15 years after 1st Slam, Federer back to defend

London: Go back 15 years, to the start of Wimbledon in June 2003, and take a glimpse at where things stood for Roger Federer. He was 21. He had yet to reach No. 1 in the ATP rankings. Not only had the guy never won a Grand Slam tournament, he’d never even been past the quarterfinals at one.

And now? When play begins at Wimbledon on Monday, with Federer closing in on his 37th birthday, he will have the honour of playing the first match at Centre Court as the defending champion when he taken on Dusan Lajovic. He earned his record eighth title at the grass-court major a year ago, and he ran his total Grand Slam haul to a record 20 men’s singles trophies by winning the Australian Open in January.