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Appreciating Roger Federer

September 13, 2015 - Roger Federer in action against Novak Djokovic (not pictured) in the men's singles final match during the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. (USTA/Ned Dishman)

On Tuesday, Roger Federer announced that he will miss the rest of the 2016 season to rehabilitate his injured left knee. With it, his streak of 16 consecutive US Open appearances comes to an end.

Federer’s greatness is well captured by his numbers: a record 17 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, including five US Open trophies, in addition to 1,080 career match wins, 88 tour singles titles and five year-end No. 1 finishes (not to mention another five year-end finishes at No. 2).

Often lost amid the numbers, however, is his longevity. Prior to his withdrawal from the 2016 French Open, the Swiss had appeared in 65 consecutive Grand Slam main draws, a record in the Open era and a streak that dated back to the 1999 US Open, the last major main draw he had missed.

Federer actually competed in the 1999 US Open but lost in second round of qualifying. The last time he was absent from New York altogether was in 1998, when a then-17-year-old Federer instead played a clay-court Challenger in Geneva, falling in the opening round to Bulgarian Orlin Stanoytchev.

To put his enduring legacy in a US Open perspective, here is a look at some of his records at the tournament he conquered each year from 2004 to 2008, with return trips to the final in 2009 and again last year.

Most Singles Tournaments Played, Career, Open era
1. Jimmy Connors – 22
2. Andre Agassi – 21
3. Michael Chang – 17
4. Roger Federer – 16

Most Singles Tournaments Played, Successive, Open era
1. Andre Agassi – 21
2. Jimmy Connors – 20
3. Michael Chang – 17
4. Roger Federer – 16

Most Singles Matches Played, Career, Open era

1. Jimmy Connors – 115
2. Andre Agassi – 98
3. Roger Federer – 89
4. Ivan Lendl – 86

Most Singles Matches Won, Career, Open era
1. Jimmy Connors – 98
2. Andre Agassi – 79
3. Roger Federer – 78
4. Ivan Lendl – 73

Most Singles Championships, Open era
T1. Roger Federer – 5
T1. Pete Sampras – 5
T1. Jimmy Connors – 5

Most Singles Finals, Open era
T1. Pete Sampras – 8
T1. Ivan Lendl – 8
T3. Roger Federer – 7
T3. Jimmy Connors – 7

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