Many believe that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time. It shows in his record. His style oozes class that few can rival. The combination of these two gives him a strong case. However, there are others who question such claims, which leads others to ask, is he really?
WHY IS HE THE GREATEST
Again, Federer’s game oozes class. His one-handed backhand is always a thing of beauty to look at, and his forehand has always been considered as arguably the best forehand in the sport. To top it all off, his playstyle is economical to say the least, and it is as economical as it is brutal for his opponents. With elite-level control of the tennis court, he forces his opponents to run around the court.
He might also be the most versatile player ever to grace the tennis court. He has long been considered as the master of grass with multiple wins in the Wimbledon, but he also had wins on grass and clay. Sadly though, he shared the era with Rafael Nadal, arguably the best clay tennis player of all time. If not for him, he might have at least a few more championships to his name to add to his current 20.
Moreover, he comes out as the top player in an era that it a melting pot of tennis talent. Other than Nadal, he also had to compete against Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, and Andy Murray, two of which has tasted the number one spot at some point. All three can push anyone to their limits on their best days.
AND THEN WHY HE’S NOT
Federer’s case is strong, but many believe that Selena Williams is the one that should be hailed as the greatest of all time. She is an icon, and she ran over anyone who dared go against her. Also, she has three more grand slam championships than Federer which is a strong enough evidence that it should be her.
On the other hand, there are also those who sides with Pete Sampras. Many believe that Federer had it easy, competition wise. He had to against the likes of Andre Agassi and Boris Becker on a regular basis, to which he always came out on top, unlike Federer who occasionally drops the ball in certain courts and in certain games.
Moreover, people also claim that Federer started his reign way too soon. He is obviously much older than Nadal and Djokovic, who remains his closest rivals, and that age difference gave him the chance to pad his grand slam championship numbers easily. Many claims that if they started at around the same age as Federer, he might have fewer championships than he currently has.
At the end of the day, greatness is subjective. It is judged based on the eyes of the beholder. However, if you watch Federer closely, even for just a few minutes, you will notice his prowess for the game, and the way he controls the court and his opponents is enough for most to consider him as the greatest tennis player of all time.