Flawless Federer Makes History, Captures Career Slam with French Open Title
by Sean Randall | June 7th, 2009, 11:14 am
  • 337 Comments

Many of us chuckled if not broke out in wondrous amusement a few months ago when Roger Federer declared after a racquet-smashing loss to Novak Djokovic: “thank God the hardcourt season is over”. Well, who’s laughing now?

Federer did what many of us thought he could no longer do: Win the French Open.

Earlier today the flawless Federer ripped Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6, 6-4 in just under two hours to claim his first French Open title and Grand Slam No. 14, matching him with tennis great Pete Sampras for the all-time mark in that measure.

The 27-year-old Federer was on his game right from the very start. Despite the on/off rain and wind from Mother Nature and the scary, heart-stopping appearance from a crazed fan on the court, Federer kept his focus on the match and on the history books and he did it.

Federer becomes the sixth player to in history hold the career Grand Slam, following in the legendary footsteps of Andre Agassi, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Don Budge and Fred Perry.

Soderling, who scored the upset of the tournament if not of the Open Era, with his stunning victory over Rafael Nadal last Sunday, had nothing left for Federer seven days later.

Perhaps just overwhelmed by the moment or feeling the physical fatigue of reaching his first career Slam final, the Swede looked slow-footed and unsure from the start, as Federer broke early then raced away with the first set 6-1.

Soderling settled down in the second and began to find his mark. Both players overcame a frightening moment when nutjob fan ran onto the court and went after after Federer in the fourth game. The set wound down in a tiebreak which Federer literally aced, 7-2.

Federer again jumped out ahead in third set breaking Soderling in the opening game, and from there it was all but curtains. After a saving a break point while in nervy 10th game, Federer fell to ground and broke down in tears as Soderling sent a service return into the bottom of the net. Game, set, match, Federer. The new French Open champion.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Federer said to NBC’s John McEnroe after the match. “It’s the most satisfying victory of my life, next to my first Wimbledon.

“There was so much pressure involved and after so many years trying win this title, it’s great,” Federer said. “There’s an unbelievable release of pressure right now, and that’s why I’m smiling.”

For the married man, the expectant father, the chase is over. Greatness realized.

So what’s the win for Federer mean? For now, everything.


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337 Comments for Flawless Federer Makes History, Captures Career Slam with French Open Title

Ryan Says:

Fed’s the greatest….


Tennis Freak Says:

Dream fulfilled. Career slam and 14th on clay. Fed deserves to cry his heart out of happiness. He absolutely deserves to dump Halle and take some time to mark the celebratation of his biggest achievement.
He deservingly adds another brick on the wall of his already insurmountable legacy.
Congratulation to Fed and to all of his well wishers who have been waiting for this moment for 4 crazy years.
Could not be better moment for Agassi, the only other owner of a career Grand Slam,to coronate and induct Federer into the club. Joyful day, indeed !
Congratulations, truly deserving !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Dave B Says:

GREAT NEWS. Just wish the match were better though I’m not sure my heart could have taken it.


Daniel Says:

Great article Sena! Seems it was already ready to post.


Tennis Freak Says:

Those were nice words from Soderling. He handled pretty well on the stage, if not on the court today.
Soderling: “To me, you are the greatest…You taught me a lesson on how to play tennis. Earlier in the practice, me and my coach were joking that you beat me 9 times in a row, and nobody can beat me 10th time, but we were wrong. I hope you will not beat me the 11th time when we play next” (aprox. transcription).


Von Says:

CONGRATULATIONS TO FEDERER on his FO win and 14th GS tying Sampras’ record. And, CONGRATS TO ALL FED FANS on their guy’s phenomenal win!! Way to Go Federer!!!!!!
_________________________
Ooops, I posted my comments on the other thread twice, thinking it was on this thread.


besttitw Says:

Congrats Roger! You totally deserve it and make all Fed fans so happy. Keep up the good work!


Bob Muñiz Says:

As I said yesterday……………The Federator is the best……………………………… And let me get this clear for all of you people…..Federer can say that is THE BEST player in the world due to Sampras never get the FO, so Federer No.1 Ever!!!!!!!!


Tennis Freak Says:

John McEnroe just declared Fed the indisputable Gretest of All Time. There you go, “If you cannot take it, swallow it.”


Tennisfan Says:

Congratulations to Federer! … G O A T !!!


PietjeP Says:

Absolutely great! For tennis and for Federer.

He can start playing freely now. No pressure…


steve Says:

Congratulations to Roger!


andrea Says:

wow. flawless! serving was impeccable.

have to let it sink in.


JCZ Says:

Congrats Roger!!

Just one more thing: Is Fed still afraid???????????


Cindy_Brady Says:

19 Slam finals,

French Open: 1 win, 3 runner ups

Australian Open: 3 wins, 1 runner up

Wimbledon: 5 wins, 1 runner up

U.S Open: 5 wins

Roger Federer has been in every grand slam championship final at least 4 times and he’s not finished yet.

GOAT!!


osazone4real Says:

Congrats to Federer,he was already the best tennis player in my opinion even b4 he won this,but this cements it – coming from a hardcore rafa fan


dalliaa Says:

the King is back, long live the king………..he sooooooooooo deserves all the accolades and plaudits that come his way…and kudos to Soderling and his sporting behaviour.


osazone4real Says:

Clearly his tying the knot has brought him good luck,ever since he did that i have been rooting for him(ofcorse when he is not playing nadal).
The child(boy or girl) has brought blessings for federer


Aaron Says:

Congratulations Roger! You are truly The Greatest Of All Time


Gordo Says:

See Von – this is why I was not directing earlier comments at you. Always enjoy your posts.

Fed is Afraid….. can we read something from you now please?

Way to go, Mr. Federer.

And what a class act Soderling was in defeat.

All in all, a grand day for tennis.

Although I suspect those white and red socks that nutbar was wearing will not be as popular now in the world of fashion! :)


missouri tennis nut Says:

Simply awesome! After so amny defeats, near misses and blowouts in French Open finals against Rafa, what a glorious moment for not only tennis but all of sports. Soderling didn’t stand a chance. It’s been so great to see more emotion from Feds. It’s been good to see his human side. Let it now be said that he is, vitrually without a doubt, the best player of all time. Vive Federer tous les temps!


Kimo Says:

I think this win puts Fed in a great position to win Wimby.

Imagine him breaking the record right where it all began. That would be so sweet.


margot Says:

A privilege, a joy, a delight! The master at work. The best I’ve seen him play for a long while. Look out Wimbles!
Soderling was gr8 in defeat too. Hope to see a gr8 deal more of him.
Wow! History!


Shaky Says:

When Roger serves that well he tends to dominate people.

But here’s what I was looking for:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09IKwdTiz0A

The one 5 minute stretch I miss of the match and I miss something really deranged. Next time I’m ordering in.


Kimo Says:

And who said Federer was going to beat Soderling in straight sets? Oh wait, that was me :)


besttitw Says:

Kimo, that’s a good one!


Skorocel Says:

Yeeeeeeeeeeees! The FO curse is finally broken! Enjoy this glorious moment, Roger!!! Now it’s 14 and counting…


Dan Martin Says:

First, let’s thank Sean for putting up so many articles, entries and columns. None of us at Tennis-X get paid (that I know of …) , but Sean helped launch a lot of fun discussions.

Second, Federer has done a great deal from Wimbledon 2003-Roland Garros 2009. A career slam and 14 major titles is something hard to grasp. I will get a column up today or tomorrow.

Third, Soderling’s speech was classic. I try to stay even keeled watching tennis, the one time I felt bad during the match and ceremony was seeing Soderling’s parents after the match (this is coming from a Federer fan – parenthood must have me going soft). Still, they and he have a lot to be proud of in their son’s 2 weeks of tennis.


Gordo Says:

Actually Kimo – I have to hand it to you. You survived an onslaught from a lot of posters in here during the Del Potro match, but you never waivered in your conviction for Fed.

I was hopeful, but not as confident. Now I am still waiting for fed is afraid.

Tick, tick, tick.


fed is afraid Says:

after the monica seles incident how can they allow that to happen? what if that guy had a knife. absurd.
and that roger was able to compose himself after that says alot
congrats to him on 14.


fed is afraid Says:

gordo-i congratulated roger on the other thread for his victory.


TejuZ Says:

Agree Dan.. even i felt bad when they focussed on Soderling’s parents. But they have a lot to be proud of their son’s achievement in last 2 weeks.. he will forever be remembered for breaking Nadal’s Roland Garros streak.

And i guess they also agree fed deserved it more after failing on 3 previous occasions.


NachoF Says:

Gordo,
fed is afraid has already congratulated Federer in the other thread.


Ra Says:

Congratulations to Federer! Such a wonderful victory…

Agreed that Soderling was a class act in defeat; his speech was awesome, and he seemed so genuinely happy to have earned his place in that final. I hope he keeps the kind of form he showed over the past two weeks.

How touching was it when Federer almost broke down in tears at 5-3 or so?


TejuZ Says:

yeah.. its quite frightening when someone comes barging into the tennis court. Fed looked shaken after that incident and lost 3-4 points in a row. But he did compose himself well. Today his service games were flawless, out-aced a big server (just like we see him do to other big servers like roddick, safin etc) and his drop shot was working to perfection.


ertorque Says:

Being a Roger fan, his win sure makes my ‘night’(it’s 11.30pm here).
Hope he will win a few more GS……………..


Ra Says:

TejuZ Says:

“Fed looked shaken after that incident…”

Yeah, and his face was blotchy for two games. I’m just thankful no one got hurt and it didn’t turn out to be a beginning of the end kind of unraveling. Really horrific stuff there. And, like many of you all, Seles came immediately to my mind.


Kimo Says:

The Seles stabbing came to my mind as soon as I saw that maniac. Seles never recovered from it. Thank God nothing happened but I’m furious over the French police right now.


margot Says:

A PS. How strange Rafa, grass court champion. Roger, clay court champion.
two cents: haven’t heard from u 4 a while, but there must be a Shakespeare quote here somewhere!


Polo Says:

Congratulations to Federer! What a satisfying final to see Roger finally win a French Open title. He has been so great and so dominating in his career but his inability to win the French was its only blemish. This win is a validation that distinguishes him from all the other tennis greats. This title is his just reward. Great!


NachoF Says:

Its really amazing times we are living in… I actually also hope that Nadal (eventually) also gets to win the US Open at least once… there is no reason for him not to be remembered among the greatest of all times… I certainly think of Nadal as a better tennis player than Agassi ever was…even though he doesnt have the career slam yet.


Gordo Says:

Fed is afraid – hats off to you as well. You can sure dish it out, but kudos for the humble pie.


abhijit Says:

yehhhhhhh federer u have done it man . ur d best in world.i thnk no one can beat u in further matches.not even rafa.ur d simply beat man


flatero Says:

Zomg check this crazy spanish guy running on court during the final. Fed didn’t freak out at all :o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o63O0U7wjrw


NachoF Says:

Who’s got the funk now?


scineram Says:

It would be tragic if Rafa missed SW19 now.


Dan Martin Says:

Bud Collins must still be annoyed Roger snubbed him a couple of years back. I am sure arguments can be made about competition being more stiff for previous champions, but Bud listed Lendl as one of the greats Pete had to contend with in his career. Lendl was a force when Sampras snapped his consecutive U.S. Open finals streak in 1990 (in fact I look at that match a lot like the 2001 Federer vs. Sampras at Wimbledon as a dominant #1 playing the guy who would carry that torch), but after 1990 how often did Lendl bother Sampras? They played down under at least once when Lendl was long past his prime and then??? Courier as a great rival is tricky too. I loved Courier, but once his grip changes got to be too big of liability he was more or less done. Courier was never a major factor after the U.S. Open 1995 & it had been rocky for Jim since Paris 1994.


Kimmi Says:

I think nadal will win the US open soon. Its not like US open is dominated the way FO was. it was diffucult for anyone to get thru Nadal here.


max Says:

Congrats to Fed!! A class-act in & off the court.
Regarding the crazy fan, he had the Spanish flag in his hands…could he possibly be a hardcore Nadal fan? Or just the opposite? Either way really scary.


Tennis Freak Says:

NachoF,
I respect your opinion, but I beg to differ about Rafa-Agassi comparison. Slam record aside, which, it is reasonable to assume, Rafa will surpass by a good margin, I think Agassi was a more well-rounded player. No doubt Rafa is a stronger fighter and better ball retriever, but Agassi was a better shot maker and had more variety in his game.
If you watched Agassi-Nadal Montreal 2005 final, you have to agree that Agassi still looked good at 34. We will see how Nadal fares at 34. Will Nadal still make it to Masters finals or Slam final at 34? I am not sure. Just to do the justice to the age difference, imagine it was 1992, 1994, or 1995 final, the three times he won the Montreal, and put Nadal on the other side of the court instead of Lendl or Sampras, Agassi would have easily beaten the Nadal of 2005.


Dan Martin Says:

The crazy fan was a real blight on how the tournament officials handled things. Federer is lucky it was not worse.


jane Says:

Congrats to Federer and all of his fans here. He had to scramble throughout much of the tournament but he came out the victor nonetheless, and while facing a lot of pressure too, which shows he has the heart of a champion. And how wonderful to have won all of the slams at least once! All before the wee one arrives. Major kudos to Mr. Fed today.

And a shout out to Soderling for quite a tournament run. Who knew!? Hope he can continue to do well.


vared Says:

Congrats to fed fans over my guy Soderling.


Ra Says:

vared,

Condolences to you. Your man rocked just about everybody’s world this week, though, and he sure seems to value what he’s accomplished. Here’s to hoping his inspiration carries him far.


KillerC Says:

federer is da greatest.. but pete/andre/jimmy/laver/JMac/borg/vilas still my favs all-time!
that fan incident pissed me off, when i saw it. i wasnt rooting for rog but i didnt want to see him attacked, luckily he wasnt hurt – like a monica S. incident. hate seein any player having a incident. kudos for the security gaurd for laying that fool out when the others looked like weaklings trying to wrestle the guy..
Eh its bothering me tho that nadal is pulling outta queens &having mri’s done next wk. Hope hes alright cuz if its a torn acl he’ll be out all year. Id like to see him win wimby and uso this year and get a career gs the same year as fed.. but younger!


PietjeP Says:

Sampras said Federer deserves to be at the top of the all-time list.

“I’m obviously happy for Roger,” Sampras told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where he lives. “Now that he has won in Paris, I think it just more solidifies his place in history as the greatest player that played the game, in my opinion.”

It’s from the NBC website. Sampras is a class act


Cindy_Brady Says:

Federer can now relax and focus on winning Wimbledon where he will be the favorite whether Rafa is there or not. Federer served fantastic today. If he serves like that, he will win Wimbledon.

Wonder if he will skip the Halle tune up tournament in the light of this victory?

May want to celebrate a few days with the bubbly.


skeezerweezer Says:

Kudos to the Rafa fans who posted on the site for Congratulating Roger.
Don’t think they will appreciate this either as Uncle Toni had to chime in on his loos on the radio and….well I will let him tell

“In an interview with the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Toni Nadal said there was some truth to the phrase: “There is only one set of supporters that is worse than the French and that is the Parisians.”

“They say it themselves and it’s true, the Parisian crowd is pretty STUPID. I think the French don’t like it when a Spaniard wins,” he added. “Wanting someone to lose is a slightly conceited way of amusing yourself. They show the stupidity of people who think themselves superior.”

Ouch!! Hey Unc, take it easy, ever sat in the U.S Open and heard the crowd yelling the usual $#^&@#(! at players! Take a lesson from your player Rafa, who never trys to take on the press and his cordial and cool through great wins or tough losses. I’m out.

And oh. BTW, FED GOAT. YOu cannot be denied that until the next player comes along and matches what you have done. Your serve is back, look out for wimby.

And Rafa, hope that knee isn’t serious, we need you to defend your title for Wimby. Hope you get well!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jane,

Federer should give half of his prize money to Soderling for knocking Nadal out.

Just kidding.

He should give all his prize money to him!!!


sar Says:

Congratulations to fans of Federer. I bet they are happy today.

Jane here is a cute video of Djok
at FO autograph day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCDd5iEIXbg


jane Says:

Cindy, Well certainly if anyone can spare the cash, Fed can! I wonder what this means for Soderling’s ranking, how far he’ll move up. Probably quite a bit.


jane Says:

Sar, Thanks! And Safin’s in there too. Two of my faves side by side. Yowsa.


sar Says:

Since this is June and I am a Gemini thought I would share this. Funny, it happens that I like most of them:
FAMOUS GEMINI TENNIS PLAYERS
Rafael Nadal Justin Henin Steffi Graf and Bjorn Borg Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams. Novak Djokovic Anna Kournikova. Nikolay Davydenko Richard Gasquet


scineram Says:

“Its not like US open is dominated the way FO was.”

LOL! 5 straight not enough?


jane Says:

I was trying to figure out what have been the most exciting matches so far this season, for me. Here goes…

Murray vs. Rafa in preAO exo final
Rafa vs. Verdasco AO
Roddick vs. Rafa IW
Safin vs. Monfils Miami
Gonza vs. Monaco not sure if it was Rome or Barcelona
Djoko vs. Rafa Madrid
Safin vs. Quanna FO, not sure if sp right there…
JMDP vs. Fed FO.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jane,

Soderling will be just outside of the top 10 tomorrow. Around 12 or 13. Runner ups at grand slams get 1200 pts now as opposed to 1400 pts. The ATP seems to put more emphasis on winning now.


jane Says:

Thanks Cindy, do you know if this will be his highest ranking? Must be.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jane,

Definitely Soderlings highest ranking ever. Just wonder how his new found game will translate to grass.

He has a huge serve to win free pts on and incredibly hard deep flat shots to hit winners. One would think he could go far but the bounce on grass is so unpredictable. Perfect timing is often disrupted. Timing is Soderlings bread n butter.

We will just have to see if Soderling is a one slam wonder or something better.


huh Says:

Kudos to Fed for realisation of his dream, he surely is a super-great player! MY MAXIMUM RESPECT AND REGARDS FOR PARENTS OF MR. SODERLING, it was a privilege to see your kid’s run at the FO ! Few parents can be more proud than that of Mr. Soderling’s !


jane Says:

Oh I totally overlooked Nalbandian vs. Rafa at IW on my most exciting matches this season so far… That was exciting, although the third set was a rout.


huh Says:

Fed’s really achieved something more than just the French Open….. and that is fed-is-afraid’s appreciation, this means today’s something really special ! Ok fed is afraid, thanks for your warm congratulations for Fed and his fans, I can feel it !


huh Says:

Why are my posts disappearing?


huh Says:

Today I feel like I’m nearly completely satisfied by what Fed’s done upto now. And now I can start rooting for some other guys too as Fed by today’s achievement has given me all that I wanted from him. Now I’d be less worried about Fed even if he loses !


Dan Martin Says:

The French and Spanish don’t get along? Didn’t the Bourbon family eventually rule both France and Spain (replacing the Hapsburgs in Spain)? On a tangent, bourbon is my favorite drink, and I might just go drink some Makers Mark on the rocks.


huh Says:

I hope someday Roddick’ll also beat Fed at Wimbledon and go on to win the championship coz he’s one of the best grass courters never to have won Wimbledon. He’s one of my most fav players ever. Poor Roddick has suffered so much at the hands of Fed ! :-(


huh Says:

Oh God, please give Roddick that winning edge and mental strength for just one fortnight in which a Wimbledon is being held so
that my dream of seeing Roddick holding the Wimbledon trophy is fulfilled ! I’d celebrate like crazy if it happens !


Joe Says:

Congratulations to the Great Roger Federer. He earned this title thru sheer trimuph of the will. Even as his game deserted him at times during the fortnight. This is the sharpest match he’s played this season. He is clearly the favorite going into wimby, with or without nadal in the draw. Jane, my prediction is nadal will never win the uso. Worst surface/time of the season for him. But let’s make things interesting. If he does win, I will arrange a date with novak or marat for you. If he doesn’t, you have to arrange a date with one of mirka’s euro hottie friends. Deal?


zola Says:

Congratulations to Fed and his fans.

FoT, this is a great day for you!

What was the man about? The security is really loose. What if he did something to Fed?


tim Says:

Congrads to Fed! He should send Soderling a Chrismas card every year for beating Rafa. I think GOAT still goes to Laver, because Fed has losing records to two of his peers (Rafa, Murray), and Laver could have won many more GS’s between ’62-’69.
1) Laver
2) Fed
3) Sampras
4) Borg
5) Lendl


huh Says:

Now my thoughts on Soderling’s that he’s done something which under no circumstances have been done before,
i.e. beating Rafa in a best of 5 clay match on the red clay. Winning’s lFO imo less difficult than taking 3 sets in a best-of-5 clay match from Raf


huh Says:

Now my thoughts on Soderling’s that he’s done something which under no circumstances have been done before,
i.e. beating Rafa in a best of 5 clay match on the red clay. Winning’s lFO imo less difficult than takin 3 sets in a best-of-5 clay match from Rafa


Ryan Says:

Funny interview :

“So you waited 27 years to win in Paris. You won the US Open, Wimbledon, and the Australian Open much earlier. Does to give a special flavor to this trophy?”

ROGER FEDERER: “First, I never waited 27 years, because 27years ago I was just born. My parents never told me, If you don’t win Roland Garros we take you to the orphanage…”


Joe Says:

BTW, who the hell thinks tennis is dead??!! I don’t understand this sentiment and why big media propogates it. You only have arguably the greatest all court player and the best clay court/fittest/grittiest competitor of all time to enjoy. On top of that, neither are self centered jerks like some guys named jimmy and john. Not to mention the host of bionic women on the wta tour. What’s not to like??


Gordo Says:

Jane –

Good list of 2009 exciting matches.

I have to say the most riviting match this year – and for me it is one of the all-time greatest matches ever was Nadal-Verdasco in the semes at this year’s Australian Open.

The reason I classify it as the greatest was because during any set when the score was 3 games all it was impossible to say who would win that particular set. This is unusual in 5 set matches, as there usually is some ebb and flow and you feel someone is coming back and is going to win a particular set.

But in that match we had 3 tie-breakers and two 6-4 sets.

Those two guys rocked and socked the most exciting 5 setter I think I have seen.

My close second for this year was watching Gonzalez come back from 2 sets down to beat Gasquet at the AO – 3-6 3-6 7-6(10) 6-2 12-10.

If it wasn’t for that 4th set being so strong for Gonzalez it would have been my top match, for the 5th set was very exciting.
===========================
But hey! Here I am – a Federer fan going on about other player’s on this – his big day. His biggest day on clay and one of what has to be his most satisfying wins ever.
===========================
So…

Cindy – you were wondering if Fed will skip the Gerry Weber tune-up in Halle? He committed to play Friday before their draw and was granted a late first match. Unless he is injured I am sure he will honour it.

Here is the mens’ singles draw, with the qualifiers yet to be inserted -

http://www.gerryweber-open.de/en/results/singles-draw/

Fed’s road to the final likely goes through the winner of Tursunov/Kohlschreiber and then through the winner of Tsonga/Berdych. It should be noted that Tommy Haas would play Tsonga in the second round.

If Fed gets to the final he will likely meet Djokovic, if Djoko gets through the probable matchup of Melzer/Kiefer and then whoever comes out of the Verdasco/Schuttler quarter.

It’s nice to see that Djokovic decided against Queens this year, because usually Federer has no top-4 world competition at Halle, as the others have selected Queens as their warm-up for SW12.

======================


tennis_fan Says:

Congratulations to Roger Federer, the greatest of all time IMHO.

Robin Soderling also deserves praise for his two weeks of great tennis. Some superb results coming on what’s probably his least favorite surface. Best of luck to him.


Gordo Says:

Hey – interview with Pistol Pete about Fed’s win -

http://www.atpworldtour.com/tennis/1/en/news/newsarticle_3902.asp


TD (Tam) Says:

I don’t understand how Federer can get the greatest when he can’t beat the greatest? I think this win (asterisk) his puts Roger on par with Agassi, not Sampras or Laver imo.

If Nadal beats Roger to win USO then he leapfrogs over him for the right to be called the greatest ever because Rafael has beaten the best on all surfaces.


TD (Tam) Says:

huh Says: “Why are my posts disappearing?”

It appears the always biased pro-Federer tennisx staff will not be allowing any pro-Nadal or anti-Federer posts in honor of their hero today.

Sigh. So much for freedom of speech in the media.


Cindy_Brady Says:

TD (Tam),

When Rafa gets in the rare air Of 14+ slams he can then be put in the conversation for GOAT. Until then he has not done enough or been around long enough to earn that honor.

He may very well be someday but not this year.


youyong Says:

Cindy… would be interesting if Rafa manages a calendar slam b4 hitting 14+ slams. A big if, but it makes for a fun argument too i suppose ;)

Nonetheless, I think Nadal has reached his physical peak. As big a fan I am of him, it is hard to deny that Federer is more likely to be remembered as a greater player compared to Nadal.

Winning this FO is going to make Federer more dangerous I feel. A lot of pressure is now off his back, and unless Murray and Djokovic improve dramatically, I feel Federer will be winning a few more slams within the next 2 yrs. (Nadal I fear is going to be out for at least the grass court season, even if he plays Wimbledon, I doubt he will reach the finals.)

Congrats again to Fed :)


NachoF Says:

TD (Tam) Says:

I don’t understand how Federer can get the greatest when he can’t beat the greatest? I think this win (asterisk) his puts Roger on par with Agassi, not Sampras or Laver imo.

What??… what has Sampras done that Federer hasnt??


Ryan Says:

“I think this win (asterisk) his puts Roger on par with Agassi, not Sampras or Laver imo.”

To TD (Tam)…..u should get an award for coming up with the most retarded statement of the year.Even the notorious fed is afraid has congratulated federer.So why dont u give it up for the GOAT….pissed off nadal fan!!


Dan Martin Says:

I look at Federer’s struggles vs. Nadal a bit like Lendl’s vs. Becker. First, Roger is 4 1/2 years older than Rafa so they are peers in one sense, but not like Federer is a peer with Hewitt, Roddick, Safin, JCF or Nadal is with Murray and Djokovic. Their careers overlap but Nadal is younger. Becker was younger than Lendl and was 5-1 vs. Ivan in Grand Slam matches (1-0 down under, 3-0 at Wimbledon and 1-1 in NY). Becker had a physique and game that bothered Lendl a lot. Lendl is regarded by most as having had a better career than Becker, but Lendl lost almost every big match vs. Becker. Similarly, Jimmy Connors had a losing record vs. Lendl, Borg and McEnroe yet is considered by many to have had a better career than Mac and Lendl. I think once decades pass people don’t look into those details as much and see Lendl won 8 slams Becker won 6, Lendl finished 4 years at #1 Becker finished 0 at #1 … Lendl had a better career. Connors won 8 majors on 3 surface and Mac won 7 on 2 surfaces. Jimmy had a better career.

Is that logical? Maybe not, but that is how the general decision making has been applied to other players. Rafa could make this very simple and win close to or more than the # of majors as Federer, but right now he is down by 8. Federer was lucky enough that Pete was retired and knew 14 was the number to aim for, Roger being 4 1/2 years older is still a moving target and could keep changing the number Nadal has to aim for in order to get close to or exceed Roger’s total.


Gordo Says:

Okay – for us Federer fans, looking at the rankings has been difficult lately, because Rafa has had such a dominant 12 months. But now the window for Federer to regain the #1 spot is open a little wider. Well – a lot wider (see below).

Today they have the following points -

Nadal – 14,960
Federer – 10,470

Now having won last year’s French Open and only making the round of 16 this year will lose Nadal 1700 points (2000 off from last year, 300 added for reaching the third round) while Federer, who won this year and lost in the final last year gains 600 ponts (1400 off for last year, 2000 added for winning the title)

So tomorrow the lead is cut to -

Nadal – 13,260
Federer – 11,070

Now, with Rafa withdrawing from Queens, he will lose 405 points just prior to Wimbledon (450 points off for Queens, but his quarter-final result in Doha then becomes his 18th countable tourney so he adds 45 points).

So if Federer retains the title at Halle, then going into Wimbledon the #1, #2 rankings will look like this -

Nadal – 12,855
Federer – 11,070 (If fed loses to Djoko in the Halle final subtract 190 points – 10,880)

Should Federer regain the title at Wimbledon, for argument’s sake beating Nadal in the final the rankings would look like this -

Nadal – 12,225
Federer – 11,670

Looking down the road this would be huge, because Fed’s worst results at the Masters 1000 tournaments were at the upcoming Cincinnati and Canada tourneys, where he is only defending 150 and 10 points respectively, whereas Rafa is defending 450 and 1000 points respectively.

Add in the non-defendable Olympic results which is 200 points dropping off Federer and 800 dropping off Nadal (to be replaced by nothing, because neither man will have results from a 19th tournament to replace it) and this makes Federer winning Wimbledon a solid launching pad for him to regain the #1 title that a lot of people thought Nadal would keep for a long time.

What an exciting year it is turning out to be!


Fedfan Says:

Bud Collins is a Jackass, if he believes that Sampras had to deal with Lendl!! Lendl was way past his prime when Sampras hit his stride in 1990. And lendl retired in 1994.

As for Laver being the GOAT:

1. he never had to play on 3 or 4 surfaces – 3 of the 4 slams were on grass.

2. His 1962 slam is really not genuine – many top players couldn’t compete that time, e.g. Pancho Gonzalez. Pancho would routinely beat Laver, but he turned Pro.

3. This whole talk about what would laver had won between 1962 and 69 – well, then you have to include the many many other players in the competition as well, who were barred (like Pancho).

In 1962, there were barely 10 decent player who were not pro…. not like today, when the competition is so deep. Look at Soderling, No 23…. The No 23 player in the 1960s could never beat the no 1 player.

So Laver is not really the GOAT….


Cindy_Brady Says:

Very good pts analysis Gordo.

By the time the U.S. Open rolls around Federer could be #1 again. The hard courts are not friendly to the knees. I fear Rafa is going to have a very difficult summer.


Gordo Says:

TD (Tam) Says:

I don’t understand how Federer can get the greatest when he can’t beat the greatest? I think this win (asterisk) his puts Roger on par with Agassi, not Sampras or Laver imo.

If Nadal beats Roger to win USO then he leapfrogs over him for the right to be called the greatest ever because Rafael has beaten the best on all surfaces.

=======

Tam – like Cindy says, maybe one day. But the title of the greatest comes over a career, not over a burst of 3 years. If it did, then Fed would already have the GOAT title for winning 8 of 12 slams in 2005-2007.

We should put a kibash on GOAT talk for awhile, though I suspect if Roger wins that 15th title at Wimbledon it will rev up in full gear.

And as for “If Nadal beats Roger to win USO then he leapfrogs over him for the right to be called the greatest ever because Rafael has beaten the best on all surfaces.” all I have to say is -

If my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

Let’s wait for Wimbledon first, shall we? Hmmmn ?


Cindy_Brady Says:

Fedfan,

Best thing NBC ever did was get Bud Collins out of the booth for their Wimbledon coverage. His OOhs and Ahhhs were as obnoxious as Rosanne Barr singing the national anthem.

Bud is clearly living in the past and his recollection of tennis history reminds me of an Alzheimer patient. Can’t stand him or his ugly pants!


Scottish Says:

AWESOME!! I am so happy he did it. He deserved an FO crown. It only seems fitting too that if it wasn’t going to be Rafa against him it was the guy that beat Rafa. Wow my heart was going when that fan came on. What kind of security failure was that? Roger seemed to know he didn’t have a weapon though because he didn’t really try to get away.

I really feel Roger will win at least 1 more major this year and who knows maybe two. Now that the huge pressure is off him he could go on to even greater things. I really hope Rafa heals those knees and gets back to Wimby. Both those guys add so much to tennis and no matter what side of the fence you sit on for or against them (I love being for both) you have to admit that having both in a tournament elevates it.

I’ve rally enjoyed the discussions in these articles and look forward to being a part of more in the future. Thanks for a great FO!!


FoT Says:

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes on Roger’s magnificant win today! I’m so happy.

When you look back over post from previous posters from – say January through now – you’ll see that many had given up on Roger. Some said he would never win another major because now he’s not playing in that ‘weak era’. Many said that it was a “LOCK” that Nadal would win the French & Wimbledon, and many were even saying that Nadal could even go on this year to win the Grand Slam.

But you see how ‘fast’ things can change in tennis? You have to play well, be healthy, and yes – be a little lucky”. Now we’re wondering about Rafa’s knees – and to all you Nadal fans – I truly hope there is nothing seriously wrong with his knees. Let’s hope he bounces back because he is good for tennis as well.

So that’s why I have a motto of “ONE STEP AT A TIME” because things can change in a heartbeat!

But right now… people can call Roger whatever they want and it wouldn’t damper my spirit today!

P.S. Thanks Zola! You’re a good sport. Let’s hope Rafa is physically ok.


Shan Says:

Federer is not back, he never went away! He won the 2008 US Open, was a finalist in the 2008 Wimbledon and 2009 Australian Open, and was the winner of the 2009 French Open. Here’s to Fed for closing this one out!

Can’t wait to see how the story unfolds for Wimby and the U.S. open!

P.S. It’s exciting to think of the #1 ranking as being on the line, but it is still very far from being so. Besides Nadal there are a lot of very tough competitors on both grass and hardcourt that will make it a great challenge to regain the #1 ranking.


Leslie Says:

Tam,

Your logic for GOAT, however, has a few holes (big ones):

1. Federer has beaten Nadal on all surfaces (and as recently as 3 weeks ago on clay in Madrid). The only asterisks is that Federer’s never beaten Nadal at RG.

2. Simply looking at who’s beaten who is too simplistic and mathematical. You can’t say if A>B, and B>C, then A>C when evaluating the GOAT, BUT, even if we stick w/ that logic, then one could say that if Soderling beat an undefeated Nadal at RG, and since Roger beat Soderling at the same RG (and has NEVER lost to Soderling for that matter), therefore Federer is better than Nadal. But faulty logic is faulty logic, and it’s easy to use it to support opposite arguments.


SG Says:

Completely predictable final. Well done for Fed. 14 majors and his FO title all in one felled swoop. He definitely deserves GOAT consideration now. 15 majors may just salt it away.


Kimo Says:

Those who are saying that Roger is not the goat coz he has a losing record against Rafa and Murray, I just wanna tell them that Lavel must have had a negative H2H against some players too, right?

But whether or not people agree if the GOAT is Laver or Roger, one thing is now clear: It’s not Sampras.


Kimo Says:

and one more thing: I would put Agassi in the list of greatest players of all time too. Before today, he was the only one to have one a creer GS on four surfaces, and had his dedication to tennis not get distracted by his flamboyant character early on in his career he would have achieved a lot more (although all of that adds to his appeal, not diminish it). I still find him to be the best ball striker ever.


Kimo Says:

It’s interesting that Novak is playing Halle this year instead of Queen’s. I wonder why.


Gordo Says:

Kimo – I bet Djoko is kicking himself now that Rafa is out of Queens. You would have to think Roddick and Murray are drooling.

As to why? Maybe the Djoker prefers Bratwurst to Kippers & Mash. Wouldn’t you? lol


Cindy_Brady Says:

Kimo,

I bet he didn’t want to run into Rafa again or deal with Murray. Just his luck, Rafa withdrew.

Now he’ll probably play a confident relaxed Federer instead.


Al Says:

Unfortunately I did not get a chance to see the match but heard about Federer’s win KUDOS to him and his fans on his win. He really earned this one. He had more faith in himself than anyone, well defintely me, I did not think he could do it.

I actually think that Nadal will have a great hard court season. He is taking time to rest and get healthy. It may not be in time for Wimby though, I think with proper rest he will be back to AO form by the time the hardcourt season comes back around. I am still rooting for Nole and hoping that Murray will have a great run at Wimby, those Brits are desperate for a champion–not sure about Roddick. I wonder if his time has come and gone?

I think the security at these events really need to clamp down and tighten up. That man who ran on the court could of had a weapon. Why don’t they have some type of security somewhere on the court close to the players on a regular basis. Some of these fans are very close to the players.


Giner Says:

A big congratulations to Roger. You’ve done it at last and you got to #14 12 slams ahead of Pete. You could conceivably win 12 more by the age Pete won his 14th, not that I expect you will.

To those who saw it, did Fed cry? Do you think he will ever cry again in a GS final, after this?


Giner Says:

Kimo Says:

“Those who are saying that Roger is not the goat coz he has a losing record against Rafa and Murray, I just wanna tell them that Lavel must have had a negative H2H against some players too, right?

But whether or not people agree if the GOAT is Laver or Roger, one thing is now clear: It’s not Sampras.”

If Roger wins one more (anywhere), I’d say Laver is out of that discussion too.


Kimmi Says:

Federer is going to Halle with tough back to back five set matches at RG. I know he is done it before, but this year he had lot of long matches IMO. I think he will be tired a bit. The djoker has all the chances here. Was the djoker perfomance at RG humpered by him being tired ? If yes…then he should be OK again… I think it will best for Fed to rest up and go straight to wimby.


Gordo Says:

Giner Says:

To those who saw it, did Fed cry? Do you think he will ever cry again in a GS final, after this?

==========

Giner – like he was peeling really old onions.

But controlled. Emotional, but honest.

The dude is an emotional guy.

As long as his tear ducts are working he’ll cry.

If he wins Wimbledon and gets the 15th record Slam he’ll cry.

If he then wins his 6th straight US Open you bet he’ll cry.

When his son or daughter is born he’ll cry.
(SIDEBAR – if it is a son and Roger has won both RG and SW12 does he call him Roland or Wim?)

If he then wins the 2010 AO, thus holding all 4 titles at once you can be sure he’ll cry.

And a lot of us will be there, cheering every tear.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Federer cried in front of Rod Laver at the U.S Open.

Federer cried at the Australian Open 2009 (It’s killing me speech).

Federer cried at the French Open after winning it today.

What’s next a Sally field “You Like Me” moment!


jane Says:

Hey Joe, Deal! I’d take a date with either of those any day, just don’t tell my husband. And I’ll do what I can for you on the flip side with the Euro hotties should Rafa not win the USO.

Gordo,

I didn’t see that Gonzalez vs Gasquet match so I can’t include it on my most exciting matches this season so far list.

BTW, I think it’s good Djoko is playing Halle, regardless of Rafa’s withdrawal, and regardless of if he wins. Djok’s never had the pleasure of playing Fed on grass so I think it’d be good for them to have a go.

I sure hope Novak can do well and get to the final at Halle and go deep at Wimbledon. I love to watch him when he’s feeling good and on form!!!

I hope both Andy’s do extremely well on the grass too!!

Cindy, I think Fed cried after Wimbledon 08 to Johnny Mac. I don’t know if he gets the crying career slam or not, but given that he’s nabbed the career slam straight up, I guess it won’t bother him too much either way!!


sheila Says:

so excited and relieved roger won fo. i do hope he regains wimbledon. as for goat, i don’t feel there is any one player that is goat. federer, along w/nadal, sampras, laver, conners, etc are all great players of their time. putting goat on a player, in my opinion, sets that player up for failure because then if they lose the critics change their tune. there r so many great players, but i happen to favor federer but i think he is “one” of many great players that i’ve had the joy to watch. congrats to roger, mirka and their famlies


Seraphim Says:

Life. There’s always a few in the bunch. Always a few f*cktards and *ssclowns. *sigh*


calvol Says:

Fedfan: your arguments against Laver:GOAT don’t hold water:
- Laver’s head-to-head w/ Gonzalez was in favor of Laver either 35-19 or 38-21 in favor of Laver, depending on the source. Laver was 12-5 against Gonzales during the open era.
- Laver won the Grand Slam as an amateur and he won the Grand Slam as a pro.
- No matter if grass were 3/4, Laver still won at RG on clay, throwing out the surface argument.

Overall: Laver is GOAT, Fed is greatest since ’69.


Shan Says:

What a classy guy Fed was in his on-court interview with JMac


Fedfan Says:

gonzalez had a winning record against LAver…


andrea Says:

top five moments at the french open for me:

#1 Roger Federer. it’s no secret that i am a roger fan, but even the hardest haters had to have had a tough time cheering against him today. with history on the line, he played some of the most sublime tennis of the past few months and slayed his RG demons.

#2 Robin Soderling. Kudos to this guy for having the run of his career; not only taking out the four time defending champ but coming from 4-1 down in the 5th set against gonzalez to make it to the final. i also give him a big thumbs up for the post match ceremony. he loped onto the stage all grins and positive body language like the kid who got a free pass into the candy store. sure, he just lost but he was damn happy just to be there and get the runner up plate. his speech was thoughtful and funny and i thought he added a much needed ray of sunshine to the whole affair.

#3 the men’s semi final matches. Two tense 5 set nail biters. what more could a girl want?

#4 Steffi and Andre presenting winner trophies. what a great way to integrate the history of the sport within the trophy ceremonies. damn those 2 still look great.

#5 Fernando Gonzalez’s on court butt wiping. I know it flies in the face of sportsmanship and all around tennis decorum, but that was one of the funniest things i have seen on court…ever. a scene that will live on in tennis blooper/highlight reels for years to come.

and the oddest thing:

i don’t know if the US feeds had it but in Canada on TSN they had this very odd ‘umpire cam’ which was a camera positioned below the umpire chair which they switched to on occassion when an ump got out of/back in their chair. not a flattering angle in the slightest. very strange,


skeezerweezer Says:

calvol Says:
Fedfan: your arguments against Laver:GOAT don’t hold water:
- Laver’s head-to-head w/ Gonzalez was in favor of Laver either 35-19 or 38-21 in favor of Laver, depending on the source. Laver was 12-5 against Gonzales during the open era.
- Laver won the Grand Slam as an amateur and he won the Grand Slam as a pro.
- No matter if grass were 3/4, Laver still won at RG on clay, throwing out the surface argument.

Overall: Laver is GOAT, Fed is greatest since ‘69.

CALVO, YOU BRING UP SOME VALID POINTS. LET’S BE REALIST THOUGH, IT IS HARD TO COMPARE ERA’S. FED WAS IN 20 GS SEMI-FINALS IN A ROW? LAVER ADMITS IN HIS OWN WORDS THAT THE BEST GUYS IN HIS ERA COULDN’T PLAY IN ALOT OF THE SLAMS. ALSO, DO YOU REALLY THINK A GUY 5’9″ AT BEST WOULD COMPETE WITH FED, NADAL, MURRAY AND JOKE? C’MON!

edfan Says:
gonzalez had a winning record against LAver…

THIS IS WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE, SOME ONE BRING OUT SOME DETAILED STATS ON LAVER. WE HAVE PLENTY PLENTY FROM FED……GOAT!!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Just of note, coming from the previous debated GOAT. Pistol Pete,
“Q. Could you talk about Roger’s amazing stretch of reaching 15 of the past 16 Grand Slam finals?

A. It’s incredible. I never would have thought that someone would be as consistent as Lendl’s eight US Open consecutive finals. But this surpasses it and to do it on all surfaces, it’s a reflection of his game and his career.”

Where is Lavers comparable stats? I think you guys still not giving FED is due are secret Rafa fans. Fed, if health remains, has mentioned the pressure is off and how freely he can play now. I think he will get so more slams. I also think history, as in other sports as golf, are remembered in history by HOW MANY BIG TOURNEYS (GS) YOU WON IN YOUR LIFETIME< NOT WHO HAD A WINNING RECORD AGAINST YOU. Hell, I know Tom Watson in his heyday when he was in a golf tourney drove the great Golden Bear fits!


Joe Says:

Hey Jane – I require the same disrcetion as my wife would notappreciate the euro hotties.I don’t think she’s discovered that anna kounikova is included in my top 5 tennis player list on my facebook page. She’s included with roger, pete, andre, and steffi based on her “abilities.”At least that’s my take anyway.


sensationalsafin Says:

All records and titles and whatnot aside, today was just a really great match from Federer. He had like 41 winners to 24 errors, 14ish aces I think. The greatest tiebreaker he’s ever played… that was just unbelievable. He out-aced Soderling, too!! He definitely had a few hiccups and they only really came after that hooligan ran onto the court, but credit to both players for staying concentrated. Soderling played well but I don’t think he was playing as well as he had been. He seemed to cool off. And I’m only talking about the second and third set where he settled down after a nervous start. He served well getting broken only once, but he just couldn’t make an impression on Fed’s serve, except for 2 break points Fed kinda nervously gave him.

As for the history and stuff, I’m a huge fan of Fed and his game, but, I don’t know if I wanna cheer for him ever again. What’s the point? He’s done it all. I seriously think he’s the man to beat at Wimbledon, especially considering the dent, I feel, Soderling probably put in Nadal’s armor. You gotta think that players will go out and say, “Nadal just lost at the FO, on clay, where he’s undefeated, in 4 sets, why shouldn’t I be able to beat him on grass or hard?” Obviously it’s not going to be easy or anything. But Djokovic I think should be able to beat Nadal considering how close he played him on clay. A Federer-Djokovic match would be very interesting. I think the next few times Federer plays Djoker and Murray, he’s gonna go all out without any mental collapses. Especially on the grass. Man I can’t wait for the grass so that I can finally SEE the BALL.

Finally, congratulations to Roger Federer, GOAT or not, you are truly one of the greats and to think, after everyone doubted you (including me), to come out and win the French Open after playing such clutch matches. And finally, for the first time in your career, coming out on that second Sunday of the French Open and playing the amazing tennis you were born to play.

By the by, for those who say “oh Federer didn’t beat Nadal”, well, Fed was right when he said that he already beat Nadal on clay this year. Him and Soderling were the only players to beat Nadal on clay this year. Federer is 1-0 against Nadal in 2009, the same year that Federer won the French. It’s not like he HASN’T beaten Nadal in slam finals. And after this, hopefully Federer won’t be choking as much.

Finally, quick side note to Von: Hopefully this tournament proved to you fitness was not the problem Federer was having. From my point of view, Federer’s a tank. Soderling, too, though. Both are very fit. But I just wanted to clarify because you’re point seemed valid so far this year. But the way Federer won the French shows that he’s very fit, mentally, too, really. Again, against Del Potro, a top 5 player and a young and up and coming guy not very unlike Murray and Djokovic was down 1-3 in the fifth set, broke back, and could’ve pulled a Djokovic and continued on his way to victory. But Federer said no. This isn’t an attack or anything, Von, I’m just pointing it out. I wish I was as fit as Federer, he’s a beast, and a champ.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

“This isn’t an attack or anything, Von, I’m just pointing it out. I wish I was as fit as Federer, he’s a beast, and a champ.”

It’s OK sweetie, I could never be mad at you for speaking your mind, because you’re so much like my son, and I DO like you very much. That aside, I understand what you’re saying, however, I gotta say, that the ‘fitness’ issue Federer had prior to the FO has somewhat disappeared and he does seem like the fit Federer of 2006 again. I want for you to enjoy his win today, because you’ve been waiting for a loooong time for this to happen, so enjoy!!!!. (a smiley here) :oops:


Von Says:

huh:

“I hope someday Roddick’ll also beat Fed at Wimbledon and go on to win the championship coz he’s one of the best grass courters never to have won Wimbledon. He’s one of my most fav players ever. Poor Roddick has suffered so much at the hands of Fed ! :-(”

My wish also. It’s nice to see another Roddick fan here — kinda gets lonely, if you get my drift. LOL. I like Roddick for his appeal and spunk, not to mention his glib answers.


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t see Roddick beating Federer on grass, or anything else for that matter. But I want Roddick to win Wimbledon just because he set out with 4 goals and has 3 of them already. If he was 0/4 then I wouldn’t care. But he’s only got 1 more personal goal to achieve. Fed got his fix, why shouldn’t Roddick?


TejuZ Says:

well.. i guess we could see a repeat of last year..

Last year, Nadal’s No 2 was under threat by Djoker during the start of Hamburg (and Fed was a clear No 1 that time).. Nadal then beat Djoker thrice, won French and Wimbeldon and snatched the No 1 from Federer.

This year, Fed’s No 2 was under threat by Murray before the start of Madrid (of course Nadal is clear No 1 here) … Fed managed to win Madrid and FO (12 match streak on clay) and he could win Wimbeldon and snatch the No 1 from Nadal by end of next month..

It will be an exact 1 yr reign as No 1 for Nadal .. from end of Olympics last year till around the same time this year.

but i do hope, Nadal is ok to play wimbledon and hope he reaches the finals to face Fed.

If fed wins Wimbledon, i might root for Nadal to win US Open (provided Fed is not in the finals)


Von Says:

SS:

“But I want Roddick to win Wimbledon just because he set out with 4 goals and has 3 of them already. If he was 0/4 then I wouldn’t care. But he’s only got 1 more personal goal to achieve. Fed got his fix, why shouldn’t Roddick?”

You’ve said it. This is why I want Andy to win Wimby. He doesn’t have lofty and unreasonable goals, and it’s one of the reasons I like the guy I hope he’ll get his heart’s desire to win Wimby and then he can feel complete as a tennis player. So here’s hoping ….


Joe Says:

I’m a Fed fanatic and he is my FOAT but that doesn’t make me think anything less of becker, andre, mac, jimmy et al. These are all great champions. And did anyone else just feel a little bit uncomfortable with JMac’s annointing of Fed as the GOAT in the post match interview? John is a great champion/legend in his own right. Just because he doesn’t own as many slams as fed, does that make him less of a champion? Presented with a choice between edberg, becker, jmac or lendl – players that are seperated by a trophy or two – who would you pick? Are gs trophys the end all, be all in measuring this? Imho they are not. Also, goat evaliations shouldn’t be bandied about until a players career has ended. Even though she annoys the hell out of me, when asked today about her goat choice, mary carillo chose to reserve judgement until the completion of rafa’s career. Rocky marciano was a. Heavy weight boxer with a better record then joe louis or ali.however his name is rarely included in a boxing goat discussion. Btw, Ali did coin the goat phrase afterall. Anyone feeling my stream of consciencous?


Von Says:

Tejuz:

I answered your post on the other thread, but I doubt you’d see it since there are so many new threads, so here it is:

Von Says:
Tejuz: “Thanks Von .. and ‘fed is afraid’ .. i guess he did deserve it this year, since he had to earn it… even though he dint have to face rafa in the final.

“But yeah, luck was sure on his side this year.. weather turned bad soon after he won the match and it started pouring. Had it gone to 4th set.. the match cud have gone to next day.”

You’re so very welcome. I know you’re one of the die-hard Fed fans who didn’t do a cross-over when things got a little bad, so I’m really happy for you. Also, you’re one of the posters I respect here since you never meddle and/or take sides — so kudos to you, my friend!!!

I believe in destiny, and the stars, weather, et al., were all aligned for Federer to win
the FO, ergo, WAY TO GO FEDERER !!!!

Posted June 7th, 2009 at 10:32 pm


sensationalsafin Says:

Joe, I really agree. I mean, if you consider Federer the best ever, that doesn’t take away from everyone else. I mean, Agassi has only 8 slams but he had so many great results for SOOOO many years, yet he’s never mentioned as a GOAT. Laver has what, 11 slams? That’s 3 more than Agassi against pretty much the same players whereas Agassi played and beat 3 different generations (the old guys, his own, and then the young guys). Lendl is another incredible champion who’s played in as many finals as Federer himself. Connors, McEnroe, Becker, Edberg, etc. All these guys were great champions. They weren’t one slam wonders or anything. They were legitimate grand slam champions. They didn’t have more because, for example, Becker and Edberg canceled each other out in a way. And Johny Mac did make things weird by saying that. I mean Federer is great, one of the greatest for sure, but all these guys are great, too. Some or more accomplished, but that doesn’t mean they’re “greater”.


jane Says:

Hey Joe, FOAT? I like it. Much more personal.


Von Says:

I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on John McEnroe’s comments — he’s a vacillator. Not only is Johnnie Mac a vacillator, he’s extremely critical at times without basis. I’ve heard Johnnie Mac state during the FO that Laver’s his idol and he feel’s that Laver’s arguably the greatest player of all time, which translates to whatever Johnnie Mac says, one should take with a grain of salt.

It’s a known fact, the McEnroe brothers have their favourites, Sampras is not one of them, and Pete is acutely aware of this fact. Whenever I hear Johnnie Mac talking about the GOAT thing I mute my TV, because whatever he says it’s subject to change just like the weather.


Joe Says:

My mom used to play with a Spalding wood frame “Pancho Gonzales” racket. Wish I had it. As a gag gift, my brother gave me an old spalding bjorn borg wood racket that he probably purchased at a flea market for a buck. I think its cool and it adorns my office now.


Joe Says:

Hey Jane – speaking of getting personal, I could use a woman’s intuition here. How do I square up with my wife over the anna k inclusion/pic on my facebook top five FOAT palyers. She’s not really a tennis fan but she’s still a woman.


NachoF Says:

I just found out what really happened!!… the guy has a website.. he has done what he did to Federer today several times.. they call him jimmy jump
http://www.jimmyjump.com/cont/main.php?id=3


jane Says:

Well Joe, it is just a picture, and AK does/did play tennis. So… I’d say it’s cool. Your wife shouldn’t mind imo. I am sure she has her “favorites” too, all us girls do you know.


besttitw Says:

I rarely leaves comment on the Internet (this site is kind of a starter for me). Just want to share my little story during this FO. I was on a plane before the FO semi-final on Friday, should have arrived home before the first semi game began. But it turned out to be the most scary air travel in my life, we encountered a thunderstorm for very very serious bumpy 20 minutes before I saw sparks round the plane wing… Forty minutes later, we finally find an airport we could land (the whole area was in very BAD weather). Among the many things going through my mind during the flight, the thing I struggled most was I probably couldn’t see Roger play. We were stuck in the plane for another 8 hours because the heavy rain also cut off ground service at the airport. When I finally landed at my hometown, the first message I got is from a friend who knows how much I cared about that game: Roger won! I just couldn’t hold my tears on the spot. (I know, silly me, but I am an emotional girl). Anyway, this week has become a very memorable one for me.

I actually don’t care about the whole GOAT thing. I only want to see good games that everyone including players enjoy. And it’s really inspirational when a player fights without reservation against all the odds and outgrow himself/herself. Being a Fed fan, I also wish good luck of Rafa’s quick recovery and hope see many good plays ahead.


Joe Says:

Sensationalsafin: well put. I think of all the aforementioned guys as part of a club, like a fighter ace in the USAF. After five kills your an ace. Others may have more kills than you, but once an ace, always an ace. Subconciously, I think my FOAT bar is set at five slams. What do you think? Btw I daydream of clubbing with safin. He’s my man on the tour and I am sorry to see him go. We are about the same size and tempermant – I have the feeling we would get along great.

Von; point taken re: the mac brothers. They love andre, admire fed, tolerate pete, and worship nadal. They are not as in the tank as gilbert or carillo though when it comes to rafa.


jane Says:

Welcome besttitw, what a frightening story! Good to know you landed safely and even better that you had happy news about Federer’s win upon your landing. It’s amazing what can keep us “grounded” in tense times, for you it was thinking about a tennis match… whatever works right?!


sensationalsafin Says:

Safin’s an idiot. I mean, when it comes to blowing matches he’s a genius. But he’s an idiot. Although I wish I could meet him to tell him he’s an idiot. He’s got a few inches on me but I’m prone to pulling Safin’s on the court. But I don’t throw my racket as much as I used to but the on court yelling and cursing in russian is at an all time high. Gotta love Marat.


Von Says:

Joe:

“Von; point taken re: the mac brothers. They love andre, admire fed, tolerate pete, and worship nadal. They are not as in the tank as gilbert or carillo though when it comes to rafa.”

I don’t think the Mac brothers worship Nadal, at least not when Nadal’s playing against Federer, then they shift into their Federer mode. Gilbert likes Federer and nadal, but where Carillo’s concerned i have my doubts, and the jury’s still out on her choices. I’m like Gilbert, he roots for the Americans and is a true Stars ‘n Stripes guy. Brad’s very vocal and firm in his American choices, and I like that quality in anyone, where they are not prone to shifts, seismic or otherwise. LOL.


Joe Says:

Jane – speaking of favorites, while watching feliciano lopez play one day,I pointed him out to my wife and, based on some ooh and aahs from other female tennis fans, suggested that feliciano was one of the studs on tour.she sized him up in two seconds and exclaimed he was too short and that his nose was too big!


TejuZ Says:

Thanks Von :-) Am sure you an equally die-hard fan of Roddick. And somehow i get this feeling he will do well at Wimbledon and if he get placed in Rafa’s draw, there is a great chance he might reach the finals.

And if he reaches the finals, i might probably root for him even if hez facing Federer because he was at the receiving end of the last 2 finals that he played at wimbledon… just like Fed was against Rafa at the French Open. He really deserves at least one wimbledon and i guess it will be very emotional for him.. like Ivanesevic’s 2001 victory.

This wimbledon and US Open, i will probably cheer for
1) Safin – cuz this is his last year and i want to see him one more GS.
2) Roddick – he deserves one too after seeing him lose 3 finals to Fed and numerous semi-finals. 3)Federer – my fav and want to see him win his 6th Wim or US Open
4) Rafa – another career grandslam at US Open
5) Del Potro – just to make things intresting as far as rankings are concerned.


Von Says:

Tejuz:

Thanks, I can live with your preferences, and you can bet I’ll be rooting for Andy R. all the way. I think this year’s Wimby and the USO will be fun and drama packed, so here’s hoping we all get to enjoy some great tennis from round one through to the finals. Gosh, I’m going to have to work a lot of nights to make up for my day-time tennis habit, but thankfully, I can re-arrange my schedule when the need arises, unless I have to attend hearings, etc., then duty calls. Oy VEY!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Regarding GOAT. I am all for putting it to rest and move on. Fed is 27, not 30 something. The way he plays does not pound his body into oblivion, ala Rafa. Do you really think Rafa will be a factor at 27? C/mon!

So. if all of you don’t want to crown him GOAT. I can deal with that. I’ll wait. he has a good five years left. Then you folks can talk some more. I, like a lot of people on this post. play tennis. No one else on the ATP tour sense FED came aboard has the variety, touch, and varied dimension that Fed has. This is why I feel ( although my opinion, of course ) is why he is and will be in history GOAT. Fed is not done!!!. We are not talking about his career being over. You folks are talking about now, if he broke both legs, wound up in a wheel chair and could never play tennis again, would he be GOAT? think about it. Agassi won the FO at 31. That being said, I have never seen, past or present, a tennis athelete that has all the shots like Roger has.
His downfall this past year was Rafa ( Praise to him )and his unwillingness to change his game to win. Well guess what? He had too. Proven after AO, His serve improved dramatically( which he publicly admitted needed retooling ) and his dictacting forehand. Many people diswcount hie one handed backhand but that side has the most variety. To me, it was all is in head and to Rafa’s credit he got in it. Fed was to used to winning his way all the time and never had to change his game plan until Rafa came. Thank God for Rafa if your a FED fan. Pushing him to another level is what great champions are made of. I , for one, enjoy a nemisis that can whoop him. Borg would have never won 5 Wimbledons without an improved serve, turned into a bif serve, which which he admitted. He had to change and improve his game to deal with the big servers coming into the picture, ala Johnny Mac. As a result, what is happening and we will all see Fed as a result win many more majors, and solidify is mark on history as G O A T!!!!. I’m out


Joe Says:

Von – gilbert happens to not only be in the tank for andre, he built the damn thing. He’s sided with rafa at the last two fed-rafa gs finals. Its pretty obvious to me anyway. Yes gilbert is a homer and as an american too, its hard for me to be one now a days, on the mens or womens side.after growing up on jimmy, mac, andre, pete,chrissy, even jen capriati. I can’t get behind blake or roddick or fish et al or the williams sisters for that matter.I think the american men are a bunch of poseurs, probably because they 1) play in the shadows of the aforementioned greats and 2) get their asses handed to them regularly by the top five players.for me fed came along at a great time and has filled that void. Fed isn’t swiss so much as he belongs to the world, like tiger woods. I recall that you like andy, and I like him too. The problem for me is that his forebearers set the bar pretty high. Hell, I didn’t even mention courier or chang. I would like to hear from pat mac where the next pete, andre and william sisters are? US tennis seems pretty dismal right now and that has to contributing to the declining interest in the states. I live in wash dc and actually saw gilbert beat becker in our local atp tourney stop. He junk balled boris into submission.


vared Says:

ALSO, DO YOU REALLY THINK A GUY 5′9″ AT BEST WOULD COMPETE WITH FED, NADAL, MURRAY AND JOKE? C’MON!
Weezer
Laver couldn’t compete nowadays. In 40 years when all the players minimum height will be 6’6 the same will be said of Fed.


NachoF Says:

vared,
in 40 years everyone will remember Roger Federer as the best player to ever hold a tennis racket.


sensationalsafin Says:

Skeezerweezer makes a good point in that Federer is the most complete player ever. That’s why, in 04 when he first started really dominating, I liked him so much. Right now, I want Federer to be the underdog and dig his way out of matches like he had to do the last 2 weeks. That was just sooooo great. But Federer’s game is just incredible. All the variety. The way he somehow MASTERED the drop shot so quickly. Seriously, he never misses them. How does he do it? His technique is slightly different than the usual of Nadal and others. It’s crazy. And Fed’s footwork. WOW! Sigh. I’m getting carried away. I think everyone’s heard enough about Federer.


Von Says:

Tejuz: I answered you again on the other thread. Check it out because I mentioned our friend ‘You’ll be shocked twice”, and your reply ‘Only twice”. Remember that one? LOL. So check it out will ya. Thanks.


Ra Says:

“jane Says:

Hey Joe”

That’s classic stuff right there.


vared Says:

For now Laver is still the GOAT due to his record and calendar slams etc. I like Pete because he is American like me. I love Borg. Agassi has a singles gold medal like Rafa. I think the Gold is very important, more than a GS because they are so difficult to get. So, if Rafa takes one more GS than Fed and gets the USO he will be the GOAT because of that singles gold.


Ryan Says:

I think fed can have more goals if he really wants to or if he is bored and starts feeling like he has nothing left to do. For example beating pete’s 7 wimbledons and 286 weeks at no.1 This is totally optional coz he has proved he is the greatest in the open era…no questions asked.


Ryan Says:

Fed has an olympic gold too….in doubles.


vared Says:

Ryan, in doubles.


Von Says:

Joe:

If we were to look at the whole picture, had it not been for Federer, Roddick would have won several slams, yes? Hence, I wouldn’t call Roddick an under-achiever or poser, and lump him with the present American players. he’s the face of america, and has to deal with tremendous pressure. There’s talk of pressure on Fed, but consider the pressure from such a powerful country, and trying to hold up the flag.

I see Andy as someone who happened to be born with poor timing — just one year younger than Federer. LOL. I happen to like him for his personality and he does bring a certain amount of electricity to the court. He deserves credit for always showing up and giving it his all whenever he plays against Fed. He’s never once retired or done a walk-over. Tell me, how many other players would do that considering the odds that are always stacked so highly against them? What Andy does takes heart and tremendous courage, and even if someone doesn’t like him as a tennis player or person, they should at least give him respect and kudos for doing what many would not have the courage to do. And, this is why I like and defend him against all attacks. The poster you see here, is a far cry from my true personality, but tennis does something really awful to my mind, add to that I’m fiercely loyal to my country and its players. I’m one who doesn’t have to back a winner all of the time; it’s why I stick with Roddick through the good and bad, and will continue to do so until he retires, similarly to what I’ve done with Sampras. I wish I could explain it more succinctly, but I hope you get my drift. LOL.


NachoF Says:

vared Says:

“if Rafa takes one more GS than Fed and gets the USO he will be the GOAT because of that singles gold”
Agreed.. but we are a looong way from that…I doubt Rafa will get more GSs than Fed…. for now, Federer is the indisputable GOAT


Von Says:

vared: “I like Pete because he is American like me.”

Same here, but I also loved Pete’s tennis, and his being American was the icing on the cake. I’m like Gilbert, I back all of the Americans, and I’m glad to see another poster who thinks the same way — we’re in the minority you know? ha, ha.


skeezerweezer Says:

vared Says:
ALSO, DO YOU REALLY THINK A GUY 5′9″ AT BEST WOULD COMPETE WITH FED, NADAL, MURRAY AND JOKE? C’MON!
Weezer
Laver couldn’t compete nowadays. In 40 years when all the players minimum height will be 6′6 the same will be said of Fed

vared Says:
ALSO, DO YOU REALLY THINK A GUY 5′9″ AT BEST WOULD COMPETE WITH FED, NADAL, MURRAY AND JOKE? C’MON!
Weezer
Laver couldn’t compete nowadays. In 40 years when all the players minimum height will be 6′6 the same will be said of Fed
Vared.

Exactly my point. So what volumes does that speak of FED at what 6’1″ 6′ 2″ at the most when alot of guys are much taller and stronger??
So how do you compare? It is tough. The point I was trying to make is that there is no way Rocket Rod could compete today. So maybe we should say Lav was the greatest in his era and Fed in his? Although I will debate that one. Like I said in earlier posts, we need someone who is fully aware of Lavers accomplishments and who he played and how many tourneys he played, etc, to make a fair comparisan to the era’s, IF we can. Thanks for you say in the matter!!!!


NachoF Says:

Von,
but you have to agree that Roddick is not in the same category as Agassi or Sampras… he probably would have a couple more GS if it werent for Federer… but not that many…. he has not been THAT consistent…


skeezerweezer Says:

Vared,

You are a Rafa lover and it is obvious. Please back up your debate with facts. If you think Rafa has a shot at GOAT then talk it out in like maybe 10 slams from now, IF his body holds up. I for one, although I firmly beleive Rafa is great for the game, is prone to injury already at what, 22? Let’s wait until he is Fed’s age and accomplishments and IF he lasts and then will talk. Every Rafa fan thinks that rafa is better that FEd as an overall player and therefore is GOAT. Give me a break. FED is 112 -0 in GS tourneys, minus Rafa. What is Rafa’s record?? How many GS does he have besides RG? Right now, I consider hime better than Vilas, but not Borg, and everyone on the planet knows FED is better than both of them in History. Get you facts straight


Von Says:

NachoF:

Roddick has been consistent getting to SFs, QFs, etc., but has been knocked down by Fed, each time. Andy got to the 2004 Wimby and 2006 USO finals because he was not in Fed’s side of the draw. And, this is what I’m talking about.

We can’t compare Andy to Agassi and Sampras because he was a junior when they were playing professional, so we don’t know how he would have matched up against them over a 10 year perod.

Anyway, Roddick is not the theme of this thread and I don’t want to take away Fed’s glory today, so I think I had better not say anything more.


vared Says:

Weezer, when fed quits we will need several more years to compare the two. Rafa has the gold and is 5 years younger. Can Fed get the gold in 2012? So let’s continue about who is better in 5-7 years. I love Borg and I like Rafa would probably be a truer statement. Of the top 100 players I like 98 of them. Look at who Rafa beat in the last three GS’s. Then look who fed beat in his last 3 GS’s.
2005 French Open Federer
2006 French Open Federer
2007 French Open Federer
2008 French Open Federer
2008 Wimbledon Federer
2009 Australian Federer
Here is what the great Pete Sampras said:
“This puts him at the top, as the greatest player in my eyes,” Pete
said. “But you have to be fair to Nadal, too. Rafa’s just in the
beginning stages of his career, but he has a good record against
Roger. So what happens in the next couple of years could be real
interesting.”


Ryan Says:

2005 French Open Federer
2006 French Open Federer
2007 French Open Federer
2008 French Open Federer
2008 Wimbledon Federer
2009 Australian Federer

So that means that federer was always in the finals of these tournaments. Where was rafa wen fed was winning his US open slams?


St4r5 Says:

Nadal’s game is so physical, he now paid with his body just for being able to stand next to Fed, from now on, Nadal will always be dissolved by Fed as he is now pressure free and confident. He is already above history, we all know when Fed is fearless and pressure free, he is going to make other tennis players look mediocre. Fed will win this year’s Wimby and US Open. Nadal’s outlook is a little bit cloudy unfortunately, it is his body that will not keep up with him and with his style of play.


St4r5 Says:

No matter how hard someone says that Fed is not the GOAT, the fact is that He is. Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Rod Laver, etc.. even already said that He is. So don’t waste anymore time fighting a useless and baseless issue that He is not. Let me say it one more time very clear, Fed is the GOAT.


Miryoku Says:

I am still on the fence about whether a true GOAT can ever truly exist, but I must concede the fact that Federer is the closest that there has ever been. Laver accomplished many spectacular things which will never be matched (1 Slam is nearly impossible to achieve, for someone to notch 2 of them in this day in age would be Herculean), but the fact that 3 out of the 4 Slams were played on grass and the significant difference in the depth of competition during his era puts him out of the running in my mind. Sampras was and always will be one of my faves, but he performed poorly on clay compared to Federer – this puts Roger ahead of Pete in my mind.

This is not to say that someone won’t come along to dethrone Federer (records are made to be broken after all). If Rafa’s body holds up and he continues to win more slams on different surfaces rather than just the FO, he might make himself a strong case for GOAT. However, that’s a lot of “ifs” and one thing is fairly obvious – it is unknown right now, obviously, when Federer and Nadal will retire, but I think it’s safe to say that Nadal’s playing career will be significantly shorter because of his style of play.

I do hope that Nadal’s problems with his knee are not too serious and that he’ll be able to play Wimbledon – I am a big fan of his and think that he brings a lot to the game. But I also do not want him to push himself back too soon and risk more serious injury, either. He’s such a huge competitor and it’s probably killing him when he’s not able to play, but if he needs to take a few months off to heal and rehab properly, I hope he and his handlers will have the wisdom to do so.


TejuZ Says:

Von said: “BTW, do you remember that Djoko poster, Branimir “you’ll be shocked, twice”? And, your reply: “only twice”? I think we both had some good laughs from that one. I wonder whatever happened to him.”

Yeah Von.. i remember that. Quite funny :-) I guess Branimir was a hard-core Djoker fan and anti-Fed. He disappeared for obvious reason that Djoker has faded quite a bit after that AO victory. Sure, he has won a few Master Series, but seriously he hasnt done well at Grand Slams. Neither has Murray in the last two. The only two consistent performers have been Fed and Nadal.. Roddick and Del Potro have been more consistent at last 2 Grand Slams than the No 3 and 4. Its still a BIG question mark for them, if they can really pull off a Grand Slam victory.


huh Says:

I agree with Sensationalsafin on one point and that is Fed is a COMPLETE player. I dunno what others’d say but to me Fed has no weaknesses and while in prime, his backhand was outstandingly accurate as well and THE FEDERER FOREHAND to me is THE BEST SHOT I HAVE EVER SEEN in tennis, it really is; and Rafa’s forehand, despte being a very formidable one, is certainly and significantly inferior to Fed. There is not one aspect in which I see Rafa as better than or equal to Fed. There is another fact to be taken into consideration as well and that is Rafa’s not mentally stronger than FED either. It is an exaggeration (IN MY OPINION) to say that Rafa’s the mentally strongest player ever or even now, he’s mentally stronger than others but not Fed/Borg/Sampras/Laver etc., absolutely not! But the irony is that the way I saw Fed losing the WIM 08 and AO 09 indicated that Fed was playing as well as Rafa in those matches but Rafa was more composed and confident than him. I mean age, lack of fitness and may be factors like the HISTORY MAKING,despite having played a part in those matches,were still not able to make his play even a little inferior to Rafa’s play on those unfortunate days,which means,as per me, the onus was on Fed to win those matches if he wanted to prove something, i.e. his superiority to Rafa on grass and on hard court! But what happened there is history and the reason behind it is not Rafa’s superior play(needless to say though that he was playing equally well as Fed), but the mental meltdown of Fed. Such mental lapses/meltdowns against a rival who’s continuously denied him his immortality not once or twice,but 4 sucking times at the French Open and once each at Wimbledon and at the Australian Open is not what is expected of someone like Fed if he wants to seperate himself from the flock just as much as Don Bradman has in the field of batting in cricket, to be regarded as the Greatest Ever not only in the eyes of his most fanatic fans but also in the eyes of his bitterest of critics and detractors or the fans of player like Rafa who deep within themselves consider Rafa as a better player. GOAThood comes at a price and Fed has to pay it in such a manner that the die-hardest of anti-Feds, all the Samprasites(a new term which I first found on this site), the lovers of the past greats, the most fanatic fans of his rival Rafa, the critics and others begrudgingly accept that FEDERER IS THE GOAT! These are the great losses that Rafa has inflicted on Fed in the big stages and there is one more completely epic match -ROME MASTERS 2006, where Fed had played the second fiddle to Rafa. What Fed did in that match would be given as an example of a CLASSICAL CHOKE for ages to come by every tennis coach to the beginners of the game. And as far as I know, choking is the function of a fragile mentality. Actually the worst thing to take or remember from that match was that at that time, the perceived GOAT was at the summit of his powers and the kid who defeated him had neither improved his technique nor seemed anywhere closer to the achievements which could be deeemed as even remotely close to make him reap even an iota of doubt in a man’s mind who has already won 7 slams in comparison to the conqueror who’d nothing except only one slam by that time. So what is the reason behind Fed to let the match slip away from his racquets? Many claim that the reason why the newcomer Rafa of 2006 was able to snatch victory away from the jaws of almost sure defeat was that the great Fed could not close out the match due to being nervous against Rafa! To be honest I’ve not heard anyone arguing too much against this answer, hell not even Fed fans deny this! A case can be made that Fed lost the match because Rafa was the better player that day and always was and always has been and always probably shall be (ON CLAY of course!). Well this answer has truth in it,but then is not it the duty of GOAT to defeat his inexperienced challenger, even if it’s needed to be done inhis least fav surface and his challenger’s most fav surface? The answer is easy- YES!!! There’d have been less negative things to take from that match had Fed lost the match fighting and not due to his inabilty to close out the match despite having multiple match points that day against his opponent, in other words- by not choking but that was not the case then……. regrettably for a Fed fan like me! That’s why I say don’t try to make outrageous claims like FED IS GOAT unless he actually is capable of forcing this notion on one and all and you clearly know the way that he can do it and that is by beating the hell out of Rafa! And don’t say that Fed can’t do it coz Rafa’s 5years younger/ sufaces favour Rafa these days and other similar blah blah material! IF at all Fed wants to put an end to the GOAT debate and force one and all to accept him as the GOAT, this much is the least that he’s gotta do coz nothing should be impossible for the GOAT ! Until then WAY TO GO FEDERER!!!!!!!!!!!


huh Says:

I DON’T SEE RAFA WINNING EQUAL NUMBER OF OR MORE SLAMS THAN FED.


huh Says:

RAFA’LL NEVER BE GOAT, MATTER ENDS!


huh Says:

St4r5 Says:
No matter how hard someone says that Fed is not the GOAT, the fact is that He is. Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Rod Laver, etc.. even already said that He is. So don’t waste anymore time fighting a useless and baseless issue that He is not. Let me say it one more time very clear, Fed is the GOAT.

“Not in the eyes of everyone !”.


huh Says:

By the way, don’t think that I don’t love to hear Fed as the GOAT :-) , but the only thing’s that there are still a vast number of people who don’t consider Fed as the GOAT!


TejuZ Says:

Vared says:
“Look at who Rafa beat in the last three GS’s. Then look who fed beat in his last 3 GS’s.
2005 French Open Federer
2006 French Open Federer
2007 French Open Federer
2008 French Open Federer
2008 Wimbledon Federer
2009 Australian Federer”

i.e… a total of 6 grand slams in 5 years (avg of 1.2 GS per year) Not very convincing yet. Fed has a total of 10 GS in the same period and not to mention the Runner-up finishes to Rafa. He has been in 15 finals in that period and how many did Rafa reach? six… around 1/3rd of Federer.

Take the last 5 grand slams during Rafa’s peak year.. Fed won 2 and 3 runner-ups, and Rafa won 3 (2 close 5-setters) and no runnersup.. Fed has still been the better performer at the Grand Slams in last 13 months.

Who did he have to beat???

Rafa (former No 1 – twice)
Roddick (former No 1 – thrice)
Safin (former No 1 – once)
Agassi (former No 1)
Hewitt (former No 1)
Murray and Djokovic (Both No 3)
and some hot players like
Gonzo, Baghdatis, Philip’sis, Soderling

So what ever you are trying to imply here.. am not getting it. Whoever beats Fed in a grand slam .. all need to called the GOAT?? what kind of an argument is that?


Ryan Says:

someone asked on this thread..wat is it that sampras has done that fed has not….i got the answer for that.

1)286 weeks at no.1
2)6 year end finishes at no.1
3) 7 wimbledons

Over and out.


TejuZ Says:

btw… who would have thought last month that..
1. Fed would break his Masters Series drought of 17 months and a title drought of 7 months at a clay tournament against his nemesis Nadal in straight sets

2. The only titles he has for 2009 are both clay court tournaments

3. Has an unbeaten streak of 12 clay matches which will continue till next year.

4. And finally equal sampras’s record at Roland Garros, especially the year when he had the toughest route to the final.


TejuZ Says:

Ryan,
Sampras is a great player, obviously on of top-5 greatest players along with Fed, Laver and Borg. All have their own unique achievements and records. So even though i am a huge fed fan.. i dont really worry too much abt Fed or Sampras being called the greatest of all time. They all were greatest of their era, with whatever surface, racquet technology and opponents that were there at their disposal. Rest all talk abt GOAT is just a speculation.. and fed himself said it correctly when he said, we’ll never know who the GOAT is, but hez happy to share his spot at the very top with likes of Sampras and Laver.

Everybody have their opinions.. Laver, Sampras, Lendl, McEnroe and Agassi have all themselves anointed Fed as the GOAT, but its their opinion. Everybody else can have their own.


TejuZ Says:

hey.. any thoughts on whether Fed will finally come on the cover of Sports Illustrated now.. after this achievement. I know he was featured after last years wimbledon, but that was more Nadal’s cover.


thetennisguy Says:

Congrats Roger!!! Waiting all the years just makes it all the more sweet!!! You are the best and the brightest!!! So happy for you!!! Woo Hoo!!


Polo Says:

All these arguments about the GOAT…so many ifs and or buts by so many that digress from what is real and what has occurred.

McEnroe and even Sampras himself consider Federer the greatest ever. Why? Because they have played their games and reached the peaks of their respective careers and know what it takes to be a champion. They had their successes and have an honest assessment of their careers. Then they see this guy Federer play, witnessed his accomplishments and came to the conclusion that Federer has done better than they, other previous and current players have. Hence, their unselfish proclamation that Federer is the greatest who ever played. These guys are not tennis dummies and they know the history of tennis and know Laver’s accomplishments also. They know that the depth of tennis is much greater now and that Laver had some advantage during his time because three of those slams where on grass. Had the situation been the same, Federer would have won all the slams in the past five or six years and in all probability eked out at least one French in that stretch (well, he just won one, didn’t he?) But then again, that is just a conjecture. So let us go back to reality, the most accomplished tennis player so far is Roger. To call his the greatest who ever played up to the present time would be a statement of fact, no ifs ands or buts about that. If you ask any professional tennis player in the past or the present whose career they would rather have, I believe I know whose name will be mentioned the most.


Gordo Says:

Boy are we going in circles here.

First we get people calling Fed the GOAT, though his career is not even finished and despite the fact that he still has some GOAT-worthy things to achieve in some people’s minds, including 1) Eclipse Pete’s total number of weeks at #1, 2) win more than 14 slams, 3) eclipse or at least approach Connors’ title total, and of course 4) get transported back to 1968 and beat Laver.

Then we have those who already want to deny Fed the GOAT title, because Rafa is bound to eclipse all of Fed’s records. This argument does not hold water. WHEN he eclipses Fed’s achievements THEN he can be in the GOAT discussion mix.

The Sampras camp argue that Pete’s competition was stronger, thogh Pete himself is now proclaiming Roger as the GOAT. (Funny – although the GOAT question is a hot debate topic, I think we all concur that the greatest clay player of all time is either Borg or Nadal – and hey! Neither one had to face Sampras in his prime, but Fed has one as a major headache).

The Laver camp forget how ridiculous the organization of the the tennis world was pre-1968 and just want to focus on his 2 great years – one as an amateur when all the pros were not present, and the legit slam he got in 1969. The argument of how many he could have won if he played the Slams from 1962 – 67 does not apply. NO professionals were eligible and so he didn’t get the chance. You have to play and win 7 matches, folks.

If Rafa was injured and had been unable to play the French Open this year his camp would have now argued that if he was healthy he would have won the tounrnament. But he did play, and Soderling beat him. There are no givens in a tournament.

And of course the Borg camp want to focus on the record runs of Wimbledon and French Open victories and somehow argue that winning those 2 tourneys back to back should make us forget how short his career was and that he really wasn’t dominant at all on hard surfaces.

So – can we all just give the GOAT thing a rest? At least until Roger eclipses Pete? I realize this may be as soon as one month away, but c’mon folks!

In the meantime, here is who I think is the real GOAT -
http://www.mymatedave.co.uk/wallpaper/mymatedave-goat.jpg


Fedfan Says:

Sampras said this about laver:

“I’m a huge Laver fan, but you can’t compare the eras. In this era, the competition is much more fierce than Rod’s.”


skeezerweezer Says:

Tejuz,
Thanks for the facts vor vared.

Vared,

I think your missing the point of this whole discussion. Everyone here is saying Fed is the GOAT in this for now. Sure if Rafa comes along and equals or beats FED’s accomplishments in 5-7 years than eveyone can discuss that. But as of today, as admitted by most of the top greatest players who are still living, which have much more authority to say it than we do, FED IS GOAT. Rafa has only proven he is King of Clay, and won two other slams, that is it. I’m out.


skeezerweezer Says:

BTW, where is Brad Gilbert? Boy did he disappear. No quotes in the media, no media appearences?Didn’t he say Rafa was GOAT? Interesting………


Polo Says:

Gordo,

There should be no denying now about the real GOAT. The website you posted should end all discussions. Hahaha!


NachoF Says:

Thats the thing, guys… Federer could surpass Sampras on number of weeks at #1, get 20 GSs, beat Nadal every time from now on and there will always be some loophole…”he never won roland garros”(scratch that) “you cant compare eras”, “the competition was not as good”, “Laver could have won more slams” bla bla bla etc etc etc… so lets just drop it… some people are just not prepared to call him the GOAT…. whatever.


jane Says:

Gordo – ha ha – great photo, and a voice of reason to go with it.

Tejuz – “but seriously he hasnt done well at Grand Slams. Neither has Murray in the last two. The only two consistent performers have been Fed and Nadal.. Roddick and Del Potro have been more consistent at last 2 Grand Slams than the No 3 and 4. Its still a BIG question mark for them, if they can really pull off a Grand Slam victory.”

You make a valid point here, much as I hate to admit it! :) Djoko’s slam performance has drop off. Of course, he already has “pulled off a Grand Slam victory” but since then he’s definitely been struggling. I’d like to think that’s okay, that many players have had a lull after their first slam, including Sampras. I also think other things have contributed, including the hoopla of buying and being involved in the creation of the new Serbian tournament, and for a little while, the adjustment to the new racquet. I think the new fitness coach might help, but we’ll see. As for Murray, he is getting closer, I think, to proving he can hoist a slam trophy: he got to the finals of the USO, ran into a red hot Verdasco at the AO, and then got to the Qs on his weakest surface at the French. So, imo, that’s not bad at all. We’ll see if he can break through at one of the two remaining slams – I think he will. He’s still on the rise. Djoko I am not sure about as he’s more up and down and has the health issues, but I’ll keep hoping. And I agree that JMDP and Roddick are right up there are contenders for the rest of the season also. Cilic and Tsonga, especially, will be dark horses. That’s my 2 bits.


sensationalsafin Says:

Wow, I cannot believe what I’m reading. Federer does something amazing and incredible and people go on nonstop rants discrediting Nadal. Wtf is wrong with you people? Why do you have to discredit Nadal? The guy was vying for his 5th!!! straight French Open and came up short due to a draining clay season, seemingly some personal issues, and a red hot player in Soderling. Federer winning 14 slams and completing the career slam isn’t enough to say he’s one of the greats? You have to discredit Nadal to make Federer look even BETTER? He’s not good enough already?

Nadal has a winning record over Federer. It’ll go down as one of the great rivalries in history where Nadal had the edge. Whether Nadal ends up better than Federer in all the slam records and whatnot is another matter. That can ONLY be determined AFTER both careers are over. It’s not enough that at 27 Federer is being considered the GOAT and at 23 Nadal is already well on his way to being one of the greatest players and is already the greatest clay courter? If Federer isn’t the GOAT because he’s got a losing record against Nadal, then ok, he’s not, end of discussion. Does that mean he’s less than Nadal? If both were to stop playing today, Nadal would simply have a winning h2h against Federer. Federer, on the other hand, would have 14 slams, a career slam, 4 years at 1, ridiculous winning streaks and finals streaks on several surfaces, etc. Right now, Federer is far more accomplished. Nadal could catch up. He might not. Is that the end of the world?


huh Says:

Gordo Says:”The Sampras camp argue that Pete’s competition was stronger, thogh Pete himself is now proclaiming Roger as the GOAT. (Funny – although the GOAT question is a hot debate topic, I think we all concur that the greatest clay player of all time is either Borg or Nadal – and hey! Neither one had to face Sampras in his prime, but Fed has one as a major headache).”

Pete’s competition was very strong but not stronger than Fed, they both faced great adversaries. Pete had rivals like Agassi, Becker, Courier etc while Fed has rivals like Nadal, Safin, Hewitt etc. If we compare between the rivals of these two greats, then both sides seem almost equally formidable and special. So if anyone’s claiming that Fed played in a weak era, he should not be considered seriously at all coz a person making such ridiculous claims doesn’t really understand what he is talking about. By the way with all respect to Rafa, I still consider Borg as a slightly better clay courter than Rafa.


huh Says:

My post of 6-8-09 5.46 a.m., where I said that Rafa’s not mentally stronger than Fed/Pete/Borg, may give you an impression that I consider these players as mentally stronger than Rafa, but no, that’s not what I believe. I’d only say that they have also displayed as much rock solid mentality as Rafa in the various points of their careers.


skeezerweezer Says:

sensationalsafin,

I apologize if I was one of the “Rafa’ bashers on this discussion. I also for one think Rafa is a great great player and if his health holds up he is on a path to challenge Rogers accomplishments. Right now, he holds the fantastic title of “King of Clay” at a young 22/23? But he, for now, is far from GOAT. I think you would have to back earlier in the discussion when Rafa fans were having a hard time accepting all the praises to FED as GOAT etc, when Rafa (there man) has a H2H record against him. I just want to lay it to rest from my opinion and say that FED is GOAT as of now. Like Vared said, in 5-7 years maybe Rafa will have more Slams, more Records, etc. It will be good for the game if he can. I can ony say this, that I was priviledged as a tennis player and fan to see a player in my lifetime have for the first time a full variety of stokes and used everyone of them to win points. Remarkable, impressive. I grew up in a game that was all power. If you hit the ball hard enough, and it stayed in, you when. I saw coaches teaching that. Hit it hard! Don’t worry for now if it goes in or not. It will come, it will come. But I for one am thankful someone took the old playing stlyes of the french, the Rocket, Tilden, and managed to meld into the modern game. Yes there is some other stokes in the game besides a “topspin groundtroke”. Thank’s FED. Also, FED is not dead, let’s see also what he does the next 5 years :)


Gordo Says:

Let’s not forget that during the career of a professional tennis player he has – if he is lucky – a little over a decade to accomplish what he is going to do.

Rafa is almost 5 years (4 years 10 months) younger than Fed. When Fed won his first GS Event Rafa was ranked 199 in the world.

In 5 years who knows how Rafa will have fared? Who knows if Federer will even be around? He hints at staying around until 2012, but fatherhood, boredom, the tour, injury, a slippage in his ability – any of these may cause him to pack it in.

And who knows? Maybe right now there is some 18 year old – 5 years younger than Nadal, who is set to take on the tennis world by storm. He may be the one who when he is 20 defeats Federer at Wimbledon, much the same way as Fed beat there Pete in 2001.

Let’s not pidgeon hole these two giants of our sport – Federer and Nadal into GOAT and best-ever discussions until they pack it in.

Let’s just be thankful we have them to perform this beatutiful game the way they do. They certainly do complete each other, and one thing is for certain – 20 years down the road no one will be able to say – as they are argue that 7′ 2″ Scooter Ferkins should be the GOAT since he won his 15th Grand Slam in 2029 – that Nadal or Federer did not have any worthy opposition.


Fedfan Says:

Nadal’s winning H2H against Fed is ENTIRELY a clay thing (9-2) – If federer was as miserable on clay as Sampras was, he would have never reached so many clay court finals, and would have had an even or a winning record against Nadal (since they would have rarely played on clay). You think Sampras would have ever gotten to play Nadal on clay, if they were always the top two seeds on the opposite halves of the draw?

Second, regarding competition during the 90s versus now. Again, people forget.

1. Lendl was washed out by 1990.
2. Becker was pretty much done by 1991, and almost completely done by 1993, partly due to his off court escapades.
3. Edberg was pretty much done by 1992.
4. Courier was pretty much done by 1993-94.
5. Wilander was done before Lendl.
6. Mcenroe was done before Wilander.

Who else did Sampras face, who was a major threat? Agassi. Agassi goofed off for 3-4 years in the mid nineties, when he married Brooke Shields.

Sampras made hay from 1993-98 (his peak years). So what the heck was his major competition from 1993-98? If you list Becker, Edberg, Lendl, Courier, Wilander – you obviously haven’t followed tennis closely enough. Yes, Agassi was definitely a factor for a few of those years…

So this is all bull crap that Sampras faced greater competition. The guy who really faced GREAT competition all his career was poor Lendl – he had to deal with Borg, Connors, Mcenroe, Wilander, Becker, Edberg – all at THEIR peak…

Another thing. Sampras had HUGE home court advantage at the US Open. They would routinely reschedule his matches if he had had a long match the previous day. Gave him ALL night matches, since he would get tired during the day. And what not. So obviously he reached 8 US finals, won 5 of them… And he was lucky that Wimbledon was played with the old faster balls on faster grass during his time, so he managed 7 finals there (won all 7). But how many grand slam finals did he reach outside of these two? 3 (AO). That’s it. Not really a well rounded player or a well rounded resume. And for someone to have been SO miserable in one slam (FO) – it is inconceivable to even think of him as GOAT…

lendl versus Federer would be a close call. I know, lendl only won 8 slams – but look at who he faced during his career….. all TOP players at THEIR peaks…


Fedfan Says:

2009 wimbledon. Fed reaches his 20th slam final. Wins his 15th slam, 6th wimbledon, regains No 1 ranking.

Now that would be something, right? Exactly 6 years after he first won Wimbledon. Boy he is going to have ZERO pressure after that. Already, he must be feeling so much less of pressure….

And then he wins his 6th consecutive US. I believe nobody has won ANY slam 6 years in a row….


Gordo Says:

Fed fan -

There have been 2, but none in the modern era.

Willie Renshaw won 7 consecutive Wimbledon trophies, but with a HUGE asterisk – the winner received a bye to the following year’s final.

And this one is more legit – Bill Tilden won 6 US Opens in a row from 1920 – 1925. Fed will be looking to tie that this year!

Boy – if there is ever a match Pete wishes he could have over it had to be the quarter-final match he lost to Richard Krajicek at Wimbledon 1996, where Krajicek beat Pete 7-5 7-6(3) 6-4
before going on to win the championship.

1996 was the only year from 1993 – 2000 that Pete did not hoist the trophy at SW12.

Incidentally – the Dutchman had a 6-4 record against Sampras. Where are all his supporters saying HE should be the GOAT? :)


sensationalsafin Says:

Fedfan, I don’t mind you praising Federer, God knows he deserves it, but do you really have to put down Pete Sampras? So he wasn’t the most complete player with the most well-rounded resume. He still won 14 slams and reached a few more finals. He was number 1 6 years in a row. He’s got plenty of records. Why discredit him to make Federer look better? Federer looks great no matter what.


Edward Says:

Fedfan, calm down. Do you realize you’re putting down Federer by putting down these other players? Their achievements matter.


skeezerweezer Says:

ok,ok,ok,and ok. This discussion has gone on for so long people are starting to to tell other people there putting down players? I have not seen any name calling, or stuff like Sampras sucks, just strong opinions and justifications why there man deserves respect, there accomplishments, achievements,etc. Of course you have to mention how they beat so and so and say they are better than this other guy based on this or that. Let’s not feel like we have to walk on egg shells to say Borg is still better than Rafa cause whatever. Otherwise people will just stop posting. Bring it on , y’all!


huh Says:

Gordo Says: “And who knows? Maybe right now there is some 18 year old – 5 years younger than Nadal, who is set to take on the tennis world by storm. He may be the one who when he is 20 defeats Federer at Wimbledon, much the same way as Fed beat there Pete in 2001.”

And that fellow, if he happens to come along, exactly will be the guy to root for after Federer is gone!


huh Says:

sensationalsafin Says:
Fedfan, I don’t mind you praising Federer, God knows he deserves it, but do you really have to put down Pete Sampras? So he wasn’t the most complete player with the most well-rounded resume. He still won 14 slams and reached a few more finals. He was number 1 6 years in a row. He’s got plenty of records. Why discredit him to make Federer look better? Federer looks great no matter what.

Well said sensationalsafin!


huh Says:

Fedfan, you say that Becker was pretty much done by 1990 and Courier was pretty much done by 1993-1994. But you are forgetting one pretty big thing, i.e. Hewitt, pretty much regarded as one of Fed’s most imp rivals was also in a sense done by 2002-03 and Safin too has almost been completely lost into oblivion since 2005 and he too was pretty much a legitimate rival of Fed. After all guys like Safin and Hewitt are great players and are around the same age as Fed. I wonder what you’ve to say about this? However you have done a very appreciable job of reminding me of the almost forgotten Lendl! Yes, Lendl really deserves to be hailed for doing a great job against such freakish rivals!


MMT Says:

“I believe nobody has won ANY slam 6 years in a row…”

It would be first time anyone in the Open era anyone has won any slam 6 years in a row, BUT Richard Sears won the US Championships 7 times in a row from 1881 to 1887 and William Renshaw won Wimbledon 6 times in a row from 1881 to 1886, although those both were under the challenge round format where the previous champion was automatically entered into the final, skipping the 6 rounds before that.

Bill Tilden is the only man to win 6 slams in a row without the challenge round, at the US Championships from 1920-1925. (He won a 7th in 1929) Borg is the only other player to win 5 in a row in the open era.


Fruitcake Says:

As a diehard, longtime Fed fan, its great to see many nice comments on here about him … from those who like him/his game and maybe those that don’t. I’m very happy for him to have finally got this monkey off his back by winning the French slam. He was honest enough to say that he knew he’d win it if Nadal got knocked out and I reckon every other player thought they had a chance once that happened too. A lot of other players were pulling for Roger to win the FO title, and that says a lot about him not just as a player, but a person. He will get a huge standing ovation when he first appears at Wimbledon this year. Here’s one Brit who won’t be pulling for Andy Murray to win it!


MMT Says:

“So this is all bull crap that Sampras faced greater competition. The guy who really faced GREAT competition all his career was poor Lendl – he had to deal with Borg, Connors, Mcenroe, Wilander, Becker, Edberg – all at THEIR peak…”

Lendl is definitely a forgotten champion. Part of the problem is that Lendl never won Wimbledon, which is the oldest and most coveted prize in tennis. He also lost more slam finals than he won, and as such, isn’t seen, over the course of his career, as having risen to the occasion as often as he could have.

I have to say I think everyone is coming down a little to hard on Fedfan – he is only responding to unfair criticism of Federer’s competition and his record against Nadal.

All this talk about the quality of competition is nothing but an effort to discredit great champion(s). For everyone claiming Federer’s competition was weak, they must say the same of Nadal. And there are arguments against the quality of EVERY multi-slam champion’s opponents, no matter who it is. The fact that the multi-slam winner was there so often when their “best” comtemporaries were not is only a testament to their consitently and ability to rise to the occassion.

Tennis is not gymastics – you don’t get credit for “degree of difficulty”, only for winning, which is hard as hell no matter who you’re playing.


Kimo Says:

An article about the greatest shots in the history of the game:

http://www.tennis.com/features/greatestshots/index.aspx


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m not trying to come down hard on Fedfan. I just don’t think anyone should discredit any champion, Federer included. Defending Federer would take too long, but it can be done without discrediting anyone else. I think Sean can be blamed with a lot of the responses from people because he has used the weak competition argument and some other things. At the end of the day it really comes down to the result. Federer won the French and 13 other slams. He had to win almost 100 matches to do it. Sampras had to do the same. Nadal has had to win around 40 matches to win 6 slams. Try winning 5 consecutive matches before discrediting any of the pros. It’s funny how easy it is for fans to just look at the rank of a player and say he’s unworthy competition. But that’s just not the case. Soderling, ranked 25, beat Nadal, number 1. He lost to someone who is perceived to be a lesser player, but the reality is that they’re both professionals. Assuming the fitness is there, any pro is capable of keeping the ball in play for 3 straight hours. In a match, they are trying to win. They have to go for their shots and try to hit the lines. Don’t you guys ever think about why first serve percentages aren’t 100%? You think it’s because they can’t make them in? If Federer wanted to make every first serve, he would. He can’t in a match because he’s going for the lines and other ridiculous angles.


skeezerweezer Says:

MMT,

Well written!


mem Says:

why is nadal still the topic of discussion? everybody got what they wanted. federer won the french without having to play nadal. what else is there? you wanted nadal out of the way, so that federer could win and eventually regain the #1 ranking, so what’s the problem? maybe federer can go on to wimbledon and win there without having to play nadal just like he did in paris. after all, this is what tennis has come to, no one cares how you win anymore as long as who they want to win, win. everybody is saying federer is the “greatest.” so, this is how greatest is defined, by praying, hoping, wishing, making sure a certain player is gone so that the player everyone calls the greatest can win more easily. so, this is what makes great players, great! well,excuse me! greatest, my rear end! i have never heard rafa nadal say that he wished federer wasn’t in a tournament in order for him to have an easier path. in fact, he has always said “it is great to play roger, i have to play my best to win.” now, that is what greatest is. greatest is also an attitude! a truly great player welcomes the challenge. former players like sampras, agassi, mcenroe, laver, etc. may have some of you fooled by their “roger is the greatest babble” but not me. he’s one of the greatest for sure, but how on earth can you determine the “greatest of all time,” before everything is said and done. no such thing! i don’t use mcenroe and other people eyes and brains to help me decide what i should see and think. roger is who they choose to support and there’s nothing wrong with that, but why are some of federer supporters still not satisfied. now that roger has won the french, they are now interested in what rafa is going to do. why? do i detect some fear? aren’t you happy that he’s out of the way. many people wanted him out of the french because he is a threat. so, why don’t they just do the same for wimbledon, and the usopen and the next tournament, and the next tournament, so that federer will have chances to win them all. why worry about rafa’s ranking, let him worry about that. maybe, this way federer will get back to #1 without having to go on the court. in terms of greatest, i’ve watched sports long enough to know what determines greatness. you can say i’m a federer hater/basher, sore loser, whatever, or you can take this any which way you want, the fact is, it is sad that the real path to winning has been altered so that those who work hard and earn their merit are punished/undermined because they believe in their abilities to succeed, while others are celebrated and called great for avoiding tough challenges. it’s beyond anything i’ve seen in a sport!


Tennis Freak Says:

Fedfan,
Was Becker really “done” by 1990?
How so? I never heard anyone saying this in 1990?
How could a guy be done in 1990 when he became number 1 only in 1991, for 12 weeks in the two spans of that year.

1991 (2 titles & 2 Finals): Australian Open (W), Wimbledon (F), French Open (SF), Stockholm Masters (W), Monte Carlo Masters (F),Cincinnati Masters (SF), with year-end Ranking 3.

1992 (5 titles): Masters Cup (W), Paris Masters (W), Basel (W), Rotterdam (W), Brussels (W), Hamburg (SF), Wimby (QF), with year-end Ranking 5.

1993 was a lapse, except Wimby (SF)

1994 (4 titles & 2 Finals): Masters Cup (F), Wimby (SF), Stockholm Masters (W), Rome Masters (F), Paris Masters (QF), Sydney (F), New Heaven (W), Los Angeles (W), Milan (W), with year-end Ranking 3 (Is Andy Murray done with his top 3 ranking?).

1995 (2 titles, 4 finals, & 5 semifinals): Masters Cup (W), Wimby (F), US Open (SF), Hopman Cup, Paris Masters (F), Monte Carlo Masters (F), Indian Wells Masters (SF), Marseille (W), Milan (F), Stuttgart (SF), Basel (SF), Queens (SF), with year-end Ranking 4 (Is Djokovic done with his top 4 ranking?).

1996 (5 titles, 1 finals, & 2 semifinals): Masters Cup (F), Australian Open (W), Grand Slam Cup (W), Stuttgart Masters (W), Vienna (W), Queens (W), Munich (SF), Antwerp (SF), with year-end Ranking number 6.

Despite his quarter finals showing in Wimby, he was pretty much in 1997 because he did not win any Singles titles after that ever. That’s what everybody said back then. His ranking slid down to 62, 69, 132 in the following 3 years, respectively. Even looking back from the present, I’d not say Becker was done in 1990 when I see him still winning 5 titles with 1 major in 1996.

Is really Federer’s greatness in need of your counterfeiting of active life of Lendl’s tennis or downgrading of Sampras’ 14 slams for whatever reasons? Why Sampras, of all the players, the guy who just put Federer above Laver yesterday? Is this how we pay back the humbleness of a great player? I am confused.


skeezerweezer Says:

sensationalsafin

And add to your comments: Keeping in mind we are talking about an individual sport, not a team sport. Jack Nicklaus won 18 Grand Slams. Now, does anybody care or know who he beat in the process? No. Tiger knows that is his mark and golfers will not crown him GOAT until then. He has said this many times. In Tennis and Golf it has been widely accepted that he who holds the most majors is the GOAT until the record is broken. It doesn’t matter who they beat, and even who was in there era, the records are the records, and GS in Tennis and Golf are the ones that count.


MMT Says:

“i have never heard rafa nadal say that he wished federer wasn’t in a tournament in order for him to have an easier path.”

Not true – in an interview in 2007 with Charlie Rose, Nadal was asked if he preferred to play Federer in grand slams because his record was so good against him and he said he did not prefer to play him because he is so good.


Edward Says:

mem, it’s Rafa’s own fault he didn’t make the final. Federer made it, and would have been up to the task of playing Rafa or whoever else made it, win or lose. It’s also about surviving the other players.


sports fan Says:

Just to comment on what Mem said…….You are an absolute idiot and have know tact what so ever………..Roger Federer has said many times that Rafa is the one he hopes wins in the semifinals so they can play one another because he knows how special it would be for the rivalry everytime they play…….Also he has beaten Rafa in two finals on clay at the Masters series level and has come damn near close several other times so stick that in your ditty bag as well…..It is also not Rogers fault that Rafa got his ass kicked in the fourth round so he did not do his part to get to the finals, because I promise you had he gotten to the finals Roger would have been there waiting, and I believe was going to win the French Open no matter what…….As far as the greatest of all time stuff goes I do not get into that because all you have to do is look at Rogers record and it is clear cut…….By the way this is coming from a guy who is not even a federer fan but a sports fan in general……

P.S. think before you post because you make yourself sound stupid!


mem Says:

MMT, that’s an interview i will definitely find, i would love to hear the context of the interview. because rafa nadal welcomes challenges, that’s what helps him to improve. that’s what i admire in a player, not backing down from challenges!


mem Says:

sports fan, good! i got your attention, i touched a nerve, that says quite a lot, now, try to absorb and digest what i’ve written. just because you are a “yes/bandwagon” person, doesn’t make everybody one!


skeezerweezer Says:

mem
Is this the same mem on other discussions? C’mon, tell me it isn’t true. I am sorry you feel that Nadal is getting bashed or not being given enough praise here. I know Fed has, and respects him well.
But your comment “the fact is, it is sad that the real path to winning has been altered so that those who work hard and earn their merit are punished/undermined because they believe in their abilities to succeed, while others are celebrated and called great for avoiding tough challenges. it’s beyond anything i’ve seen in a sport!”

You’re not implying that Fed has not worked hard and earned his titles? When u play tennis, it’s one on one, no one else to blame. Should I blame Fed for having a “so called” easy victory at FO because Nadal lost to Sod? Is that Feds fault? I know your mad, I think Rafa is great, he may become our sports very best of all in the end. But for now, this is Feds moment, give it to him, and when Rafa is back in his beat down ways we can talk how great Rafa is and how great he is going to be. I for one, love the rivalry! I wished they could have met in the finals. In fact, if you remember we had i discussion prior to FO and although I was a Fed fan I predicted Rafa to win………


sensationalsafin Says:

Mem, you are right and wrong at the same time. I can’t speak on everyone’s behalf, but I wasn’t hoping Nadal would lose so that Federer’s path would be easier. I knew it would MAKE it easier, in some ways, but it didn’t make it that much easier considering how much pressure was then put on Fed and the subsequent matches he played after Nadal’s loss. Federer said it himself, it would be his dream to beat Nadal in the FO finals. Hell, I would still love to see it. I would love Federer to play and BEAT Nadal. At the moment, it does matter who you play and beat. But in the long run, no one is going to look at each individual slam final, it will only be talked about collectively: 14 slam wins. It’s not that it doesn’t matter who Fed beats, but at the end it’s more important that he won. Sampras beat some pretty weak players in slam finals (Cedric Pioline, anyone?) So did McEnroe, Borg, Lendl, etc. Sigh, I don’t know how to make this clear. Federer is not the greatest player of all time. It’s impossible to be. Here’s an example of why:

Wimbledon’s most dominant champions: Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg. Who’s the best? Well, Borg won 5 straight then lost a 6th final. But so did Federer. So if Federer makes even the semis this year, is he better? Then there’s Sampras. Well he never won 5 straight or even made 5 straight finals. But he won 7 out of 8! That’s more than Borg and Federer. But Borg and Fed havethe 5 in a row. Which is better? Making 6 straight finals and winning the first 5 is an incredible accomplishment. Winning 7 out of 8 total and losing in the quarters in that one that he didn’t win is ALSO an incredible accomplishment. So who’s the best? Uhhh… Samerorg? Sounds about right.

So who’s the greatest of all time? Lavererpasorgendlonnorssi? Or McEdborgereckererampassilander? Every single player has done atleast ONE unique thing that NO OTHER player has done. Even if it’s something small like winning Basel 3 times in a row or winning Miami like 6 times. If Federer was 0-20 against Nadal, then that’d be one thing. But he’s 7-13. He needs to win the next 6 straight matches to tie it up. Nadal’s had several winning streaks against Federer. Who’s to say it’s not Federer’s turn? You never know. So you gotta wait till their career’s end. But one thing I’m 99% sure of is that Federer and Nadal aren’t done beating EACH OTHER.


mem Says:

Edward, thanks for the response, but your interpretation is off a bit. of course, roger would have played rafa in the final had it happened. he wouldn’t had a choice, but that’s wasn’t my point! re-read and i’m sure you’re get the point!


mem Says:

skeezerweezer, i’ll let you decide whether i’m the same person or not. i totally stand by what i’ve said. i have no control over the way you or anything else interprets it. fact is, it is my perspective! you don’t have to like it!


sports fan Says:

mem…..you did not touch a nerve…..instead you made yourself look childish and pouty too everyone on this site……there are things you have to except in life and one of them is that Nadal is not on the Pedestal that Roger is yet…..Maybe some day he will be and that will be a great day for you and other nadal fans but until than you are either going to have to grow up or stop posting things that make you like silly…….


Edward Says:

mem, I also said it’s Rafa’s fault for not getting to the final. Federer’s victory still counts regardless. Federer wants to play Rafa, but this was about proving he was good enough to win the French Open, not about going through Rafa to win it. He’s shown he can win it. He lost in 2003 and 2004 as well, before Rafa came along. His interest in the rivalry is still there. It’s up to the both of them to show up to the final so they can both have another go at it.


Kimo Says:

Fed said this about Nadal’s possible withdrawal from Wimby:

“I was surprised to see him pull out of Queen’s, and now the debate that he might pull out of Wimbledon is quite frightening. I don’t like to see it, because you want the best to be playing in the biggest events.”


MMT Says:

sensationalsafin:

While I appreciate the argument, I don’t think this is a good example because if Borg or Federer were asked to choose between winning 5 straight or 7 of 8, I’m quite certain they would choose 7 of 8. That Sampras missed out on the 5 in a row doesn’t at all diminish from the fact that he won a total of 7, which is obviously harder to do.

For me, this is also the reason that Nadal has to surpass Borg’s total of 6 French Opens in order for me to consider him the greatest clay court player of all time. Guillermo Vilas made a career of winning clay court tournaments and holding clay court records and lost both of his FO finals to Borg, failing to win a set in either case – so the standard has to be winning the French Open because it is the only prize equally coveted by all the professionals.

As for Nadal’s H2H advantage over Federer, I give a parallel: From 1987 to 1989 Brad Gilbert won 4 out of 6 matches against Boris Becker, but nobody on earth would have suggested at the time that Gilbert was a better player than Becker.

Mind you, I’m not comparing Nadal to Gilbert, because Nadal is a great champion, #1 in the world, and along with Federer, has been the most dominant player in the game for the last 5 years. I point this out only to discredit the ARGUMENT that a player with a better head to head record is necessarily the better player.

Only their overall records can determine that.


Mina Says:

sensationalsafin Says:
“Every single player has done atleast ONE unique thing that NO OTHER player has done. Even if it’s something small like winning Basel 3 times in a row or winning Miami like 6 times…”

Excellent point! It would be impossible for someone to achieve everything. Even if some guy comes around and wins 30 Slams or something, there will still be things that he might not have achieved that other players have (e.g. Laver’s double calendar-year Slams, Borg’s 3 consecutive back-to-back FO & Wimbys, etc.). Would that disqualify the 30-Slam winner from being the GOAT? I don’t think so.


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m not saying 5 in a row is better than 7 overall, but there’s a difference. It’s something they did that Sampras didn’t. Something 2 great champions did that another great champion didn’t. Does that make any of the 3 lesser champions? No.


SG Says:

Fedfan,

Sampras played in an era when there were a lot more surface specialists so I wouldn’t throw is competition under the bus. I am one of the people who does believe that Fed has benefitted from some less than stellar competition. Certainly between 2003 and 2006 when he was most dominant. This isn’t really a slight against Federer. It’s just how it was. There was no Djokovic, No Murray, Nadal was only dangerous on one surface in that period, no Del Potro and limited (..and still limited) Roddick.

As for Lendl, I completely agree. No man of major championship calibre has ever faced some much tough top level competition in his prime. His major count is a reflection of his era. His final appearance count in majors is a testament to his greatness. He was a beast in his day and threat on almost every surface.


Polo Says:

Some of the discussions here border on the ridiculous. From what I know about tennis is that Federer just won the French Open and has completed a personal grand slam. He has tied Sampras record of 14 slams but he has done better because his includes the French where Sampras never even reached the finals. (that is not bashing Sampras, it is a fact). Federer has a better overall record than Nadal, underline overall. (that is not bashing Nadal, it is a fact). I do not understand what all the debate as to who is the best so far. One does not have to be a genius to see the obvious.


vared Says:

The Diagnosis of Dr. Federer

“It seems like it’s not 100 percent serious, his knee injury. I only wish him the best and I hope it’s not true that he will miss Wimbledon. I think it’s a lot of speculation at the moment,” Federer said. “He wasn’t taping his knees here in Paris. He seemed fine, [from] what I saw, anyway. I’ve played him so many times, I can tell when he’s in pain and when he’s not.”


Mina Says:

He is playing a bit of doctor and physiotherapist there. Lol.

But considering all of the people on these boards who were playing doctor when Federer stated that he had mono, I chalk this one down to human tendency.


MMT Says:

sensationsafin said: “Does that make any of the 3 lesser champions? No.”

It does at Wimbledon – lesser by 2! But when you consider all slams put together, all the tournaments that every covets equally, between the 3 (until yesterday) you have to say the greater champion was Sampras.

The problem comes when we confuse being a better tennis player with being a better champion. Being a better tennis player is subjective – who has better strokes, who’s doing more with their talent, who’s more versatile – these cannot be measured by statistics. But who is winning more championships to me, particularly those that everyone is trying to win, is a better measure of who is the greater champion. Otherwise, why do we care so much about the slams?

And SG – within your own argument there is a bit of a problem – Djokovic and Murray have been around and playing well since 2007, and Federer has won 5 out of 10 slams in that period. Also, from 2004 – 2006 there were other slam champions around whom he beat regularly.

But there are only 4 slams a year, so if you win 8 out of 12 slams, and one other guys wins 3, how can the competition be stronger? Only by losing more often. But this cannot logically be the criterion for making a greater champion, to lose more often to the competition thereby making it stronger?

Perhaps I am misunderstanding what makes the competition superior in the abstrace, but if it’s anything other than the slams they’ve won, then I find that to be too subjective. If it is the slams they’ve won, then it leaves the only alternative for being considered a greater champion is to have lost more often, and this strikes me as counter-intuitive.


huh Says:

MMT Says:”All this talk about the quality of competition is nothing but an effort to discredit great champion(s). For everyone claiming Federer’s competition was weak, they must say the same of Nadal. And there are arguments against the quality of EVERY multi-slam champion’s opponents, no matter who it is. The fact that the multi-slam winner was there so often when their “best” comtemporaries were not is only a testament to their consitently and ability to rise to the occassion.”

Completely with you on this MMT! If you would like my opinion on Rafa’s competition, then the simple fact that everyone knows is that Rafa has not faced competition from a single worthy rival except Fed. It’s no secret that the perceived torch light bearers like Murray or Djoko, despite having much talent has just one slam in between them and it is the name of these two, which is continuously reminded to each and every Fed fan by the Rafa fans either to prove or hopng that the Fed fans would be as scared of these two fellows as if these two are the thunderbolts which can strike and bring down the Fed mountain! A scenario is being created to make us believe that it is these two who are already within striking distance of making Fed run for his life, but unfortunately and conveniently people forget that by the age of these two, most of the great tennis players’d win one or more slams! Djoko’s won one but Murray still hasn’t (and not that he is very young in terms of age to be holding a grand slam)! And these are the two GLORIFIED ones who are time and again projected as the two classic rivals of Rafa, thanks to Fed’s succesive defeats against Rafa! And a few more challengers have also been created out of thin air by way of a concerted effort going on trying to project Rafa’s opponents as of a highe level than the adversaries Fed faced while winning grand slams and as usual, the fact that Fed has faced much more competetion during his days in the form of Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, Moya, Gaudio, Ferrero et al enroute his GS titles. At least Fed clashed with these great players with some of these fellas also in their almost absolute peak. But all these players have sorta fizzled out and are gettin ready to retire by the time of rise of Rafa. Apart from Fed, Nadal has beaten only one guy in Djokovic who holds merely one slam whereas it took Fed to beat either single/multiple slam winners, once or more than more than once for getting his slams. That speaks volume about the competition of Fed and in fact proves that Rafa’s competition is not clearly as tough as it may apper!!!


sensationalsafin Says:

I can’t agree with you MMT. Being the GOAT isn’t that black and white. And winning 2 less Wimbledons doesn’t make Federer an OVERALL lesser champion.


mem Says:

sports fan, don’t you know that people who have guts to actually say what they think, looks childish and idiotic to people like you. it’s expected! ask me how much i care!


skeezerweezer Says:

Polo,

Well said. I wish I could have said that. Short and matter of fact. done.

sensationalsafin,

Do you remember the days when they were talking about Pete being GOAT after 14 slams? I did. Thought know one would match that in my lifetime.

No Matter how you try to dissect players accomplishments, GS totals are the the well know historic factor. You have most if not all of his peers, past and present, saying now he is GOAT. He’s only 27! I don’t think he is going to fall off a cliff anytime soon, either, btw. But there is guys up here with seemingly more knowledge of the game to want to dis claim it. GS totals will continue to be the standard of the very top. Now I am not trying to discredit any other players. You are right they all have there own special accomplishments that other players don’t have. Jack Nicklaus has 18 majors, but other golfers in his era had some spectatular feats. But he is currently the GOAT in golf. Ask Tiger. It’s all about the GS, baby, history remembers that the most.


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t think it can be that black and white. If that’s the qualification, then Federer’s French Open makes him the GOAT. No questions asked. But I think tennis has too many factors to declare one player a GOAT. Not just comparing eras, but players within eras. Like Federer and Nadal each have their own unique accomplishments.


skeezerweezer Says:

Then why do his peers, past and present, are calling him this? Not disrespecting your opinion, but don’t they have the ultimate knowledge of the game?


SG Says:

Actually the argument against Nadal’s competition is less relevant for one simple reason. He has defeated a potential GOAT in all his major victories.


SG Says:

Sorry, I meant nearly all.


sensationalsafin Says:

Because he is easily one of the greats and he’s playing right now so that’s what everyone has on the top of their heads. It’s like for me every time I see a great movie I declare it the greatest movie ever, even though it isn’t.


skeezerweezer Says:

Understood. I respect what you are saying. When his career is over then maybe we can say it. But wait, Rafa or someone else by then wil have 13 titles and going strong what do we say then? They are calling it now because the time to call it is now! Who knows what the future holds. Maybe there should be a title like GUTN ( Greatest up till now )?

By the way, are we all going to get some kind of prize from Tennis-x( Sean Randall are you listening? ) for the longest tennis discussion ever? I think we are the GOAT in a tennis topic discussion. I’m out. ha!


Joe Says:

Mem – Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7 of your life. Especially after a Federer win.


skeezerweezer Says:

Some more stats and factoids on Fed for you folks to argue about. From a ESPN sports writer:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french09/columns/story?columnist=tandon_kamakshi&id=4240712


Joe Says:

GOAT is too subjective for 20 million tennis fans to agree on. I suggest a term such as “Favorite of All Time” and end this stalemate. Who is the greatest boxer of all time?…discuss…see what I mean? :)


skeezerweezer Says:

This is probably the best and fairest article from Mike Lupica, ESPN, that all of our discussioneers would appreciate, debating the GOAT issue. I have to say, hearing everyone talk here, I thought Fed for sure was GOAT after FO cause everyone said that is what he needed to qualify and was missing that Pete never got, but now after hearing everyone and reading this article, well, let’s just say he belongs with the greatest for now, for sure. GOAT? I for one can answer that yet for myself. But he is reeaallly close. ha! Please read trhe article if you can, you’ll enjoy it Fed fan or not.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2009/06/08/2009-06-08_roger_federer_ties_pete_sampras_for_.html


Dan Martin Says:

I will need to write something up on GOATS even if I am loathe to do so. Still, I think the GOAT question really has to be broken into two sepparate but related questions: 1. Who is the most accomplished player? 2. Who would win more often than not on a variety of surfaces?

When people were claiming Federer to be the GOAT in say 2004 it was based upon the strength of his answer to question #2. Now when people argue against Federer in favor of another player they tend to focus on question #2. I don’t think we can ever fully answer the second question. The first question about achievements is cut and dry (and I mean dry!) as some tournaments rise and fall in value over time so … I will say this Federer is the most consistently excellent player of the Open era. 14 majors, a career grand slam, 19 major finals, 20 consecutive semifinal and quarterfinal appearances, 15 masters series shields, 4 season ending titles, 10 consecutive grand slam final appearances (the next best total was 4 prior to Federer’s current active streak of 5 GS finals in a row), most consecutive weeks at #1, … add it all up and he is the most consistently excellent performer of the era. Does that make him the best? I can’t answer that.


skeezerweezer Says:

addendum to previous post, was from NYDAILYNEWS, not ESPN. I’m out


skeezerweezer Says:

Dan Martin,

Based on your two questions, it’s quite factually obvious what the answer is. But I am not going there either.


Joe Says:

Von – yes poor andy did come of age at a time when the great federer was flying high. Its not his fault that the USTA juniors development program is in shambles. Can you name one male or female up and comer who has made an impact at a slam lately? Where are the next 14 year old capriatis bashing their way into a slam semi final? This is preposterous for a country that has produced so many champions. I will give Roddick and Blake credit for capturing the Davis cup for us. Pat McEnroe is now in charge of juniors development for USTA. Hopefully we will see some results soon. He sure did a good job as Davis cup capitan. I’m doing my part. My 3 year old girl is already hitting balloons around the house with her mini racket. She’s big and strong for her age – pushes the boys around – and has ‘tude like sharapova. I’m fancy myself as the next richard williams, trying to create a tennis player on the hard courts of a public court.


SG Says:

Here’s my take on the top 5 players by surface for the last 35 years:

Clay – 1) Borg
2) Nadal
3) Lendl
4) Wilander
5) Kuerten

Hardcourt – 1) Federer
2) Sampras
3) Lendl
4) McEnroe
5) Connors

Grass – 1) Sampras
2) Federer
3) Becker
4) Borg
5) Edberg

People like to say that Fed’s best surface is grass. I think his best surface is a hardcourt where the bounce is so true and his powerful ground game and serve are rewarded. On a fast hardcourt Roger and Pete are 1 and 1A. Of course, when Roger nothes his 6th USO, Pete will be No.2. Let’s not forget, Pete played in 8 USO finals. That deserves some recognition.

Sampras on grass is as good as it gets. Fed beat Sampras in a tense 5 setter in 2001. Fed didn’t play the Sampras of 1999. Let’s leave it it at that. That Sampras would have defeated pretty much anyone alive (or dead for that matter) on that day against Agassi.

Clay…Borg or Nadal…take your pick. With 6 FO’s I like Borg (for now). If Nadal can notch number 5 and do it beating a Federer or Djokovic, I’d elevate him to No.1. Beating Federer 4 times in the same place…that would be truly remarkable.


SG Says:

Looking at the list (based on my opinion of course), the best two players of the last 35 years end up being Federer and Sampras. And as fate would have it, they have dominated the majors for much of the last 20 years. Sampras’s lack of success on clay is more a remnant of an old American aversion to the red stuff. Federer played on red clay all his life. But, you have to judge things somewhat by result and if there wasn’t a surface called red clay, both Sampras and Federer both be even more dominant than they were (and are).


Joe Says:

I nominate Harold Solomon as the GOAT.


Von Says:

Joe:

“Von – yes poor andy did come of age at a time when the great federer was flying high. Its not his fault that the USTA juniors development program is in shambles.”

Andy got messed up by poor choices for coaches, and the USTA, didn’t give much help to its youth at that time. (look at Donald Young, why can’t he get some help?) Andy’s stint with Benhabiles, Connors and his brother John, was a complete waste of time. I wish he had Gilbert at the beginning of his pro career, followed by Stefanki. If that scenario took place, we would have seen a different Roddick and not the “limited” Roddick, whatever that is, on which SG loves to harp.

The USTA has not done diddly for this country’s youth during past years. The only people who’ve benefitted greatly from the USTA are Arlan Kantarian, the bourgeois McEnroe family, and the people on the Board who were earning millions of dollars in the form of fat paychecks.

The McEnroe family (dubbed the USTA’s royal family) have done more damage to tennis than I’d care to discuss, with the exception of Patrick MC, who seems to genuinely care about Davis Cup. But then again, he’s earned fame and fortune from that undertaking. Johnnie Mac has single-handedly, with some help from Carillo, destroyed Sampras’ image by spewing their overly biased and venemous prejudice. I wouldn’t care if I never heard Johnnie Mac’s commentaries on TV ever. Carillo by herself is not bad, but when she’s in the booth with Johnnie Mac, who has to be the leader of the show and loves to play the part, the two of them become a nuclear explosion, and they tear down whichever player is on John’s agenda for that day, by sinking their tentacles so deep, that only a skilled surgeon would be able to remove them.

“I’m doing my part. My 3 year old girl is already hitting balloons around the house with her mini racket. She’s big and strong for her age – pushes the boys around – and has ‘tude like sharapova. I’m fancy myself as the next richard williams, trying to create a tennis player on the hard courts of a public court.”

Be careful she doesn’t render a good whacking on your behind for behaving ala Richard Williams or Yuri Sharapova — you might get what you wish for, so be careful. LOL. I’d like to be present to see that role reversal, and would most probably buy her some ice cream afterwards. LOL.

Can you name one male or female up and comer who has made an impact at a slam lately? Where are the next 14 year old capriatis bashing their way into a slam semi final? This is preposterous for a country that has produced so many champions. I will give Roddick and Blake credit for capturing the Davis cup for us. Pat McEnroe is now in charge of juniors development for USTA. Hopefully we will see some results soon. He sure did a good job as Davis cup captain. I’m doing my part. My 3 year old girl is already hitting balloons around the house with her mini racket. She’s big and strong for her age – pushes the boys around – and has ‘tude like sharapova. I’m fancy myself as the next richard williams, trying to create a tennis player on the hard courts of a public court.


vared Says:

(look at Donald Young, why can’t he get some help?)
Von, I was reading another blog awhile back about Donald Young. Seems he gets/has gotten help but has an court attitude problem. His parents are his coaches and are not helpful. Doesn’t bode well for him. Some comments:”They turned down the opportunity to train with Rafa, have turned down the help/coaching offer of the USTA and have basically allowed him no success as they want to become the next Richard Williams. His parents have screwed him big time and are the biggest idiots in the world. I have met his mother and DY in person–and I can tell you personally that if she could still have him in diapers–she would opt for that option. It is a crying shame to see that much talent go to waste.” Another guy said “DY can’t play college tennis. He’s a pro so he has no college eligibility. He has endorsement contracts, has accepted prize money. For him to regain his eligibility he would have to repay all of that money, then petition the NCAA to reinstate him.”


Von Says:

With this GOAT talk becoming increasingly more and more significant and mind-boggling, in the minds of a few, wouldn’t it be better to just appreciate, enjoy and celebrate Federer’s success at this time, rather than getting embroiled in a debate where the parameters are much too broad to encompass, thereby reaching a mutual and/or harmonious conclusion?

Why is it that Federer or any one player for that matter, has to have the title of GOAT? Wouldn’t it be more propitious to say that Federer has joined the company of the greats that have gone before him and will be heralded as one of the greatest in the history books? We should all bear in mind that each and every one of us has our strengths and weaknesses and this will indeed be a boring world if any one individual were to encompass all the good attributes, and the others all the bad. I like that there’s a good mix of attributes shared by many instead of just one.

The bottom line — Federer has had, and continues to have, an illustrious career, and no one can take that way from him and/or tarnish it ever.


vared Says:

He is ONE of the all-time greats.


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

I agree, for now. BUT, what if Roger gets 30 slams. Or Rafa gets 35? Somthing ridiculously better than any other player? There would be no doubt about GOAT. But I would like to think we all had a sprited debate about what just happened and, really, what it means? I don’t think we all will revisit this debate if Roger reaches 18 slams or there abouts. Andre won AO at 31, Roger has had no serious injuries, and everyone agrees his game is not prone to injuries. I am quite sure…knock on wood with no injuries, he will be CONSIDERED GOAT or at least along side the greatest players that ever lived. But there is another debate, if you say “amoung the greatest players who ever lived” you are opening the door to a whole bunch of tennis players in the past and I think will widen and divide the debate deeper. As I have posted many times, History only cares about GS, in tennis and golf. This isn’t the first time GOAT was mentioned. When Sampras got is 14, the same conversation amoung the his peers were debated, with no blogs of course.


jane Says:

“what if ” This is an essentially pointless exercise though. What if the world ends tomorrow? Then all this will be for naught. I say, enjoy the wins he has now; celebrate his latest achievement. And let it be.


Von Says:

vared:

Thanks for enlightening me on Donald Young’s career. I’m even more saddened now that I know his interfering, egotistical parents are the root cause of his stagnation; my apologies to the USTA.

History repeats itself in so many ways, and is fraught with stories of over-bearing, overly enthusiastic parents who feel they are the sole judge of their child’s potential and refuse to enlist the much needed advice, skill, and techniques of outsiders. From what you’ve stated Donald’s parents have stagnated him and are more of an albatross to him rather than a source of positive reinforcement.

I saw one of Young’s matches where his mother was coaching him, Donald got angry and uttered the expletive of “oh sh*t”, and what ensued was tantamount to someone who was fishing for compliments or to give the impression that she’s an upstan ding parent. Mrs. Young, told the court-side commentator, that she’ll be disciplining him after the match for his behaviour because that’s not how he’s been brought up. I was angry and speechless. How could any parent’s selfish need to appear sanctimonious be greater than their child’s embarrassment on National TV? I mean WOW!


skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

Sorry to get duped into the “what if” scenario, but if you read this whole blog, it’s filled with it. So my bad I got dragged in. You’re right, enjoy what has been accomplished, at keep the debate on that, not ANYTHING else. Kudos to you


Von Says:

skeezerweezer:

First of all, what does your name “skeezerweezer” mean? Just asking?

OK, what “if Federer wins 30 slams and nadal wins 35″. then they’ll be in the Guinness Book of World Records, which is the ultimate for sports achievements, and I’m sure these threads will light up like we’ve never seen them before. But until then, how about if we were to just settle for them sharing the title of: “One of the greatest”? I think that’s just mahvelous, don’t you think?


Von Says:

skeezerweezer:

I think I mentioned in my previous post: “wouldn’t it be better to just appreciate, enjoy and celebrate Federer’s success at this time, rather than getting embroiled in a debate where the parameters are much too broad to encompass, thereby reaching a mutual and/or harmonious conclusion?”


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

The name doesn’t mean anything. I got frustrated on trying to create a name on a website ( I am sure we have all went through this ) and I couldn’t create my real name ( Tim, or Tim 12345, or timlovestennis ) everything was taken so I just thought of the most ridiculous thing that came to mind, a wa f*&^^ la, there ya go.

Von I am all for that. Let’s put him at one of the greatest, assuming that is VERY small company right now, and see what the future holds. :)


Mina Says:

Von: I think it’s mahvelous to think of it that way :) But it’s fun to debate too!


skeezerweezer Says:

Hey regarding Goat again, No one ever mentioned ever Martina ( not my fav player ) But she has won ( inc. doubles ) 59, that is right, 59 GS titles and the last one in mixed she won she was one month shy of her 50th bday! Wow! Take that GOAT fans. HA!


Von Says:

skeezerweezer:

Thanks for giving me an answer on your post name. I have to do a copy and pasted when I address you, hence my question. LOL.

Yeah, why not add Fed’s name to the distinguished few and eave it at that. I mean it’s the creme de la creme, so what more can one ask. it’s simply mahvellous, dahlin!!
___________________

Mina Says:
“Von: I think it’s mahvelous to think of it that way :) But it’s fun to debate too!”

Absolutely mahvellouz, and definitely fun to debate, but also infinite. It’s mahvellous, too mahvellous for words — there’s a song with those lines.


skeezerweezer Says:

So Von,

In all fairness, what does “Von” mean? LOL


Von Says:

skeezerweezer:

“In all fairness, what does “Von” mean? LOL”

Oh boy, ‘Yvonne’. I wanted to shorten my middle name, and came up with “Von”. A very nice poster, who doesn’t post anymore, said his dog’s name was Yvonne, but he did say, he loved his dog very much. LOL.


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

TY and very well indeed. A lot better story coming up with a post name than me. :)Should we now call you the GOAT of thought up names that came from real names? lol Kudos to you! :)


Mina Says:

skeezerweezer Says:
“Hey regarding Goat again, No one ever mentioned ever Martina ( not my fav player ) But she has won ( inc. doubles ) 59, that is right, 59 GS titles and the last one in mixed she won she was one month shy of her 50th bday! Wow! Take that GOAT fans. HA!”

Oh my goodness! Comparing men’s and women’s tennis to each other and trying to pick a GOAT amongst both genders – that makes the debate even more endless. Lol :)


No GOAT Says:

Congrats to Fed. Truly deserved the FO win. Now he can soak it up and enjoy his victory. Must of released a ton of weight off his shoulders. This title really put the icing on the cake for him.

Now with the GOAT talk here, I thought I’ll add my 5 cents worth.

Each has great contributed in his own way to the game and as for Sampras, his place in history is set in stone, same with Federer, Laver etc. If we were to pick winners here, perhaps then it is the tennis fans, who in the span of two decades have had the privilege of watching two of the sport’s greatest, and with no doubt, the best, play the game.

People seem to forget that Fed also a very lucky tennis player. I mean he peaked at the absolute perfect time. Sampras and Agassi were on their way out. These guys Rafa Djoko etc were coming up. There really was nobody to challenge him at his level for at least 5 years. Seriously before Nadal, name me a legendary tennis player or multiple grand slam holder Roger had to battle day in day out for his titles?. (I’m talking Laver/ Emerson, Mcenroe/Borg/Connnors, Sampras/ Agassi. Becker/Edberg). The moment he stepped on court everybody knew Roger was going to win the tournament from day one. I think he’s probably a little weary and the other guys, especially Nadal have gotten better. Now he has a real rival. Nadal is the best thing that ever happened to Roger. The rivalry makes people care about Tennis again. The way Nadal plays make you wonder how long his career will last.

And the argument that Sampras opponents were not dominated as Federer’s opponents can be turned around in that because Sampras faced greater champions and a greater number of them, they would not allow themselves to be dominated the way today’s players allow. Further Sampras faced a greater variety of specialist players, grass court specialists like Stich and Edberg as well as clay court specialists like Muster, Bruguera and more, hence why sampras didn’t win the french open but still managed to win 14 GS and re-write the record books in the toughest competitive era.

Just imagine how many majors roger would of won if nadal, murray, djoko began there careers at the same time?


sensationalsafin Says:

Sampras has a losing record to Krajicek, who was pretty much just a big serve. Federer owns Roddick, who’s game is based around his big serve. If Federer wasn’t in his way, Roddick could have several slams. Did Roddick let Federer just trounce him for every big title? I really really really doubt it. You mention specialists and how that made it tough. It’s because of Federer that the top players CAN’T, not they aren’t capable of, but they CAN’T be specialists and stay at the top. He showed the world that being a specialist won’t work help them in any way if they’re facing Roger Federer.


No GOAT Says:

Federer was over achieving because he had too much time against most of the current ATP lackies. Federer’s game looked so good because of this. He doesn’t get pushed or challenge hard enough to really see how well he plays in these situations. Now he finally has and results have shown, mentally and physically, thanks to the top 5.

One good example was at the exhibitions against Sampras. You can see that Sampras’s games of relentless attack bothers Federer so much because he had no time to run around his backhands or getting away with defensive shots. Before, every time when Federer was in defensive situations he was able to get out of trouble with defensive slices but he couldn’t do that against Sampras because Sampras would be at the net putting away any weak shots Federer threw his way. Basically, the only way Federer can win any point in defensive mode is by hitting great passing shots and the odds are astronomically in favor of Sampras winning most of those points because even as great a player as he is, Federer can’t hit out of this world passing shots all the time in rushed situations. I honestly don’t think Federer can’t even come close to Sampras if the situation is reversed.  


sensationalsafin Says:

The exhibitions showed what now? You’re going to determine this by exhibitions? Then I’m going to determine this by their only ATP meeting.

In 2001, Sampras was well past his prime but he already knew exactly how to play and win tough matches. Federer was very very very inexperienced in big matches and his game was far from being polished to the greatness that it is today. But he edged out Sampras AT HIS OWN GAME. He was serving and volleying like fuggin Sampras, McEnroe, Edberg, etc. Federer told Sampras that he plays from the baseline on grass because he doesn’t have to come in that much. But that’s the beauty of Federer’s game, he can adjust and adapt to his surroundings however necessary. It took him a while, but you could say adding the drop shot was the key to winning the FO. And Fed was stubborn about it but he finally did it and finally captured all the slams.


Mina Says:

Can you really come to any conclusions from the Sampras-Federer exibitions? They aren’t real matches. The only thing they’re really playing for (other than money, of course) is pride – but really, it was quite obvious when watching that neither of them was playing full-out as if it were a legitimate event. How boring would it have been if Federer trounced an older, out-of-game-shape Sampras 6-0, 6-0 (we are talking about Sampras now, not Sampras in his prime). I’m not saying that Federer tanked the match, but you can bet he wasn’t playing full-on hardcore tennis.


skeezerweezer Says:

whoa whoa whoa! Now we are talking in circles again talking more H2H. And please don’t bring up those exhibition matches with Fed and Sampras. they proved nothing. To me, and to most tennis fans, it was for pure entertaiment, nothing else. I saw all those matches and Fed dictacted the matches ,not Sampras. Only because Fed was in his prime and Sampras not. They had fun, and it especially not fair to Sampras as he was past his prime to compare who was doing what to whom during those matches. I thought when I watched they both knew that , and made it entertaining.

Hey Sampras was great, best service game ever.

I still say total GS is going to tell all in the end. Everyone knowws that is my stance. That is why my new vote for GOAT is…….Martina!

Bottom line, in GS or any tourney you can’t CHOOSE who you are going to play, you have to play who made it through to the other side, and in most cases they deserved to get to the finals, ala Sod for example.


skeezerweezer Says:

mina,

just saw your post.

right,,,,,,

on!


skeezerweezer Says:

sensationalsafin

right…….

on!


No GOAT Says:

“but you can bet he wasn’t playing full-on hardcore tennis.”

That’s only because Sampras didn’t let him ;-)

“But he edged out Sampras AT HIS OWN GAME. ”

Because he was out of his prime and on a decline and near retirement. He no longer had the motivation and hungriness. But he later worked out how to beat him and that was proven at the exhibition. Please don’t say it was only an exhibition. It is a weak statement.

Pete has shown that even in retirement he has a game that could trouble fed. The serve and forehand are still exceptional. The volleys phenomenal. At his prime he would clean up fed.


Mina Says:

“Please don’t say it was only an exhibition. It is a weak statement.”

Can you please explain to me how exactly this is a weak statement?

To compare a exhibition match to a real-game situation is fruitless. It’s not an accurate gauge of anything other than the fact that Sampras is still a good tennis player despite having not played competitively for a few years (I give him props for that). As for if Sampras in his prime could beat Federer – that’s pure speculation and should be based hypothetically on the way Sampras played during his prime and not on the way he and Federer played against each other in the exos.


huh Says:

Joe Says:
Mem – “Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7 of your life. Especially after a Federer win.”
Ha ha ha, I love it!


huh Says:

SG Says:
Here’s my take on the top 5 players by surface for the last 35 years:

Clay – 1) Borg
2) Nadal
3) Lendl
4) Wilander
5) Kuerten

Hardcourt – 1) Federer
2) Sampras
3) Lendl
4) McEnroe
5) Connors

Grass – 1) Sampras
2) Federer
3) Becker
4) Borg
5) Edberg

Agree with your choice on everything except one that Borg’s at least equal if not better than Becker.


huh Says:

No GOAT, you are really forgetting that a player kicks off and becomes a legitimate contender for slams as soon as he wins the first slam of his career and we are quite aware of the fact that Nadal did not come and just win a FO in 2005, NADAL STORMED INTO THE SCENE IN 2005 winning as many as 11 titles, the same as Roger had won that year! So it is ridiculously unacceptable to say that Fed has no real rival for the first 5 years when he was dominating. Roger won his first slam in 2003 and dominated for only one more year i.e. 2004, and Nadal quite has been a formidable, hell the main rival of Fed since 2005. Their rivalry has already entered into its 5th year, only a stupid will deny it. So put the weak competition argument of Fed to rest, and this I’m saying only only about Nadal. Fed also had many other rivals though it’s needless to say that no one has given Fed more to think about except Rafa. And for your kind information if Fed had arrived just 2/3 years latter, none other than Roddick himself would already be sitting with 3 wimbledons and may be a few other slams too, Marat/Hewitt/others too might have had won some more slams if Fed wasn’t there! So there would already be the names og guys like Safin,Hewitt and Roddick among multiple slam winners! That’s why I would suggest you to get your facts right!


huh Says:

No GOAT Says:”Just imagine how many majors roger would of won if nadal, murray, djoko began there careers at the same time?

Still as many as he’s won now! Why? Simply because it’s obvious that Fed’s more talented than any of these three and is mentally stronger than both Murray and Djokovic. Not only that, the young Fed would in no way surrender his matches to Murray/ Djoko without carrying coz he’d like to dominate them and would do just that. So from among these two, only Rafa’d be the bigger challenger but even that’s doubtful coz the superior player Fed would in no way feel any pressure and would go on to just beat Rafa coz he’d be just as much motivated. When motivation were there and talent was more, the youngFed would come on top against the young Rafa on all the surfaces except clay!


huh Says:

sensationalsafin Says:
Sampras has a losing record to Krajicek, who was pretty much just a big serve. Federer owns Roddick, who’s game is based around his big serve. If Federer wasn’t in his way, Roddick could have several slams. Did Roddick let Federer just trounce him for every big title? I really really really doubt it. You mention specialists and how that made it tough. It’s because of Federer that the top players CAN’T, not they aren’t capable of, but they CAN’T be specialists and stay at the top. He showed the world that being a specialist won’t work help them in any way if they’re facing Roger Federer.

Great points made, kudos to you!


MMT Says:

No GOAT: May I ask why you have cited “Laver/ Emerson, Mcenroe/Borg/Connnors, Sampras/ Agassi. Becker/Edberg” as “real” competition? I have a guess – because they all have one thing in common – slams, and a lot of them.
But they all have something else in common – none of them played against a player as dominant as Federer. How do I know this? They same way you know they are “real” competition – slams. For 4 years Federer won so many in such a short period of time, your “competition” criterion, based on how you have implicitly defined it, would require him to lose more often in order for his competition to be considered stronger. To me, it’s counter-intuitive to acclaim a player more for losing more often, or winning less often so obviously detracting from a player BECAUSE he has won more often or lost less often doesn’t make a lot of sense.

But let’s just take it one step further for a moment – who won slams before Federer started dominating? If you look at their records against Federer, it’s pretty bleak – in slams between 2004 and 2009 Roddick has lost 7 times, Hewitt has lost 6 times, Safin 4 times, Ferrero 3 times and Agassi lost 3 times, all to Federer in slams. My point? The only players who, at the dawn of Federer’s dominance, had the potential to become multi-slam winners during this era, all lost to Federer in slams with regularity. The only way for these players to have won more slams and be considered stronger competition would be to have beaten Federer more often – but this doesn’t make sense, because Federer would have to have…you guessed, lost more often, and then wouldn’t even be in this discussion.

This weak competition argument basically makes it impossible for a player who wins more often to be considered the greater champion – in fact, by this argument he’d be better off winning 1 slam a year for 8 years and 2 slams a year for 3 years – this is precisely what Sampras did. But I’m sure if you asked Sampras if he would have preferred to win 3 slams a year in different years 3 years, 2 slams in another and 1 each in 2 other years – all this before turning 30 – I’m sure he’d choose the latter. Why? Well, that’s how champions are wired. They want to win more often, and they want to obliterate their competition. They’re not interested in sharing the limelight or being part of a great historical group – they want to be THE BEST.

This goes to another question which has been bothering me in these threads. Suddenly Federer should be satisfied with being just ONE of the greats – since when? And why? We’re not talking about actors or musicians, where greatness is purely subjective. We’re talking about sports, where keep track of wins and losses for a reason – to determine who is the best – over one week, two weeks, a season, a decade, and yes, a career. I mean, why do we organize tournaments, track rankings and hand out prize money? Why not hand out equal prize money and say “you’re all winners in your own special way”. No, we want to know who’s the best of a week, a year, a decade, and an era – but then suddenly when it comes to history they’re supposed to be satisfied with just being one of the guys? I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it.

To me it doesn’t make any sense at all and with all due respect to those who think that Federer (and his supporters for that matter) should just be satisfied with him being considered “one” of the best, I’m very sorry, but I think it’s a cop out. We absolutely excoriate and decry players for just being satisfied with reaching the final or taking a set off of Federer or Nadal, and not having the courage or the conviction to try to win – i.e. be the best player during that particular match or that particular tournament – but somehow when it comes to wanting to be the best in the history of the sport, there’s something wrong with that? I’m sorry I don’t buy it. This is competitive sports and we keep records for a reason – we want to know who was the best in a point, a game, a set a match, a tournament, a season an era and yes in the history of the sport.

In fact everything that’s compelling and worth watching about tennis is a self contained competition. Every point, game, set, match tournament is a small unit of competition where someone must win and someone must lose – in other words for one point, game, set, match, tournament, etc. someone is better than someone (or everybody) else. There are no ties in tennis – if you play a tie-break in tennis and lose it’s a loss (and not a tie like in football). Tennis players train often for 10 to 20 years to hone not only their skills, but their competitive instincts, just to be able to compete in this way. That is not some abstract idea – it’s a fact. Every facet of the game from the first toss of the tournament to the championship point is a competition – so why suddenly should these supremely competitive people suddenly be satisfied with just being up there with a group when it comes to anything including history? Again I don’t buy it.

In fact I have a theory on why Laver is saying he doesn’t believe in GOATS – probably because he’s tired of answering the question and offending someone every time he does. Without ever having met the man, I’m quite certain that at some point Rod Laver knew he had the potential to be the best who ever played the game, and wanted it – badly. And he went for it with everything he had. He won every tournament available to him to win (eventually) won every tennis match he could, and endeavored to beat the living daylights out of every one of his contemporaries – and not so someone could come a long at the end of it all and say, “Well done Rod, you’re ONE of the best”. No way, no how.

It’s been asked many times on this blog – why is everyone so obsessed with the GOAT argument – and the answer is simple – it’s the same reason why you’ll never do this – the next time you’re watching a great match on television, and I mean the BEST match you’ve ever seen – at the first match point, turn off the tv. Then turn on your computer, go to youtube and type in “Safin Hitting in HD” and tell me which you’d prefer. To know who won the match, or how beautiful is Safin’s forehand. What you turned off is why you watch tennis – what you turned on is a component, but absent the context of “who prevails” is pretty damn boring, and you know it.

So why would the question of who prevails “historically” or in the “macrocosm” suddenly become just a silly obsession, when in the microcosm, it is this very context that gives meaning to the sport?

That in a nutshell is why 4 out of 4 is better than 3 our of 4, which is better than 2 of 4 which is better than 1 of 4. And that’s why it doesn’t make sense for a player winning 1 or 2 out of 4 to be adjudged superior to one winning 3 or 4 out of 4, and since the only way for the competition to be better is if you win less often, this weak competition argument is clever and interesting, but completely counter the very context that gives meaning to this sport and any other we play where we actually keep score.


huh Says:

No GOAT Says:
Federer was over achieving because he had too much time against most of the current ATP lackies. Federer’s game looked so good because of this. He doesn’t get pushed or challenge hard enough to really see how well he plays in these situations. Now he finally has and results have shown, mentally and physically, thanks to the top 5.

Very easy to challenge Fed coz he’s at least 5 years older to Rafa, 6 years older to Murray & Djoko and about 8 years older to Del Potro for these guys, otherwise Lord save them if a young Fed suddenly arrives! If Fed was of the same age group as these guys, he’d have shown these guys their true place, and that is clearly below him!


huh Says:

sensationalsafin Says:
The exhibitions showed what now? You’re going to determine this by exhibitions? Then I’m going to determine this by their only ATP meeting.

In 2001, Sampras was well past his prime but he already knew exactly how to play and win tough matches. Federer was very very very inexperienced in big matches and his game was far from being polished to the greatness that it is today. But he edged out Sampras AT HIS OWN GAME. He was serving and volleying like fuggin Sampras, McEnroe, Edberg, etc. Federer told Sampras that he plays from the baseline on grass because he doesn’t have to come in that much. But that’s the beauty of Federer’s game, he can adjust and adapt to his surroundings however necessary. It took him a while, but you could say adding the drop shot was the key to winning the FO. And Fed was stubborn about it but he finally did it and finally captured all the slams.

Again have to agree with ye!


huh Says:

No GOAT Says:
“but you can bet he wasn’t playing full-on hardcore tennis.”

That’s only because Sampras didn’t let him ;-)

“But he edged out Sampras AT HIS OWN GAME. ”

Because he was out of his prime and on a decline and near retirement. He no longer had the motivation and hungriness.
Sensationalsafin has already told you about this in clear terms that though Petec was well well past his best Fed was also far away from his best and was very inexperienced too, not to mention the nerves that he might be feeling at that time while playing Pete at Wimbledon. So both Fed and Pete faced each other on a pretty even terms in that 2001 wim match and Fed gave indications of what was about to come in the future by edging Pete out. WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!


margot Says:

Gordo: re your post, what seems like a hundred years ago: “kippers and mash” hello hello, it’s eels ‘n’ mash, pie ‘n’ mash, sausage ‘n’ mash but NEVER “kippers ‘n’ mash. Kippers are served with very finely cut, slices of brown bread and butter..
BTW completely agree with you re Fed’s shot making, just sublime.


huh Says:

No GOAT has finally proved to be utterly ignorant by proclaiming that Pete would clean up Fed at his prime.


Polo Says:

No GOAT Says:”Just imagine how many majors roger would of won if nadal, murray, djoko began there careers at the same time?”

Huh responded: “Still as many as he’s won now!”

Since we are wallowing in speculations and analysis based on fertile imagination to favor whoever tennis player we favor, I would say that had Federer, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic began their careers at the same time, Federer would surely have more majors which would include a couple of grand slams because Nadal’s edge due to his younger age would have been lost. Djokovic would have zero and Murray, well he does not have one yet.


No GOAT Says:

Huh?

Federer did have the experience to play great tennis but not to pull off or get close to the GS final back at wimbledon 2001. GS beginners give it there all because they know they have nothing to lose and sometimes even surprise us all at the end. Similar to what soderling did to Rafa.

Pete made the Semis and the quarters at the French a couple times. You are also forgetting the erain which Pete played. He had more All time greats playing with him than Roger has. Agassi (8) Becker (6) Edberg (6) Courier (4) Kuerten (3) not to mention single surface specialists like Ivanesievic (1) Brugera (2) Rafter (2) Philippoussis, Rusedski, and Corretja. If there were no Andre or Edberg, you could add 3 more majors to his tally at least. Fed has Nadal (6) and then the list drops off with Safin (2) Hewitt (2) Djokovic (1) and thats pretty much it. The mid to lower level ranked players are better than in Pete’s era. But the quality of the championship level players is not as great. I really do hate to seem as if I don’t like Roger, but he is capable of losing to great players. He has been beaten by guys like Murray and Djokovic, and Nalbandian. There is no reason for me not to believe that if he had played in the 1990′s, with the level of competition at the top being as it was,that he would have the same numbers that he has now. You see what has happened since he finally got one player who was on par with him talent wise. One slam in the past year and a half.

Where Federer needed to get through one good clay court player to enable him win the french, and that’s nadal.

Mina Says:
“To compare an exhibition match to a real-game situation is fruitless. It’s not an accurate gauge of anything other than the fact that Sampras is still a good tennis player despite having not played competitively for a few years (I give him props for that)”

The other exhibitions were pretty close with the exception of one. And please don’t give me “oh Fed wasn’t taking it seriously”, because a few games into it he was playing at a high level. The serve sets Sampras apart. Federer, even now had issues with it. He had Fed off balance and scrambling to the ball left to right. Took away what most players don’t do today – TIME! This isn’t Andy Roddick hard flat serve, this is a perfectly placed, HEAVY, serve close to the lines, usually spinning away, oh yeah and upwards of 130mph. Federer is great, and he would indeed have the edge on clay, but on grass and fast hard courts I’ll take an inform Pete any day.

huh Says:
“No GOAT, you are really forgetting that a player kicks off and becomes a legitimate contender for slams as soon as he wins the first slam of his career and we are quite aware of the fact that Nadal did not come and just win a FO in 2005, NADAL STORMED INTO THE SCENE IN 2005 winning as many as 11 titles, the same as Roger had won that year! So it is ridiculously unacceptable to say that Fed has no real rival for the first 5 years when he was dominating”.

So, federer faced only nadal, the ONE real challenger who collected the majority of clay tiles? WOW. The rest were school kids learning how to play tennis or who were past their prime and ready for retirement. Pete on the other hand faced multiple grand slam holders through out his entire career, from beginning till end. He had to play in every round of a grand slam tournament at least 3 or 4 multiple grand slam holders/champions before getting to the final. Today your real challengers show up in the QF and onwards. Don’t forget, Sampras was never dominated by a single player more than what federer has been today. And now we have Djoko, and Murray as serious contenders that came in late in the picture.

Why do I believe Sampras would clean up fed is in his prime? I’ll explain. Read and learn Huh? I think the only person ignorant about tennis here is you.

Let’s look at the strategy behind today’s players, the tactics employed; and sometimes I don’t think that is at the same level it was in the 90s. The serve and volley game will beat the baseline game other things being equal because the serve and volley game makes for shorter points and when on fire makes for a practically unbreakable service game with aces and short rallies ending in a put-away volley. The window for winning such points is not as open as when there is a rally from the baseline after a serve where with a round of spectacular shots a player like Sampras can run off a few winners and break serve. Serving and volleying with a serve like Sampras’s when in fine form is in effect unbreakable, the only hope is in a tiebreaker–there again the more aggressive serve and volleying style would allow less margin for error for the returner. It’s easier when learning the game to just stand back and do the up and down rhythmic cardio of baseline practice rather than the continual sprint to the front line of fire following a serve with a volley.

Of course there were plenty of good all-court and baseline players in the 90s just as there are today, but there were also a whole breed of exceptional volleyers who backed that up with great serves that propelled them toward the net and whose returns also led them close to the net putting an incredible pressure on the receiver still back at the baseline.

These incredible serve and volleyers like Edberg, Rafter, Stich, Goran Ivanisevic also had serviceable baseline games, but the point is that they employed an entire, more high percentage, and aggressive dimension of the game that players today simply don’t as they primarily stay at the baseline.

The argument that the game has changed such that serve and volleyers simply can’t hack it anymore with the amazing groundstrokes of today’s players is bunk! Serving and volleying done well is a high percentage, efficiently effective way to win points (check with tennis coaches). If groundstrokes really have reached such advancement why do doubles teams still rush the net?

Why if the most superb groundstrokes of today destroy the ability of players to even exploit the entire aspect of serve and volleying did perhaps the greatest baseliner of the modern era in Agassi not destroy the ability of Rafter and Edberg? No, he did not. The great serve and volleyers of the 90s competed very well with Agassi and they won Wimbledons and other fast surface titles despite he and other formidable baseliners competing.

Lastly, when Sampras’s serve was on target in perfect pitch, not even Agassi perhaps the greatest returner of all time had much chance to break his serve such as in the 1999 Wimbledon. Is Federer’s return of serve or baseline game on par with Agassi’s? I don’t think so. So how would he have a chance when Pete’s gunning those forehands, chipping and charging on the backhand returns and then holding serves at will? With that kind of incredible pressure on Federer, Sampras would capture breaks and win. And Federer would stand helpless as service aces whizzed by him.

I think the level of serves in the 90s was higher than now. There were more servers serving more aces, maybe not quite as fast and hard as now, but remember those matches where Goran would serve 4 aces and then Sampras would serve 4 aces or unreturnable serves, and entire sets would go by like that until tiebreaks or incredible mini outbreaks of sterling winners leaped off of one player’s racket in rapid succession to capture a rare break of serve? The battle of big servers and those ridiculously short one to three shot points that made tennis at times a bit boring in the 90s is not really a fact of life for Roger on tour now. There are many more rallies. And who out there has the counterpoint return of serve game that Agassi had toward Sampras?

The hard servers of today simply don’t have Sampras’s precision or disguise, which even if 10 miles/hour faster in Roddick’s case makes them in some ways easier to return. And baseline bangers today don’t play with the relentless consistency and strategy as Agassi did with their prone-to-impatience, not-as-wise and precise shot selection and greater unforced errors. Federer can out steady these players and he’s better at winning on serve.

But if Sampras, when he’s on, serves better and is more aggressive in coming in taking risks for follow up volleys after the serve for easy points, even able to make holding serve look easy against players with Agassi caliber returning skills; and then Pete captures an occasional break of serve by out slugging even people like Agassi from the baseline on choice points in order to win sets–how could Roger Federer expect to beat Sampras in his prime? How, without Agassi’s return of serve, and with Pete’s incredibly competitive derring do chance-taking shot making during return games, and ability to elevate his own game on big points, could Federer beat Pete in his prime?

No, Pete faced a greater variety of opponents who played more aggressively and served more precisely, and played from the baseline with more skill and talent like Agassi. There are not even any players at the top now who take most advantage of a surface like grass with the style best suited to it–serving and volleying. Sampras had to face Macenroe, Becker, Stich, Ivanisevich, Edberg, Rafter, all masters of grass and he still won 7 Wimbledon’s. Plus the grass was faster back then what it is now.

I don’t think the game has changed all that much in the few years since Pete and Agassi retired and Federer began dominating. What is the revolutionary training that makes the athletes better tennis players today (more running, better ball machines, ha come on, so what if the rackets you can’t miss with and the shoes are little more aerodynamic)?


Polo Says:

No Goat, you will make a good historical fiction writer. Beautiful and interesting scenarios born of an imaginative mind but unequivocably fictitious. Good reading on the power of speculation to fortify the minds pyschological defense mechanism in the face of harsh reality that what one wished for to happen did not materialize.


Polo Says:

No Goat, did you not hear or read that even Pete Sampras himself called Federer the greatest he has seen play the game? Or would you rather argue with him about what he said? Even Sampras has deserted you on your arguments.


Polo Says:

To No Goat: You like professional wrestling and believe it is for real, don’t you?


TejuZ Says:

No GOAT says:”Just imagine how many majors roger would of won if nadal, murray, djoko began there careers at the same time?”

Well in last 2 years.. since 2007 Wimbeldon.. Fed has been in 7 finals out of 8, winning 4 and losing 3 to Nadal. He has lost one Semi to Djoker. No imagination here… he has been the best of the pack. Second Best is Nadal with 4 finals, winning 3. Djoker 2 finals winning one and Murray 1 final winning none.


TejuZ Says:

SensationalSafin says: “In 2001, Sampras was well past his prime but he already knew exactly how to play and win tough matches.”

He was also the 7 times total and 4 times successive defending champion there.


Ryan Says:

Here we go again….weak competition. I guess some people will never get it. But I got a question for those who believe in this whole weak competition argument.

1) Would Borg have won 5 wimbledons if federer sampras and becker were around?

2) Would nadal have 155-5 or watever win/loss and 4 RG’s if guga and borg were around?

The truth is you can only play the person in front of you and win. Everything else is nothing but hypothesis. If u think sampras is better than fed then go rite ahead.In the end the stats speak for themselves. Everything else is upto the individual to decide. I could argue that Soderling is the GOAT coz he stopped nadal.But dont try to denigrate fed’s acheivements coz no one’s buying it except some dumbass anti feds like urself.


Polo Says:

Talk about weak competition. If Federer weren’t around, how many majors would have Roddick won? And Hewitt who I believe in one year lost a couple of matches in the majors to Federer who went on to win. And God knows who else could have crept up with a win. Then there will be several people who would have alternated with each other winning majors. Then people would say it was a strong generation of players just like during Sampras time when several other players were able to win majors. Don’t you think that what some people call weak competition for Roger was simply because Roger was just too good on all surfaces that nobody else was allowed to shine. Only Nadal is able to come through and that is mainly on clay…Federer still has a better record in majors on grass and hardcourt. Nadal is a very good player and has the potential to be the best ever. But as of today, that remains simply a potential. Who knows what lies ahead of Nadal. He is starting to have knee problems now so one has to wonder if that potential will come to fruition. It may, it may not happen. Nobody has the answer, even the most imaginative minds in this blog.


TejuZ Says:

No GOAt says:”But if Sampras, when he’s on, serves better and is more aggressive in coming in taking risks for follow up volleys after the serve for easy points, even able to make holding serve look easy against players with Agassi caliber returning skills; and then Pete captures an occasional break of serve by out slugging even people like Agassi from the baseline on choice points in order to win sets–how could Roger Federer expect to beat Sampras in his prime? ”

Agassi was a great returner, but he was aced more often than say Nadal or Federer… thats because he just chose a side and go for his returns on that side. Btw.. watch Sampras-Federer wimbledon match.. Sampras was serving as well as he has always served..fed was returning very well. The last game that he got broken in 5 th… all 4 points were either return winners or low returns to Sampras’ shoe-laces. And.. btw… Sampras got beaten there at his own game by Fed.. i.e. serve and volley.. even though Fed was just a 19 year old boy.


TejuZ Says:

No GOAT:

And funny part is Fed out-aced Sampras in that match. Check the stat… If you still wonder how Fed would beat Sampras without Agassi’s returns..he would probably ace him out.

Even the exos that you were so excitingly pointing out.. it was played in fun. There was a game in one of the matches where fed hit 4 straight aces to Sampras.. in which couple were second-serve aces. So u can imagine, that fed if needed could have beaten Sampras 6-0 or 6-2.. but whats the use of such exhibitions.


Polo Says:

No GOAT:

Sampras was lucky that Federer was not around during his time. Had Federer been there, we would not be having this discussion at all. Federer would have squashed him. And than Nadal would not be there, so, Federer would have had the Grand Slam in one calendar year. Maybe even more. Darn, Federer missed a lot not being at that time. Yoo-hoo!!!


Von Says:

MMT:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m somewhat under the impression that you’ve in the past somewhat thought of the GOAT debate to be an endless one, and that there isn’t a GOAT per se of all time but one for each era. But, reading your post of last evening, I get the impression that you’re saying Federer shouldn’t be thought of the greatest of his era, or one of the greats, but the greatest, is this correct? It also seems to me that you’re very angry with respect to my post of last evening @ 9:24 pm, wherein I stating that Fed is one of the greatest, however, you feel Federer and his fans shouldn’t settle for less than the greatest. In fact I think you’ve been angry since the FO draws, and this debate on the GOAT seems to be the last straw.

Maybe, I could jog your memory a few weeks ago where you mentioned that if Fed won the FO then you’ll say he’s greater than Sampras, but then it would still be between Gonzales, Laver and Federer for the GOAT designation. Have your views on that scenario subsequently changed? In view of the fact that Federer has tied Sampras’ record of 14 GS, and Federer has the FO as one title in the 14 GS total, which Sampras does not have, then I’d say in the GS totals Fed is slightly above Sampras in terms of title significance due to his one FO win, but still below Sampras on other levels, considering Federer has still to beat Sampras’ record of being at No. 1 for 286 weeks, and having won five (5) YEC titles as opposed to Fed’s four (4)YEC. This being the situation, do you still feel that Federer is definitely the greatest?

I don’t know of the other posters’ motives, but I can only speak for myself when I say that I am in no way attempting to discredit Federer’s achievements, but if we were to be realistic about the GOAT designation then I think all factors should be taken into consideration, including those I mentioned in the previous paragraph, before declaring Federer the absolute greatest of all times, or is it that those other stats are of little significance, and Federer is without a doubt the one and only GOAT?. I remember last year when nadal beat Fed at the FO, this same debate came up and you thought at that time the GOAT list comprised of Tilden, gonzales, borg and Sampras, but now should Sampras be dropped off and Federer inserted?

I’ve written this in a hurry while wairing for a meeting to begin, so if it doesn’t make sense, or anything is unclear, I’ll be glad to clarify it later.


margot Says:

MMT: the GOAT arguement goes on and on becos everyone’s an evangelist and wants to convert everyone to their point of view. What are the criteria anyway? People will always change the criteria to fit their own favourite. I think it’s all quite subjective. If Rafa got 20 slams, I’d come out with Federers the most perfect stroke maker of all time and so on…


MMT Says:

No Goat said: “…Fed has Nadal (6) and then the list drops off with Safin (2) Hewitt (2) Djokovic (1) and thats pretty much it.”

This is a really partial analysis of the facts – if you add up the slam totals of all the slam finalists that both Sampras and Federer have played to reach it comes out to 23 to 20 – however Murray, Djokovic and Nadal are still playing so that comparison will likely move in Federer’s favor. Also, the players you’ve cited were all in their primes when they faced and lost to Federer in slams – the same cannot be said for Becker, Courier, Chang or Rafter. In fact Sampras never beat Edberg in a slam, and he lost to Rafter at the USO’97 in Rafter’s prime. By the time he beat Rafter at Wim’00, Rafter was coming off a major shoulder surgery for an injury that would eventually end his career.

But the real problem with this analysis is this – had Federer’s contemporaries beaten him more often, Federer wouldn’t be as close to Sampras in slam totals, so he wouldn’t even be in the conversation. But now, because he beat them consistently and took slams away from them that they could have won, and thereby making them stronger competition, somehow this works against Federer? Doesn’t make sense.

By this logic of offering up examples of slam winners as superior competition, Federer would have had to beat his contemporaries LESS often to be considered a greater champion.

Don’t you see the inherent problem with this logic? That to be considered better, by virtue of your competition, you have to lose to them more often, for them to be considered “stronger”?

Doesn’t it make more sense that you’re considered a greater champion if you win MORE often?

And by the way, since Sampras lost twice to Edberg in slams should he get more credit for losing to Edberg, thereby making Edberg a greater champion, than he would if he had beaten him?

By that logic, the greatest slam champion is thus the one slam wonders who, despite playing in eras with many multi-slam winners, found a way to win one slam. Does this make sense?

The weak competition argument is severely flawed because there is no way around it except to lose more often and that’s counter intuitive to competitive sports.


MMT Says:

Von I think I said if Federer surpasses 14 slams, not if he equals it – to me, 14 to 14 is a tie. 

“…I get the impression that you’re saying Federer shouldn’t be thought of the greatest of his era, or one of the greats, but the greatest, is this correct?”

Yes, Gonzales and Laver are difficult to compare to Sampras and Federer because the structure of the game was very different in their respective eras – not because of racquets or surfaces, but because not all the best players were equally available to contest the most coveted prizes in tennis, so Gonzales and Laver are historical anomalies that I have yet to find a way to reconcile with the open era. How to reconcile touring professionals with tournament professionals with the open era is still an open thread.

I’ve never contested anyone claiming that Gonzales or Laver is a more worthy GOAT than Federer or Sampras because I don’t have a basis to contest this. In fact I have oscillated between Gonzales and Sampras in the past, but recently I’ve been looking at Laver’s tournament professional records from 1963 to 1967 (for the aforementioned reconciliation) and they’re quite astounding – as dominant as Gonzales or Federer’s best years. So comparing Gonzales to Laver to the Open era GOAT is still problematic.

The same cannot be said for comparing Sampras and Federer.

They played under the same conditions, of the conditions that matter – namely all the best players were equally available (injuries and walkabouts aside) to contest the most coveted prizes. As such, in comparing Sampras to Federer we can rely on their slam totals and currently they are even. Slam totals works when comparing Sampras to Federer because slams are equally coveted by and available to all the best players of the open era. To me that’s enough for the discussion because it is the most objective measure of greatness in tennis. But what I’m hearing is references to the relative quality of their opponents as a measure, which to me is severely flawed for the reasons I’ve stated above – namely a stronger competition means you’ve lost more often to your contemporaries, and it hardly makes sense to call such a player a greater champion.

Finally, if we want to split the history of tennis between 4 eras – (1) amateur (pre-touring professionals), (2) touring professionals, (3) tournament professionals and (4) the open era – and it is this group of the best to which Federer and others ought to be satisfied with being a part of, that I can live with. That because there’s some logically sound basis for separating the eras. I would also add that eras #1 and #4 are almost the same because the best players remained amateur UNTIL they couldn’t compete at that level, and only THEN turned professional. As amateurs they equally contested slams, so for the sake of comparison it’s really down to eras (2), (3), and (1/4), where slam totals determine the greatest across both eras 1 and 4.

But if I were Federer and I were being lumped with players who didn’t even achieve double digit slams IN THE OPEN ERA, I’d find that ridiculous. In fact I do. And it was to this notion that my puzzlement with the argument of “one of the best” really was directed. If I misinterpreted, and you were referring to the likes of Gonzales and Laver, then me culpa. But the weak competition/easy draw arguments – I just don’t have any logical room for those, because to me they don’t make sense.

So if we’re saying, for example that the GOAT argument is down to (2) Gonzales (3) Laver (4) Sampras/Federer (or whoever eventually wins the most slams), and Federer (and all of his supporters) should be happy with putting him in THIS (and only this) category – I can live with that.


sensationalsafin Says:

No GOAT, you don’t make sense. You’re glorifying Sampras’s competition and discrediting everything Federer’s competition has done. You keep mentioning specialists as a point that strengthens your argument. It doesn’t, it weakens it. Your basically saying that Sampras was not a well enough rounded player that he would lose to specialists but beat non-specialists. That’s stupid. That’s not entirely true either but that’s a bad argument. Like I said, Federer beats everyone, specialist or not, and he’s made everyone strive to be an all-surface specialist, not just a grass-courter or a clay-courter. Look at Andy Roddick! After years and years of poor results on clay and no real progress, he’s finally stepped it up and done some damage this clay season because he knows he can’t get anywhere if he just sticks to grass and hard. And just to clarify, Roger Federer is better than Andre Agassi off the ground. It’s not Federer’s fault that Agassi is known for his groudies because he sucked at net. Federer is good at everything, and he’s better than just about everyone at everything.


MMT Says:

Margot said: “MMT: the GOAT arguement goes on and on becos everyone’s an evangelist and wants to convert everyone to their point of view. What are the criteria anyway? People will always change the criteria to fit their own favourite. I think it’s all quite subjective. If Rafa got 20 slams, I’d come out with Federers the most perfect stroke maker of all time and so on…”

It is not subjective if you compared results. As I happened to describe above, between the pre-touring professional era and the open era, slam totals are an objective measure because all the best players coveted and were available to contest the slams. The exceptions are the touring professional era where Gonzales is the best and the tournament professional era where Laver was the best. The amateur and open eras can be objectively analyzed by results.

Comparing the quality of strokes would be purely subjective and more akin to comparing actors or musicians. Results are another matter.


jane Says:

MMT asks, “So why would the question of who prevails “historically” or in the “macrocosm” suddenly become just a silly obsession, when in the microcosm, it is this very context that gives meaning to the sport?”

I think you make an incredibly interesting distinction here.

Speaking from a personal perspective, I do indeed care about “who prevails” in the microcosm, i.e., in this or the last season. Of course, I watch to see who will win — but that’s only part of it. I also watch for the exciting of watching; I love tennis matches. Also, not all tennis fans are as knowledgeable or as concerned about the macrocosm or the broader history of tennis as the “hall of fame” and “how many titles” bunch. That stuff truly doesn’t interest me – i.e., quantifying things in the bigger picture, tabulating history.

And it’s not that I am not interested in tennis history or its macrocosm.

I’ve watched tennis since the late 70s/early 80s purely for the joy of it. I care more about which matches were the greatest; which players were the most exciting, or the most combustible; why did this player do well on that surface but not the other one (e.g., why could Lendl never get that Wimbie title?); why did this player stop playing, what were the circumstances? (like when you and I discussed the notion of a player focusing solely on slams in the latter part of his career). How did Becker dive like that? That sort of thing.

I guess I am interested in a different kind of history of the game than the one that quantifies wins and losses. And I enjoy your input every time I raise a question with regards to history.

In all honestly MMT, and not to disrespect your take on the GOAT debate, I see too many holes there – I won’t list them as you’ve heard them all ad nauseum. It just seems unprovable to me. But I can see how it would be of great interest to some – and especially to someone like you, a veritable compendium of facts about the sport. Therefore, I should probably just refrain from commenting when GOAT comes up.

However, I thought your distinction between microcosm and macrocosm interesting and decided to have a go at explaining why the quantifying of history might matter more to some than others, and yet those others are no less interested in the sport itself, or its history/macrocosm.


MMT Says:

The #1 ranking for me is problematic historically for 2 reasons: first, this has only existed since 1973, so it doesn’t even encompass all of the open era, and second, it is too heavily skewed towards non-slams. Finally, if you gave any player worth a nickel a choice between reaching #1 or winning more slams, they’d choose the latter I think.

YEC are increasing in value, but historically again, they only came into existence in the last 35 years, and even then split between tours until 1990 – it may be useful in comparing Sampras and Federer, but again, I think both would choose slams over YEC’s.


jane Says:

One last point – when someone divvies up the eras like MMT has, which to me seems much more feasible in determining “a greatest” , then one can no longer call the “winner” of each era “the GOAT,” because he is no longer the greatest of “all times” but is the greatest player of one of those 4 particular eras, as distinguished by MMT. To me, not a GOAT believer, I could accept and understand such an argument – mainly because we’re getting closer to “all things being equal” situation.


Tennis Freak Says:

Polo,
Yes, Pete was nice to embrace Fed as the greatest, however we want to interpret that. But asked in the on-court interview where he finds himself in the history, Federer was reluctant to claim the place, “I don’t know if we’ll ever know who was the greatest of all time, but I’m definitely happy to be right up there, that’s for sure.” This is as good as Pete’s nicety: An exchange between the two greats at their best.
For me, it is more akin to personal religion, sort of agnosticism, where you choose your own idol of greatness, but can you or should you even try to proselytize the atheists?

(1) There are about 20-30%, in most websites’ voting statistics, who refuse to buy into the idea of GOAT. It is their personal prerogative. Should the rule of majority, the backbone principle of democracy,disenfranchise the minority of their prerogative to disagree with the 70-80 % who believe Fed is the GOAT? Is it not because of their disagreement this argument is going on? Should it not go on?

(2) If we are seeking objectivity, then ITF, the sole organizer of Slams, would have to set up a system to declare the GOAT by counting slam winners plus other additional methods (granted ATP did not claim its stake, for instance, on the basis of number of years a player held number 1 ranking). One additional method for ITF to design would be to assign different values to Career Slams, Grand Slams, and Slams on different surfaces. How would ITF determine, aside from counting the Slams and other values, this for the future, the future that no one can determine in the present? It would have to make the GOAT conditional, like saying the Greatest Up to Our Time (GUOT), instead of Greatest of All Time, including the entire future, say infinite number of millenniums from now. (Keep also in perspective the changes that will occur in the future: racket technology, court/ ball size and material, tournaments and sets played, etc. plus ATP is in the process of completely usurping ITF).

(3) Three types: there are those who believe it has to be resolved and one player has to be inducted with the title; there are those who think it is not a resolvable topic because each era has ts own great players; and finally those who think it is not a worthy topic of discussion. Regardless of in which one belongs,each deserves merit on her own ground.
At the end, belonging or not belonging to one of the types, I wonder what the value of GOAT is for the sports of tennis, not the discussion, which obviously has infotainment value.


huh Says:

No GOAT, you are such a fool that you don’t even know how ignorant you are! I have never come across as stupefyingly worthless post as yours and you are saying that you will teach me? Well’ I’m ignorant about many things including tennis but can’t match you in folly. Well’ for God’s sake, this is the first time I’m yawning even after getting up from bed reading merely the first few lines of your useless post which is the vomit material of your empty mind!


huh Says:

No GOAT, I’d have gone on endlessly to prove each and every theory of yours as completely wrong and would have utterly exposed you, but unfortunately time does not permit me.So I’m very very sorry! Still I’d do on a point on two of yours.


Polo Says:

For huh:

This is one of my favorite quotes:

“… it is alwaws difficult to impress the ignorant.”
– Lionel Shriver (from The Post-
Birthday World)

Of course you know who this quote applies to, don’t you?


Polo Says:

always, hahaha


huh Says:

No GOAT says:Federer did have the experience to play great tennis but not to pull off or get close to the GS final back at wimbledon 2001. GS beginners give it there all because they know they have nothing to lose and sometimes even surprise us all at the end. Similar to what soderling did to Rafa.

Federer did have the experience to play great tennis but not to pull off or get close to the GS final back at wimbledon 2001. GS beginners give it there all because they know they have nothing to lose and sometimes even surprise us all at the end. Similar to what soderling did to Rafa.

Either you don’t know the meaning of experience or you are a huge hypocrite, this is what your first sentence reflects.Your second sentence is also as flawed coz you state that beginners do blah and blah, but you can’t even understand that there is a difference between an ordinary beginner and a beginner like Fed, or at least you try to appear to us to have forgotten honestly to take this thing into consideration. We all know what most of these beginners do even if they may get lucky against a tennis king, but Fed indeed was a different and the most unique of the starters of the history which he has proved later! Your third sentence to waste the time of me as well as yours is again something which shows that you heavily lack in respect of the factual knowledge. Otherwise you’d have never stated that Soderling is a GS beginner. Kudos to you for making my job of bursting your bubble that much easier! Oh my God, I mean each and every stuff that you have spouted is so much very useless! I mean a day or two of mine would pass away if I would like to ground you completely, but would it be worth it? No coz again you will serve a double fault at me, haha and after all I don’t wanna humiliate you for as much take-it-easy type of stuff as a tennis discussion. So carry on with your drivel and keep getting banged. Good luck!


huh Says:

No GOAT says:”Federer did have the experience to play great tennis but not to pull off or get close to the GS final back at wimbledon 2001. GS beginners give it there all because they know they have nothing to lose and sometimes even surprise us all at the end. Similar to what soderling did to Rafa.

Federer did have the experience to play great tennis but not to pull off or get close to the GS final back at wimbledon 2001. GS beginners give it there all because they know they have nothing to lose and sometimes even surprise us all at the end. Similar to what soderling did to Rafa.”

Either you don’t know the meaning of experience or you are a huge hypocrite, this is what your first sentence reflects.Your second sentence is also as flawed coz you state that beginners do blah and blah, but you can’t even understand that there is a difference between an ordinary beginner and a beginner like Fed, or at least you try to appear to us to have forgotten honestly to take this thing into consideration. We all know what most of these beginners do even if they may get lucky against a tennis king, but Fed indeed was a different and the most unique of the starters of the history which he has proved later! Your third sentence to waste the time of me as well as yours is again something which shows that you heavily lack in respect of the factual knowledge. Otherwise you’d have never stated that Soderling is a GS beginner. Kudos to you for making my job of bursting your bubble that much easier! Oh my God, I mean each and every stuff that you have spouted is so much very useless! I mean a day or two of mine would pass away if I would like to ground you completely, but would it be worth it? No coz again you will serve a double fault at me, haha and after all I don’t wanna humiliate you for as much take-it-easy type of stuff as a tennis discussion. So carry on with your drivel and keep getting banged. Good luck!


huh Says:

I just couldn’t resist my laughing when I came to know of “No GOAT” thinking that the super fast surface of Wimbledon made it probably more difficult for the S&V guys to win against the baseliners like Agassi and hence their win against Agassi over there that much more creditable for Becker etc. I mean wow! Somebody kindly explain this fellow about which surface suited whom coz he’s so ignorant about these things. I’d be glad to have done it myself, but I have not much time left for an in-depth discussion right now, so see you all later!


huh Says:

Polo Says:
No Goat, you will make a good historical fiction writer. Beautiful and interesting scenarios born of an imaginative mind but unequivocably fictitious. Good reading on the power of speculation to fortify the minds pyschological defense mechanism in the face of harsh reality that what one wished for to happen did not materialize.

Completely agree with you friend! B.t.w. this post of yours is hilarious and I’m laughing, ha ha ha!!!!


huh Says:

Oh my God, Polo, your posts following No GOAT’s arguments are so hilarious!!! ;-)


huh Says:

Ryan Says:
Here we go again….weak competition. I guess some people will never get it. But I got a question for those who believe in this whole weak competition argument.

1) Would Borg have won 5 wimbledons if federer sampras and becker were around?

2) Would nadal have 155-5 or watever win/loss and 4 RG’s if guga and borg were around?

The truth is you can only play the person in front of you and win. Everything else is nothing but hypothesis. If u think sampras is better than fed then go rite ahead.In the end the stats speak for themselves. Everything else is upto the individual to decide. I could argue that Soderling is the GOAT coz he stopped nadal.But dont try to denigrate fed’s acheivements coz no one’s buying it except some dumbass anti feds like urself.

Ha ha ha, very correct!


Fedfan Says:

SG,

Don’t just pass up Sampras’s failures on clay as being “remnants of aversion of red clay”. Come on! He was just not that good on clay!!

As for Fed beating Sampras at Wimbledon 2001 – neither of them were at their peak. Yes, Fed didn’t beat the Sampras of 1999. But Sampras didn’t face the Fed of 2006 either. Sampras was the 7-time champion, 13-slam winner, and won one more slam after that in 2002. So Sampras was still not that far from his peak. Fed was two years away from his first slam, and 5 years away from his peak. I think Fed was further from his peak in 2001 than Sampras was from his peak.

A peak Fed against a peak Sampras on grass? Fed still wins. If you could return Sampras’s serve, he wasn’t all that extraordinary after that. Federer remains extra ordinary on every shot.

Proof? Even in his peak years, Sampras always lost abotu 12-15 matches a year. He was just not as difficult to beat as Federer still is. Fed lost 15 matches in 3 years (2004-06). He lost 15 matched in 2008, which is considered as a horrible year for him.

Sampras could NEVER win 3 slams a year (even if you exclude the FO). Why? He never got the favors at AO that he got at the US Open.

I know, this sounds harsh, but if you don’t have the courage to face the truth, stop reading it. Or you can continue with your bias.


Fedfan Says:

(this is for No GOAT, and other like him/her)

Sampras won the bulk of his stuff from 1993-98. Would someone please tell me WHICH multiple grand slam winner was around at that time who had his PEAK years between 1993-98?

Becker’s peak was 1989, perhaps upto 1991.
Edberg peaked around 1990.
Courier peaked around 1992.
Lendl, Wilander and Mcenroe were in their PEAK in the 80s.

Yes, it was just Agassi. And when exactly did he disappear? End of 1995. When did he come back? 1999.

So who the heck are these GREAT players that Sampras played at THEIR peak?

Now to debunk one common logical flaw. Suppose (just Suppose) the GOAT appears, and wins most of the slams every year for a long time. Then in his era, by definition, he would not have faced multiple slam winners. Why? because he didn’t let anyone else win. Why is it not correct to infer that competition was weak?
Because:
- the number of people playing tennis in this decade is larger than in the last decade.
- coaching facilities are better today than 10 years ago.
- racquet technology has made the same players more dangerous (you think Nadal would win against Federer with a wooden racquet?)
- Fitness levels have gone up.

So obviously, tennis is a sport on the ascent, not on the decline, so there is no conceivable reason for competition to decline (especially since you are drawing from a larger pool of players).

So stop these stupid arguments against Fed being the GOAT. Its there in black and white. If he was American, he would have been crowned GOAT in 2001.


huh Says:

Polo Says:
For huh:

“This is one of my favorite quotes:

“… it is alwaws difficult to impress the ignorant.”
- Lionel Shriver (from The Post-
Birthday World)

Of course you know who this quote applies to, don’t you?”

Ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!


TejuZ Says:

Huh and FedFan… nice posts in reply to ‘No GOAT’. Argument abt Sampras’ competition better than Federer’s is plain useless. This has been discussed endless before ever since Sean brought it up on one of his blog in October 2006, three years ago. Check this link..

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2006-10-25/104.php

there were some interesting discussions there. Am sure this matter will never die.

Away from GOAT argument.. Laver, Borg, Fed, Sampras (even Nadal) have achieved something unique in tennis which the others do not have. And i guess we should respect that.

Regarding who is the most complete and graceful tennis player of all time… no questions abt that.. its Federer.


huh Says:

Tejuz, thannnx!!!!! :-)


I like tennis bullies Says:

federer the great goat pretender.
a poem in honor of his royal smugness-

A Poem, for ExFed

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
I loathe thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when your opponents surrender without a fight.
For the crowd who cheers you this rainy day
May their souls be buried in soggy clay.
Most conceited indeed, you have no equal
Tho your final here will have no sequel.
I loathe thee freely, without exception
I loathe thee purely, despite your RG reception.
I loathe thee with a passion matched only by
My love for a true champion…the Spanish guy.
Your win today is what you always wanted
But by not beating the best, you will always be haunted.
You are not the GOAT, not the best of all
That honor will be held by Rafa Nadal.

-poem written by dafunk-


Ryan Says:

To fed is afraid: you can write watever poems u want but in the end u had to bow down in front of federer’s greatness. Thats why u congratulated him…haha


huh Says:

I like tennis bullies Says:
“federer the great goat pretender.
a poem in honor of his royal smugness-

A Poem, for ExFed

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
I loathe thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when your opponents surrender without a fight.
For the crowd who cheers you this rainy day
May their souls be buried in soggy clay.
Most conceited indeed, you have no equal
Tho your final here will have no sequel.
I loathe thee freely, without exception
I loathe thee purely, despite your RG reception.
I loathe thee with a passion matched only by
My love for a true champion…the Spanish guy.
Your win today is what you always wanted
But by not beating the best, you will always be haunted.
You are not the GOAT, not the best of all
That honor will be held by Rafa Nadal.

-poem written by dafunk-”

You are a funny moron!

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