Originally Posted by Blocker
Assume you are Roger Federer. You have determined your retirement tournament to be the 2016 Olympics. You find a bottle, you rub it and a genie appears. You are granted one wish, from two options. The options are:
Win 2 more majors of your choice, except the FO, before you retire. And nothing else.
Before you retire:
* Win 1 more FO, beating Nadal in the final; and
* Win the singles gold medal at the 2016 Olympics; and
* Win the Davis Cup once for your country; and
* Overtake Nadal in your head to head count by beating him constantly in R16s, QFs, SFs across all slams plus the FO final stated above; and
* Finish one more year as year end number 1.
And nothing else.
Option 1 takes you to 19 majors.
Option 2 takes you to 18 majors but ticks every other box as far as undisputed GOAT is concerned.
Which option do you choose and why?
This is so stacked... Either way, he CRUSHED Sampras' record for majors. He CRUSHED the consecutive weeks at #1 that Jimmy Connors set. He CRUSHED the total weeks at #1. He should also have the most year end #1s by now. Parts 1 and 2 of option 2 are enough to make it the better choice. The only thing he's missing is an Olympic Gold in singles (he has one in doubles as well). Even if he won the French Open by sheer luck of Soderling taking out Nadal, it's still a career slam. Giving him a FO while taking out Nadal would stamp him as the complete player, even if only by a single instance (though if Nadal was playing terribly, there'd STILL be some controversial doubt, but it's still freakin' Nadal on clay).
Davis Cup is usually associate with some greats. Sampras, Agassi, and McEnroe have won the Davis Cup before, which is great for their country. It's not massive, but it's totally something to say that you CARRIED your team past some stacked teams like Argentina, Spain, and (formerly) the US.
Giving him the head to head lead on Nadal (especially in essentially the end of Federer's career) completely shuts out cries that Federer could not beat his one true rival. He has the largest deficit in a head to head matchup against a rival.
The extra year end number 1 is totally irrelevant, but a nice little thing to have.
I mean, it is indisputable that Federer DOMINATED tennis during his era, and even put up a strong showing in the later part of his career (31 and STILL got to #1 and stole another major against a field as stacked as this). Nobody else could say that. Sure, Connors could say he had 200 consecutive weeks at number 1 (which is pretty damn dominant), but Federer shattered that and played better than Connors in the later part of their careers. Agassi had periods of domination, AND played well at the end of his career, but his domination doesn't even compared to Federer's. Maybe if the early part of Agassi's life was a bit better, he could've been, and we'd be talking about Agassi instead of Sampras as a GOAT candidate (though Sampras will always possess the greatest serve of all time).
Not for a while will ANYONE be able to say they dominated tennis the same way Federer did. He dominated from age 21 to age 26. Even after that period of time, he STILL picked up majors like any candidate for #1 in the world at their prime would do. Even right after Federer retires, I doubt anyone could pull this off. Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal will easily stop them. And none of these players will dominate the tour the same way Federer did. They're 25, 25, and 26 years old respectively. For Djokovic to do what Federer did, he'd have to dominate the next 4 years, until he's 29 years old. That's VERY unlikely to happen because he's at the tip of his prime. The same could be said for Murray and Nadal, and neither are really in the position to pull it off the same way Djokovic can (since Djokovic is currently the world #1).
AFTER these 3 retire, then MAYBE we could see someone do what Federer did. But for them to do better, they would have to start winning from the age of 19 or 20. Nadal had the opportunity, but he took a while to break out outside of clay courts. Then when he did, he got hit with injuries, and when he came back, Djokovic broke into his stride for possibly the best streak anyone could have. And now, Murray has finally got his head together and is a force to be reckoned with. He still has a ways to go, but he's definitely a threat for major titles now. Before, he was a bit of a pushover in finals, but now he will play you for the trophy, and he's got weapons.
You could try to argue that Federer faced bad competition in his prime, but the previous generation of players would absolutely say that these new players were truly a force to be reckoned with, but Federer made them look like a joke on the court. Yeah, Agassi at 30+ pushed Federer to 5 sets in the 2004 US Open, and 4 sets in the 2005 US Open final, but Federer in the same situation did that to Djokovic twice, with match points in the fifth, pushing him to the limit, and even kicked him out of the French Open in 2011 and Wimbledon in 2012. Agassi never kicked Federer out of a major once Federer started winning. So is Djokovic's competition a joke because he's getting pushed to his limits by a 30 year old? That this 30 year old is still making semifninals and final appearances in majors? I guess Djokovic's best year came because his competition was terrible as well. And since he couldn't dominate his terrible competition in the same way Federer did, then he must be worse than Federer.
In terms of players dominating their era, Federer will always be the best. And he didn't have as easy of a time doing it as everyone thinks. He just made it look easy, as he does with his amazing forehand, serve, backhands, and net play. He just MAKES things look easy. Djokovic and Nadal grunt, scream, stretch, and grind for every shot which makes it LOOK like it's harder for them. In terms on who is legitimately the best player in their prime, it will always be the newest generation of tennis players. Though I would say prime Federer beats prime Djokovic because his forehand and movement was SICK and in 2006 his backhand improved markedly. Federer never missed a shot and pulled the ridiculous off his racket. Whoever is the best tennis players 2 generations from now, however, will probably be a better tennis player than Federer. He will be faster, more fit, mentally tougher, hit at least as hard, and generate the topspin of Nadal. Think of a Federer, Delpo, Rafa, Djokovic, Murray, Tsonga combination. Scary to think of, right? Well it will happen because the newer generations always come in stronger and stronger than the ones before them (though rarely is it a significant difference as it was with Sampras, Federer, and Nadal).
I don't care how good Borg or Laver were. Federer will **** on them in every surface. Yes, the difference in strings and rackets made a huge difference, but Federer is also a better athlete than Laver, and he regularly dealt with Rafa on clay, who is Borg on steroids.
And as much as I hate to admit it, Federer in his prime will also probably **** on Sampras in his prime except on very old grass, where Sampras' serve and play style and truly shine and put Federer on defense. But it will still be close because we saw Federer still get back the serves of Philippoussis and Roddick on the 2003 grass (which is still much slower than the grass of the early 90s, but it still says something about his ability to get into rallies against big serves).
30 or 40 years from now, some guy will come around, probably not dominate his era like Federer did, but will still **** on Federer in his prime on any surface. He will **** on Nadal in his prime on clay (maybe), and he will **** on Djokovic in his prime on any surface. I'm sure eventually someone will come along that will essentially be Nadal on steroids... Then Borg will look like a joke, but hey, he dominated the French and Wimbledon in his time, and started a revolution in tennis with his (then) insane topspin.