17 things that were happening the last time Roger Federer missed a grand slam

Roger Federer. Photo / Getty
Roger Federer. Photo / Getty

Roger Federer announced he wouldn't play in next week's French Open, snapping his record streak of 65 consecutive Grand Slams played.

The last time there was a tennis major without Federer: The 1999 US Open. Federer missed out on the tournament, eventually won by Andre Agassi, after losing in qualifying. Here's what was happening back then.

1. Pete Sampras was ranked No. 1 in the ATP. The rest of the top 10 was Agassi (2), Yevgeny Kafelnikov (3), Pat Rafter (4), Tim Henman (5), Gustavo Kuerten (6), Todd Martin (7), Greg Rusedski (8), Carlos Moya (9) and Marcelo Rios (10). On the women's side: Martina Hingis (1), Lindsay Davenport (2), Venus Williams (3), Monica Seles (4), Mary Pierce (5), Serena Williams (6), Amanda Coetzer (7), Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (8), Nathalie Tauziat (9) and Jana Novotna (10) - while Anna Kournikova was ranked 14th.

2. Steffi Graf had retired two weeks earlier, with 22 Grand Slam singles titles to her credit.

3. Pat Rafter was the US Open fourth seed as the back-to-back defending champion, yet lost in Round 1, while Mark Philippoussis was the 11th seed.

4. Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam at that US Open (surprisingly getting one before older sister Venus) - the first of 28 majors for the sisters, for now.

5. You were worried about Y2K. Don't lie - you were.

6. AFL ironman Brent Harvey was in just his fourth season, with 61 games to his credit and was a few weeks from winning a premiership with North Melbourne. He now sits on 417 games.

7. NRL warhorse Corey Parker was two years off his debut for the Brisbane Broncos, for whom he's now played 333 games.

8. The Sixth Sense was the No. 1 movie in America and still a month away from hitting Australia. The Blair Witch Project was still in theatres, as were The Matrix, American Pie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Eyes Wide Shut and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

9. Christina Aguilera's Genie In a Bottle was the top song, while ...Baby One More Time, Livin' La Vida Loca and Cher's Believe were still charting. The ubiquitous Smooth, the Santana and Rob Thomas atrocity, still hadn't hit No. 1, where it would stay for 12 weeks.

10. Millennium by the Backstreet Boys was the top album, led by the hit single I Want It That Way.

11. Prince's 1999 still had four more months of relevance.

12. A 17-year-old Britney Spears performed at US Open Kid's Day.

13. Kim Clijsters, who's retired twice in the interim, had just started her Grand Slam career at Wimbledon.

14. Nobody had heard of MySpace, Facebook or iPods and nobody was really texting, let alone Snapchatting or whatever it is the kids do these days. Napster was probably the most important thing in tech. You also were still probably using Yahoo! or Lycos or Alta Vista or asking Jeeves to search the Internet.

15. Sega Dreamcast, Playstation 2 and Nintendo GameCube hadn't been released.

16. Here's what Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet were doing:

Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios was four years old and Bernard Tomic six.

17. Swiss player Miroslava Vavrinec was ranked No. 89 in the world. The next year, Miroslava, nicknamed "Mirka," would meet Federer at the Sydney Olympics. They would be married nine years later and now have four kids. Mirka also started a Grand Slam streak at the 2000 Australian Open. It would last eight Slams, or 57 fewer than her future husband.

- news.com.au

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