Roger Federer Greatest Tennis Player OF All Time (Everyone Says IT) [HD]
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Published on Apr 5, 2012
Roger Federer has 16 career Grand Slam singles titles and tops the Tennis Channel's list of Top 100 players of all time.
A look at Tennis Channel's Top 100
1)Tennis Channel listed the top 100 players of all time, with Roger Federer at No. 1
2)It's a tough task to create a list like this, but it sparks a healthy (if endless) debate
3)With no major holes in his resume, Rod Laver could have ranked atop the list.
Throughout the five-hour series last week, TC counted down the list, starting from the rear. I enjoyed watching it that way -- as opposed to seeing the complete list beforehand -- so I could ask myself, Was that person really better than the last? Some of the rankings were, to put it mildly, appalling. But you never get clear-cut answers in endeavors of this kind. I was left with the satisfaction of learning a great deal about the sport, particularly the players from long-ago eras.
The top 10: At this point, every candidate sounds worthy of the "best ever" tag. I especially enjoyed Chris Evert's recollection that when she retired, at No. 4 in the world in October, 1989, "The three players ahead of me were Martina, Steffi and Monica," the last of whom would in fact crack the top 3 in early 1990. (Now that's a pro tour.) I tried to fathom the notion of Graf's winning each of the majors four times, and it's eternally fascinating that in the wake of Navratilova's game-changing career -- an absolute triumph of athleticism, physical strength and all-court play -- she set such a lofty standard that ensuing generations didn't even attempt to replicate her game.
Finally, it was a pleasure to watch the film clips of Laver's hitting miraculous shots in his prime, something I well remember from watching Wimbledon telecasts and seeing him in person in the 1960s. Since World War II, he's really the only man without a blemish. Federer can't beat Rafael Nadal, Bjorn Borg never won the U.S. Open, the amateurs-only rule stifled Kramer and Gonzalez, and the French Open eluded Sampras, McEnroe and Connors. Laver won the Grand Slam as an amateur, spent five years unable to play the majors, then came back and won the Slam again in 1969.
That's why I always have trouble placing anyone ahead of Laver. Then again, I could be wrong. Long live this spirited conversation.
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