Grand Slam Man

Amidst all the media coverage about the death of the King of Pop, wouldn’t it be nice to hear about something else? Well then, let me tell you about a true living legend.

Last 5 July 2009, history was made in the world of professional tennis as Roger Federer landed his 15th record–breaking Grand Slam Singles Title by defeating Andy Roddick in a dramatic encounter that lasted for over four hours at the Wimbledon Championships.

But before proceeding to read this column, I should warn you: I’m going to talk about highly–technical tennis jargons and if you’re not a tennis aficionado, you’re not going to understand a word I’m going to say. You can, of course, look them up.

Federer now stands alone as the greatest male player in tennis history by being the only man with 15 Grand Slam Singles Titles. He won his first Grand Slam Title in the Wimbledon Championships in 2003 and won his 15th, coincidentally, in the Wimbledon Championships in 2009. He accomplished all these in just six years. Yes, just six years.

Meaning on average, he was winning 2.5 Grand Slam Tournaments every year.

For all those old–school tennis fans out there, you might be wondering, what happened to Agassi and Sampras? Weren’t they supposed to be the greatest? Take note, were the greatest, it’s in the past tense. Federer has 15 GS Titles under his belt, while Agassi has eight GS Titles and Sampras having 14 under his belt.

The time it took for him to break his predecessors' records highlights his greatness even more. As what I’ve said before, Federer was able to win 15 GS Titles in only 6 years (2003–2009). Agassi won his 8 GS Titles in 11 years (1992–2003), and Sampras won 14 GS Titles in 12 years (1990–2002), twice the time it took for Roger to grab all 15 GS Titles.

If that was not impressive enough, Federer’s sheer genius is even more emphasized when we compare his records with his greatest rival in tennis, Rafael Nadal. Rafael Nadal only has 6 GS Titles, less than half of Federer’s.

Rafael Nadal has been ranked World No. 1 in only 46 weeks (August 2008–July 2009), while Roger has held the record for 243 weeks (2004–2009). Yes, that is roughly more than four and a half years of being on top.

One more thing, Nadal DOES NOT have a Career Grand Slam. Federer just recently completed his own by winning the French Open 2009, becoming only the sixth man in tennis history to have a Career Grand Slam. Oh, by the way, Pete Sampras also does not have a Career Grand Slam.

The list goes on and on, this issue will not be enough if I enumerate all of Federer’s achievements, believe me. His records broke past tennis legends such as Laver, Borg, Connors, and McEnroe just to name a few. Even these tennis greats - along with many sports analysts, tennis critics, and former and current players - are considering him to be the greatest player of all time.

A living legend, Roger Federer, is truly the greatest player to have ever played the game of tennis. ▪