Roger Federer yesterday become the second player in the Open Era (since April 1968) to record 1,200 match wins.

As a player who has long chased the past, the Swiss superstar’s historic victory over Gael Monfils in the Mutua Madrid Open third round on Wednesday is another jaw-dropping achievement of longevity.

He will now set his sights on the 1,274 match wins record of American Jimmy Connors, who is also the all-time titles leader with 109 crowns, Connors earned his 1,200th match win in October 1988 on the indoor carpet of Toulouse and this week, in the Spanish capital, Federer is vying to capture his 102nd trophy. Two great Australians, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, who both won more than 1,000 matches on the amateur, pro tour and Open Eras of the sport, attribute Federer’s consistency on every surface to why he continues to be a major force.

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“He can play on every surface, he looks after his body and combines great fitness, with strategy and anticipation on court,” Laver told Rosewall adds, “He simply loves to compete, because he maintains his desire to play, even under the pressure he has grown used to. He is a global icon, who has taken our sport to new levels.”

Lendl, who notched 1,068 match wins — and passed 1,000 victories during the Swiss Indoors Basel in October 1992 — told, “Winning so many matches and being consistent for so many years is a by-product of preparing and working hard. You won’t always play well, but you find a way to win. It also takes good coaches and trainers, which Federer has had, to achieve these feats.”