Even though Roger Federer lost, he's still the greatest athlete of all time

on 09 16, 2009

Roger Federer is the best athlete in the history of sports and it’s not even close. I hear you, guy in the polo shirt drinking Evian water, and yes Federer is indeed better than Tiger Woods. I hear you, toothless hockey bums, and Federer is more dominant than your beloved Wayne Gretzky. And I hear you superfans, and Federer is better than His Airness as well.

Roger Federer’s tennis game is an art-form. It’s Picasso at his very best, Shakespeare in shorts you could say, or maybe he even defies comparison. His numbers speak for themselves.

With his arrival in the U.S. Open semi-finals this week he has recorded his 22nd consecutive grand-slam semifinal appearance. The next closest such streak belongs to Rod Laver who made it to ten straight grand-slam semis. This means that Federer has been in the championship, or one match away, in every significant tennis tournament for the past 5 ½ years. That means over the course of those four years he will have won 11 of 16 grand-slams. Take that Tiger.

Federer has also accomplished the rare feat of winning all four grand-slam tournaments, something Pete Sampras never did because of his struggles at the French Open. He is a five time defending champion at the U.S. Open, looking to stretch that mark to 6 straight titles this year. Jordan had 6 championships total, Federer is looking to win 6 times just at the U.S. Open.

Wikipedia lists these accomplishments that Federer alone can claim in the sport of tennis: 15 grand slam titles, 20 grand slam finals appearances, 10 consecutive grand slam finals appearances, 4 straight years winning at least two grand slams, and 36 consecutive grand slam sets won. He also holds the record for most consecutive weeks ranked as the number on player in the world, 237 to be exact.

I know every fan out there that loves a different sport and thinks that tennis isn’t important is screaming about the dominance of Tiger, the iron will of Jordan, the legend of babe Ruth. That’s fine; I can’t take anything from those great athletes, except that Federer has simply been more epic, more clutch, and has a far more impressive legend.

Jordan was great, but Bill Russell won more titles. Ruth was epic, but he’s not even the all time hits or home runs leader in his sport. Tiger is the best his sport has seen, but he doesn’t have all the records yet, nor has he shown the machine like consistency that Federer has.

All the athletes I have mentioned are great but they have to share their greatness with other titans of their sport. Such a person does not exist for Roger Federer; he stands utterly alone as the best tennis player of all time.

I’ve often heard Jordan, Ruth, Gretzky, or Tiger described as “from another planet.” Well if that’s an accurate description, than Roger Federer is not from this universe.