquire. “But it brought some glam to tennis and some style and something to talk about other than just forehands and backhands. I’m really happy that I did it and that I took chances like that throughout my career.”

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images


Nitto ATP Finals 2010
Federer appeared in a bold red kit for his appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals in London in 2010. He’d beat rivals Novak Djokovic and Nadal in the semi-finals and final, respectively. The sleek look was classic Federer with attention to detail in his shoe accents and the pairing of a flattering bright red with a neutral gray.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Australian Open 2013
Federer made splashes all over the globe during his career including with six titles at the Australian Open. He fell short in 2013 but left a resounding fashion statement with his pink-accented grey outfit. The pink detailing in the headband and shirt collar really brought the look together with the pink shoelaces making the biggest splash.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images

Academy Awards 2016
Not even arthroscopic knee surgery could hold Federer back as he rubbed elbows with the who’s who of Hollywood at the 88th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Three weeks after his procedure, Federer looked every inch the movie star as he hit the red carpet in Louis Vuitton and mingled with newly crowned Oscar winner Leonardo Di Caprio, Anne Hathaway and more at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party later in the night.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Hopman Cup 2017
After taking six months off from the Tour, the world was eager to see Federer back in action at the Hopman Cup. For the traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Swiss rocked a masterpiece of a tuxedo, complete with a sharp bowtie.

“I felt very uncomfortable in suits when I was younger, so what I just started doing was wearing suits whenever I went to dinner,” Federer told Tennis View Magazine in 2014. “I used to overdress a little bit that way but eventually I got used to wearing suits. And after a while I found that I really enjoyed buying and wearing beautiful clothing. Nowadays I’m as happy in a formal suit as a tracksuit!”

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Australian Open 2017
The 39-year-old’s black-and-white patterned outfit for his march to Grand Slam No. 18 was most memorable because of the grandness of his feat. Having not won a major in five years and taking most of 2016 off, Federer stormed to the title as the most-adored underdog.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images

The Met Gala 2017
In 2017, Federer skipped the clay-court swing, stunning and worrying his many fans. He made the most of his time off by attending the Met Gala in New York for the very first time. No simple tuxedo would do for the Swiss as he rocked a Gucci cobra-adorned jacket.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images For Entertainment Weekly

US Open 2019
No news in the brand apparel world was more shocking than Federer leaving Nike in 2018 after more than 20 years for a new contract with Uniqlo. At the 2019 US Open, he proved that it wasn’t the company that made him so stylish, it was the man. He shined in a black outfit with thick, white trim.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

GQ Most Stylish Man Of The Decade (2010-2019)
Federer’s signature mix of effortless elegance and classic menswear has landed him on countless ‘Best Dressed’ lists over the years. At the end of 2019, he scored major fashion points after being voted GQ’s Most Stylish Man of The Decade.

“Roger has been dressing like a champ for the full decade,” GQ editors wrote. “At 38, he knows what it takes to show up and look good.”

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>
Photo: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Federer has evolved over the years, on court and off it, and his fashion choices have reflected his growth and accomplishments perfectly.

Additional reporting by Stephanie Livaudais

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