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Rediff.com  » Sports » While Sachin keeps fans waiting, Federer achieves a 'rare' century

While Sachin keeps fans waiting, Federer achieves a 'rare' century

Last updated on: November 28, 2011 14:37 IST

While Sachin keeps fans waiting, Federer achieves a 'rare' century

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Last week was all about Sachin Tendulkar.

The Master Blaster has been on the threshold of a epoch-making 'century of centuries' for some time now (8 ½ months to be precise) and many felt he would achieve the same in front of his home fans at the Wankhede stadium -- venue of the third and final Test between India and West Indies.

The batting legend raised the expectations again, coming tantalizingly close.

However, just when fans beginning to celebrate, their hero was dismissed, just six runs short of his impending milestone. The Master failed in the second innings as well (scoring only three).

With Tendulkar skipping the upcoming ODI series against West Indies, his many fans will have to wait for another month before -- the first Test on the tour Down Under begins December 26 -- they can expect the 38-year-old to achieve that elusive century.

While Tendulkar kept his fans waiting, Roger Federer quietly achieved a 'century' of a different kind, thereby giving his many fans something to cheer in what has otherwise been a disappointing year for him.



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Federer joins elite club

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The Swiss Master joined an elite club of players when he played, and won, his 100th ATP final at the Barclays World Tour Finals in London.

Federer's 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3 win over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made him the first player to win six titles at the World Tour Finals while also earning him his 70th tour-level.

More importantly, he became only the fifth player in the Open Era (since 1968) to play in 100 tour-level finals when he beat Spaniard David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3 in the semi-finals of the said tournament -- a rare feat in a sport as grinding as tennis.

Rediff.com looks at the other members of 'centurion group' which the Swiss Master has just become a part of.


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Getty Images
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Connors leads the way

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Jimmy Connors (USA)

Anyone who follows tennis closely won't be surprised to see the American's name in the list.

Connors, whose career lasted close to two decades, owns a plethora of records in the modern game.

Somewhere among them is the fact that he played in a whopping 163 finals -- still a record for most finals played, winning 109 of them (another record).

Among the American's titles were eight major triumphs, three of them coming in 1974.


Photographs: Getty Images
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Lendl is not far behind in the list

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Ivan Lendl (Czechloslovakia/US)

If there is Connors in the list, can Ivan Lendl be far behind.

The Czech-born American, who won more than 40 tournaments before securing his first major title (French Open in 1984), played 146 finals in total.

Lendl won 94 of them, more titles than his equally illustrious contemporaries Boris Becker (49) and Stefan Edberg (42) combined.

The prolific player won eight major titles, having played in a whopping 19 finals.


Photographs: Getty Images
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Winning, a habit for McEnroe

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John McEnroe (US)

Another prolific player, the American made winning a habit.

He was equally good in both versions of the game, singles and doubles, winning almost the same number of titles in both.

McEnroe featured in a total of 108 finals, winning a majority of them (77).

Among his titles were seven major tournaments -- four at US Open and three at Wimbledon.


Photographs: Getty Images
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Vilas proves his worth

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Guillermo Vilas (Argentina)

This name might surprise a few who don't follow tennis on a regular basis.

Having said that, Guillermo Vilas' records provide ample proof of his greatness.

The Argentine played in a whopping 104 finals, winning 62 of them.

Among the notable triumphs for the 'Bull of the Pampas', were four major titles, including two -- French and US -- in 1977, a year in which he won a staggering 16 tournaments.

For those who aren't aware, despite of being a claycourt specialist, like most South American players -- winning 46 of his titles on the surface including the US Open when it was played on green clay at Forest Hills, Vilas won the Australian Open twice.

The tournament was played on the grasscourts of Kooyong in those days.


Photographs: Getty Images
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