Roger Federer Is Not the Greatest Tennis Player of All Time
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?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Is not even the best in his current generation
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
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
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
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.
-- 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.
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."
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?
Borg and other players could have won more if they played the Australian Open
Facts speak for themselves
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.
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
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).
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!!!!
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 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.
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.
Slam success on all surfaces.
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
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
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.
Has beaten Nadal 6-0 on CLAY, YES CLAY! And 3 times 6-0
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.
Greatest player ever says Federer is the best
He has just won Wimbledon 2012 (17th grand slam) and gone back to number 1 again
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
Federer is the Greatest EVER!
Rod Laver is without doubt the greatest ever!
What do you think?