Roger Federer- The amazing
January 18, 2007 3:46pm CST
I know that it is too early to say it now but I have no doubts in my mind that by the end of his career Roger Federer will be recognised as the greatest tennis player of all times. To state my case let us look at some of the contenders: 1. Pete Sampras: He is widely considered as the best player so far. Pete went on to win 14 Grand Slam Titles in his illustrious career. The one title that is missing from his collection is the French. Federer already has 9 Grand Slams and like Pete he too has won everything other than the French. So, if he beats Pete's mark of 14, shouldnt he be recognised as the best?. Also he is a much better clay courter than Pete, so I believe that he will win the French atleast once in his career. Already, he has done better than Pete at the French ( he reached the finals this year while Sampras could only make to the semi-finals) 2. Rod Laver: His record speaks for himself. 11 Grand slams including 2 calendar slams in 1962 & 1969. It has often been argued that Laver would have won more slams had he not taken a haitus from 1963-68 by turning professional. However, it should also be remembered that during his playing days 3 out of 4 slams were played on grass and there wasnt a set of clay court experts from Spain and South America like today. 3. Bjorn Borg: He is not given credit as he deserves. He has 11 grand slam titles including 5 consecutive Wimbledons from 1976-80( he lost in his 6th final to Johnie Mac in 1981) and 6 French Opens. He never played the Australian (in those days it was not considered that important) and reached the US Open final 3 to 4 times. He also won back to back at the French and Wimbledon atleast thrice which I think is amazing. I am sure he would have added to his collection if he hadnt retired at the young age of 26. 4. Others that deserve mention include Roy Emerson, Don Budge, Fred Perry and Andre Agassi, the only players other than Laver to win all 4 slams. Jimmy Connors came very close to doing this feat in 1974, when he won 3 Grand Slams, but wasnt allowed to compete in the French by the tennis Association headed by teh great Arthur Ashe. Jimmy won 8 Grand slams, but never the French. Anyway, most of the greats mentioned above admit that Federer is more skillful and a more complete player than they were in their playing days. They also admit that there is much more greater depth in men's tennis today as compared to their playing days. Besides, as a great admirer of tennis, one loves to watch Federer execute his strokes so effortlessly. Indeed he has every shot in the book and more. For all these reasons, I believe that one day Federer will be recognised as the best of the best.