Why Roger Federer is the GOAT

Roger Federer GOAT

Roger Federer keeps rewriting tennis history on a regular basis. Not just since his astonishing comeback victory in Melbourne he must surely be regarded as the Greatest male tennis player of all time.

But his feats in 2017 are not the reason why Federer must be considered as GOAT in tennis. There is so much more to him. Here are all the reasons why Roger Federer is the Greatest tennis player of all time.

Roger Federer Greatest of all time - GOAT
By Schulerst (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

1. The playing style

⦁    Economic playing style: It all seems so effortless and allows him to play for such a long time.
⦁    Beauty/Elegance: Every single match of Federer is like a mixture between a Hollywood action blockbuster and a Hugh Grant-romantic comedy. So entertaining, yet so beautiful. You simply can`t get enough of his movement. A British newspaper once called it “Poetry in motion” and thats a perfect description. He makes it look so easy.
⦁    Aggressiveness/no grinding: Federer`s playing style is very unique these days. It seems like all players on tour are only capable of baseline grinding. Serve&volley is nowhere to be seen. No risk, more fun is the motto. The Swiss is a nice change in this daily routine. He is super-aggressive, going for shots, attacking the net and makes full use of his huge repertoire.

 

Additional reading: Best tennis player ever – The Greatest of all Time

 

2. The records

He has broken pretty much all important records in tennis history. Even the incredible Connors`records (like most tournament wins) are seriously in danger. These are the most important an impressive ones:

  • 19 Grand Slam titles, a record 8 Wimbledon titles (and counting :-))
  • 29 Grand Slam finals
  • 36 consecutive Grand Slam Quarter-final appearances
  • At least 65 match wins at every Grand Slam tornament
  • 302 weeks as world no. 1
  • 1110 ATP match wins at this point (not a record, but so impressive)
  • I am sure there is more to come…

 

3. The game developement

⦁    Longevity/Consistency: The Maestro turned pro in 1999 and started dominating in 2003. For almost 5 years he dominated the tour as no one ever before. In 2008 the first setbacks came and when he didn`t win a major in 2011, the inevitable questions about retirement were asked. But Federer never gave up, although his physical abilities started to decline. He made the necessaryy changes, playing much more agressive to shorten the rallies and approached the net. He also changed to a bigger racket and at the age of 35 adjusted his backhand successfully.
⦁    Competitiveness/fighting spirit/Will to win: Everyone just talks about the sheer talent and how Nadal is the big fighter. The Spaniard certainly is that, but Federer nonetheless, it just doesn`t look like that due to his calm demeanor and smooth movement. But have you ever seen him give up? Or not his best? Have you ever seen him run away from challenges? No, he always leaves everything on court, because he has this incredible will to win every single time.
⦁    Sneak attack by Roger: In 2015 he introduced a new weapon, the SABR. Out of nowwhere he would move on to the t-line while the opponents service motion and return it right after the bounce. This allowed him to close in on the net quickly and also surprise the server, who wasn`t even fully recovered from the service motion. He was criticized for it, but the idea is just amazing, let alone being able to play it out (thanks to his hand-eye coordination).

 

 4. The on-court behaviour

⦁    No gamesmanship
⦁    No unnecessary medical time outs
⦁    Never retired when in a loosing position

 

5. The off-court behaviour

⦁    Handling of media, fans and fellow players: He is always there to do the media work, interact with fans and he doesn`t seem to get tired of it. Pretty much all of his opponents on tour and admire him, actually enjoy seeing him winning. Says a lot about how he handles other people. Arrogance nowhere to be found.
⦁    Charity work/Fundation for children in South Africa: Federer is very aware about how privileged he is and tries to give something back to society.
⦁    Honesty in interviews: He is one of the rare players (probably only behind Andy Roddick) to give interesting and insightful interviews, not just phrases.

 

Additional reading: The weak era myth – Federer`s competition

 

6.  The peRFect role model

⦁    Family man: Long-term relationship and then marriage with Mirka, where others would have done much more dating…given the opportunities a world number one player supposedly has.
⦁    Culturally interested: Roger Federer enjoys travelling the world and learn about the culture of the countries, where the tournaments take place.
⦁    Success: Well, how much more success could you possibly have? He is the perfect role model of how to carry yourself and move on and go after your dreams.

 

So do you agree? Is Roger Federer the Greatest of all time in your opinion? The GOAT? Or should anyone else be called that?

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