On the same day Maria Sharapova notched a significant milestone at the Australian Open, Roger Federer registered another.

As far as third-round Fridays go at major tournaments, this one in Melbourne, Australia, carried a lot of historical resonance in the larger story of professional tennis.

More on Sharapova in a bit, but let’s start with Federer.

The 34-year-old plays for the history books almost every time he takes the court in a major tournament these days. Friday, Federer’s messy but productive four-set win over Grigor Dimitrov didn’t just usher him into the round of 16, something he failed to do last year in Melbourne Park; the win gave him 300 major-tournament singles wins, making Federer the first man in history to achieve the feat:

Let’s put Federer’s 300 major-tournament wins in context from a few different vantage points.

Start with the breakdown of wins by each of the four majors. Federer has won 78 or 79 matches at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open, 65 at the French Open. Consistency at all four events propelled Federer to this point. The French Open total is lower for two basic reasons:

1) Rafael Nadal (0-5 at the French, 0-4 in finals).

2) Struggles on clay very early in his career (before 2005) and in recent years (no semifinals in Paris since 2012).

At the other three majors, Federer has been remarkably consistent for a solid decade. Only three times since 2004 has the Swiss failed to make the quarterfinals of a hardcourt or grasscourt major (2013 Wimbledon, the 2013 U.S. Open, and the 2015 Australian Open). Even at the French, his weakest major, he’s made the quarterfinals or better in 10 of the last 11 years. That means he’s collected at least four wins (usually a few more) at virtually every major for more than a decade. That’s how you become a pioneer in men’s tennis history.

Here are two snapshots of what that consistency looks like:

About Matt Zemek

| CFB writer since 2001 |