As soon as Roger Federer did his trademark drop to his knees in tears after victory over Robin Soderling at the 2009 French Open, the tennis fraternity were already proclaiming him to be the greatest tennis player ever. Is this justified, or is it in fact a typical media attempt to make everything seem better than it really is?
All the Yes points:
- Is not even the best in his current generation
- Lack of serious competition
- Was not ranked number one for the most years
- He has not won The Grand Slam, the single greatest, and most difficult, feat in tennis.
- The best player of all times has to be the best on all surfaces, against all players
- He has a losing record against Rafael Nadal. How can you be the best of all time if you’re not even the best of your own era?
- Borg and other players could have won more if they played the Australian Open
All the No points:
- Facts speak for themselves
- There is more to come
- Superior technique
- Consistency In Majors
- Amazing fitness
- Slam success on all surfaces.
- He is the all-time career money leader
- He has dominated like no one else before
- Has beaten Nadal 6-0 on CLAY, YES CLAY! And 3 times 6-0
- Greatest player ever says Federer is the best
- He has just won Wimbledon 2012 (17th grand slam) and gone back to number 1 again
- 6 Year End Champuonships
- Federer is the Greatest EVER!
- Rod Laver is without doubt the greatest ever!
Is not even the best in his current generation
Both Nadal and Murray have winning records against him.
Federer was without peer between 2004-2007. To suggest otherwise & to suggest that Federer has not been the player of his generation is to not understand how tennis is played, competed, or judged.
No other player has held the top spot for more consecutive weeks, and reaching 22 straight GS Semi-Finals, and 9 consecutive GS Finals, is something that no other player has ever come close to and has to go down as one of the most remarkable runs in any sport ever played.
The paragraph opposite is also wrong. It states “Without showing that he can actually beat Nadal in a grand slam he cannot claim to be the greatest”. Federer defeated Nadal in 2 consecutive Wimbledon finals in 06 & 07 in a 3 year period he utterly dominated.
Yes, Nadal was a very strong contender in those years, beating him at RG and other events, but there is only one reason why Nadal has a positive record against Federer. Nadal has been the best on clay, whereas Federer was the second best. Therefore, Federer and Nadal played more clay-court finals than any other match. Federer however was (and probably still is) the better player on other surfaces. His head-to-head is positive against Nadal on other surfaces. The overall 8-14 defecit in Nadal’s favour is skewed by the fact that 10 of Nadal’s victories have been on Clay. If Nadal had reached more Grass/Hard court finals, Federer would be matching if not surpassing Nadal’s 14 wins against him.
From the age of 23-27, Federer won 11 GS. If Nadal can put 11 GS away in 3 seasons, like Federer did, then we can start to talk about Nadal even coming close to dominating over Federer.
As for other players in history; it will always be hard to judge retrospectively, but no one has dominated like Federer did between 2004-2007. He holds the most GS of all time & he has the longest GS final streak of all time. Until someone breaks either of these phenomenal runs, he has to be considered the greatest. End of story.
Roger is arguably the best in his current generaration. He has a positive record with 80% of the current top 10 tennis professionals, although greats such as Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras where at the climax of their careers when Roger burst onto the scene it does not mean that Federer had easy competition, Nadal, Djokovic etc are all great players but Federer has beaten all of them. Rafael Nadal is the only person that comes remotely close to matching Federer’s domination in the CURRENT genaration, when Nadal won his first grand slam Roger had already won the four majors but since they have both been active in winning grand slams, Federer leads 12-10 against Rafa.
At the age of 30, what is Federer doing is good. He is the eldest person in the top rank. Tennis is a physically challenging game. At age of 30 or more what will be the fate of Nadal and other new stars, we have to wait to see it. If you analyze, you will see that age between 23 to 28 is the prime time for almost all tennis players. All great players had dominated tennis at this rang of age. Nadal or others are 25 or younger….but federer is 30. How can you compare them. At the age of 25 or 26 fed also won 3 GS in one year and it happened for 3 times, This year Nadal was defeated by Novak at all surfaces! If I say novak is a batter clay court player than Nadal because he beat Nadal on clay then what will be the opinion of Nadal fans! Yes its difficult! A tennis player has three stages in his professional career..1. When he learns to play 2. He become matured and dominant 3. He grew older and older and at last he retire. Some greats still stay at top rank at this last stage. Federer is leaving the second stage. But Nadal and other are still at the earlier 2 stages. You can’t compare them with the great Federer. Remember every victor will be a loser! This is why laver, connors, samprass and other are greats are nor playing now. A time will come when Nadal will be defeated like federer! Novak will be defeated like Federer! But how many players were world number one for consecutive 232 weeks? How many players showed consistency like Federer? There is no player with 100% wining record. Overall, what Federe has done, was not done never before. If he plays 5 or 6 more years and stay healthy, he will break all the records. If you do study, you will get the proof. You can’t make a quick decision seeing the current ranking. Nadal, novak and others still don’t know what is their future. But Federer already has reached that level which is dreamed by others. The level of Federer is a dream for all…….He has reached at the top level of the glory of tennis. He has nothing to achieve more. What he is doing now, is a great pleasure for all to see this legend playing. It is a good luck for all those people who beat Federer, it is a gift for them. We couldn’t see big bill tilden, laver, emerson, roswell, connors, borg and even some people couldn’t see samprass live…..but there is no regret….we are still watching the greatest player of all time ROGER FEDERER!!!!
Lack of serious competition
A quick look over the past five years or so shows that Mens tennis has been virtually monopolised by Federer and Nadal. Only the Australian open has had someone other than these two win the title since 2004. The other three grand slams of Wimbledon, French and the US have been totally dominated by these two, with many of the finals being competed by them aswell. A look at the points on the ranking system also shows a significant gap between them and Andy Murray who is third. This lack of serious competition, which may not have been experienced by other greats such as Borg, Connors, Sampras etc is a further argument as to why the Swiss cannot lay claim to the title of greatest ever.
If we consider competition to be rivals and use the tennis criteria for rivalries, e.g. minimum 12 career meetings (including Grand Slam latter stages) between a No. 1 and a No. 3 or above, Federer has had seven rivals including Hewitt, Roddick, Safin, Davydenko, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic (note that he has also had superior win-loss records against a further seven ATP number ones). It was Federer’s ability which has prevented the former three (all of whom had winning records against Sampras) from winning as many Grand Slams as they could do while with the latter three, Federer is said to have brought in a golden era for male tennis. By comparison, Sampras had seven rivalries but (when taking into account the opinion of professional players) against lower-quality opponents (e.g. Chang, Rafter, Ivanisevic won one Slam each while Becker and Courier were declining at this stage), Agassi had six, McEnroe, Chang, Borg, Edberg & Lendl had five and even Laver had only three. True, there were many more Grand Slam winners at Sampras’s time but this is probably a result of his inability to dominate in clay (and also at the Australian Open), something which Nadal has done in current times and which Federer would probably have done if not for Nadal. This argument cannot continue to be used – 5 years ago Federer’s detractors maintained he had no competition. We have since seen Nadal who, to his credit, has accumulated 6 GS and must be considered a worthy opponent. You can’t now say Fed needs someone else to challenge him as well!!
Borg, Connors, McEnroe was a magnificant time for tennis no doubt but perhaps that is another debate. Sampras didn’t belong to an age of unremitting tennis genius – he had flaws on clay. Every year a new clay court specialist would emerge (e.g. Rios, Kuerton, Muster) to challenge his no1 spot and Pete would struggle to keep his position (hence he never got 237 weeks continuous at 1).
Besides, Murray got to number 2 last year, behind federer of course :o) , so its not just Nadall challenging. And also there Del Potro to consider now – another GS winner. Thankfully Rog has a 6-1 record over him and lets remember the 6-3 6-0 6-0 he gave him in the Aus Open!!
He’s the greatest.
To ad on that:
Federer had to beat 12 different opponents in major finals and defeated 11 of them (the only one he lost to was Del Potro), which is an all-time male record. His opponents were: (1. Philippoussis, 2. Safin, 3. Roddick, 4. Hewitt, 5. Agassi, 6. Baghdatis, 7. Nadal, 8. Gonzalez, 9. Djokovic, 10. Murray, 11. Soderling)
Serious competition in Federer’s area can be seen by players like:
Nadal (9 GS wins, 2 runner-up)
Djokovic (2 GS wins, 2 runner-up)
Roddick (1 GS win, 4 runner-up)
Safin (2 GS wins, 2 runner-up)
Hewitt (2 GS wins, 2 runner-up)
Murray (3 runner-up)
Soderling (2 runner-up)
Simply saying that his opponents weren’t good enough doesn’t make a great argument. During his 12 years on tour, Federer had to battle with another all-time great Rafael Nadal and you can’t ignore how dominant these two players were and say that well, “all other players were bad”. No, never have there been two so dominant players like Federer and Nadal because there have never been two players of such a caliber.
It is Federers’ majesty that he didn’t allow others to challenge him except on clay! Actually those people who don’t like federer, are always trying to degrade him!
Was not ranked number one for the most years
Male tennis players World Number One or Co-Number One since 1877
Undisputed Number One for the year is shown in Bold font and Co-Number Ones are shown in normal font.
Total World Number One Years
8 years Pancho Gonzales 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960
7 years William Renshaw 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1889
Bill Tilden 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1931
Rod Laver 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970
6 years Reggie Doherty 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902
Jack Kramer 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953
Ken Rosewall 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1970
Pete Sampras 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
5 years Joshua Pim 1890, 1891, 1893, 1894, 1895
William Larned 1901, 1902, 1908, 1909, 1910
Lawrence Doherty 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906
Fred Perry 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1941
Don Budge 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942
Roger Federer 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Federer has achieved what every player dreams of when he becomes a professional player. The way he has dominated tennis from 04-07, no one has been able to do it in the past. People often talk about Nadal being better than Federer but seriously, Nadal is not even half way where Federer stands right now. Nadal might be able to win more grand slams then Federer but the fact reamins that Nadal has never been more dominant like Federer used to be. Roger had an aura!! something like Nadal possesses on clay court(i mean he looks unbeatable). The match was won by Federer even before he stepped on to the court because of his sheer perfection,dominance and brilliance for which he was feared by all other players. People might say that Fedx won the Roland Garros 09 or the Aus Open 10 because Nadal wasn’t there in the final.. but hey..thats not Federer’s fault ..ok?? In the years 2005 and 2006, Federer had the win loss record of (81-4) and (92-5) respectively(i might be wrong about 2005, but he had only lost 4 matches).Now think about that… in 2 years he had lost less than 10 matches (9 to be precise) and won around 173 matches!! phew!! that is unbelievable..you look at Nadal’s record for 2010(the year that was considered the best for him) he had lost around 11-12 matches already(i am not sure about the numbers,but it was in 2 digits).So there you see.. that says it all. Fedx always finished 2nd best on clay but rafa never reached the finals of hardcourt between 04-07 because he was not the second best..there were players who were better than him. One such instance, Nadal has never been able to dominate Nalbandian.. so does that mean Nalbandian is better than Nadal?? So how can people say that Nadal is greater than Federer just because he has 13-7 record against him (most of which have come on clay courts)?? All that is there to say is that Federer’s recors speak for itself..and there will not be another Federer for a very long time to come in tennis.
The other argument lists mostly people before the open era and that would be a whole different argument and Roger has been world no.1 for a record 237 consecutive weeks.
Well if only it is important to be the greatest player of all time then you want to say that Pancho Gonzales is the greatest!!!!!! You are not interested to consider the other points of this game, then we are not interested to debate with you!!!!!!!
He has not won The Grand Slam, the single greatest, and most difficult, feat in tennis.
“I still maintain that Rod Laver is the best player who ever played the game because he’s done something no one has ever done in the 120 or 140-year history of our sport: he won the Grand Slam as an amateur and he won the Grand Slam as a pro. If someone in some other sport held a world record no one else had, you would say that person was the best in that sport. So in my view, you’ve got to say Laver is the best player of all time.”[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Laver#Place_among_the_all-time_great_tennis_players]]
— Tony Trabert, 5 time Grand Slam tournament winner and 30 year television analyst
“Give him credit? Shoot, the only real issue is whether the GOAT [Greatest of All Time] argument is a debate at all, given that posting those two Slams puts Laver in a league of his own.” [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Laver#Place_among_the_all-time_great_tennis_players]]
— Peter Bodo, tennis author
Therefore until Roger Federer wins at least one Grand Slam, there is no real discussion: Rod Laver is the greatest men’s singles tennis player in the history of the game.
Saying a player is the greatest because he/she has done something that no one else has is a valid reason so im going to say that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time because he has won 16 grand slams which no other male tennis player has done before.
At first thanks to the previous commentator. Yes, Federer has records which was not done before. The Grand Slam is an strong point for Laver. But to be the greatest its not the only point. Federer has done so many things which was not done by Laver! Federer was world no, one for consecutive 237 weeks, this is an strong point for Federer. Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_male_tennis_players
If any player won The Grand Slam once or twice but he didn’t win any more, would it be enough to be the greatest???? It means there is no importance of 16 GS! Considering only one point is not enough.
Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win at least five consecutive titles at two different Grand Slam tournaments (2003–07 Wimbledon, 2004–08 US Open), surpassing the old record of 4 consecutive grand slams at two different majors by Borg (1978-81 FO & 1976-80 Wim).
Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win at least two Grand Slam titles for four consecutive years and five years overall (2004–07 Wim and US Open, 2009 FO and Wim).
Federer’s 16 Grand Slams in 8 years (2003–10) is an all time men’s record. Sampras won 14 Grand Slams in the span of 13 years (1990–2002).
Federer has reached seven consecutive Wimbledon semifinals (2003–09), which is an all-time men’s record.
Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach at least five consecutive semifinals at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
Federer is the only male player in the open era to reach five consecutive French Open semifinals (2005–09). In the history of tennis, René Lacoste (1925–29), Henri Cochet (1926–30), and Eric Sturgess (1947–52) are the only male players to have done this, with Sturgess holding the all-time record of six.
Not to take anything away from the great Rod Laver, but with all due respect to him the game has changed quite substantially from when he won the calendar slam. Rod Laver did not have 4 different surfaces (the US and Australian surfaces are both hard courts but significantly different) to ‘master’ and the style of play back then is much less taxing on a players body than it is now.
So whilst Laver still is the only man to have achieved the calendar slam, Roger’s achievement of 16 slams is still greater in the sense that there is a lot of adjusting required to master the changing conditions and surfaces of today’s game.
The best player of all times has to be the best on all surfaces, against all players
The following is a breakdown of their head-to-head results:
Nadal reacts in the finals against Federer at Roland Garros 2007.
All matches: Nadal 17–8
All finals: Nadal 13–6
Grand Slam matches: Nadal 7–2
Grand Slam finals: Nadal 6–2
Tennis Masters Cup/ATP World Tour Finals matches: Federer 3–0
Tennis Masters Cup/ATP World Tour Finals finals: Federer 1–0
ATP Masters Series/ATP World Tour Masters 1000 matches: Nadal 9–3
ATP Masters Series/ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals: Nadal 6–3
Best of five set matches: Nadal 9–3
Five set matches: Nadal 3–2
Results on each court surface
Clay courts: Nadal 12–2
Hard courts: 4–4
Grass courts: Federer 2–1
Nadal and Federer have played 14 of their 25 matches on clay due to the fact that they have consistently been the best two clay court players since 2005. Nadal has generally dominated on the surface. From 2005–2008, he won every French Open, defeating Federer each time (2005 semi-final and 2006–2008 finals), and won at least 2 of the 3 clay Masters events each year from 2005–2010, defeating Federer in 6 of those. As a result, some analysts and players, such as Pat Cash and Conchita Martínez, already consider Nadal the greatest clay-court player ever. Nadal has won all of their seven meetings in best of five set matches on clay.
Federer and Nadal have each won 4 of their 8 matches on hard courts. Federer has been the best hard court player since 2004, winning 9 of the 15 hard court Grand Slams and 5 of the 8 Masters Cups, plus a record at Cincinnati. Nadal has always had solid results on hard courts, winning 9 tournaments since 2005, including five Masters Series. But he has improved considerably over the years, reaching the semifinals of both Grand Slams for the first time in 2008, winning the 2008 Olympics Singles tournament, defeating Federer in the Australian Open final in early 2009, and winning the US Open for the first time in 2010.
Despite Nadal’s success on hard courts, some analysts have criticized his lack of consistency in reaching tournament finals for skewing the overall head-to-head results. They contend that more hard court encounters, especially in the early years of the rivalry, would likely have resulted in a better winning percentage for Federer.
Federer has been more successful than Nadal on hard courts because he hits a flatter forehand and has a bigger serve. Hard courts are a fast surface, so Federer’s flatter shots result in a lower bouncing, faster moving trajectory. Thus, Nadal’s topspin is least effective on hard courts, because it doesn’t bounce up as high to Federer’s backhand, enabling Federer to return it better. Nadal has improved his serving speed and placement over the years, but Federer still serves faster on average and earns more aces and service winners.
As with clay, Federer and Nadal have been the two best players on grass for the last 5 years. Federer has been the preeminent grass player since 2003, winning 5 consecutive Wimbledons from 2003 to 2007. Nadal has steadily improved on grass, playing Federer in three consecutive Wimbledon finals from 2006–2008, with better results each time. Since 2003, Federer and Nadal have swept the Wimbledon title, Federer in 2003-’07, 2009 and Nadal in 2008 & 2010.One of the reasons for Nadal’s success is that in recent years Wimbledon management has firmed up their courts to make them more durable. Some say this has created the side-effect that the new courts play slower. Still, however, grass is considered the fastest surface. While Nadal is supposedly weaker on faster surfaces, the lack of a true bounce on both clay and grass may be the true secret to why Nadal is better on grass and clay than on hard court. Nadal has won on the very surface at the Olympics (identical to the US Open surface) and he has won the Australian Open (thought to be a slower hard court surface, but still much faster than clay) the US Open (the faster hard courts) and he has won several Masters Series in both the Spring and Summer.
The fact that they have played three matches on grass is remarkable considering that the Wimbledon final has been their only opportunity to do so in recent years. The grass season is brief, with only two weeks between the end of the French Open and the beginning of Wimbledon every year. This means that both men play just one other grass tournament, but they have always entered different events. Additionally, from 2006 onwards, both men have entered the Wimbledon draw as the top 2 seeds, meaning that they can only meet in the final each time.
Relationship and competitive dynamic
Both Federer and Nadal’s personal and professional relationship is good-natured and gracious. Though they are both highly competitive, they maintain a healthy regard for each other and have had virtually no source of personal animosity. The lone issue, albeit minor, was Federer’s complaint about Nadal’s slow, deliberate style of play on the eve of the 2008 Wimbledon final.
Despite their cordial relationship, both men have a somewhat different attitude towards their rivalry. When Federer was securely atop the tennis world he was ambivalent towards the notion of a rivalry with an opponent five years younger than himself. But after their memorable 2008 Wimbledon final he had no choice but to acknowledge its significance, even admitting “it definitely becomes more and more special the more times we play against each other.” A few weeks later, after Nadal had officially surpassed him in the rankings, Federer offered this compliment: “Look at what he had to achieve to get it. That’s what I like to see.” Nadal has always cherished the rivalry because he looks up to Federer as both a role model and a measuring stick for success.
When interest in their rivalry increased, however, both Federer and Nadal collaborated to arrange occasional charity exhibition matches to benefit their charities’ philanthropic interests. The most recent was the Match for Africa, played on 21 December 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland (Federer won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3) and a follow-up match played in Madrid on the following day, titled “Joining Forces for the Benefit of Children” (Nadal won 7–6 (7–3), 4–6, 6–3).
The rivalry has also increased overall interest in tennis. The highly-anticipated 2008 Wimbledon final drew strong television ratings for tennis in both the U.S. and across Europe. The match was also featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which was the first time in years that tennis made the cover.[
“ I am more than happy with my titles, and I think talk about if I am better or worse than Roger is stupid because the titles say he’s much better than me, so that’s the truth at that moment. I think that will be true all my life. ”
Federer has been considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time. Some, however, argue that despite Federer’s record 16 Grand Slam titles, he should not be considered the greatest ever with an 8-17 record against Nadal. Others analyze the head-to-head matches by surface and conclude that Nadal’s edge comes from his 12-2 record against Federer on clay. Federer has achieved the majority of his success on grass (6 Wimbledon titles) and hardcourts (5 US Open titles and 4 Australian Open titles), whereas Nadal has achieved his greatest success on clay (6 French Open titles). It is argued that the fact that the majority of their matches have been on Nadal’s most successful surface and Federer’s least successful demonstrates that Federer has long been the second best clay court player in the world to Nadal. Nadal is regarded by many as the greatest clay court player of all time. He also has been a member of multiple Spanish Davis Cup teams, which Federer has never accomplished. Both men have an Olympic gold medal – Nadal in singles and Federer in doubles.
During interviews, people like fellow player Andy Murray and former player and coach Paul Annacone have called Nadal one of the best tennis players ever. In November 2010, Bjorn Borg said that Federer is the greatest player, but “Rafa has the chance to be the greatest player” if he stays healthy. John McEnroe said, “there is an argument to be made that Rafael Nadal may be the greatest player eventually, even possibly now.” In response to a question posed by a journalist at the 2010 French Open regarding whether Nadal is better than Federer, Nadal replied, “I think this person don’t know nothing about tennis.” The journalist asked why, and Nadal told the journalist, “so you don’t know nothing about tennis. You see the titles of him and you see the titles of me? It’s no comparison. So that’s the answer. Is difficult to compare Roger with me now, because he has 16 Grand Slams; I have 6. Masters 1000, yeah, I have more than him. But for the rest of the things the records of Roger is very, very almost impossible to improve.” At the press conference following his semi-final win in the 2010 U.S. Open Nadal was asked whether his head-to-head advantage over Federer means he is better. Nadal replied, “Head to head is not an element for me. Is a part of the statistics, but is not the decisive element.”
Federer won consecutive 65 matches in Grass and 56 matches in hard court. These two records are all time best performances. He is the only male player in tennis history to have reached the title match of each Grand Slam tournament at least five times.
Roger Federer is the only male player to win the Australian Open on both Rebound Ace and Plexicushion Prestige surfaces.
From 2003-08, Federer won an all-time record 65 consecutive matches on grass courts before losing to Rafael Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon final. He was extended to five sets only twice during this streak and lost a total of 16 sets (170-16).
From 2005-06, Federer won a record 56 consecutive matches on hard courts before losing to Nadal in the 2006 Dubai final. Federer also holds the second longest streak on hard courts of 36 consecutive wins (2006–07). Over a period of 25 months (February 2005 – February 2007), Federer went 111-2 (98.2 %) on hard courts.
Federer is the first man to stop Nadals match winning streak on clay on Madrid Open, 2009. Yes..Nadal is all time great clay court player, it doesn’t mean that Federer is bad on clay. There is no doubt about it that Federer is the second best on clay.
Novak beat Nadal on all surfaces this year including two GS final. Novak beat Nadal on clay more than once. It doesn’t mean that Novak is better than Nadal on clay. In the similar way, Nadal beat Federer on all surfaces including GS finals. It doesn’t mean that Nadal is better than Federer on Grass and Hard. Grass and Hard court is the place where Federer has the superiority to beat Nadal and Nadal has the superiority on Clay to beat Federer. But each of these two players has beaten one another on all surfaces.
Federer won an all-time record 41 consecutive matches against American players before losing to Mardy Fish in a semifinal of the 2008 Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California. This streak began against James Blake at the 2003 US Open lasted for 55 months.
Federer holds the record for most consecutive singles wins in North America, winning 55 straight matches before losing to Andy Murray in August 2006. (This loss also stopped Federer’s streak of 17 consecutive finals reached, just one shy of Ivan Lendl’s record 18 consecutive finals in 1981 and 1982.)
Federer won 24 straight finals from the tournament in Vienna in October 2003 through the tournament in Bangkok in September 2005. This streak was a new open era record, breaking the previous record of twelve straight final wins shared by John McEnroe and Borg. David Nalbandian ended Federer’s streak in the final of the 2005 Tennis Masters Cup.
Federer has won 46 hard-court titles, tying him with Andre Agassi for the largest number of hard-court titles won by one player.
Federer is the only player in the open era to hold six winning streaks of twenty matches or more. Federer’s first streak was 23 matches in mid-2004. The second streak was 26 matches spanning the latter half of 2004 and early 2005. The third streak was 25 matches in early 2005. The fourth streak was 35 matches at the end of 2005. The fifth (and longest) streak started at the 2006 US Open and ended after 41 victories on March 11, 2007, which included tournament victories at the US Open, Tokyo, ATP Masters Series in Madrid, Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, the Australian Open in Melbourne, and the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open. Federer’s sixth streak was 21 matches and included titles in Madrid, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Federer won an all-time record 41 consecutive matches against American players before losing to Mardy Fish in a semifinal of the 2008 Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California. This streak began against James Blake at the 2003 US Open lasted for 55 months.
Federer has the record of most wins achieved at each Grand Slam with 49, passing Lendl with 48.
Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach the final of all four Grand Slam tournaments in back to back calendar years (2006–07) and only the second in the open era to reach all four finals in a single year after Rod Laver in 1969. In 2009, Federer again appeared in all four Grand Slam finals, becoming the only male player in tennis history to achieve this feat three times in his career (2006–07, 2009).
Federer is the only male player in the open era to reach five consecutive French Open semifinals (2005–09). In the history of tennis, René Lacoste (1925–29), Henri Cochet (1926–30), and Eric Sturgess (1947–52) are the only male players to have done this, with Sturgess holding the all-time record of six
Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach six semifinals at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach at least five consecutive semifinals at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
Isn’t it enough to prove that Roger is the master of all surfaces! If not then let us see what is the opinions of another Great: Federer’s versatility was summarized by Jimmy Connors: “In an era of specialists, you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist…or you’re Roger Federer.”
While tennis gods Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic whine like spoiled children, Roger Federer continues to casually dismantle opponents on the blue clay at the Madrid Open. This answer all the question , top seed djokovic said ” I won’t play next year if blue clay court stay” Wining in blue clay court define the greatness of RF
He has a losing record against Rafael Nadal. How can you be the best of all time if you’re not even the best of your own era?
Federer is 2-8 against Nadal in Grand Slams and has only beaten Rafa in a slam at Wimbledon. He is 10-18 against Rafa overall. He won the French, yes, but he didn’t have to beat Nadal to do it. Nadal beat Roger at Wimbledon, Roland Garros and the Australian Open to win slams. To be the best, you have to beat the best.
By that statement, Andy Murray is also better than Federer because of his superior record. Of course, Nadal is the best clay-court player and will beat Federer the majority of the times. However, when taking all their clay matches out of account, Federer leads Nadal 8-6 and 4-0 indoors. Roger Federer has only beaten Rafael Nadal in Slams at Wimbledon but Nadal did not win out of Roland Garros until 2008. This was when he was playing some of his best tennis while Federer was, by his standard, at a dip.
Borg and other players could have won more if they played the Australian Open
Without the four Australian Opens, Federer has only won 13 Slams. Still a great number but Borg won 11 other Slams and Nadal 10 by the age of 26. It was not until the 1970s that the Australian Open was attended by more and more foreign players and even then McEnroe and Connors (who could have won it at the time) were among those who skipped it. Seeing as most players usually played three Slams a year, Federer has had more of a chance to win more.
This is a ridiculous point, based on an if. Federer has still won more than any other player and what’s to say those who missed the Australian Open would have won it. That Federer has played the Australian Open and still won 17 Grand Slams over eight years shows his fitness, something which players such as Nadal cannot match.
Facts speak for themselves
Federers achievements frankly speak for themselves. He is only the sixth man in Tennis history to win all four grand slam tournaments, and has equaled Pete Sampras record of 14 grand slam victories. He held the ranking of number 1 for a record 237 consecutive weeks. He has contested 15 of the last 16 grand slam finals, and has featured in the semi finals or better at the last 20. In 2007 he equaled Bjorn Borgs record of five consecutive Wimbledon victories and is the only person in history to win five US and Wimbledon championships. He also won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 for the mens doubles. The list of records and victories could continue into an essay, and after digesting this glittering record of achievement, it is virtually impossible to argue against him being the greatest.
Greats like Todd Martin??? I only thank god Federer isn’t up against the likes of that :-s
And Federer’s ascendency came after Hewitt had dominated for a year and a half – Sampras was well gone.
I don’t really think Federer was at his best in wimbledon 2008 – I was surprised it went to 5 sets. Had he been at his best he would have won. But I still think Nadal at his best would win on clay.
13-7 is really meaningless (read the comments in previous posts). Nadal is 4-4 against Davydenko so are we to assume they are equally great players? Also Nadal hasn’t won a tournament in something like 9 months. It’s a little annoying that Federer has only played him once in that time (Madrid). So all the other players are getting to spank him – Fed could have really improved his record (but as I said – meaningless)
As per today Davydenko is 6-4 against Nadal. Davydenko has no Slams to his credit. Dokovic has beat Nadal 4-0 in final this year twice on clay. Nalbandian always gives fits to Nadal, whereas Federer owes Davydenko and Nalbandian. So this is not the point. It is like saying that Krajickek was better player than Sampras because he has a 6-4 advantage and beat Pete at Wimbledon, wshen Pete was at his best, and in straight sets too.
Records, consistency, number of Slams will make the GOAT. No shame to Federer in this record since Nadal is a great defensive player. But what about Nadla having losing records to so so players, that is a real flaw.
The fact of the matter is that Federer emerged just as a great generation of tennis players were retiring. If you look at the players Pete Sampras had to play against – it is truly amazing that he managed to win 14 grand slam titles. The field was much tougher than it is today and that is one major factor that counts against him. Although the Swiss is undoubtedly a great player – the lack of competition has helped in his spell of dominance.
Pete Sampras was competing against the likes of Agassi – Rafter – Kafelnikov – Ivanisevic – Chang – Courier – Martin – Brugera – Kuerten – Phillapousis and even Becker and Edberg -in an era where it was not uncommon for there to be four different grand slam winners in a year – showing that the strength in depth was much greater than in this current generation. In fact Federer had to wait until he was 22 to win his first grand slam – which coincided with Sampras’s ageing generation beginning to call time on their careers.
I don’t think even Roger Federer is naive enough to believe that he would have won the French open had Nadal been fully fit and who knows what would have happened at Wimbledon had that been the case. Federer knows that Nadal at his very best is the better player (the 2008 Wimbledon final proved that) – having come off second best in five grand slam finals and a 13 -7 head to head proves that Nadal has got his number. Federer is a great player – but there will always be niggling doubts about whether he is the greatest.
I do not think that there can be any doubt that Federer is a phenomenal tennis player and certainly a candidate for greatest ever – but Rafael Nadal is without doubt a real spanner in the works in Federer’s otherwise flawless career. Arguments and convenient excuses can be made about Federer’s fitness when he loses – and conversely Nadal’s injury problems overlooked – when it benefits Federer (French Open 2009) but the fact of the matter is that Rafa first clashed with Federer when the Spaniard was an injury free seventeen year old and dispatched Federer in straight sets.
This was in 2004, the year of his inexorable rise and saw him at the peak of his powers, yet Nadal emerged as the victor. In twenty subsequent match ups as mentioned previously Nadal has a considerable 13 – 7 lead across all surfaces. 9 – 2 clay, 3 – 3 hard, 2 – 1 grass. But their 3 previous Grand Slam contests – crucially – across all surfaces, saw Nadal triumphant.
20 matches is more than adequate for comparison – (Borg – Mcenroe played 14. Lendl – Wilander played 22 and Agassi – Courier matched up 12 times). So the bottom line is that Nadal has tested Federer 20 times and won 13 – that means that Federer has scored only a 35% success rate, which in most tests would be a fail. This is a very significant dent – in Roger Federer’s otherwise immaculete career and as such cannot easily be dismissed.
There is more to come
Who is really the best tennis player ever? Such question can feed a passionate debate, but, there is a difference between “who is the best ever?” and “whom does everyone prefer, for any reason?”.
The true answer to the question is relatively clear: the only player who clearly was the best player of his time on all surfaces was Rod Laver, from beginning to end of his career, knowing that he was banned from the Grand Slams for several years in the mid of his career. But he won before and he won after, and scored in total 2 true Grand Slams (the 4 tournaments within one and the same year), and nobody never did this. Competition in Laver’s time was strong and these titles were significant from this point of view. Just think of Laver playing today, with modern training conditions and modern equipment, and the same talent: he would probably do it again, possibly with more struggle on clay where the game has changed since Borg.
I think all the rest is a passionating but not very objective discussion: Laver has not been equalled. This said, for sure we are lucky with champions like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, who – at least for these first two of them, belong to the major players of all times (let us give some more time to Djoko to confirm his historical position).
Roger Federer has currently made 30 consecutive Grand Slam Quarterfinals, not to mention his streaks of 25 straight Grand Slam semifinals and two different streaks of straight Grand Slam Finals: 10 (Wimbledon 2005 – US Open 2007) and 8 (French Open 2008 – Aussie Open 2010). He has won more Grand Slam matches and sets than any other player in the Open Era. He has not been ranked outside of the top 4 since 2003. He has not only the most consistent tennis player, but also the most consistent athlete of the past three decades. Plus, he is considered the second most respectable person in the world, after Nelson Mandela.
Many people have argued that Federer is the most aesthetically pleasing player of all time, with his playing style similar to that of a Brazillian footballer etc. It is his level of specialism which is also outstanding. Jimmy Connors has stated that “”In an era of specialists – you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist or a hard court specialist… or you’re Roger Federer[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Federer#Rivalry_with_Rafael_Nadal]]
At the age of 30, what is Federer doing is good. He is the eldest person in the top rank. Tennis is a physically challenging game. At age of 30 or more what will be the fate of Nadal and other new stars, we have to wait to see it. If you analyze, you will see that age between 23 to 28 is the prime time for almost all tennis players. All great players had dominated tennis at this rang of age. Nadal or others are 25 or younger….but federer is 30. How can you compare them. At the age of 25 or 26 fed also won 3 GS in one year and it happened for 3 times, This year Nadal was defeated by Novak at all surfaces! If I say novak is a batter clay court player than Nadal because he beat Nadal on clay then what will be the opinion of Nadal fans! Yes its difficult! A tennis player has three stages in his professional career..1. When he learns to play 2. He become matured and dominant 3. He grew older and older and at last he retire. Some greats still stay at top rank at this last stage. Federer is leaving the second stage. But Nadal and other are still at the earlier 2 stages. When Federer was dominant, Nadal was a rising star. Now Nadal is dominant and matured, Federer is at age of 30….Pete samprass retired at 31!!
It is clearly an advantage for RAFA. Yes….. RAFA had to beat Federer 6 times to win 10 GS. ROG had to beat Rafa 2 times to win 16 GS. What does it mean? It means Rog was able to reach almost all the GS finals but Nadal wasn’t able to do that. Nadal was superior only on Clay at that time. When Rafa reached final he was forced to beat FED but when ROG reached finals he was not forced to beat Nadal because Nadal wasn’t able to reach that final…….So what can Federer do, if RAFA wasn’t there? Federer was a common name in all GS in those years but Nadal, novak and murry were the rising stars!!! They had to improve themselves to beat Federer. If you watch someones’ game so many times you will be able to find out some weakness! Nadal, novak and murry was trying to find out Federers’ weakpoint or how they can push him!!!!! So, its a reality of any sport!!!!!!! Moreover they were benefited by Federers’ growing age! If ROG and RAFA were at the same age what would be the senario???? its not possible to answer.
But we can see the clash between NOVAK and RAFA. They are almost at the same age level and NOVAK is better than RAFA on all surfaces in this year 2011!!! This is fact, this is the reality!
Beating one another is not the only point to be the greatest!! For example : Novak beat RAFA and Rog beat novak on clay…..so I can say that ROG is going to beat RAFA in the final of FO ‘2011. But this no the case. Rafa wins!!!!!!!! You have to compare all the points and the average!!!
You can’t compare them with the great Federer. Remember every victor will be a loser! This is why laver, connors, samprass and other greats are not playing now. A time will come when Nadal will be defeated like federer! Novak will be defeated like Federer! But how many players were world number one for consecutive 232 weeks? How many players showed consistency like Federer? There is no player with 100% wining record. Overall, what Federe has done, was not done never before. If he plays 5 or 6 more years and stay healthy, he will break all the records. If you do study, you will get the proof. You can’t make a quick decision seeing the current ranking. Nadal, novak and others still don’t know what is their future. But Federer already has reached that level which is dreamed by others. The level of Federer is a dream for all…….He has reached at the top level of the glory of tennis. He has nothing to achieve more. What he is doing now, is a great pleasure for all to see this legend playing. It is a good luck for all those people who beat Federer, it is a gift for them. We couldn’t see big bill tilden, laver, emerson, roswell, connors, borg and even some people couldn’t see samprass live…..but there is no regret….we are still watching the greatest player of all time ROGER FEDERER!!!!
Yes federer plays with grace and is artistry in motion, when connors said your either a clay court specailist or a hard court specialist or a grass court specialist or you roger federer is not quite correct. the fact is roger is good on all surfaces but so is nadal, if anything nadal is better all rounder, he has proved that by mastering roger on all surfaces, yes at the begining the argument was rafa only beats roger on clay on his own favourite surface, but roger has only beaten rafa on his own favourite surface which is grass, but now rafa has beaten roger at wimbledon and australian open as well, but roger is yet to beat rafa at the french or the other two hard courts ie australian and u.s open. so roger has only beaten rafa on one surface, however rafa has beaten roger not only at the french but at australian open and wimbledon as well, so jimmy connors should have said what he said about nadal and not federer,,, and then you have the head to heads, before the talk was nadal has a better head to head cos they have played on clay more times than other surfaces,,, was true until now,, the head to heads now are ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
clay……………….. nadal = 12 federer = 2
hard………………. nadal = 4 federer = 4
gras………………. nadal =1 federer = 2
TOTAL…………….nadal =17 federer = 8
all finals…………………………….. nadal = 13 federer = 6
slam finals………………………….. nadal = 6 federer = 2
slam matches……………………… nadal = 7 federer = 2
baest of five matches………….. nadal = 9 federer = 3
five set matches………………….. nadal = 3 federer = 2
so as you can see these stats prove how much a greater player rafa is, if roger is the greatest then what does that make rafa,
what we have to look at is roger did not beat rafa as easy on grass as rafa beats roger on clay,
rafa was also beating roger when roger was at his peak and rafa was a mere teenager, just a kid,
roger won 16 slams but only beat rafa in two finals, the other nobodys he has played in the other 14 finals will hardly get a mention in the tennis hall of fame, if roger had to play nadal in more of those 14 finals he might have been lucky to reach 10 slams, yet out of rafas 10 slams he has had to beat roger on six of those finals, he has had to beat the so called greatest on more than 50 percent of his wins. so which of those numbers is more impressive, so winning 10 slams and 6 of which have been through roger is far more impressive than rogers 16 of which only two have come through rafa, the tennis world is getting stronger now than ever before and rogers 16 wins was easier acomplishment than rafas 10 slams,
fact is, to be considered the greatest in any sport you have to be at least the greatest of your own era, then you have a fair argument cos if in the argument there is a player from another era, then you cant be too sure cos you cant get them on the pitch at the same time. federer is the second best player of his won era, never mind any other eras,
federer is classed as the greatest by some cos of 16 slams wins. rod laver won 11 slams but was not allowed to play for five years, the five years he missed would have been his peak years, his total would have probably been 25 or 26 slams, hi also had just under 200 singles titles, federer has not even reached 70, if its about numbers then laver has better numbers, he has also been number one in more years than federer,
the greatset debate can go on for ever and its always gonna bring up all sorts of numbers and stats, but one thing for sure is if you want to be in the argument and be in the consideration for that greatest of all time title you have to become the greatest of your won era first,……
Consistency In Majors
If the measuring stick is consistency in the majors then it’s hard to argue against Federer as at least the greatest of the Open era. Gonzalez was probably as dominant on the pro circuit from the mid-50’s to early 60’s as was Laver from 1964-69. If, on the other hand, the comparison is by surface, the debate becomes trickier. At his best, I would pick Federer against anyone on hard courts. On grass, however, I would put him a notch below Sampras and just a hair above Borg, McEnroe or Edberg. Clay is more difficult: he’s clearly the 2nd best of his era but I can’t say with any conviction that he’s better on the surface than Lendl, Wilander or Kuerten at his best. All of this said, I’m still inclined to give him the overall nod for his longevity at the top as well as my belief that his competition hasn’t by any means been weak. Replace Federer in this era with any of the other greats from the past and I have a hard time picturing them duplicating his results.
If the measuring stick is consistency Federer is making a strong case for being the greatest tennis player of all time. Besides winning 16 grand slam titles (March 2011), Federer appeared in 22 grand slam finals since his professional tennis career began in 1998.
No other male tennis player had won more grand slam titles than Federer, which by itself is already a great argument in this debate. However, the probably even best argument to use is another record that Federer is able to claim his own.
From 2003 till 2010 Federer reached 23 consecutive grand slam semi finals or better which shows how great of a player he really is. Now that Federer seems to struggle, he still reached the US Open semis in 2010, won the ATP World Tour in 2010, and reached the semi finals at the AUS Open in 2011. Not to mention that he won five titles in 2010 and so far two in 2011. A struggle that a lot of players would love to go through.
What an excellent argument against ————->
As it comes from a Nadal fan I thought I’d write a comment to praise Rafa on his skills on the court.
Nadal is not the number 1 tennis player, however Federer will one day (probably soon) lose that title and I hope it falls to Rafa. He has achieved much and is still only 23 which many forget, what with the arrival of younger players.
I hope he recovers from his injury and is able to compete as it has been quite a sorry sight seeing the slim version being battered about by players who really wouldn’t stand a chance against him were he fully fit.
I hope 2010 is good for him and we have some proper Fed v Rafa matches.
The best argument that Roger Federer is not the greatest tennis player of all time is that there is no such thing as a best player of all time. Comparisons across eras are insufficiently meaningful.
The next best argument is Rod Laver. You can dismiss his first grand slam because it was only contested against amateurs, but he then proceded to dominate every single one of the professionals for seven years. Who knows how many majors he would have won had he been allowed to compete from ’63-’68 and had contract issues not limited him to playing in 5 majors from 1970-1972? His second Grand Slam was against all comers and remains unmatched. He even won the major hard court and indoor tournaments of his day (including in 1969, for a sort of super-Grand-Slam). Despite the fact that he was 30 when the Open Era arrived, he still won 45 open-era tournaments and had an Open-Era won loss percentage of 80%. Amongst people who saw both Laver and Federer play opinion is split as to who was better.
Roger’s not done yet. If he accomplishes much more it will become ridiculous to argue against him. But as of now his case for Greatest of All Time is merely good, not conclusive.
In his generation, tennis was becoming more and more powerful but he showed great mental and physical fitness for the last 6-7 years. 22 GS finals and much more GS Semi finals is no mean an achievement. I don’t think anyone can match his fitness.
Roger Federer has never retired in a competitive tennis match. This statement is fact from the ATP world tour website. This means that Federer is the best as he is the most injury free player of the modern generation. Does this make him the BEST. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Slam success on all surfaces.
Ultimately Federer has not only won on all court surfaces but he has the widest variety of shot adaptability known to the game, this in part explains some of his success on all types of court but also invariably does the fact that there is no wasted movement, he is biomechanically perfect and mentally near faultless (the psychological/mental edge Nadal has over him-the only negative); this is his only blemish. The strength and depth in mens tennis and his continued consistent success make him the best ever.
If we are talking about success on all surfaces then the best indicator is probably the Career Golden Slam (a singles Career Grand Slam plus the Olympic gold medal in singles)
Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal are the only three players to have achieved this. Roger Federer does not feature.
He is the all-time career money leader
Since his debut on the ATP tour in 1998, Federer received $61,838,732 (2011) which is the all-time record for prize money earnings in the history of the ATP circuit.
Following chart shows the top 15 tennis players regarding money earnings, inflation already included:
Player Prize money Inflation adjustment Year for adjustment
1. Roger Federer $61,838,732 $61,838,732 2011
2. Pete Sampras $43,280,489 $51,291,143 2003
3. Rafael Nadal $37,684,949 $37,684,949 2011
4. Andre Agassi $31,152,975 $33,695,898 2006
5. Boris Becker $25,080,956 $32,827,449 1999
6. Yev. Kafelnikov $23,883,797 $28,304,376 2003
7. Novak Djoković $22,851,351 $22,851,351 2011
8. Ivan Lendl $21,262,417 $31,284,734 1994
9. Stefan Edberg $20,630,941 $28,672,406 1996
10. Goran Ivanišević $19,876,579 $22,944,454 2004
11. Andy Roddick $19,427,260 $19,427,260 2011
12. Michael Chang $19,145,632 $22,689,238 2003
13. Lleyton Hewitt $18,907,516 $18,907,516 2011
14. Andy Murray $15,089,896 $15,089,896 2011
15. Gustavo Kuerten $14,807,000 $14,996,332 2008
After considering inflation, Federer outlasts other players by millions of dollars, and he is still earning money which will result in an even bigger and more impressive difference and higher record.
This argument goes hand in hand with how consistent and dominant Federer has been over the past 12 years and how dominant he will continue to be. A person who has the record for all-time grand slam wins, the record for consecutive grand slam semi finals or better, and the record for all-time career money leader should be named the greatest tennis player of all time.
He has dominated like no one else before
Starting from 2002 to date Federer is a serious threat at grandslams. Winning 11 majors in 4 years on variety of surfaces is seen for the first time probably in mens tennis. It is even not exaggeration saying that it is he who has taken tennis to a different level and Rafa, Djo are mere followers. It is a big mistake to say he had no competetion. He plays gracefully to make things look easy.
Apart from his numerical achievements, his fitness is amazing. I dont think Rafa or Djo can play the same way when they are 30, with the effortful game they play. Federer is still competetor as the kind of skill he possesses makes him play effortlessly.
Rafa has been winning slams since his teen age and the guy is still on course to reach federer i.e. 7 years comparatively federer started in 2002 and ended at 16 in 2010.
It all takes common sense that Federer is the Greatest of All Time. True that u cant compare generations and thus have to just base on facts.
When it comes to the current generation he has been the absolute dominator.
So both ways he is the GOAT.
Samprass has 286 consecutive days at No.1 samprass and federer are both the longest consecutive days at No.1 samprass 286 days federer 237 days no one else just them 2 so the stats say samprass No.1 federer No.2 but you will all keep saying samprass is best borg is best this person is best but they are all better than you or me so for me they are all No.1 but stats say samprass is
Has beaten Nadal 6-0 on CLAY, YES CLAY! And 3 times 6-0
Federer HAS BEATEN Nadal 6-0 on CLAY! 2007 Hamburg Masters.
This is possibly biggest thing ever to do against Nadal, beat him 6-0 on CLAY.
And I think only Federer can do that and has done that.
Add to that till date he has done 6-0 over Nadal three times, all surfaces.
Nadal has never beaten Federer in INDOORs fast surface.
Why?? Because Nadal’s super top-spin does not work there.
Nadal exploits Federer’s backhand because of his ability to throw bouncy top-spins and hence wins.
Take away that one shot and I bet Nadal would possibly have never dominated Federer.
Beating Nadal a bunch of times on clay does not make someone the greatest player of all time.
Greatest player ever says Federer is the best
Am sorry fed fans but no he is not the greatest of all time, I would argue that both nadal and fed are currently the two players for the first time ever who share the goat title. This is due largely that both men between them have dominated all the surfaces for over a five year period fed, five us opens, six wimbledons and nadals seven french opens. No other rivalry has accomplished this fete of completly white washing all four slams and setting there own records on the way. Between them they hold forty one masters titles. twenty seven major titles, fed has won sixteen slams on all surfaces whilst nadal has won seven french open titles dominating on clay. Between them they have won titles the other hasnt fed has won five end of tour titles whilst nadal was part of four times winnning davis cup team titles and has a gold medal singles whilst fed has the doubles title. In my opinion fed cannot be considered as the greatest of all time as for that to be the case he would solely have to dominate on all three surfaces and have won at least the same on all surfaces such as six on grass and five on hard to his one and only solitary title on clay and only won in the abscence of nadal through defeat to soderling. For me rod laver is the greatest of all time as he has managed to win all four majors at the same time but not just once but twice. However only downside for him the surfaces were similar, so looking at today who would considered the goat my arguement wuold be nadal and fed for joint goat until someone betters there acheivements or the next big rivalry comes along and does better Vamos nadal
Rod Laver is the only person to win a real Grand Slam, and he did it twice…, and Pancho Gonzales beat Laver (despite being ten years older than him) in Madison Square Garden in 1971. Jack Kramer said that had they played against each other on the circuit, Gonzales would have beaten Laver regularly. And by the way, Laver was to modest and self-effacing to claim that he himself was the best player ever.
He has just won Wimbledon 2012 (17th grand slam) and gone back to number 1 again
Another slam moves him further up the list of the most slams ever Plus makes points 2 (he beat Djokovic and Murray) & 3 (he will now have the most weeks at #1) above incorrect
6 Year End Champuonships
Only 3 three men have won the Year end championship 5 times; Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. Last year Federer won it a record 6th. Most player will tell you that this is the hardest tournament to win, maybe harder than any grand slam. Only the best 8 players in the world that year get to participate, so there is no easy draw. Sometimes in grand slams the top players get to breeze through the first rounds and only play top players in the quarters, semis and the final. Djokovic won this tournament once and Nadal is still looking for his first one. If Nadals 7 French Opens is incredible (with easy opponents during the first four rounds of play), then Federer’s 6 year end championships is just as unbelievable. This achievement in itself makes the argument that no has dominated the sport like Federer has during the last 9 years. Let’s see what other records he will break.
Federer is the Greatest EVER!
What makes a sportsman better than any other in their trade? Is that determined by the titles he wins, the money he earns, or even the amount time he spends at the top of the rankings? There is one name in tennis that would single handily be the decisive answer to all three of these statements. Roger Federer has won 17 Grand Slams more than any other, he has earned over £73 million in prize money, more than £20 million more than Nadal and along with this no other player has held the top spot for more consecutive weeks than Federer which lasted for an amazing 296 weeks or just under 6 years!
Rod Laver is without doubt the greatest ever!
After reading so many things about Federer, Nadal, Sampras, etc., I researched everyone of the older guys to see what they had for these young bucks that we all know and follow today. After doing a Wikipedia check on Laver, I was absolutely astonished. After winning the Grand Slam in 1962, he turned pro and was not allowed to actually play any of the Grand Slams until the Open era began back in 1968. So, for 5 years, he was not allowed to play the Slams, but there were professional tournaments held that were the equal of the Slams and he absolutely owned them for years. His tournament win record was psychotic. -He won the U.S. Pro Championships (the equivalent to the U.S. Open) 5 times. -He won the Wembley Pro Championships 4 times. -He won the French Professional Championships 2 times. None of those were counted as Grand Slam wins, even though Lew Hoad, Rosewall, and many of the greats we all knew played in the professional events. He beat the best to win those professional events and then came back and won the calendar Grand Slam again! That is crazy!!!!! Had those professional championship tournaments been counted towards his Grand Slam total, he would have won an unprecedented 22 Grand Slam singles titles and that includes 2 calendar year Grand Slams!!!!! That is unbelievable to say the least. He very much has a say in being voted the very best of all time. The guys today are phenomenal, but when putting a vote in for the greatest, we’d all better keep up with Laver’s stats. They are ridiculous………
No, Federer is not the greatest of all times. His head to head with Nadal is 16 to 24 and with Djokovic it’s 23 to 27. It gets even worse if we look at the Grand Slam tournaments: 4 to 10 and 6 to 11. That shows that he wasn’t even better than his two best contemporaries. How could he be the best of all times?
Lol this has aged poorly hahaha
Pete Sampras sucked, he would have not won one grand slam if he played nowadays (with federer/nadal/djokovic).
I agree, Roger Federer is not the greatest tennis player of all time and here’s why…………
Firstly, let’s define greatness. It’s not a determination of whether a time traveling Pancho Gonzales could face up against Djokovic and beat him. It’s how great a player was against HIS contemporaries. So let’s not argue that Federer would kill Laver because he probably would, in fact any top 100 player would probably beat 1968 era Laver, it’s called evolution.
Anyway, the reason I don’t think Fed’s the GOAT comes down to the competition he’s faced, mainly across the first half of his career, in particular his first dozen or so grand slam singles titles. In other words, the quality of his contemporaries compared to other greats.
This period came before the initial rise of Rafa, Novak & Murray, a lull inbetween the Sampras/Agassi era and the Big 4 era. Most of Federer’s grand slam titles were won without a Joker to his Batman. He enjoyed an unprecedented run which coincided with one of the weakest periods in men’s tennis history. His main opposition for grand slam titles were Hewitt, Roddick and Marat Safin. Solid players but certainly not considered all time greats. I remember McEnroe commenting on Hewitt ascending to the number one ranking, he suggested that
he was only a ‘caretaker number one’ as there were no longer any truly great players in the game, I scoffed at those comments but it turns out he was absoulutely right, he is John McEnroe after all! Looking back through the history of the game all the great players have been pushed by other greats of the era. Sampras had Agassi, Becker had Edberg and Lendl, McEnroe had Borg and Connors, Laver had Rosewall and Emerson. You simply
cannot place Hewitt/Roddick/Safin in the same company as these players, they’re not even in the same postcode.
Most greats started winning slams from about 18/19yo yet Fed didn’t start winning them til he was nearly 22. Why? Because Agassi was still dominating, Keurten was dominating the French, Sampras was still king at Wimbledon. It wasn’t until that lull between eras came along where Fed could take advantage of having no great players to compete against and he cashed in big time. Since the Big 4 era began, Fed hasn’t been anywhere near as dominant though you could argue that it’s come near the twilight of his career while the other three are still in their primes, bar perhaps Nadal.
Comparing Federer’s slams to Nadal’s is quite telling. As we all know Fed has 17 singles titles and Rafa has 14. Federer’s opponents in all of his grand slam final victories have had an average of 1.2 grand slam titles to their names at the time the final took place. On 8 occasions Federer has faced a finals opponent who
had yet to win a grand slam title. Only twice has he faced an opponent with 3 or more grand slam titles and went on to win that particular final – 35yo Agassi had 8 slams when he faced Fed in the 05 US Open final, he was well into his twilight years and would retire the following year. The other instance was at Wimbledon in 07 when he faced 21yo Nadal who had 3 French Open titles to his name.
Nadal, on the other hand, has had much tougher grand slam finals. His opponents have held an average of 6.3 grand slam titles at the time of the final. Granted, this figure is skewed somewhat by the fact he’s faced Federer in 6 of the finals he’s won but even discounting Federer his opponents have won an
average of 2.25 slams……..but that would be taking away from Nadals accomplishment of beating the so-called GOAT in 6 of the 8 finals they’ve faced off in. Nadal has had to face an opponent holding 3 or more slams on 9 occasions. On 4 occasions Nadal has faced an opponent with no grand slam titles.
Nadal has quite obviously proven himself to be quite the nemesis for Roger and Fed has taken advantage in several grand slams tournaments where Nadal has suffered shock defeats or where he’s been forced out with injury. Federer’s only French title came when Soderling shocked the world by beating Nadal in the 09 tournament. Nadal subsequently was forced out of Wimbledon through injury that same year as the defending champion and Fed again took advantage by narrowly beating Roddick in the final. In the 2010 Aus Open Nadal was forced to retire against Murray through injury, another tournament which Fed went on to win, facing off against Murray in the final. And again in 2012, Fed’s last grand slam title, at Wimbledon Nadal was upset in the second round by Rosol, one of the biggest upsets in the history of mens tennis. Of course players get injured and they get beaten by lower ranked opponents once in a while so perhaps I’m being a bit harsh on Roger but
the facts remain, Fed’s last four titles have come when Nadal has been injured or unexpectedly knocked out. None of them came because he actually BEAT Nadal.
The last nine years have seen the Big 4 era of men’s tennis, one of the greatest eras in history. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have distanced themselves from the rest of the tour by a fairly large margin and have won an amazing 31 of the 35 grand slams contested in those nine years. Of those 31 slams, Fed’s won 5,
Novak has won 12, Murray 3 and Nadal 11 of them.
Looking at the head to head records of both Nadal and Federer against the other members of the Big 4 is again quite telling. Fed owns a winning head to head record against just one of the four, Andy Murray with a 14-11 winning record while Novak leads 23-22. Nadal on the other hand has dominated Federer throughout their careers, owning a 23-11 winning record against Roger.
If we want to compare Federer’s earlier contemporaries mentioned above his record is decidedly better – 18-9 against Hewitt, 21-3 against Roddick and 10-2 against Safin. Rafa too owns winning head to head records against these players (7-4 Hewitt, 7-3 Roddick and 2-0 Safin).
What about their respective records throughout their entire careers? Fed has won 88 singles titles to date and has ended the year as world number one on 5 occasions. He’s won one Davis Cup. Nadal has won 69 singles titles and finished the year number one on 4 occasions. He’s enjoyed 4 Davis Cup victories with his Spanish
To me it’s absolutely clear that Nadal is a greater champion than Federer when considering the quality of their opposition and it seems ludicrous to put Federer ahead of Nadal on an all time greatest list. Nadal is simply a better tennis player and has traveled a much harder road than the gold paved road Federer has enjoyed through most of his career.
But does that mean I consider Nadal the greatest of all time? Well, not so fast……….
Let’s look at a couple of other contenders – Sampras and Laver. The two players I would also consider as part of the discussion.
Starting with Sampras, a lot of people had placed Sampras at the tops of their lists when he retired. I wasn’t one of them given he never won a French Open and never even made a final. To be the best you need to do it on all surfaces. But that’s my opinion so let’s see how Sampras fared against his contemporaries.
He owns 14 GS singles titles, 64 tour titles overall, won the Davis Cup twice and ended the year number one 6 times. The average number of GS titles held by his finals opponents was 1.9, he faced a finalist with more than 3 GS titles on five occasions and on 7 occasions his opponent had never won a GS. He holds winning head to head records against all of his main contemporaries. He leads Agassi 20-14, Courier 16-4, Becker 12-7 and Rafter 12-4. An indication of how good he was and perhaps how he would have fared against Federer if they played in the same era was seen during a series of exhibition matches between 36yo Sampras and Federer during his pomp. You could argue that they were staged but professional sportsmen would rarely agree to being humiliated by a former champion of their sport long after they had retired so I doubt that Federer would
have agreed to let Sampras win. Regardless, Sampras did end up winning one match while the others were all very closely contested affairs. Sampras also played a similar exhibition against Tommy Haas and actually beat him as a 37yo. So how would peak Sampras have fared against peak Fed? I’m guessing he would have taken quite a few of Fed’s 17 titles away from him. And yes, I do remember a young Federer beating 30yo Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001, the only time they met in official ATP Tour competition.
Finally let’s take a look at Laver and how his career stacks up against the aforementioned greats. Well firstly Laver’s record is a bit of a contentious issue, he was banned from the tour for six years for turning pro. Nearly all of the best players had turned professional and the tour proper had been relegated to a second rate
competition. The professional circuit had its own slams, called Pro Slams but there were only three of them – US Pro, Wembley Pro and French Pro. Prior to turning professional Laver had already won 6 GS singles titles, including a calendar year Grand Slam. Upon turning pro, against better opponents, he still dominated by winning 8 pro slams and this time a Pro Grand Slam, all three in the one year. When the tour proper finally decided to turn professional, the reinstated Laver again dominated adding another 5 GS singles titles and, remarkably, another calendar year Grand Slam. The only player, male or female to win the Grand Slam twice. So in all he won 19 majors and three Grand Slams.
Apart from dominating in singles play at grand slams he was also a successful doubles player winning 9 doubles and mixed doubles GS titles. Throughout his entire career Laver won an astonishing 200 singles titles, a record that stands to this day and is never likely to be beaten. He holds the record for the most singles titles
won in a calendar year with 22, another record unlikely to ever be beaten. Not only that he managed to win 5 Davis Cup titles and he ended the year as the number one player 7 times.
His finals opponents held an average of 6.0 majors (pro and regular GS’s) and in 6 successful finals his opponent held 3 or more major titles. On 6 occasions he faced off against an opponent with no major titles.
Against his main contemporaries he holds winning head to head records – 13-7 against Rosewall, 22-3 against Emerson and 8-3 against Newcombe. I wasn’t able to find any head to head records prior to the open era.
So you can see Laver’s record stands up proudly against all the aforementioned greats, in fact it stands head and shoulders above. Just read those numbers again, they’re truly mind blowing. I’d certainly take 19 majors, 3 calendar year Grand Slams and 200 singles titles over 17 slams, 80 singles titles and a couple of record breaking QF and SF streaks (I know someone will bring these streaks up).
Certainly, Nadal, Sampras and Laver all faced tougher opponents, that cannot be argued, they all excelled in tougher eras even though Sampras’ and, to a greater extent, Nadal’s eras overlap with Federer’s. So for me, Federer gets undone for not having a truly great rival for the first 10 slams of his career, he got lucky and was able to cash in against some not-so-great competition.
Join the Well, Roger is kicking ass at the hoary old age of 35. The reason Nadal as a favourable head-to-head over Fedeer is because of the number of matches playen clay.Let’s divide the surfaces into two categories: home surface, and neutral surfaces. For Nadal home is clay – they ave faced each other 15 times and Nadal won 13 of those matches whereas Federer only played at home (grass courts) three times, and on all occasions on slow grass – on the fast grass surface of old Nadal wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance. Now, let’s talk about the neutral surfaces: the hard courts. As we know since the early 2000s hard courts were slowed down which gave Nadal a better chance of succeeding. So the modern hard surfaces are generally, with a couple of exceptions, semi-fast surfaces, fast enough to give Roger a chance, and slow enough to enable Nadal to succeed. On this surface the odds are 50/50. The current record is 9-9. So the combination of surfaces clearly favours Nadal and makes this analysis lopsided in favour of the Spaniard. By the same token, Davidenko is a better player than Nadal as he has a favourable head-to-head over the Maiorcan. The reason? They have played very few matches on clay. discussion
I dont think he´s the greatest, he´s in top five. He´s the most elegant, with superior technique on some shots, like the serve and forehand. Is he the most talented? I would rather have Nalbandians talent and skillset if we look past the serve, and Djokovic mentality and fitness, than Federers skillset, and Federer mentality, so there´re always room for improvement, i think, people get fooled by his elegance that he have the greatest every shot on tour almost, that´s no the case. His forehand dropshot and topspin lob is suspect, as is his groundies nowadays, he´s not the cleanest ballstriker, he relies on versitility, like mixing it up with slices, dropshots, coming in, stressing opponents, serving well, great defensive skills. All of those are qualities ofcause, and qualities that makes Federer Federer, there are just other qualities, like certain vulnureble spots in his game, if we got rid of them, that would make him by far the greatest. Nalbandian for instance, is not remembered as a great bc he choked and choked, didnt have a great serve, didnt have a great attitude alway. In the big Picture, Federer qualities trumps Nalbandians by FAR! But its delusion to say he does everything so well, if he did, he wouldnt have lost so much to Rafa even in his prime. That´s my opinion ofcause, take it or leave it. :)
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Pretty stupid debate. You can’t compare era to era and to then base it on records is even moremore stupid. Courts, equipment, speed of game, fitness of players, etc, all come into play. This is why it’s impossible to compare. In my opinion all of the current players would crush most plastic player s purely do to the evolution of the game and this is the same in pretty much every sport that has evolved to a different level.
Being the best in a past era doesn’t make you the best because of your records, you’re just comparing apples and oranges.
Would Ali beat Tyson? Is Babe Ruth better than Derrick Jeter? Was Pele better than Ronaldo or Mesi? Etc, etc, etc.
Perfect example of evolution in sport which to me proves that current athletes are better than past athletes. Is Usane Bolt faster than Carl Lewis? Yes, but this doesn’t mean he’s better. It’s a different era and you simply can’t compare.
What IS this nonsense??
OF COURSE he’s the greatest of all time, and anyone who attempts to dis his record in terms of the past TRULY does not understand the game. It seems that trying to reduce Federer’s record hangs on this one salient point…
I recently heard an interview wtih Charley Pasarel, organizer of the Indian Wells tournament, and former top tenner. He said that any of the WOMEN in today’s top ten would beat the no.1 of his generation,hands down..and he is certainly in a position to know. Today’s players must compete at a level unknown by the players of the past, and in a staggering number of tournaments compared to the Rocket’s generation.
They are bigger, faster, better trained mentally and physically and heal much faster..Let me illustrate to the dunderheads who even consider comparing today’s game to the past.
Most service aces in Connor’s generation were struck at a speed of 126 to 130 MPH, a speed so ho-hum today that almost anyone in the top 50 would not be placed there without being able to crush such a lame service.
ALL ground strokes are now hit at a speed 30 percent faster on average than 30 years ago.Still, A well hit backhand to the corner, winner of yesteryear is something that Murray or Rafa get to with ease, and with several winner options of their own.
The serve and volley game has all but disappeared..SEE ABOVE. Today’s players are just too fast and too accurate. Pat Rafter’s or Edberg’s serve would be simply ineffective against anyone top 50 or better.
SERVE? Well, I recently saw Raonic serve a 145 mph SECOND serve against Verdasco, who was standing a good 2.5 meters behind the base line. The effect on the ball caused Verdasco to jump as high as he could, and still miss the ball rocketing over his head by a good 2 feet.
Connors, Borg, Mcenroe,Agassi.. all 5 ft. 10 or so..Rafa. Federer, Nole, Berdych, RAonic..? The former are all physical midgets against today’s top ten.. Bigger, faster, smarter, and Federer stands above all in THIS, the most challenging generation of tennis players, by a long shot.
If you truly think that the game of the past has any relevance at all, have a look at Mcenroe vs Vilas on clay, and then say, oh I dunno, Petrova against Zvonareva….I DARE you. The speed, mobility and pace of shot by these girls makes the players of the past look like doddering old farts, a Marx brothers movie compared to THe Fast and the Furious..
A final punctuation.: I remember when Federer’s career was just emerging , he was playing against Agassi who only a year or two before had been considered unbeatable. The score was close until the 3rd , when Federer simply put his foot on the gas and DISPOSED of Agassi, who sat on the sidelines with a deer in the headlights kind of look. I still remember his expression and his silently mouthing..’What Happened?’
I rest my case..
After reading so many things about Federer, Nadal, Sampras, etc., I researched everyone of the older guys to see what they had for these young bucks that we all know and follow today. After doing a Wikipedia check on Laver, I was absolutely astonished. After winning the Grand Slam in 1962, he turned pro and was not allowed to actually play any of the Grand Slams until the Open era began back in 1968. So, for 5 years, he was not allowed to play the Slams, but there were professional tournaments held that were the equal of the Slams and he absolutely owned them for years. His tournament win record was psychotic.
-He won the U.S. Pro Championships (the equivalent to the U.S. Open) 5 times.
-He won the Wembley Pro Championships 4 times.
-He won the French Professional Championships 2 times.
None of those were counted as Grand Slam wins, even though Lew Hoad, Rosewall, and many of the greats we all knew played in the professional events. He beat the best to win those professional events and then came back and won the calendar Grand Slam again! That is crazy!!!!!
Had those professional championship tournaments been counted towards his Grand Slam total, he would have won an unprecedented 22 Grand Slam singles titles and that includes 2 calendar year Grand Slams!!!!!
That is unbelievable to say the least. He very much has a say in being voted the very best of all time. The guys today are phenomenal, but when putting a vote in for the greatest, we’d all better keep up with Laver’s stats. They are ridiculous………
Rod Laver was additionally a grass court specialist. This made it easier for him to win the Grand Slam as he didn’t have to play on Hard Court.
Back then, everything but the French was played on grass.
AN OTHER little EXAMPLE.. Ken Rosewall won US “open” in 1956 and after was exluded in the next 45 slam, straight after he come back, won the first slam (French Open 1968). IN TENNIS NUMBERS ARE NOTHING
the numbers in tennis are nothing! Rod Laver realized grand slam in 1962 and was excluded in the next 21 slam, after that was runner up in French Open 1968 and winner in Wimbledon 1968. in 1969 realized grand slam again. Is Only a simple example, but probably the most important, IN TENNI NUMBERS ARE NOTHING!