When someone achieves greatness for such a long time it doesn’t even make headlines anymore. Fans of the tennis world expect the final of the 2009 US Open to be Federer VS ??????. They just have to wait for the question marks to be figured out. In fact this press conference from yesterday proves the point.
“It’s just not easy to win Slams. It’s just that simple,” Federer said before the room roared ith wlaughter. “OK, you might think I have a lot, but I played many matches before where I didn’t win, as well. And semis or finals just doesn’t give you the win yet. It’s a tough road, and you have to finish the deal and it’s a hard thing to do.”
Federer’s eventual undoing of Sweden’s Robin Soderling – heavy winds aside – from last night’s quarterfinal, 6-0, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (6), turned dramatically competitive late but was a good enough exhibit for a small place in the Federer hall of masterpieces. It was Federer’s 12th-straight victory over the 12th-seeded Soderling.
Another title in Flushing Meadows would make Federer the first man since Bill Tilden in 1925 to win 6 straight U.S. titles, a comparison Federer called “fantastic” even as he reminded that he never saw Tilden – Tilden died 3 decades before Federer was born.
Federer’s march has gone largely unnoticed, as well, but his brilliant tennis will keep all eyes on his game this weekend. One aspect of his genius is his return of serve, notes Doug Robson in a USA Today analysis of men’s tennis trends. The return of serve has become the most important shot in modern men’s tennis, according to the study.
I was also reading yet another comparison between Roger Federer and Tiger Woods that said Tiger Woods was the greater athlete of his sport? Why? Let’s compare the gap between Woods and Federer and the second-best player in their respective sports. Woods has won 14 Grand Slam tournaments, and is within reach of Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18. Federer has 15 Grand Slam singles titles, the best in tennis history.
But let’s check out the record of their rivals. In golf, there’s a group of “2nd best” among Woods’ contemporaries: 4 other players all have won three majors. So that’s a gap of 11 majors between Woods and any of his rivals.
Meanwhile, in tennis, Rafael Nadal is the obvious second-best in the Federer era, and Nadal has won six Grand Slam singles titles — a gap of nine titles behind Federer. But my conclusion is different that of this “other” author. THis data proves that Federer is the best player ever WHILE Woods has been great during of lull of other greats in the golf world. Nadal has made Federer’s success look even more brilliant. Which player do you think is the greatest?