He’s been made to wait for his 100th career title but Roger Federer still has something to celebrate this week.
The Swiss great was knocked out of the ATP Finals by Alexander Zverev, who went on to win the title with an upset win over Novak Djokovic, over the weekend.
But as the 2018 season comes to a close, the 37-year-old Federer has reached a major rankings milestone.
The world No.3 to end the year, he has now sat inside the top 100 for an astonishing total of 1000 weeks in his remarkable career.
It is believed Andre Agassi (1019 weeks) is the only other player to have reached the mark, with Jimmy Connors falling 37 short.
However, Federer has broken ties with both men for two year-end rankings records that highlight his impressive longevity.
He will now have finished in the top 100 for a record 20 years and the top 50 for a record 19 years.
Having been in the top three all year, Federer is understood to hold the records for most weeks in the top 10 (839), top 25 (932) and top 50 (970).
He already owned the marks for most weeks at the top and in the top two, three, four and five.
He maintained his strong form in 2018 to win the Australian Open and three other titles, while becoming world No.1 again in February.
“I must tell you I’m very proud that at 37 I’m still so competitive and so happy playing tennis,” he said after his loss to Zverev.
“From that standpoint, I mean, as disappointed as I might be about this match, if I take a step back, I’m actually very happy about the season.
“It’s been an historic season in some ways. Got back to world No.1. For me, that was a huge moment in my life, to be honest, in my career because I never thought I would get there again.
“Five years ago, where was I? I was probably fighting with back pain in (2013), not sure if I was ever going to figure that back pain out again because I had it for almost probably four or five months of the season. It really rocked my tennis for a bit.
“Here I am having actually a pretty good season physically, as well, won another slam, got back to world No.1. So, yes, you can see it as a very, very positive season. That’s probably how I will look back on it, as well, once on vacation.”
Novak Djokovic (two grand slams, two Masters 1000 titles) and Rafael Nadal (one grand slam, three Masters 1000 titles) were more successful but the Swiss more than proved his worth.
A ninth title at his hometown tournament in Basel was his 99th tour-level triumph.
“(Pete) Sampras once upon a time said, ‘if you win a slam, it’s a good season’,” Federer said.