For Roger Federer, 2014 was a year like no otherNovember 27, 2014

Roger Federer can call it a career at the age of 33, assured of becoming the greatest of all time (GOAT). But there was no sign of slowing down, even a back injury that forced him to pull out of the ATP World Tour Finals. He only reached the Wimbledon finals. He had an impressive win-lose record, though. Only Novak Djokovic, who won his fourth ATP World Tour Finals, did better.

One must look back to understand the significance behind Federer's figures this year. Pete Sampras was 31 years of age when he quit the sports. He admitted he lost any enthusiasm, but he found the way to win his 14th major title at Flushing Meadows. This was two years after winning his seventh Wimbledon singles title. It was a nice ending to what have been a great career. It remains to be seen if the Swiss wins his 18th major crown next year. There's no question if he'll win, his believers insist. He had wins over Djokovic and Andy Murray this year. He was victorious at Cincinatti and Shanghai, both part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000. (It's a series of nine tournaments that are more prestigious after the four Grand Slam events.)

Speed bump

The year turned out well for Federer. It may not be impressive if compared to ten years ago, when he won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments, but it wasn't bad at all when all things considered. He reached the finals of eleven tournaments, winning five. He only lost four times during the second half of the year, even had a chance to challenge Djokovic for the year-end top ranking.

Last week's ATP World Tour Finals saw a lot of one-sided results. It was the most exciting in years, as it featured three players who were making their first appearance in this prestigious event. (Murray played six tournaments in succession, winning three, in able to qualify.) Kei Nishikori, who reached the finals of the US Open. Marin Čilić, the reigning US Open champion. Milos Raonic, who was a semifinalist at Wimbledon. Stanislas Wawrinka was making his second appearance. He made his breakthrough early this year, winning the Australian Open. It was an all-Swis semifinals, which went the distance. The former #1 player prevailed in three sets, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), which was costly to him. An argument followed the match, which both men played down. Threre was concern on Federer's back. Switzerland would compete against France for the Davis Cup in Lille. The finals could've gone the distance, but it ended in the Swiss team's favour. They became the 14th nation to win the premier international team event since it began in 1899. Wawrinka was at top form, but it was fitting that Federer would sealed the tie. What a way to end the year.

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