Roger Federer: Best Tennis Player Ever?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Cooknn, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    #1
    I've been playing & watching tennis since I was 8. That's over 35 years :eek: I started playing when Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver were dominating men's tennis back in the late 60's. Then came Jimmy Connors and later John McEnroe. Others along the way included Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.

    I've been watching Roger Federer lately and I have to say, I've never seen anyone that plays the game as perfectly as he does. Execution seems effortless and text book. He doesn't lose his cool and pulls the rabbit out of his hat when necessary. Today's match against Andre Agassi in the US Open Finals was a perfect example. After losing the 2nd set and driven to the tie breaker he stepped it up and blew Andre away by realing off seven straight points to take the third.

    I've seen interviews with Andre Agassi, and I'm of the opinion that he is one of the most intelligent sports figures today. Very smart guy. Here's what he says about Roger. "He’s the best I’ve ever played against. Pete was great. No question. But there was a place to get to with Pete. You knew what you had to do. If you do it, it could be on your terms. There’s no such place like that with Roger. He plays the game in a very special way that I haven’t seen before."

    Is Roger Federer the best tennis player ever? IMHO, the answer is yes.
     
  2. one3 macrumors regular

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    #2
    I must agree. I watched Pete Sampras throughout his career and he was amazing. But you had a sense that he could be beaten by other players. With Federer you just don't have that sense. He just has more game.

    Yes, he does lose once in a while, but you just get that feeling that he can beat anyone on any given day. And I think both his forehand, and especially his backhand are better than Sampras.

    Federer is just a please to watch, and a frustration to try and imitate on the court.
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #3
    Being Australian, I only ever hear about Lleyton over here. It sucks because he's really not even close to being in the same league as Roger.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    Federer is too good, period.

    If I was as good at......oh..........hacking major banks...........as Federer is at tennis, I would be super-mega-rich, living in a mansion with 6 super-hot model "girlfriends" who live and breathe each day to to serve and pleasure me, and throw parties where the guests come and drink and eat for free, and get captured on video doing some weird things with some of the girls.

    Oh wait, some old dude in the US already lives like that, and he's not even THAT rich. Damn.

    Anyway, Federer is THAT good, but at tennis.
     
  5. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816

    ColoJohnBoy

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    #5
    I would say he's the best male tennis player ever. Martina Navratilova received much of the same praise, even from the pro men she played. Roger Federer is fantastioc, no doubt, but give him a few more years before declaring him "The Best". He is, after all, only 24 years old. Give a him a few more. :)
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #6

    Arguably, yet pragmatically, the best male tennis player is the best tennis player. Sorry girls, but men are just stronger/better at tennis.



    So endurance comes into it then? yeah, I agree. A truly great tennis player has to be great over a long time-span.
     
  7. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #7
    I'm only 20, but I've been watching Tennis for about 15 years. Much like watching the World Junior tournament over the Christmas holidays, watching Wimbledon was a summer tradition, school was out, and I could just sit and watch it every morning on TV for 2 weeks. The fact I grew up watching Pete Sampras and idolizing him as I would play is a reason why he's my favourite player. I'd argue that he's the best ever, but what you can't argue about with Federer is that he's the most dominating player ever. If he is still at the same level he is at now in a few years time, and continues to utterly dominate like he is now then I think he'll have earned the title of best male player of all time.
     
  8. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

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    #8
    I agree Roger's game is powerful and impressive with clear potential to add an unspecified future number of titles to his blossoming collection. However, there is a compelling tendency in sports to prematurely annoint somebody as "best ever" when they are in their 20's.

    Given that stellar athletes are produced continuously, dominate their sports for varied lengths of time, retire and then are replaced by their younger peers, it makes more sense to refrain from bestowing the title of best ever.

    It is hardly the equivalent of dissing someone by saying they have great promise or are among the best players, while at the same time not separating them from all the others who excelled.

    Once a young baseball player has 2 or 3 consecutive seasons where he hits 35-40 home runs and has 100+ runs batted in, you often read some column that labels him as the next surefire lock for the Hall of Fame.

    I prefer to participate in those discussions at a more appropriate time ... 5 or 6 years after someone's skin clears up does not seem to be that time, regardless of the list of accomplishments achieved up to that point.
     
  9. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #9
    im going to say no, i think there are people in the passed that would have beaten him, sampras would have put him under server pressure through the game, who knows how federer would have reacted when pete was disarming his biggest weapons, smpras also had a few weapons of his own.

    what if mac messed with his head throughout the game, could he handle that?

    im going for sampras.
     
  10. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #10
    I've heard Roger is one of the elites. But I've never had the opportunities to catch one of his matches on TV. I will have to pay more attention now. :D
     
  11. cooknwitha macrumors 6502a

    cooknwitha

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    #11
    Federer is just too good for everyone at the moment. And what's better is he interviews really well too. He has the charisma that Sampras lacked in bucket-loads.
     
  12. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #12
    I've been watching Grand Slams on TV since Conners, Borg, McEnroe...

    Federer would have been a match for all of them particularly with today's levels of physical conditioning. I think Sampras at his peak would have been an extremely tough and certainly entertaining challenge for Roger. Maybe Becker too on grass.

    But IMHO, true overall tennis godlike awesomeness would ideally come with at least one French Open title along with a large handful of other Majors so it yet remains to be seen how Federer will go down in history.

    But he's also an incredibly gorgeous man too. He'd be welcome to serve into my forecourt any day of the week. :D
     
  13. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #13
    Ask me again when he's won as many majors (US Open, Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open) as Sampras did.

    It's easy to classify a current player as "the greatest of all time" based on how they whoop up on the competition. Tiger Woods is a perfect example of how this can happen... but until he actually exceeds the accomplishments of those who have come before, he could be a flash in the pan, a Roy Batty whose light is burning superbright but not for very long.
     
  14. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #14
    sampras never won roland garros IIRC.

    right now he seems more dominating than what sampras was, and the gap with the rest is pretty vast, so i think he will be no.1 for quite a while more (but you never know: new young guns come up every year).

    he certainly has the numbers to become the best ever, but even now he's up there with sampras, borg, lendl, mcenroe, connors, agassi. i don't know about laver, emerson and the like because i never saw them playing
     
  15. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #15
    You're right, he didn't. Agassi was the second male player in history to win all four. I forget who the first was though, it before my time.

    Sampras dominated on fast surfaces, like grass and hard courts where he could utilize his power and foot speed. This is why he was never a champion on clay, he couldn't use his speed or power to win.
     
  16. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

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    #16
    I always thought sampras got a bad rap when it came to his "lack of charisma" I always enjoyed watching him, I liked how he talked when interviewed. He wasn't flashy, but he had guts that other tennis players lacked at the time, and it showed in how he played. Remember that match he played against Goran Ivanisavitch (spelling is most likely wrong), that went 5 sets. Sampras could barely stand at the end of it. Yet on every point he got up just enough energy to play, then would almost collapse. How he won that match is still completely beyond me. To me, that's charisma. He had it on the court. He made me want to watch him. Federer on the other hand hasn't really enthralled me yet. Maybe if I was more into tennis (I enjoy, but don't pretend to understand the nuances of the game), but federer just doesn't play in a style that makes me want to watch. Granted though, I haven't seen that much of him yet.

    The talk of Federer as best ever is definiltey premature. He might never win another major, no one knows. I think a parellel might be Terrell Davis in football. The guy was unbelievable, arguably the best ever for a few years. Then the wheels came off and he probably won't even make the hall of fame. There's been all sorts of tennis players like this in the past, one's who absolutely dominated. The one's I can think of are mostly on the womens side: Monica Seles, Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Lindsey Davenport. There was a time when all of them were just unbeatable. And yet, none of them are going to come close to Martina Navritlova and Steffie Graf. Federer may be the "best" of all time (in terms of technical skill), but that's very different from being the greatest player of all time. Such things are decided in hindsight.
     
  17. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #17
    Laver and emerson for sure won all 4 (laver had 2 grand slams). there might be others going back further.

    trivia#1: federer very first atp match was a loss to agassi in switzerland.
    trivia#2: agassi reached is first slam final in 1990, when federer was 9!
     
  18. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #18
    I was wrong.

    I remember watching him win the major that he hadn't won yet and the network made a big fuss about it. Hmm, maybe it was because he's American, they tend to overemphasis when an American is going to do something that a handful of other people had done before hand.

    These two players did it in the same calendar year;

    1. Don Budge 1938
    2. Rod Laver 1962 and 1969
     
  19. djkny macrumors 6502

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    #19
     
  20. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #20
    pretty big statement, considering that federer is 140-8 in the last two years. not to say that you don't have a point, but I think that he certainly will have his chances there.
    and I agree that he has not the most entertaining tennis (like McEnroe, Noah, and others) but the whole package technique, physical, mental) is almost unrivalled.

    that said, it is impossible and meaningless to determine who would beat whom at their prime. If they were to play each other, probably modern players would prevail, because the game has evolved so much, but i would like to see federer playing borg with a small wooden racket.
     
  21. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #21
    I've caught a couple Nadal matches, and Roddick matches on the tele and I find them both very entertaining to watch. On the female side, there is nothing more entertaining then watching a Williams sister get thumped; I love when they lose.
     
  22. amin macrumors 6502a

    amin

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    #22
    Tennis is a mental game. Federer right now is so mentally tough, it's unbelievable. 23 times in a row now that he has been in the finals or a tournament, he has one it. That nearly doubles the previous record set by Borg. The other thing is that the game has matured along with racquet technology, such that I don't think any of the old crowd (Lendl, Connors, McEnroe) could hang. I think he might just be the best ever at the moment. Whether he can sustain at this level is hard to say.
     
  23. Cooknn thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    #23
    I agree. Best ever now. The way he hits - it's incredible. I guess I am so impressed because he executes perfectly with the same form that I once attempted to develop. Whether or not he stands the test of time is another question. Regarding Andre's comment about Pete Sampras - in an odd way it seems he attempted to strip all of Sampras' accomplishments and give the helm to Roger. I put a lot of stock into Agassi's comment, but didn't he and Pete have some sort of issue :confused:
     
  24. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a

    Dynamyk

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    #24
    6/10 Grand Slam titles is ridiculous considering the level of todays competition. I am a huge Sampras fan but if Roger keeps on winning for a few years that title isn't as farfetched as it seems.
     
  25. StephenReason macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Distinguish

    Mr. Federer is certainly the most talented tennis player to ever pick up a racquet; few if any tennis scholars would argue.

    Whether he is the sport's best player ever will be determined by his accomplishments at retirement.
     

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