On Wednesday Tiger Woods was named the AP Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press writers.
What a joke.
Federer and tennis in general are used to getting screwed by the American-centric Sports Illustrated when they name their athletes of the year, but this is a crime. We know sports writers are historically golf-centric. The AP writers have cinched that.
Federer put up bigger numbers than Woods in all categories, even after getting a later start this decade (Rog didn’t win his first Slam until 2003). He spotted Woods two years of titles.
Let’s look at the numbers for the decade 2000-2009:
Federer won 15 majors (breaking the all-time record) to Woods’ 12.
Federer won 61 overall singles titles during the decade to Woods’ 56.
This year Federer won the French Open for the first time, becoming only the second player after Andre Agassi in the Open Era to win all four Slams during a career. That is a crazy feat winning Slams on clay, grass and hardcourts, as opposed to golf’s Grand Slam which is on — a bunch of golf courses where the bunkers are in different places. And you get to walk around rather than constantly sprint after a moving ball.
In addition to winning the French and Wimbledon this year, Federer reached the final at the Australian and US Open, a finalist at all four Slams.
We get it that golf is on TV all the time in the U.S. and ratings go up every time Tiger plays. We get it that the fat AP writers like golf because they play it while they drink beer and smoke and think it’s a sport. But look at the numbers.
Federer’s numbers are in spite of Rafael Nadal, who has ranked No. 1 and won the French and Wimbledon, and will probably go down in history eventually as one of the greatest players ever. He is young enough even to possibly challenge Federer’s record 15 Slam titles eventually. Tiger has no one even close to him. He arguably cruised through a weak decade of little competition. Who challenged Tiger? Fat Phil? The No. 3-ranked golfer in the world right now is named Stricker, ever heard of him?
Woods may be the AP Athlete of the Decade, but Roger Federer is sports’ unequivocal Athlete of the Decade.
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