Roger Federer’s year finished in a familiar fashion. Racquet flying through the air, fists pumping, knees falling to the floor - the Swiss maestro has passed another milestone after sealing Switzerland’s first ever Davis Cup.
Of course, this triumph was as much of a team effort as it was a piece of individual brilliance, yet Federer’s grasp of another of tennis’ top trophies serves as a reminder of his enduring dominance and puts the gloss on what was another successful year for the Swiss.
After coming up short in the Wimbledon final and withdrawing from the ATP World Tour Finals through injury, the defining moments of Federer’s 2014 suggest a player on the wane.
Yet those disappointments aside, the world number two enjoyed one of his most successful seasons for six seasons, and his second-most lucrative seasons of all time.
If you include the Davis Cup, Federer finishes the season with six titles to his name. Only once since 2007 has he won as many competitions - in 2012, when he last won a grand slam with victory at Wimbledon.
The peak of Federer’s dominance of men’s tennis came around a decade ago, when he won an incredible 34 titles between 2004 to 2006.
In the following years Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic emerged as serious contenders to his throne, while more recent times have seen a crop of young pretenders such as Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov begin to push for a place at the top table.
A recurring back injury has also begun to play a role: last year Federer pulled out of numerous tournaments and won just one title. Yet despite the multitude of challenges and setbacks, Federer’s six titles this year suggest 2013 was nothing more than a blip. He is still one of the most formidable players on the tour.
And he has the pay packet to prove it. The Davis Cup prize money will be given to the Swiss tennis federation (as Federer himself said: “this one’s for the boys”) yet the 33-year-old has still taken home over $9m in on-court earnings this year. Only once before has Federer amassed such a total, and that came in 2007 when he won eight titles.
Overall, Federer’s prize money purse includes $88.6m. And after adding yet another iconic medal to his cluttered mantlepiece, you wouldn’t bet against it continuing to swell for another few years yet.