Over the past few years there was always a controversial debate about who really should be considered as the greatest tennis player to grace the game.
Many players were mentioned such as Rod Laver, Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg, each who were considered the best of their time.
Rafael Nadal was catching up to Roger in terms of grand slam titles and still to this day he holds a better head-to-head record which put the argument on hold – up until now.
Now that we can all comfortably admit that the Swiss maestro is the best tennis player the world has ever seen, it is time to move to the next argument in determining whether he is the greatest sportsman of all time.
For me, its a yes.
Let’s start with the remarkable work Federer does off the court. In 2003, he was the founder of the Roger Federer Foundation which supports educational projects in Africa and his home country of Switzerland. Since then it has been able to raise $15 million.
He has also attended multiple tennis charity matches with former and current players to raise money for natural disasters and for people in Africa.
Federer is loved and adored by almost everybody not only in the tennis community, but everywhere around the world. He is seen as just a normal guy who goes about his everyday business just like any other normal person. His compassion and kindness is what makes every kid look up to him as a hero. It is why he is a role model to many.
In 2016, he was named the most marketable sportsperson, earning over $60 million. This means that his name is the most recognisable in sport all over the world. The popularity of Roger is unreal. Everyone knows who he is.
On the court, his style of play is what makes his stand out among the greats to have played the game. He makes it look so easy that you get to a stage where you just scratch your head wondering how he does it.
His 19 grand slam titles is only the icing on the cake of an extraordinary career. He has been able to win two grand slams this calendar year at the age of 35, which is impressive in itself. The only name I can think of who is one of the best in the world for their respective sport at an old age is goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (39).
To call him the greatest athlete of all time is a bit of a stretch. Don’t get me wrong, he deserves to be in the conversation, but I feel as though there are athletes both past and present that deserve that title.
The three that come to mind are Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and LeBron James. The two footballers from Argentina are ahead because they are known as the greatest in their respective generations, causing an interesting debate.
LeBron’s achievements on the basketball court are too impressive to turn down and ignore.
The most marketable athlete currently, the greatest of all time for his respective sport and arguably the most respected athlete in the world. Federer has always given his fans something to smile about whether it be on or off the court.
Is he the greatest sportsman of all time? Yes. Is he the greatest athlete of all time? No. Depending on how much Federer is able to achieve from now until the end of his career, that debate will have to wait for another day.