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ESPN: Is Roger Federer the greatest (athlete of all time)? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : ESPN: Is Roger Federer the greatest (athlete of all time)?


eXcentris
07-18-12, 10:22 PM
No ladies and gentlemen, not just at tennis but:

"Name an athlete who has been better at a sport: There is no one"

Woahhhhh! Now I'm a huge tennis fan and also a Federer fan, and it's rather obvious to me that he is, both in terms of skills and accomplishments, the greatest tennis player of all time. But for some reason (well, controversy sells, which the author admits), that's not enough, "we need a greatest of the greatest damnit!". So the author throws the usual list of "greatest" (America centric with Pele thrown in for good measure):

"I threw (in an earlier article a few years back) the sports gods' names out there to compare, contrast and cause controversy: Woods, Armstrong, Russell, Brown, Ruth, Jordan, Gretzky, Pele, Ali. Should Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps win their respective events at the London Olympics, it will be appropriate to throw in their names as well."

Aside from questionable choices in that list (Woods over Nicklaus, Armstrong over Merckx which is silly, and Ali as the best boxer which is highly debatable), there's the inherent silliness of comparing individual sports to team sports.

Now that Federer won Wimbledon and his 17th Grand slam title, he goes on:

"I was forced to revisit.

So … is Federer better with a racket in his hands than Jordan was with the ball in his? Or Woods with a club in his? Gretzky with a stick? Greater at tennis than Ali was at boxing? Pele at soccer? Is he a greater tennis player than Ruth was a baseball player? Is he better on the court than Phelps is in the pool? Bolt on the track?

My friend/colleague/idol Rick Reilly wrote a great comparison of Federer and Woods, but this is so beyond just comparing Roger to Tiger it's not funny. All of "the others" must now be brought into the conversation. Tiger needs their help.

For me, the separation of Federer from everyone else comes in what he's done when he hasn't won. True, the 17 Grand Slams are bananas, but it's the 33 consecutive quarterfinal appearances in those Grand Slams that remain beyond comprehension and -- to me it is this fact that trumps almost all others' feats in all other sports -- that seven-year period in which Federer reached at least the semifinals in 23 straight Grand Slams. That is like Woods going seven years straight and never coming in worse than fourth in a major. Just let that marinate for a minute. Finished?

Monumental and epic, even. It really affirms the one element that characterizes greatness more than anything: Consistency. That separates Federer from sports icons and transcends into non-sports categories when trying to universally determine precisely what greatness is.

Now he certainly makes a valid point about "consistency". But then again, I already knew before this last Wimbledon win that Federer was "greater" than Woods. Sorry Tiger... The author carefully avoids direct comparison with the other greats he mentions, but as I stated before, perhaps he realized that comparing individual sports to team sport was an exercise of futility, regardless of "consistency".

And by "better at a sport", I can only assume that he means "better at a major pro sport" because, as impressive as Federer's accomplishments are, I can find (a few) athletes with more impressive resumes.

Now if we change that claim to "greatest athlete in a major individual pro sport" then I would be inclined to agree.

But as far as all time greats go, regardless of sport, individual or team, let's just say that he definitely belongs in that list of "greats" and leave it at that.

Full article:

http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/8160374/is-roger-federer-greatest-athlete-ever

Ky-Fi
07-18-12, 10:45 PM
I don't follow tennis closely enough to have been aware of Federer's accomplishments---I guess he's certainly up there.

I always put Gretzky in a category all his own. To completely shatter the records the way he did, in a VERY physical sport---and being pretty much of below average size, speed and strength---that's hard to top, IMO.

Sweet Baby James
07-19-12, 02:51 AM
^

The Great One certainly wasn't below average in speed and he had Marty McSorley to help him out with the size problem.:)

Quake1028
07-19-12, 08:12 AM
Nope. Greatest tennis player of all-time, but not greatest * of all-time.

Red Dog
07-19-12, 09:36 AM
Secretariat.

mcnabb
07-19-12, 09:44 AM
How can you say Federer is the great athlete of all-time, when he rarely beats Nadal in his own sport? Nadal pretty much owns him when they go one on one, and only injuries will limit him from having as many majors as Federer.

wendersfan
07-19-12, 10:07 AM
I have no idea. I just hope that one day we can get rid of Pele being the default automatic GOAT among people who don't follow soccer.

starman9000
07-19-12, 10:13 AM
I have no idea. I just hope that one day we can get rid of Pele being the default automatic GOAT among people who don't follow soccer.

:scratch2: Has Freddy Adu passed him already?

Michael Corvin
07-19-12, 10:36 AM
I've long since believed that *if* one was discussing greatest athletes of all time, a tennis player(s) should be at or near the top.

How do you classify greatest though? Accomplishments? Do you take into account how physical the sport is? Combination of both? I'm sure this will piss off some but take Tiger Woods as he could be tossed around for greatest golfer, but to even crack the top 10 of all athletes? Uh, it's... golf. Someone else carries the clubs and they ride in a cart between holes. :lol: Hell, I'd argue that Phelps or Bolt probably belong higher than Woods. Someone would have to make a helluva case to justify a golfer alongside more physical athletes.

How can you say Federer is the great athlete of all-time, when he rarely beats Nadal in his own sport? Nadal pretty much owns him when they go one on one, and only injuries will limit him from having as many majors as Federer.

:lol: Not a very strong case to dispute Federer. So who would you put at #1? Keep in mind by your standards they have to be undefeated. So that takes out Jordan, Woods, Gretzky, Ali, and oh yeah, every other athlete under the sun.

Also keep in mind when a tennis player(or any solo athlete) has a bad day/match, they lose. When Jordan, Montana or Gretzky had a bad game, there is an entire roster of guys to pick up the slack and still pull out a win. Who catches all those passes Montana throws? Who gets Jordan the ball? They are only as good as the players that surround them.

That's why I think a solo athlete would be at the top in a discussion like this.

At any rate it is an interesting discussion to think about.

wendersfan
07-19-12, 10:40 AM
:scratch2: Has Freddy Adu passed him already?Yes, and David Beckham. :lol:

eXcentris
07-19-12, 02:30 PM
How can you say Federer is the great athlete of all-time, when he rarely beats Nadal in his own sport? Nadal pretty much owns him when they go one on one, and only injuries will limit him from having as many majors as Federer.

1. Tennis isn't boxing, head to head has no significance whatsoever on rankings/accomplishments, although you could use it as a tie-breaker IF the accomplishments were somewhat similar.

2. Head to head:

...FEDERER NADAL TOTAL
HARD 6 5 11
CLAY 2 12 14
GRASS 2 1 3
TOTAL 10 18 28

As you can see, clay skews the results in favor of Nadal, arguably the greatest clay court player of all time. If Federer wasn't so good on clay and didn't meet Nadal in all those clay court semi finals or finals he would have a better H2H against Nadal and would therefore be a better player? Losing earlier in a tournament makes you better than making the final? Silly isn't it.

3. Furthermore, when Nadal was younger, he simply wasn't very good on surfaces other than clay. So when Federer was making all these hard court and grass finals, Nadal had already lost, denying Federer the opportunity to avenge his clay court losses. And to this day, Nadal has never beaten Federer on "fast" hard court (USO, Cincy, Dubai, WTF Year End Championship).

Extensive breakdown of H2H here:

http://tennisology101.com/2011/06/10/federer-nadal-the-head-to-head-anomoly-2/

Goat3001
07-19-12, 02:44 PM
My friend/colleague/idol Rick Reilly

This guy needs to be euthanized.

Red Dog
07-19-12, 03:01 PM
I'm also glad that we get to claim Gretzky as an American now. :thumbsup:

For me, the separation of Federer from everyone else comes in what he's done when he hasn't won. True, the 17 Grand Slams are bananas, but it's the 33 consecutive quarterfinal appearances in those Grand Slams that remain beyond comprehension and -- to me it is this fact that trumps almost all others' feats in all other sports -- that seven-year period in which Federer reached at least the semifinals in 23 straight Grand Slams. That is like Woods going seven years straight and never coming in worse than fourth in a major. Just let that marinate for a minute. Finished?

That's a rather silly way to compare things. It's apples and oranges. In comparing Fed vs. Tiger (or Jack if you prefer), one thing to remember is that a tennis player need only defeat 7 people to win a GS title (4 to make the quarters). A golfer has to defeat over a hundred (to finish 1st or even 4th). Now if golf was all match play, you could make the comparison. One terrible shot can cost you major in golf (see Jim Furyk at the U.S. Open this year).

I'm not surprised that this drivel came from Rick Reilly.

Osiris3657
07-19-12, 03:07 PM
How can you say Federer is the great athlete of all-time, when he rarely beats Nadal in his own sport? Nadal pretty much owns him when they go one on one, and only injuries will limit him from having as many majors as Federer.

I see that all your tennis knowledge comes from the 5 minutes Sportscenter spends on tennis during its majors.

Dubya
07-19-12, 03:11 PM
That's a rather silly way to compare things. It's apples and oranges. In comparing Fed vs. Tiger (or Jack if you prefer), one thing to remember is that a tennis player need only defeat 7 people to win a GS title (4 to make the quarters). A golfer has to defeat over a hundred (to finish 1st or even 4th). Now if golf was all match play, you could make the comparison. One terrible shot can cost you major in golf (see Jim Furyk at the U.S. Open this year).

I'm not surprised that this drivel came from Rick Reilly.

It didn't, it came from Scoop Jackson. It may be silly to compare it to golf but the point remains that Federer's streak of semi-final appearances in grand slams should be recognized as one of the great records in all of sports.

Red Dog
07-19-12, 03:13 PM
It didn't, it came from Scoop Jackson. It may be silly to compare it to golf but the point remains that Federer's streak of semi-final appearances in grand slams should be recognized as one of the great records in all of sports.

I don't know who that is. Sure it should be recognized (is it not being recognized? :hscratch: ), but I don't know why we need something to compare it to (particularly a weak comparison) to know that. And if you are going to compare it to something, why not simply the 2nd longest such streak in tennis slams, whatever that may be.

Mordred
07-19-12, 03:20 PM
Federer might be the best tennis player ever, but guys like Nadal are obviously at least close to where he is talent wise.

Nobody was close to Gretzky in his prime. For joke's sake, lets say Federer is 25% better than every other tennis player currently playing.

Gretzky led the league in Goals and assists for 5 out of 6 years between 81-87. He led the league in assists and points for 8 straight years.
In 81-82, Gretzky scored 43% more goals than the #2 guy. He had 29% more assists than #2. 44% more points than #2.
82-83: 8% more goals, 45% more assists, 58% points
83-84: 55% goals, 37% assists, 62% points
84-85: 3% goals (number 2 was his teammate Kurri, the recipient of:), 60% assists, 54% points
85-86: Kurri had 30% more goals than Gretzky who finished 6th, he had 75% more assists though, 52% points
86-87: 7% goals, 68% assists, 69% points

I could go on, but you get my point. Over that period his point totals were 56% higher than the #2 guy in the league. Obviously it helped playing with a guy like Kurri, but come on... those numbers are ridiculous. Hard to argue there's a more dominant player out there in any sport.

Red Dog
07-19-12, 03:21 PM
Oh and by the way, what makes Jack Nicklaus so dominating at golf is, as this fool said, "what he's done when he hasn't won." I guess he never bothered to look that up (maybe picking Tiger for a reason). Jack won 18 majors (and 2 US Amateurs) but also registered 19 2nd places, and 9 3rd places with a total 56 top-5s in majors!

I don't know who #2 is in top-5 finishes, but I doubt it's anywhere near 56. Tiger has 29.

Dubya
07-19-12, 03:25 PM
I don't know who that is. Sure it should be recognized (is it not being recognized? :hscratch: ), but I don't know why we need something to compare it to (particularly a weak comparison) to know that. And if you are going to compare it to something, why not simply the 2nd longest such streak in tennis slams, whatever that may be.

Didn't mean to imply it wasn't recognized at all, just that it doesn't get the publicity it deserves as one of the all time sports records because tennis isn't up there with baseball, basketball and the like when it comes to numerical sports records.

eXcentris
07-19-12, 03:36 PM
One might argue that it's harder to win a major in golf, but I don't think that's true. If 15 different guys have won the last 15 majors, doesn't that make it easier for (almost) anyone to win a major? The point that should really be made is that it's probably harder to dominate in golf than in tennis, which is almost the same but not quite. well... huh... :)

Plus, I don't get this argument: To win a slam in tennis you only have to beat 7 guys, but in golf you have to beat 100 golfers. Huh... your direct competition is the course, not the other players. Heck you can lose your pairing and finish 30th and still get to play the next day, with a shot at the title.

eXcentris
07-19-12, 03:40 PM
Nobody was close to Gretzky in his prime.

Nobody was close to Federer in his prime either. I think most people are just not familiar enough with tennis to realize that. Plus, there's the consistency factor. 23 consecutive grand slam semi-finals (over 7 years) is an astonishing record. The 2nd closest (Lendl) has 10.

Red Dog
07-19-12, 03:45 PM
It's most definitely harder to win a major in golf. 15 different guys winning it seems to demonstrate that fact to me: that no golfer has won at least twice in nearly 4 years. The best 3 guys in tennis win all the majors. The best 3 guys in golf - hell, if you go by the rankings, they collectively have won 1 of the last 15. But I'm willing to go by your 'dominate' comment even if you are confused by it.

You are playing the course but you can't beat a course, unless you can ace every hole like Kim Jong-Il. You aren't playing against your playing partner (unless it's match play) - you are playing against everyone at once. That's the point.

eXcentris
07-19-12, 03:50 PM
Sure, like I said, it's harder to dominate in golf but this disadvantage is somewhat nullified by the fact that you can play golf at a high level for much longer than tennis.

starman9000
07-19-12, 03:51 PM
But you don't have to beat anyone on a given day in golf either. A bad day in tennis, and your tournament is done.

Red Dog
07-19-12, 03:53 PM
And that's true, but no matter how you slice it, in effectively a 30-year career (from 20 to 50), Jack nearly averaged 2 top-5s a year in majors. That's nearly inconceivable to me.

I just think it's nonsensical to compare finishes in golf majors vis a vis tennis majors. They are completely different set-ups.

Red Dog
07-19-12, 03:56 PM
But you don't have to beat anyone on a given day in golf either. A bad day in tennis, and your tournament is done.

You shoot a 76 in a round in a major, and your tournament is probably done (go ask Lee Westwood today ;) and he shot a 73). I remember one British Open -- Tiger shot something like -10 over 3 rounds (best in the field) when the weather was great. He shot something like +6 on the other day and lost by 3 or 4 shots.

And like I said - one bad shot in golf can kill your chances. See again Jim Furyk last month. Or Phil Mickelson on the 71st hole at the last US Open at Oakmont. One bad shot in tennis? Not really, unless you're in a tiebreaker or something.

CRM114
07-19-12, 04:00 PM
How can you say Federer is the great athlete of all-time, when he rarely beats Nadal in his own sport? Nadal pretty much owns him when they go one on one, and only injuries will limit him from having as many majors as Federer.

Please. Nadal needs to get his shoeshine box when he's around Federer.

I've never seen a player like Federer. It's awe-inspiring.

CRM114
07-19-12, 04:02 PM
That's a rather silly way to compare things. It's apples and oranges. In comparing Fed vs. Tiger (or Jack if you prefer), one thing to remember is that a tennis player need only defeat 7 people to win a GS title (4 to make the quarters). A golfer has to defeat over a hundred (to finish 1st or even 4th). Now if golf was all match play, you could make the comparison. One terrible shot can cost you major in golf (see Jim Furyk at the U.S. Open this year).

Comparing a golfer and a tennis player is laughable. Calling a golfer an athlete is bad enough.

Michael Corvin
07-19-12, 04:09 PM
You are playing the course but you can't beat a course, unless you can ace every hole like Kim Jong-Il. You aren't playing against your playing partner (unless it's match play) - you are playing against everyone at once. That's the point.

No, you're not playing against anyone. There is no offense/defense. You're playing against the scorecard. The other 99 people are incidental.

Red Dog
07-19-12, 04:14 PM
No, you're not playing against anyone. There is no offense/defense. You're playing against the scorecard. The other 99 people are incidental.

Fine, you're competing against 100+ golfers.

This reminds me of the inane whats-a-sport threads we used to have.

Goat3001
07-19-12, 04:14 PM
Comparing a golfer and a tennis player is laughable. Calling a golfer an athlete is bad enough.

John Daly disagrees

http://splitsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/jondalyisjohndaly_com_049-e1342543788660.jpeg

Red Dog
07-19-12, 04:18 PM
I just want to know where Joey Chestnut is in this discussion. He dominates his sport, whether he's competing against the hot dog or EaterX. And he completely made the former dominating eater, Kobayashi, run away from the biggest event like a scared little baby.

Mordred
07-19-12, 04:29 PM
Good point Red Dog. Competitive eating is unfortunately often overlooked in these discussions. Joey Chestnut is truly the greatest athlete any of us have ever seen or will ever see.

eXcentris
07-19-12, 04:31 PM
Actually, the greatest athlete of our time is a tennis player but it's not Roger Federer. ;)


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6d/Esther_Vergeer_2010.jpg/220px-Esther_Vergeer_2010.jpg

Esther Vergeer (born 18 July 1981, Woerden) is a Dutch wheelchair tennis player. Combining singles and doubles, she has won 42 Grand Slams, 22 year-end championships and 5 Paralympics titles. Vergeer has been the world number one wheelchair tennis player since 1999. In singles, she has not been beaten since January 2003 and is on a winning streak of 457 matches. She is often mentioned as the most dominant player in professional sports.

Red Dog
07-19-12, 04:45 PM
Good point Red Dog. Competitive eating is unfortunately often overlooked in these discussions. Joey Chestnut is truly the greatest athlete any of us have ever seen or will ever see.

But best we not leave out the 2-time world Poutine eating champion - an American, no less: Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti.

Mabuse
07-19-12, 05:01 PM
Richard Petty

Go ahead and close the thread.

eXcentris
07-19-12, 07:13 PM
Who the heck is Richard Petty?

Proof thread needs to continue.

classicman2
07-19-12, 07:24 PM
You know who Richard Petty is.

classicman2
07-19-12, 07:30 PM
You have to be an athlete to be competitive in tennis. You don't have to be to be competitive in golf.

I think golf requires more of a variety of skills that does tennis. I also suspect that golf requires more concentration than does tennis.

Thrush
07-19-12, 08:45 PM
This guy needs to be euthanized.

From your mouth to God's ears.

chowderhead
07-19-12, 09:47 PM
No. Federer is not. Nadal pretty much owns him on clay.

Osiris3657
07-19-12, 10:33 PM
No. Federer is not. Nadal pretty much owns him on clay.

Terrible argument and proof that you don't follow tennis.

Michael Corvin
07-20-12, 01:45 AM
Actually, the greatest athlete of our time is a tennis player but it's not Roger Federer. ;)

Impressive, but (this is going to sound sexist) but until women play equal sets (best of 5) they aren't on par with the men. I still disagree that purse winnings being equal despite this discrepancy in play.

I'd love to see Serena go 5 sets with Federer and see if they are on par with each other.

Sweet Baby James
07-20-12, 02:14 AM
I'd love to see Serena go 5 sets with Federer and see if they are on par with each other.

That match would only go 3 sets and the score would be 6-0, 6-0 and 6-0.

Boba Fett
07-20-12, 03:01 AM
Jim Thorpe.

chowderhead
07-20-12, 01:59 PM
Terrible argument and proof that you don't follow tennis.

Why? If Federer is the best tennis player ever, he should be dominate on all surfaces. Nadal owns him on clay.

Red Dog
07-20-12, 02:02 PM
Borg dominated on both clay and grass. Granted, hard court seemed to be his kryptonite, which is strange.

Thrush
07-20-12, 02:16 PM
Why? If Federer is the best tennis player ever, he should be dominate on all surfaces. Nadal owns him on clay.

Its not like Federer dominates him on non-clay surfaces either. They're basically tied on other surfaces and Nadal completely owns him on clay.

wendersfan
07-20-12, 02:27 PM
Why? If Federer is the best tennis player ever, he should be dominate on all surfaces. Nadal owns him on clay.

eXcentris already explained this:

As you can see, clay skews the results in favor of Nadal, arguably the greatest clay court player of all time. If Federer wasn't so good on clay and didn't meet Nadal in all those clay court semi finals or finals he would have a better H2H against Nadal and would therefore be a better player? Losing earlier in a tournament makes you better than making the final? Silly isn't it.

3. Furthermore, when Nadal was younger, he simply wasn't very good on surfaces other than clay. So when Federer was making all these hard court and grass finals, Nadal had already lost, denying Federer the opportunity to avenge his clay court losses. And to this day, Nadal has never beaten Federer on "fast" hard court (USO, Cincy, Dubai, WTF Year End Championship).
Nadal is arguably at the peak of his talent right now, while Federer is several years past his peak, yet Federer is still as good a player, across all surfaces, as Nadal, right now. The question isn't whether Federer is better than Nadal, the question is whether Federer at his peak was better than Sampras at his peak.

eXcentris
07-20-12, 02:45 PM
Federer is great on all surfaces, and even at 31, in an era when tennis is more physically demanding than ever, he still manages to be incredibly consistent. Heck, he just regained the #1 ranking, beating Sampras's record of weeks at #1. He just happened to run into Nadal, the greatest clay court player of all time. And "greatest" does not equate to "perfect". I'm pretty sure you can find flaws in any "great" resume.

eXcentris
07-20-12, 03:01 PM
Here's (most of) Federer's accomplishments:

Most GS titles
1. Roger Federer 17
2. Pete Sampras 14
3. Bjorn Borg 11
= Rafael Nadal 11
5. Jimmy Connors 8
= Ivan Lendl 8
= Andre Agassi 8
8. John McEnroe 7
= Mats Wilander 7
10. Stefan Edberg 6
= Boris Becker 6

GS finals
1. Roger Federer 24
2. Ivan Lendl 19
3. Pete Sampras 18
4. Bjorn Borg 16
= Rafael Nadal 16
6. Jimmy Connors 15
= Andre Agassi 15
8. John McEnroe 11
= Mats Wilander 11
= Stefan Edberg 11

Consecutive GS finals
1. Roger Federer 10
2. Roger Federer 8
3. Rafael Nadal 5
4. Andre Agassi 4
= Rod Laver 4
= Novak Djokovic 4
7. Jimmy Connors 3
= Bjorn Borg 3
= Bjorn Borg 3
= Bjorn Borg 3
= Ivan Lendl 3
= John McEnroe 3
= Ivan Lendl 3
= Ivan Lendl 3
= Mats Wilander 3
= Jim Courier 3
= Jim Courier 3
= Pete Sampras 3
= Rafael Nadal 3


GS semi-finals
1. Roger Federer 32
2. Jimmy Connors 31
3. Ivan Lendl 28
4. Andre Agassi 26
5. Pete Sampras 23
6. John McEnroe 19
= Stefan Edberg 19
8. Boris Becker 18
9. Bjorn Borg 17
= Rafael Nadal 16

Consecutive GS semi-finals
1. Roger Federer 23
2. Ivan Lendl 10
3. Novak Djokovic 9
4. Ivan Lendl 6
= Nadal 6
= Andy Murray 6?
6. Novak Djokovic 5
= Boris Becker 5
8. Rod Laver 4
9. Tony Roche 4
= John McEnroe 4
= Andre Agassi 4
= Jim Courer 4
= Nadal 4


All Four Slams Per Year
Rod Laver 1969

Three Slams Per Year
Jimmy Connors 1974
Mats Wilander 1988
Roger Federer 2004
Roger Federer 2006
Roger Federer 2007
Rafael Nadal 2010
Novak Djokovic 2011


All Four Finals Per Year
Roger Federer 2006
Roger Federer 2007
Roger Federer 2009
Rod Laver 1969

All Four Semi-finals Per Year
Rod Laver 1969
Ivan Lendl 1987
Roger Federer 2005
Roger Federer 2006
Roger Federer 2007
Roger Federer 2008
Roger Federer 2009
Rafael Nadal 2008
Novak Djokovic 2011
Andy Murray 2011

Most consecutive matches won at one Grand Slam event:
1. Bjorn Borg (Wimbledon), 41
2. Roger Federer (Wimbledon), 40
= Roger Federer (US Open), 40
4. Pete Sampras (Wimbledon), 31
= Rafael Nadal (French Open), 31

Most consecutive Slams played:
1. Wayne Ferreira 56
2. Roger Federer 51
3. Feliciano Lopez 42
4. David Ferrer 40
5. Fernando Verdasco 37
6. Tomas Berdych 36
7. Albert Montanes 32
= Philipp Kohlschreiber 32
9. Nicolas Almagro 31
10. Novak Djokovic 31

Most Grand Slam match wins
1. Roger Federer 244
2. Jimmy Connors 233 wins
3. Andre Agassi 224 wins
4. Ivan Lendl 222 wins
5. Pete Sampras 204 wins

Year-End Championships
1. Roger Federer 6
2. Ivan Lendl 5
= Pete Sampras 5
4. Ilie Nastase 3
= John McEnroe 3
= Boris Becker 3

Most Weeks at #1
1. Roger Federer 287 (and counting)
2. Pete Sampras 286
3. Ivan Lendl 270
4. Jimmy Connors 268
5. John McEnroe 170
6. Bjorn Borg 109
7. Rafael Nadal 102
8. Andre Agassi 101
9. Lleyton Hewitt 80
10. Stefan Edberg 72

Consecutive Weeks at #1
1. Roger Federer (1) 237
2. Jimmy Connors (1) 160
3. Ivan Lendl (1) 157
4. Pete Sampras (1) 102
5. Jimmy Connors (2) 84
6. Pete Sampras (2) 82
7. Ivan Lendl (2) 80
8. Lleyton Hewitt (1) 75
9. John McEnroe (1) 58
10. Rafael Nadal (1) 56

Year End #1
1. Sampras 6
2. Federer 5
3. Borg 4
4. Connors 3
= Lendl 3
= McEnroe 3

Highest Season Winning Percentage
1. John McEnroe (1984) .965 82–3
2. Jimmy Connors (1974) .959 93–4
3. Roger Federer (2005) .953 81–4
4. Roger Federer (2006) .948 92–5
5. Bjorn Borg (1979) .933 84–6
6. Ivan Lendl (1986) .925 74–6
7. Roger Federer (2004) .925 74–6
8. Ivan Lendl (1985) .923 84–7
9. Ivan Lendl (1982) .922 106–9
10. Bjorn Borg (1980) .921 70–6
= Novak Djokovic (2011) 0.921 70-6[/quote]

PhantomStranger
07-20-12, 03:05 PM
Fed is the most dominant tennis player of all time, but he had a losing record against his main rival, Nadal, when it mattered. That and the fact that the talent pool for tennis is awfully shallow, because it is still largely only played by upper middle-class people across the globe, are the main reasons why Fed is not the answer. The best athletes in the world are largely driven towards soccer and basketball, except in the US where football reigns supreme.

Michael Corvin
07-20-12, 03:08 PM
Not to interrupt the Federer stat-fest, but:

All Four Slams Per Year
Rod Laver 1969

Didn't Agassi become the 2nd person to accomplish this? Where'd the stats come from?

Noonan
07-20-12, 03:09 PM
The most surprising stat on that list for me is that Sampras only had up to 3 consecutive GS finals.

Red Dog
07-20-12, 03:10 PM
The best athletes in the world are largely driven towards soccer and basketball, except in the US where football reigns supreme.

Strictly atheletically speaking, I've always said that Bo Jackson exhibited the greatest athletic ability in my lifetime.

Noonan
07-20-12, 03:12 PM
It may be a jaded outlook but I don't think anyone during my 30 years matches Jordan. The guy would play 36 holes of golf before matches at Barcelona. In his prime, no one could keep up with him.

wishbone
07-20-12, 03:14 PM
http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/6008/boknowstecmosisterraide.jpg

:lol:

Michael Corvin
07-20-12, 03:16 PM
It may be a jaded outlook but I don't think anyone during my 30 years matches Jordan. The guy would play 36 holes of golf before matches at Barcelona. In his prime, no one could keep up with him.

Maybe but he doesn't play 3 hour games non-stop out in the noon heat. He's got A/C, a bench to rest on during time outs, half-time, etc. Shouldn't be on the list. ;)

Noonan
07-20-12, 03:17 PM
That's a good point. And a lot of Fed's matches far exceeded the 3 hour mark too.

Red Dog
07-20-12, 03:19 PM
http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/6008/boknowstecmosisterraide.jpg

:lol:

He was an absolute beast in Tecmo. I think everyone but LT and maybe Singletary would just bounce off him. :lol:

eXcentris
07-20-12, 03:23 PM
Fed is the most dominant tennis player of all time, but he had a losing record against his main rival, Nadal, when it mattered.

Already explained. Plus, tennis isn't boxing.

That and the fact that the talent pool for tennis is awfully shallow, because it is still largely only played by upper middle-class people across the globe, are the main reasons why Fed is not the answer.

This is completely false. And there are several nations where tennis is the 2nd or 3rd sport after soccer. The depth of talent in tennis is deeper than it's ever been.


The best athletes in the world are largely driven towards soccer and basketball, except in the US where football reigns supreme.

It's not an all or nothing scenario. Even if a lot of talent is funneled towards soccer, that doesn't mean that kids would automatically choose soccer over tennis, or that there would not be enough athletes to go around so to speak.
Basketball is irrelevant because it requires a different type of physique/athlete.

I mean really, we're not talking about some third tier sport like squash or field hockey here...

eXcentris
07-20-12, 03:32 PM
Not to interrupt the Federer stat-fest, but:

All Four Slams Per Year
Rod Laver 1969

Didn't Agassi become the 2nd person to accomplish this? Where'd the stats come from?

The "Grand Slam" refers to winning all 4 slams in a single season. Only Rod Laver has been able to achieve that in the Open Era. A great accomplishment, but one should note that slams at that time were only played on 2 surfaces, grass and clay.

Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988) did it as well.

Ky-Fi
07-20-12, 03:46 PM
...Steffi Graf (1988) did it as well.


http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/pr/subs/swimsuit/images/97_sgraff_01.jpg




...sorry....back to your debate...

LurkerDan
07-20-12, 03:51 PM
As a tennis player, overall with entire careers under consideration, Federer is the greatest of all time. Not sure how there's a debate there. Nadal is fantastic, one of the greatest, but he doesn't really come all that close. And imagine a world where Nadal didn't exist; Fed would have records we can only dream of; the same couldn't be said in reverse.

That said, I don't view him as the GOAT across all sports. The greatest athlete I have seen in my lifetime was Bo Jackson, and nobody comes close.

classicman2
07-20-12, 04:46 PM
O.J. Simpson has to be the greatest athlete of all-time. Anyone who can do what he did on the football field; make a ton of money being a lousy actor; and, being slippery enough to get away with the cold-blooded murder of two people.

Red Dog
07-20-12, 05:06 PM
O.J. Simpson has to be the greatest athlete of all-time. Anyone who can do what he did on the football field; make a ton of money being a lousy actor; and, being slippery enough to get away with the cold-blooded murder of two people.

Don't forget his hurdling in the airport in Hertz commercials.

Calculon
07-20-12, 05:57 PM
This debate will be moot when LeBron wins his seventh NBA title.

chowderhead
07-20-12, 06:03 PM
eXcentris already explained this:

Nadal is arguably at the peak of his talent right now, while Federer is several years past his peak, yet Federer is still as good a player, across all surfaces, as Nadal, right now. The question isn't whether Federer is better than Nadal, the question is whether Federer at his peak was better than Sampras at his peak.


Excluding clay, Federer defeats Nadal 8-6 head to head. That is not exactly dominating.
Nadal is 12-2 against Federer on clay.

All matches: Nadal, 1810
All finals: Nadal, 136
Grand Slam matches: Nadal, 82
Grand Slam finals: Nadal, 62

When they meet, Nadal holds his own against Federer and dominates him on clay.

Red Dog
07-20-12, 06:10 PM
This debate will be moot when LeBron wins his seventh NBA title.

No no.....apparently basketball players are irrelavant and thus ineligible for consideration.

Quake1028
07-20-12, 06:20 PM
The most surprising stat on that list for me is that Sampras only had up to 3 consecutive GS finals.

Sampras couldn't play on clay at all.

Osiris3657
07-20-12, 06:50 PM
Excluding clay, Federer defeats Nadal 8-6 head to head. That is not exactly dominating.
Nadal is 12-2 against Federer on clay.

All matches: Nadal, 18–10
All finals: Nadal, 13–6
Grand Slam matches: Nadal, 8–2
Grand Slam finals: Nadal, 6–2

When they meet, Nadal holds his own against Federer and dominates him on clay.

Stop, just stop with the Nadal head to head. It's a dumb argument. It's like me saying that Jordan isn't the greatest basketball player because he was defended well by Joe Dumars who won 2 titles over Jordan in 89 and 90. You do NOT have to be invincible, unbeatable, and have a great record against every single opponent to be considered the greatest at your sport.

eXcentris
07-20-12, 06:57 PM
Excluding clay, Federer defeats Nadal 8-6 head to head. That is not exactly dominating.
Nadal is 12-2 against Federer on clay.

All matches: Nadal, 18–10
All finals: Nadal, 13–6
Grand Slam matches: Nadal, 8–2
Grand Slam finals: Nadal, 6–2

When they meet, Nadal holds his own against Federer and dominates him on clay.


I've already explained why the H2H argument is silly...

One more time, you're penalizing Federer for being good on clay. And it's not Federer's fault that Nadal, early in his career, and now on fast(er) hard courts, simply wasn't/isn't good enough to make it late in tournaments where Federer could beat him.

LurkerDan
07-20-12, 07:08 PM
I've already explained why the H2H argument is silly...

One more time, you're penalizing Federer for being good on clay. And it's not Federer's fault that Nadal, early in his career, and now on fast(er) hard courts, simply wasn't/isn't good enough to make it late in tournaments where Federer could beat him.

Perhaps the proper stat (if it could be compiled) is the record of each in tournaments which they both entered.

LurkerDan
07-20-12, 07:09 PM
Nevertheless, there is no question that there is a period of time when both were playing -- and playing well -- where Nadal was better.

Red Dog
07-20-12, 07:23 PM
Great h2h is now irrelavant in tennis. Maybe it is more like golf than I thought. :lol:

eXcentris
07-20-12, 10:15 PM
Of course H2H is irrelevant in tennis. It has no impact on rankings or anything else. It wasn't even an "official" stat until the media, forever looking for stuff to talk about, pressured the ATP to keep track of it.

Essentially, nobody cares about H2H in tennis, except silly (and increasingly desperate) Nadal fans trying to diminish Federer's accomplishments...

LurkerDan
07-20-12, 11:49 PM
Of course H2H is irrelevant in tennis. It has no impact on rankings or anything else. It wasn't even an "official" stat until the media, forever looking for stuff to talk about, pressured the ATP to keep track of it.

Essentially, nobody cares about H2H in tennis, except silly (and increasingly desperate) Nadal fans trying to diminish Federer's accomplishments...

oh, please, that's rubbish. H2H matters, just not as much as some think it does. The reality is that there was a period where Nadal was better than Fed, and not just on clay. And H2H is part of that.

Fed is the "greater" player because he was the best for much longer.

eXcentris
07-21-12, 01:47 PM
No H2H doesn't matter. You never ever hear H2H brought up about any other players. For the gazillion time, tennis isn't boxing.

Red Dog
07-21-12, 01:54 PM
I think the problem is Nadal isn't Canadian nor can speak French. ;)

LurkerDan
07-21-12, 03:27 PM
No H2H doesn't matter. You never ever hear H2H brought up about any other players. For the gazillion time, tennis isn't boxing.

Every single tennis match I have watched -- every single one -- the commentators discuss the H2H record of the 2 players in the match. Every single discussion of the greats and their comparative greatness, be it Sampras, Agassi, Lendl, McEnroe, Connors, Graf, or Seles, H2H is brought up for those of the same era.

I get your point and agree with it in large part, that H2H is certainly not as important as some make it out to be, but you're making yourself look silly by insisting that it is utterly irrelevant. But then, you have a way of making yourself look silly in tennis threads, because you always insist that anyone who disagrees with you doesn't just disagree with you, but obviously isn't a real tennis fan if they do. Get over yourself. In a sport where two players square off against each other, H2H record matters.

eXcentris
07-21-12, 04:09 PM
Every single tennis match I have watched -- every single one -- the commentators discuss the H2H record of the 2 players in the match. Every single discussion of the greats and their comparative greatness, be it Sampras, Agassi, Lendl, McEnroe, Connors, Graf, or Seles, H2H is brought up for those of the same era.

Yes, the commentators, the same people who asked the ATP to keep a stat which didn't exist, because it gives them stuff to talk about...


I get your point and agree with it in large part, that H2H is certainly not as important as some make it out to be, but you're making yourself look silly by insisting that it is utterly irrelevant.

No, I said it might be relevant as some sort of tie-break for two players with similar accomplishments. And even then, I can think of a few other factors which would have more relevance (surface breakdown, %win in "same tournaments played", weeks at #1, etc...). But yeah, the way it's used now 99.9% of the time, it's meaningless.


But then, you have a way of making yourself look silly in tennis threads, because you always insist that anyone who disagrees with you doesn't just disagree with you, but obviously isn't a real tennis fan if they do. Get over yourself.


Really? :lol:

In a sport where two players square off against each other, H2H record matters.

Yeah, to talking heads it does... And to people who confuse tennis with boxing... It has no bearing whatsoever on rankings, accomplishments, or anything else. And everytime I hear H2H brought up, it invariably involves Federer and Nadal. How strange...

LurkerDan
07-21-12, 05:02 PM
It involves Fed and Nadal because for crying out loud, they're the 2 current players that people are debating about! In 2012, nobody's talking about Sampras and Agassi or Seles and Graf, but they sure were back then. But whatever, we're all just boobs who don't understand tennis, you're the only one who does.

bluetoast
07-21-12, 07:28 PM
Yes, the commentators, the same people who asked the ATP to keep a stat which didn't exist, because it gives them stuff to talk about...

Yeah but to be fair, a lot of those commentators are former pros themselves, including both McEnroes, Cahill, Carillo etc (Shriver sucks so I won't count her).

Osiris3657
07-22-12, 12:58 AM
Shriver sucks as a commentator but she did win 21 GS doubles titles (and was #3 in singles at one point). She had a pretty good career. I was so happy to not see any Bud Collins or Dick Enberg during this year's GS's...now if only they could drop that **** Chris McKendry.

Red Dog
07-22-12, 04:02 AM
The irony is that I thought Fed was the greatest tennis player ever before this thread existed. Now.... ?

classicman2
07-22-12, 07:51 AM
The irony is that I thought Fed was the greatest tennis player ever before this thread existed. Now.... ?

I thought Fed was the greatest tennis ever before this thread existed. Now I'm certain of it .

LurkerDan
07-22-12, 03:25 PM
yeah, I don't think there should be any doubt of that.

PhantomStranger
07-22-12, 07:37 PM
What is this nonsense that head-to-head doesn't matter in tennis, an individual sport? That is the lamest argument I've ever seen Fed fans come up with in defending his greatness.

Howie2000
07-22-12, 08:26 PM
Federer is easily my favorite tennis player and maybe one of my 3 or 4 favorite athletes of all time but I think it's impossible to say who is the best ever in the sport and kind of a huge diss to the Pre Open era players.

wendersfan
07-23-12, 08:43 AM
What is this nonsense that head-to-head doesn't matter in tennis, an individual sport? That is the lamest argument I've ever seen Fed fans come up with in defending his greatness.
Head-to-head is a skewed sample. The reason why Federer hasn't defeated Nadal as much is because Nadal isn't good enough to get to as many finals against Federer other than on clay (Nadal's best surface, and the only one on which he's better than Federer). It's only "nonsense" if you don't understand how the sport works.

LurkerDan
07-23-12, 10:37 AM
Head-to-head is a skewed sample. The reason why Federer hasn't defeated Nadal as much is because Nadal isn't good enough to get to as many finals against Federer other than on clay (Nadal's best surface, and the only one on which he's better than Federer). It's only "nonsense" if you don't understand how the sport works.

But it's not nonsense to completely ignore H2H when you're in some greatest of all time discussion. Is Federer an overall better tennis player than Nadal? Yes, and using H2h in that discussion is nonsense. But greatest ever in any sport? It becomes harder to anoint someone that when their chief rival had their number, so to speak. i know the reasons, Fed's game doesn't match up well against Nadal's, and the clay court dominance of Nadal also skews things in his favor. But the fact remains, it's hard to say Fed is the greatest athlete ever when his chief rival was better than him head to head. Because the greatest ever should be able to best his chief rival.

wendersfan
07-23-12, 10:58 AM
I'm not trying to argue that Federer is the greatest athlete of all-time, or even greatest athlete in an individual sport. I'm just saying that Federer is almost certainly the best tennis player of all-time, and if he's not, then Pete Sampras is.

And FWIW, I'm familiar with, and have seen play on numerous occasions, ever great player from Laver to the present.

LurkerDan
07-23-12, 11:07 AM
I'm not trying to argue that Federer is the greatest athlete of all-time, or even greatest athlete in an individual sport. I'm just saying that Federer is almost certainly the best tennis player of all-time, and if he's not, then Pete Sampras is.

And FWIW, I'm familiar with, and have seen play on numerous occasions, ever great player from Laver to the present.

interesting stats: http://www.talkabouttennis.com/forum/blog/entries/215-New-look-at-Nadal-Federer-head-to-head

Here's a fairly compelling argument that the best ever really was Bjorn Borg: http://besteversportstalk.blogspot.com/2009/07/debunking-myths-about-bjorn-borg-john.html

I would never say Sampras, he just wasn't good enough on clay.

wendersfan
07-23-12, 11:12 AM
Borg was very good. I don't think he was as good as Federer.

LurkerDan
07-23-12, 11:18 AM
I watched more Borg than Fed, and he was dominant. The 3 years running of Wimbledon and French is incredible. But haven't watched enough Federer to comfortably say that he is or isn't better.

One could argue that were it not for Nadal, Fed would hold similar or more impressive records, but Nadal does exist and Fed doesn't.

CRM114
07-23-12, 11:42 AM
I'm not trying to argue that Federer is the greatest athlete of all-time, or even greatest athlete in an individual sport. I'm just saying that Federer is almost certainly the best tennis player of all-time, and if he's not, then Pete Sampras is.

And FWIW, I'm familiar with, and have seen play on numerous occasions, ever great player from Laver to the present.

I agree wholeheartedly with this post. Federer then Sampras. I never thought anyone would be better than Sampras but it's happened.

I also think the thread topic is ridiculous. It has no clear definition. Some say Bo Jackson because of his athletic prowess but he has no championship track record. Some say Wayne Gretzky because he dominated his sport like no other and no other likely will. What about Babe Ruth or Wilt Chamberlain or yada yada yada? Is this "Best in Relation to Everyone Else in His/Her Sport?" or is this "Best Regardless of Sport?" The latter is unanswerable and a silly exercise.

wendersfan
07-23-12, 01:18 PM
Here's a fairly compelling argument that the best ever really was Bjorn Borg: http://besteversportstalk.blogspot.com/2009/07/debunking-myths-about-bjorn-borg-john.html His argument seems to rest on some pretty fallacious evidence, like carefully selected video showing Borg at his best and McEnroe not at his best. He also makes a big deal about Borg winning four "big money" events in 1982, neglecting to point out that all four were exhibition tournaments not played under ATP sanction. But whatever, Borg was a really great player, no matter how poorly this guy's arguments are constructed.

LurkerDan
07-23-12, 02:18 PM
some of the evidence is surely questionable, but some is not.

Red Dog
07-23-12, 02:24 PM
The 3 years running of Wimbledon and French is incredible.

Wasn't it 5 years running? I think he won 6 straight French and 5 straight Wimbledons.

eXcentris
07-23-12, 02:45 PM
Borg was a great player but he retired at 25. What he might have accomplished had he not retired is irrelevant. Plus the stats quoted look great because they span a relatively short period of time for a player in his prime. Part of what makes Federer great aside from mere stats are his longevity and consistency. See a couple pages back, Federer's accomplishments dwarf any other player on that list.

And see how the author uses H2H to diminish Federer's accomplishments without any analysis or context? That's what's so bloody annoying with people just throwing out H2H out there as if tennis was boxing... Heck, he even throws in the positive H2H Murray has over Federer. Well, Federer is 4-0 vs Murray in slam finals... Davydenko has a positive H2H over Nadal, is he the better player?

As for tennis greats, there are clearly two tiers:

Federer, Laver
Sampras, Borg, Nadal

Red Dog
07-23-12, 02:49 PM
Also don't forget - Borg would probably have a few more GS titles had he played the Aussie Open.

I don't think people are saying H2H should be the top consideration. Simply that it should be a consideration, and shouldn't be ignored completely.

WallyOPD
07-23-12, 02:50 PM
The debate over the greatest athlete of all time is silly. DVDTalk concluded scientifically several years ago that the correct answer is Jim Thorpe.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/7609533-post653.html

eXcentris
07-23-12, 02:50 PM
Wasn't it 5 years running? I think he won 6 straight French and 5 straight Wimbledons.

4 straight French Open, 5 Wimbledon

He never won the AO or the USO.

eXcentris
07-23-12, 02:55 PM
The debate over the greatest athlete of all time is silly. DVDTalk concluded scientifically several years ago that the correct answer is Jim Thorpe.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/7609533-post653.html

Greatest All Around Athlete, which is not the same as what we are discussing here.

Michael Corvin
07-23-12, 03:17 PM
Is this "Best in Relation to Everyone Else in His/Her Sport?" or is this "Best Regardless of Sport?" The latter is unanswerable and a silly exercise.

To come up with an answer to the "regardless of sport" you would have to have some standard list of sports based on athleticism, game length, setting, etc. Pretty much a definitive, football ranks higher than basketball which ranks higher than soccer, etc. Like you said, it's unanswerable but I do know if a list existed, golf would rank somewhere around bass fishing and NASCAR drivers. :D

Michael Corvin
07-23-12, 03:22 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with this post. Federer then Sampras. I never thought anyone would be better than Sampras but it's happened.

It was bound to happen eventually. What's crazy is how soon after Sampras that it did happen.

Now the time gap between Federer and his eventual successor will be a LONG time. I can't fathom anyone touching his accomplishments for decades.

eXcentris
07-23-12, 06:24 PM
On another note, it seems like tennis players are direct descendants of Neanderthal. :)


"Neanderthals have really interesting upper bodies," researcher Colin Shaw, a biological anthropologist at the University of Cambridge in England, told LiveScience. "If you and I are both right-handed, you'd expect 4 to 13 percent asymmetry between our arms. Neanderthals have up to 50 percent or more asymmetry. They were doing something with their dominant arms that were either more intense or repetitive or both than we do today. The only population of modern people that we see who are similar are tennis players, who hit tennis balls many, many years aggressively."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/neanderthal-men-strong-right-arm-scraping_n_1685655.html?utm_hp_ref=science

PhantomStranger
07-24-12, 11:58 PM
It's funny you bring that up, because if you watch Fed closely, his right arm is like a tree trunk compared to the twig his left arm is. I had never really noticed it on a male player before him.

eXcentris
07-25-12, 01:14 AM
Rod Laver was famous for his "Popeye" left arm:

"At 5 foot 8 and 145 pounds, Laver was hardly the prototypical power player. But so thick and strong was his left arm that it appeared to some that it had been nabbed from a much larger man and grafted onto his body."

wendersfan
07-25-12, 08:40 AM
I don't think you see as big a size discrepancy between dominant and non-dominant arms these days since so many players use two-handed backhands. Federer has a one-handed backhand so it would be normal that there's a bigger difference than with Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, etc.

Mark_vdH
07-26-12, 03:47 AM
I do have a problem somewhat with judging these things for a great part based on consistencey. Of course it is an important aspect, but it shouldn't be overstated. This may sound silly because the level of competition has been greatly increased overal, but I feel it's part of most modern sports that it has become easier to dominate if you happen to be the most talented.

Knowledge has been greatly increased, about form, food, training build-up, etcetera. Therefore, despite (most) sports haven gotten more competitve, it has become easier for the person with just that extra bit of talent to prepare, train, eat, do everything correctly and therefore win.

This does not apply to sports where the factor of coincidence is present at a greater degree. Just like it's unlikely that a player will win the WSOP in poker 7 times in a row, you won't see something similar in golf. To accomplish something like that, you need to have bigger differences in talent between persons (which happened to be the case back in the days).

That said, Federer still gets my vote, I guess. ;)

eXcentris
07-26-12, 12:07 PM
One thing to note about Federer is that he spent most of his career, including the most dominant period in his prime, without a coach and without the entourage most top players travel with. It's always been him and his wife, Mirka, except for a short period where he had Tony Roche help him (just for slams) and now, for the past couple of years, with former Sampras coach Paul Annacone.

Mark_vdH
07-26-12, 07:32 PM
One person that hasn't been named, and it's perhaps a little bit early in his career to already attach these kinds of qualifications to his name, but I still believe he is up there, is Messi.

Footbal is perhaps the most competitive sport and I've followed it all my life. There have been great best players in the world, like for instance Zidane, but Messi is on a whole different level with his skills. The level of technique, coordination, tactical insights, it's just amazing.

wendersfan
07-27-12, 10:50 AM
No doubt, Messi is the greatest athlete in the world and my well go down as the greatest in history. He's certainly my pick as the best footballer I've ever seen play.

But, I thought this thread was about athletes in individual sports?

B.A.
07-27-12, 11:12 AM
He's too one-footed.

Mark_vdH
07-28-12, 06:20 AM
He's too one-footed.

I think that is a common misconception. Yes, he does most with his left foot, by far, but not only is his right foot good, it's exceptionally good. Check for instance this goal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-OFtme8YHU&t=4m9s) (the whole highlight with right-footed goals is worthwhile to watch, BTW), or this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_975634&feature=iv&src_vid=N-OFtme8YHU&v=P9PfnGjy_I4). The numer of players who can chip the ball like this, in situations like these, with their foot of preference, is already pretty limited. I wouldn't be able to name another player who could do this as naturally as Messi with their wrong foot.

Deftones
08-05-12, 05:59 PM
so, nobody is going to bump this thread? :lol:

eXcentris
08-05-12, 07:27 PM
so, nobody is going to bump this thread? :lol:

It appears you did. ;)