© Ella Ling

Roger Federer

People of Influence: No 1 Roger Federer


The Tennis Space: People of Influence:
Number one: Roger Federer

Sphere of influence: The Tennis Universe, and elsewhere.

So Federer recently passed 10 million fans on his Facebook page: “That’s more people than Switzerland’s population.” But, as he and everyone else knows, it was a long time ago that Federer outgrew the cantons.

When Federer played an exhibition against Andy Roddick at New York’s Madison Square Garden this week, the main attraction was not the all-American player. While the greatest player of all time is plainly no longer in his prime, and has not won a grand slam for more than two years, he is still playing some fine tennis, remains a contender for the majors, and his brand and his appeal are at their peak (he received more than 100 votes last year in a local Swiss election which he had not entered).

Should Federer win one of this year’s slams, or Olympic gold, his hold over the sport will only strengthen. Federer is not afraid to use his power: it has been widely suggested that Richard Krajicek, a former Wimbledon champion, withdrew his candidacy to lead the ATP Tour because he could not be sure of Federer’s support. There isn’t much that happens in men’s tennis that doesn’t first have to be run past Federer. Doing anything without his support or consent isn’t easy. Federer is not going to be leading, or supporting, any locker-room strike action. The landscape would look very different if Federer took another view.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have contested the last three grand slam finals. But it is Federer, the world number three, and the wrong side of 30, who is undoubtedly the most influential animal in the tennis jungle (he is also the only player whose wife makes our top 20, with Mirka at number 20). Here is power and influence in five languages, with good manners, and perfect hair.

What next for Federer: Trying to extend his collection of grand slam titles from a record 16 to 17. Trying to regain the world number one ranking (one more week would put him level with Pete Sampras’ record). Trying to win a first Olympic singles gold.

The list in full:

The Tennis Space: People of Influence:

No 1 – Roger Federer
No 2 – John Skipper
No 3 – John McEnroe
No 4 – Max Eisenbud
No 5 – Ion Tiriac
No 6 – Venus and Serena Williams
No 7 – Rafael Nadal
No 8 – Philip Brook
No 9 – Maria Sharapova
No 10 – Li Na
No 11 – Brad Drewett
No 12 – Larry Ellison
No 13 – Stacey Allaster
No 14 – Novak Djokovic
No 15 – Andy Roddick
No 16 – Martina Navratilova
No 17 – Eric Babolat
No 18 – Ivan Lendl
No 19 – Gilbert Ysern
No 20 – Mirka Federer

  • Cheesecake

    Roger wasn’t a surprise but excellent list!

  • ADB

    Ditto, Cheesecake. Again.  (Although the text of the story lists Mirka at 19 — a small error.  Since Roger’s term on the Players’ Council is up this summer, it will be interesting to see if Roger makes the move to the ATP Board of Directors, replacing Ivan Llubicic, who’s retiring, or seeks to stay on the council as president.  He’s been an advocate for the lower-ranked players, annoying Nadal, who wanted a change in the ranking system (which would have benefited the top players.  And Djokovic seems hungry to take over as the most powerful, popular leader in men’s tennis.  Good luck, Nole.

  • Pat lynch

    Where is Clijsters she was a part of the Time top 100 the highest ranked ahlete damn I don’t believe this list

  • Susan

    Mirka 20? Horrible! Sick! Don’t like that awful woman! Let her out of the subject! Only care about Roger.

  • Susan

    Mirka is like Yoko to the Bettles, disaster

    • Mike G

      Like Yoko to the Beattles right on! Hate that mirka

  • Sesame

    No way Mirka 20? please! That woman is the dullest person ever how can you grant her so much power that’s almost a joke, the whole mirka power is nothing else but a media and press soup opera potion!!! come on get real I only care about Roger and real tennis not that sad woman

  • Mike G

    I am sure the players don’t care a hell what that mirka person has to say she is not even a board member how can she be 20 crazy don’t like her

  • Rokapaba

    Mirka? Really? What about Martina Hingis? A real tennis player.

  • Titi

    I knew it! because he has to be, he´s the Best. But Mirka with all my respect, she´s just Mrs. Federer.
    Federer, my bles!!!!!