Another major site calling Roger best athlete of all sports. ........ Some people are still debating whether Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time. But as Katie (or at least her lawyer) said to Tom, it’s over. Monday, Federer will set a record by being ranked No. 1 in the world for the 287th week of his career. Along with his many other unassailable records suggest, that confirms he’s not only the best player in tennis history, but the most successful male athlete in any major individual pro sport. Federer is simply the most dominant competitor of our time. Major totals: Yes, Jack Nicklaus won 18, but he did that over a 24-year stretch, winning three majors in his 40s (rare in golf, but impossible in tennis). Federer has appeared in 24 finals (a tennis record) and won 17 (another record) over a stretch of only 37 tournaments. That means for nine years he made it to just under two-thirds of the finals and won almost half of them. For almost six of those years, you had to beat Federer to win a major. He either won or lost to the eventual champion in 23 straight Grand Slam tournaments. Three majors, three times: Tiger Woods had a great year in 2000, when he won three majors and finished fifth in the other one. In 2005, he won two majors and finished second and fourth in the other two. Those are two phenomenal seasons. Federer has had five of a comparable nature. He won three majors in a season three different times, and in two of those years he was the runner-up in the fourth tournament. In 2005, he won two Slams and was a semifinalist in the other two. And in 2009 he won two majors and was runner up in the other two. An unprecedented reign: From 2004 to 2007, Federer had a streak of glory unequalled by any pro athlete. He won 11 of 16 Grand Slam events. Compare that to other tennis greats. In his best four-year stretch, Pete Sampras won seven majors. Same for Rafael Nadal. Last year, Novak Djokovic had one of the best seasons in tennis history and he started 2012 by winning the Australian Open. To match Federer, however, he’d have to win seven of the next nine Slams. Good luck with that, Nole. Steffi Graf, who won 22 majors, picked up 10 trophies in her best four-year stretch, one fewer than Federer. Even more impressive is that Federer continued to play almost as well even after those spectacular years, appearing in eight of the next nine major finals and winning four of them. In Tiger Woods’ best four years, he won seven majors. He finished second once and in the top 10 three other times. But in the other five events, he finished anywhere from 12th to 29th. Three of those finishes were the equivalent of being knocked out in the third round of a tennis tournament. That hasn’t happened to Federer since 2004. Unmatchable streaks: Federer has now appeared in 33 straight quarterfinals at majors. That’s more than eight years of making it to the final eight and more than twice as many as the next-best streak, Ivan Lendl at 14. But Federer also rattled off 23 straight appearances in the semifinals, almost six years of top-four appearances (the next-best streak is 10). And he made 10 straight trips to major finals, missed one and then went on to make the next eight, giving him a stretch of 18 finals in 19 tournaments. No one else in the Open era has made more than five finals in a row. So Federer has the best streak (twice as long as anyone else) and the second-best (60 per cent longer). Number one: Monday, Federer will achieve the one record many thought he would miss. Nadal has been No. 1 for 102 weeks in his career, so he’s still three-and-a-half years back. Djokovic has 53 weeks at No. 1, so he needs four-and-a-half more years to match Federer. At one point, Federer was No. 1 for 237 consecutive weeks, a period of more than four-and-a-half years. That record is a year-and-a-half longer than the previous mark. Overall greatness: Even Federer’s supposed slumps are only rough spots in comparison to his greatness. Many people point out he has won only one major since January 2010. But he has still made the semifinals at seven of the past eight Grand Slam tournaments. Many players of any age would be thrilled with that, let alone those in their 30s. Djokovic is the only player who has made more semi-finals over the same stretch. And it’s not like Federer has been playing against a weak field. He’s up against one of the other all-time greats in Nadal, plus Djokovic, who could join the list in a year or two. If Nadal had chosen soccer over tennis, Federer might have another five major trophies in his closet. Federer might stretch some of these records even further. But even if he retired today, he’d be not only the greatest tennis player ever, but the best individual athlete of our time. http://www.canada.com/Sports/Tennis/Federer+sports/6935491/story.html Posted for fellow Roger fans. Bitter fans of other players may disregard.