Roger Federer is the greatest ever
Media comment: The Swiss tennis player has earned his place in tennis's Pantheon with his 14th grand slam
There are no ifs or buts for Simon Barnes in the Times; "Roger Federer really is the greatest tennis player of all time. At last he has the stats to prove it, and the stats don't lie."
Yesterday's French Open triumph against Robin Soderling of Sweden now means that he has won 14 grand slams, "drawing level with Pete Sampras. What is more, he has now won at every modern grand-slam venue, on all four different surfaces: the only other man to have done that is Andre Agassi. Combine these two Himalayan achievements and there, perched on Everest and in tears once again, is Federer, the greatest mountaineer of them all."
His victory over Soderling was the culmination of a hard tournament; he faced defeat in two might five-set clashes that would have exhausted a lesser man. He's not been at the top of his game until he reached the final, when he dominated the Swede who had conquered Rafael Nadal, the seeming obsatcle to Federer's great achievement.
"Federer has earned this. He has paid for yesterday's triumph in the pain and suffering caused by a huge ambition - to be the best ever - and an implacable opponent over the years in Nadal. When Nadal beat him in the final of the Australian Open in January, Federer looked a broken man, weeping the salt tears of a man who fears he will never reach his heart's desire."
"But again and again he found something more," concludes Barnes. "That, every bit as much as his wonderful racket skill, is what Federer does best. He can raise his game and then raise it again. He has more raises than any one else in history." ·
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