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Is Federer the Best Tennis Player of All Time?

This morning I caught the tail end of Federer’s French Open Finals victory over Robin Soderling. This is significant for a number of reasons.

Reason number 1, with this Grand Slam victory, Federer tied Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam wins.  Additionally, Federer did something Sampras never did: win on the clay at Roland Garros.  During the post-match commentary John McEnroe declared the Federer the best tennis player of all time unequivocally.

Reason number 2, no  Rafael Nadal in the French Open Finals.  Perhaps not coincidentally it was Robin Soderling  who defeated Nadal in the 4th Round.  Nadal has been struggling with knee injuries this year and may even miss Wimbledon. This makes Federer’s victory a bit bittersweet in my eyes; getting his 14th Grand Slam and his first French Open title against his greatest rival would have been poetic.  With Nadal not at full strength, that makes Federer’s pursuit of a record-making 15th Grand Slam title much easier.

Reason number 3, Robin Soderling. I really haven’t been able to keep up with the French Open, but ending Nadal’s streak on clay is incredibly impressive. Nadal was practically a god on clay, and defeating him  on his surface, at his tournament is an accomplishment even if he was injured.  And even though Soderling lost to Federer in straight sets he pushed the champ at times, and looked capable of beating the greatest. During the award ceremony Soderling joked that even though Federer beat him 10 times in a row, no one beats him 11 times in a row.  Here’s hoping that Soderling continues to improve and is able to challenge both Federer and Nadal in the future.  There should be some interesting tennis going on for the next couple of years if all three players continue to play at the same level.

So what does everybody think? Does this make Federer the Greatest of All Time?