Federer shines as best ever

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Andy Roddick won two sets, nearly won the Wimbledon championship and no doubt won a new legion of fans in losing to Roger Federer in a titanic record-long match Sunday.

But Federer won consideration as the best all-around tennis player of all time.

He is the Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong of the racquet set.

Not just because he has now won more major tournaments (15) than Pete Sampras or anyone else in history. But also because he has won on so many different kinds of surfaces.

"Federer is the best ever not just because he has won the most (majors)," writes columnist Michael Rosenberg, "but because he has played at a consistently higher level than anybody ever, on every surface.

"Grass, hard court, clay --- it doesn't matter. They could play a Grand Slam event on ice and Federer would skate to the final weekend."

On Sunday, it became clear as to why: It's because in the dictionary, you will find Federer's picture next to the word "relentless."

Roddick, an American who never quite played to his potential before, did so on Sunday. Few gave Roddick much of a chance against Federer. But Roddick took the first set and nearly the next two, before winning the fourth set and taking Federer to the limit in a no-tiebreaker 16-14 final set. Roddick never lost a game when he was serving -- until the end.

Federer simply never blinked. He took the best that Roddick had and kept coming and kept coming and kept coming. He was relentless.

That's not just a talent, that's a trait.

There are lots of great tennis players. Some of the greats were at courtside Sunday to watch Federer go for history.

But perhaps what separates the greats from the greatest ever is an unrelenting inner drive, a fire and determination to persevere that's as constant -- as relentless -- as the sun.

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 07/07/09 - 06:34 am
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This is what I mean by lack

This is what I mean by lack of leadership on the editorial page. Doesn't the AC have a sports section? End the pablum.

justus4
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justus4 07/07/09 - 07:27 am
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Ha! The Williams sisters, who

Unpublished

Ha! The Williams sisters, who happen to be Americans, has blown away the world's competition and again won the women's championship at Wimbledon. For the last ten yrs, one of the Williams has played and or won the title. This year it was Senera, but their skills are really unmatched throughout the world. Two sisters. Two Americans. Examples of great efforts to be the best in the world and to succeed... but who do "we" read about: A Swiss star. This guy is not the best, only playing individuals with limited skills, which is why he was predicted to win last year.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/07/09 - 09:09 am
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We need to politicize the

We need to politicize the Wimbledon match for PT and make the nonsports fans happy. Andy Roddick, the epitome of American red state capitalism, son of a Nebraska businessman, with brothers who played at UGA no less, represented the conservative movement in tennis. Roddick depends on the fastest serve in the game. Contrast that with the Swiss, Roger Federer, representing a socialist country that never fights in ANY war and who employs finesse as opposed to good old American smash mouth tennis. To confuse international relations, Federer's mother is a South African so there is the possibility that capitalistic, look out for yourself, work ethics were instilled in him at an early age.

imdstuf
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imdstuf 07/07/09 - 09:45 am
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Its hard to compare players

Its hard to compare players from one generation to the next in any sport so its hard to say who really is the best. Federer is obviously good, but its hard to know if there is as much good competition now as in some other decades. It may be tougher now, but its hard to know for sure.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/07/09 - 09:53 am
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Players in all sports are

Players in all sports are better. Track and field times and distances prove it. Measuring the speed of tennis serves has been around for awhile and the speed increases. Players are bigger, stronger and faster these days.

bone
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bone 07/07/09 - 01:49 pm
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and the pool of players

and the pool of players against the williams sisters was deeper than the men's draw, justus? puhleeze...do a little more research before you post a racial sports rant. the rest of your rants, though, should continue to be made in the manner to which we've all grown accustomed: hit-and-run tactics with no credibility. congrats to federer for his accomplishments and also to the williams sisters who have done such a fabulous job representin' at wimbledon year in & year out.

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