Federer Completes Career Grand Slam, Winning Elusive French Title

Roger Federer achieves a career milestone.  :sunglasses:

[quote]PARIS — In his mind, as Roger Federer imagined over the years and the frustration what it would be like to finally win the French Open, it was probably not quite like this.

How could Federer have imagined that the obstacle across the net in one of the most important matches of his life would be Robin Soderling, a relatively anonymous Swede, instead of Rafael Nadal, his left-handed Spanish nemesis?

How could Federer have imagined that with him cruising comfortably early in the second set Sunday, an intruder would jump out of the stands and onto the clay, run toward him and drape a flag over Federer’s head, leaving the Swiss champion shaken?[/quote]

Federer Completes Career Grand Slam, Winning Elusive French Title

Unfortunately, he showed no class by bringing up the question himself, on whether or not he’s the greatest ever.

What did he say and when?  I saw the interview with McEnroe and it was McEnroe who brought it up.  All Federer said was the obvious - there are some factors that point in my direction.  Federer is one of the most unassuming athletes out there.  He genuinely respects the former greats.  The former greats genuinely respect him. 

Sampras thinks that Federer is the best player ever.  I agree with him.

[quote] LONDON, England – -- Former world number one, Pete Sampras, has described recently crowned French Open champion Roger Federer as the best player in history.

The 37-year-old American, nicknamed ‘Pistol Pete’ for his bullet-like serves, won a record 14 grand slam men’s singles titles over a 15-year career, though never captured the trophy at Roland Garros.

In beating Sweden’s Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6, 6-4 to take the French title on Sunday, Federer equaled Sampras’s record and became only the sixth man in history to win each of the four majors.

The feat marks the 27-year-old Swiss out as the finest player to ever grace the game according to Sampras: "What he’s done over the past five years has never, ever been done – and probably will never, ever happen again.

“Regardless if he won there or not, he goes down as the greatest ever. This just confirms it,” [/quote]


He said it to CBC sports yesterday:
cbc.ca/sports/story/2009/06/ … final.html

I think Federer may very well be the best ever but it bothers me when the man himself poses the question.
It was like when Michael Jordan retired, declaring himself the best ever and pointed to having beat players like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird (he didn’t note they were past their prime though); I think everyone agrees MJ is the best ever but the true greats don’t come out and suggest it. You don’t hear Gretzky or Tiger Woods suggesting it, even though everyone knows it.

As far as Sampras goes, he was all devastating serve and a watered down field.

I would like to see the context of the quote.  So many people have been asking him the question that I doubt he would ever need to ask it himself.  There has been pressure on Federer to win as if not winning the French Open puts his greatness in doubt. 

This from a US Today article is, I think, a more accurate reflection of Federer.

Asked in his postmatch news conference where he stands in history, a proud Federer mostly dodged the question.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever know who was the greatest of all time, but I’m definitely happy to be right up there, that’s for sure,” he said.

I find the GOAT arguments interesting but in the end pointless.  I remember Rickey Henderson when he broke Lou Brock’s basestealing record holding the base high and saying now I am the greatest of all time.  I think he meant basestealer, but who knows with Henderson.

Yeah, Rickey meant base stealer and that was the height of arrogance, for sure. You could be right that Federer just got caught up in his joy to finally win at Roland Garros and that, now having completed the career grand slam, it legitimizes talk of his being the best ever. It certainly seemed to go against his character - although he immediately went on to tout himself as the favorite at the upcoming Wimbledon.

I still think Rod Laver’s back-to-back calendar grand slams (which Federer hasn’t done) is incredible. He had 11 in total, even though he was banned from the majors for five years!

Exactly.  That’s why GOAT arguments go nowhere.  I kinda like Stefi Graf’s grand slam grand slam - at least four wins at each of the four majors.

Some people just dominate their era like no other ever has - Ruth, Jordan, Gretzky, Woods - so we think of them as the greatest.  Fun debate, but ultimately unwinnable.