Is Roger Federer the greatest Sportsman of all time?

Fabresque

Professional
#1
People talk a lot about the Greatest Athletes of all time in every sport, and there always seems to be a select few in every sport that people talk about the most. In our sport of tennis, people talk about Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Sampras, and a few others here and there. But out of these 4, Federer is the GOAT, the slam count proves it.

And other sports have the same thing. In soccer (football), they have Pele/Maradona (too close to call), golf has Tiger Woods, Basketball: Jordan, Swimming: Phelps, you get it.

But out of the numerous greatest athletes of each individual sport, we cannot (for obvious reasons) reach a consensus to who was greater. Was Federer greater than Jordan? Was Woods greater than Babe Ruth for example? We cannot come to any of these conclusions, because they all play different sports and have made different legacies for themselves. They all changed their own sport.

What does a Sportsman mean though? The definition is hazy but in a nutshell, it is a person who can take a loss and congratulate his opponent who was victorious with praise and take his loss with good humor and admit his defeat. A sportsman is also somebody who doesn’t divulge into troublesome activities, such as drugs, or arrests.

And that definition has led me to believe that Roger Federer is the Greatest Sportsman of all time.

Let’s see how other contenders fair, shall we?

Maradona: Caught with cocaine in his system during a World Cup match, drug addict.

Tiger Woods: Dishonest during his marriage (cheated on his wife), arrested for having drugs in his system during driving.

Michael Phelps: Arrested twice during illustrious swimming career, stripped of sponsorships after caught smoking illegal substance.

Pele: Falsely claimed HIMSELF to have scored of 1000 OFFICIAL GOALS, was proven to be lying, scored 700, which was below a few select footballers. Sued Samsung and lost as his lawsuit was seen as ridiculous.

Michael Jordan: Legitimately a contender, but had a big fight with Reggie Miller and was accused of numerous intimidation tactics during his playing days.

Serena Williams: Tends to make up excuses as to why she loses, and threatened to KILL A LINESWOMAN. Oh sorry, only said “I’m going to shove a ball down your throat.” But yea, it’s not like a ball larger than your windpipe is going to kill someone if you lodge it there, right?

Roger Federer:.............. nothing. He’s never cheated on Mirka, he’s never done drugs that enhanced his game, he’s never been a sore loser, no arrests, no off court issues, great model for young kids, sponsors foundations to help children all around the world, there is really nothing.

Roger Federer is The Greatest Sportsman of All Time.
 
#2
If by 2025 Nadal and/or Djokovic have surpassed his Grand Slam record, he will not be considered the best tennis player/sportsman of all time. So we have to wait until 2025 to know the answer to your question. :)
 
#5
I think he could be. He’s already the GOAT in his own sport, but if we compare him to the best sportsmen across all sports, not only does he have best the results in his own sport like them, he also brings so much grace, beauty, class and effortlessness into his own sport, something the other GOATs don’t. He’s also the GOAT with the least amount of controversy surrounding his persona. He’s loved everywhere he goes.

It’s one thing to be the best in your sport, but the second thing is how you achieve that.
 
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#9
With the special way he plays tennis and attracts people, he is definitely up there. His achievements speaks for itself aswell but that is not the only thing you look at. Federer has the package when it comes to this discussion.
 
#11
I love Fed but that’s a straight up lie. Watch this:
I knew @AlexanderTheGreat08 was referring to this with his question.

To me, calling a lucky shot as 'lucky' is not really sore losing (it's definitely NOT gracious losing though). It was a lucky shot. It was a hail-marry shot, bc being MP down on return, even attempting that shot is proof that he's already 75% given up on the match. It goes in great, it goes out, he already have 3/4 foot out the door already, so who chares? Steph Curry can hit a 3 pointer from beyond the 1/2 court line. Trying to hit that shot when 1pt down with 10seconds to go and make it? Can it be said as anything but a lucky shot?

Did I mention that it was a lucky shot from Djokovic? ;)
 

clout

Hall of Fame
#12
Wayne Gretzky could be a popular candidate too. The guy owns over 60 NHL records and tbh no one in the history comes close to how much this man dominated the league. Yeah the quality of hockey wasn't as high then as it is now but regardless, Wayne was lapping pretty much everyone in both stats and accolades.
 
#13
I knew @AlexanderTheGreat08 was referring to this with his question.

To me, calling a lucky shot as 'lucky' is not really sore losing (it's definitely NOT graciously losing though). It was a lucky shot. It was a hail-marry shot, bc being MP down on return, even attempting that shot is proof that he's already 75% given up on the match. It goes in great, it goes out, he already have 3/4 foot out the door already, so who chares? Steph Curry can hit a 3 pointer from beyond the 1/2 court line. Trying to hit that shot when 1pt down with 10seconds to go and make it? Can it be said as anything but a lucky shot?

Did I mention that it was a lucky shot from Djokovic? ;)
Tbh, you have to be INCREDIBLY, INCREDIBLY nit-picky to criticize Fed.
 
#14
I knew @AlexanderTheGreat08 was referring to this with his question.

To me, calling a lucky shot as 'lucky' is not really sore losing (it's definitely NOT gracious losing though). It was a lucky shot. It was a hail-marry shot, bc being MP down on return, even attempting that shot is proof that he's already 75% given up on the match. It goes in great, it goes out, he already have 3/4 foot out the door already, so who chares? Steph Curry can hit a 3 pointer from beyond the 1/2 court line. Trying to hit that shot when 1pt down with 10seconds to go and make it? Can it be said as anything but a lucky shot?

Did I mention that it was a lucky shot from Djokovic? ;)
Or, it was an incredibly skillful and gutsy shot by the man considered the greatest returner in tennis history....but we both digress.
 
#19
Or, it was an incredibly skillful and gutsy shot by the man considered the greatest returner in tennis history....but we both digress.
Is the shot skilfull? YES.
Is the shot gutsy? YES.

But it was a 'lucky shot' bc it was a 'high-risk' shot that landed in instead of out. Hence 'lucky'. All I'm saying.

What would we call that shot had he missed it? Unlucky? Or stupidly moronic bc he attempted it, it missed, it was SF of USO, and it was at MP down on return instead of doing it when he was up two breaks?

It was a 'lucky shot'. ;)
Fed called a spade a spade.
Fed is still crucified for it today. :confused:

Edit: To be clear, had it been Federer that hit that shot, I would 100% call it a 'lucky shot', even more so if Fed was MP down on return. And if his opponent afterwards said that was a 'lucky shot' from Federer, I would agree that he called it right.
 
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clout

Hall of Fame
#21
No. He is sorta a whiner, swears on court, sometimes doesn't admit his opponent deserved to win, etc.

It sometimes baffles me how he always wins sportsman of the year
The fact that Djokovic has won zilch Sportsmanship Awards is also baffling. He's clearly the most gracious loser among the top players, and always gives credit to his opponents. Given Novak's actual resume though, I doubt he'll lose any sleep at all by not winning the award
 
#22
Is the shot skillfull? YES.
Is the shot gutsy? YES.

But it was a 'lucky shot' bc it was a 'high-risk' shot that landed in instead of out. Hence 'lucky'. All I'm saying.

What would we call that shot had he missed it? Unlucky? Or stupidly moronic bc he attempted it, it missed, it was SF of USO, and it was at MP down on return instead of doing it when he was up two breaks?

It was a 'lucky shot'. ;)
Yes, but it's less "lucky" when struck by an all-time great who is an amazing returner.

If he missed it, I guess we'd say "Game, set, match, tournament, Mr. Federer!" I'm not going to kill Fed for his sour grapes after the match, but yeah, it WAS sour grapes. That Fed didn't recover from that shot spoke both to his lack of resilience that day (obviously, he's shown tons of it throughout his legendary career) and to Djokovic's fighting spirit.
 
#25
Yes, but it's less "lucky" when struck by an all-time great who is an amazing returner.

If he missed it, I guess we'd say "Game, set, match, tournament, Mr. Federer!" I'm not going to kill Fed for his sour grapes after the match, but yeah, it WAS sour grapes. That Fed didn't recover from that shot spoke both to his lack of resilience that day (obviously, he's shown tons of it throughout his legendary career) and to Djokovic's fighting spirit.
We're going to debate degrees of 'lucky' now? Lucky is lucky. Look, it's no big deal really. As a fedfan, I'm a little annoyed sometimes at how blown up this is used to chastise Federer's character when there are worse things people can use against him. Even Fed has called some of his shots/results as lucky. But he isn't often praised by the same detractors that Fed was humble for doing so. Who cares about fairness right?

No worries, we're just discussing on a forum.
Cheers. :)
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
#29
I’d say that’s pretty acceptable for someone who’s been under the spotlight for 20 years.

Can you name them?
He used to make snarky remarks about Djokovic and Murray in their early years. In one of his early losses to Murray (you can tell we are going back a bit) he criticised Murray's style of play and then there was his irritated response to Djokovic's 'lucky' shot when he saved match point against Federer in the 2011 US Open semi-final. He also once commented that Nadal was a 'one dimensional player' after one of his early losses to him.

Most of these incidents took place in the early years of his meetings with them. Since then he has grown to respect them much more. I only mentioned them in response to your question. Not even Federer is a saint. No player, past or present, is or was.
 

OhYes

Hall of Fame
#30
Is the shot skilfull? YES.
Is the shot gutsy? YES.

But it was a 'lucky shot' bc it was a 'high-risk' shot that landed in instead of out. Hence 'lucky'. All I'm saying.

What would we call that shot had he missed it? Unlucky? Or stupidly moronic bc he attempted it, it missed, it was SF of USO, and it was at MP down on return instead of doing it when he was up two breaks?

It was a 'lucky shot'. ;)
Fed called a spade a spade.
Fed is still crucified for it today. :confused:

Edit: To be clear, had it been Federer that hit that shot, I would 100% call it a 'lucky shot', even more so if Fed was MP down on return. And if his opponent afterwards said that was a 'lucky shot' from Federer, I would agree that he called it right.
No it wasnt lucky shot. Feds serve wasnt that good so Novak would just close his eyes and hope for the best. Novak isnt here where he is now bcs of some lucky shots.
It was disgraceful comment sore loser wothy.
 
#31
He used to make snarky remarks about Djokovic and Murray in their early years. In one of his early losses to Murray (you can tell we are going back a bit) he criticised Murray's style of play and then there was his irritated response to Djokovic's 'lucky' shot when he saved match point against Federer in the 2011 US Open semi-final. He also once commented that Nadal was a 'one dimensional player' after one of his early losses to him.

Most of these incidents took place in the early years of his meetings with them. Since then he has grown to respect them much more. I only mentioned them in response to your question. Not even Federer is a saint. No player, past or present, is or was.
Seems pretty insignificant if these are supposed to be the worst cases of bad behavior in a span of 20 years. The Djokovic shot was indeed lucky, he just wasn’t supposed to say that. He’s shown to be a bit of a sour loser couple of times, but he learned not to say to the press what he really thinks, cause that’s only the only way you can win in this fight. I’m not gonna pretend he’s someone who has a positive opinion on everyone and everything, but as soon as you say it out loud, no matter how factual it is, as long as it’s critical/negative/controversial, you don’t wanna say it, if it’s not completely necessary, and if you do, you’re gonna try to sound as nice as possible. Even when he’s pushed to give an opinion about touchy subjects, he tries to be detached and evasive. That’s what being PC is all about.
 
#32
Ever heard of Lebron James?

-Started out in poverty with a single mother
-Practiced and trained his balls off
-Never got into drugs
-Married his highschool sweetheart
-Entered the NBA at the age of 18 with the most scrutiny and pressure, since he was considered the second coming of michael jordan
-Lived up to the pressure since day one, easily dominating older men and winning three championships
-The last championship he won he was down under against Golden State (now considered the best basketball team of all time), 1 games to 3 of theirs. He won three straight games to beat them and survived three elimination games.
-Now considered #2 in basketball history, can potentially end as #1.
-Frequent donator with his money
-And recently just opened up one of the most ambitious and progressive school programs in the history of the United States, which offers free breakfast/lunch/snacks, free transportation within two miles, free bikes for all students, guaranteed tuition to the university of akron for every graduate, job placement services for parents, and the school itself is free.
- Turned 1 million dollars into 35 million dollars from investing into Blaze Pizza. Known as a deliberate and very good businessman.
-Top tier family man and dad. As well as a good teammate and humble in losses.

And oh yeah, many people consider him to be the perfect human "specimen" at 6 foot eight, 250 pounds, fast as hell, jumps hella high, and is strong as frick. He could be the pinnacle human being

I don't think anyone has started from the bottom from the way he did and became the epitome of a successful human being
 
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Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
#34
This question is asked regularly, and my answer is the same as always. The sportsperson with the greatest dominance and best winning mentality is the darts player Phil Taylor. Taylor's dominance dwarfs Federer's. For example, Taylor does not have a losing head-to-head against any player he has met at least twice, in a career of 30 years. Taylor has won the two biggest tournaments in darts 16 times each. He retired in January 2018, his last match being when he lost in his 21st World Championship final at the age of 57, thereby falling 1 match short of retiring as the reigning champion of the two biggest tournaments. He won his first World Championship at the age of 29 in 1990.

Some people might chose to sneer at darts out of some sort of snobbery, but Taylor has the best winning mentality of any sportsperson I've seen. With all due respect to Federer, he isn't in Taylor's league for dominance of his sport. Taylor would never let a rival like Nadal get the better of him like Federer did, without breaking him mentally in the future. Raymond van Barneveld had some success against Taylor in 2006-2007 (close to even), but Barney didn't beat Taylor for 6 years on TV after June 2008. He broke him bad.
 
#35
How about “Russian bear” Alexander Karelin?
Three Olympic gold medals, nine time World Champion and twelve time European Champion.
He wrestled 889 times and only lost two times in his career.
He was so powerful that he could lift his opponents and throw like a bag of potato.

 
D

Deleted member 756486

Guest
#36
This question is asked regularly, and my answer is the same as always. The sportsperson with the greatest dominance and best winning mentality is the darts player Phil Taylor. Taylor's dominance dwarfs Federer's. For example, Taylor does not have a losing head-to-head against any player he has met at least twice, in a career of 30 years. Taylor has won the two biggest tournaments in darts 16 times each. He retired in January 2018, his last match being when he lost in his 21st World Championship final at the age of 57, thereby falling 1 match short of retiring as the reigning champion of the two biggest tournaments. He won his first World Championship at the age of 29 in 1990.

Some people might chose to sneer at darts out of some sort of snobbery, but Taylor has the best winning mentality of any sportsperson I've seen. With all due respect to Federer, he isn't in Taylor's league for dominance of his sport. Taylor would never let a rival like Nadal get the better of him like Federer did, without breaking him mentally in the future. Raymond van Barneveld had some success against Taylor in 2006-2007 (close to even), but Barney didn't beat Taylor for 6 years on TV after June 2008. He broke him bad.
Darts is a pub game.

Can’t compare fat middle aged men to athletes.
 
#38
Darts is a pub game.

Can’t compare fat middle aged men to athletes.
That's a Vince McMahon mentality = the incorrect mentality. Darts is considered a sport so Phil Taylor has earned his place in this particular conversation, you know. Don't let the treble chins get in the way of the truth. Paranoidandroid, you require 82. heyhahey ya know. His arm was pure working smoothness. Wow wow.
 
D

Deleted member 756486

Guest
#39
That's a Vince McMahon mentality = the incorrect mentality. Darts is considered a sport so Phil Taylor has earned his place in this particular conversation, you know. Don't let the treble chins get in the way of the truth. Paranoidandroid, you require 82. heyhahey ya know. His arm was pure working smoothness. Wow wow.
I disgaree but love the Meltzeresque posts anyway. :D
 
#40
This question is asked regularly, and my answer is the same as always. The sportsperson with the greatest dominance and best winning mentality is the darts player Phil Taylor.
Wrong. And I've called you out on this nonsense multiple times previously.

Eric Murray and Hamish Bond have a 100% win rate in every event they ever entered across multiple Olympic cycles. No-one has even beaten to the finish line in a heat where multiple boats qualify for the finals and coming first isn't required. They're that dominant.

And there are other examples of more dominant sportspeople/teams than Taylor.
 
#42
In case anyone missed it, Roger recently stated that he will never be GOAT because eras aren't comparable, and because the "GOAT debate would be still open".

No, he wasn't being modest. He just wanted finally to shut down all the nonsense about GOAT. It would seem some people wouldn't even follow tennis if they weren't goaded into the GOAT lie.

The need to believe in the GOAT myth is pretty weak. It's as if the ATP isn't valuable unless we have a GOAT or GOATs. The ATP had no "GOATs" in the 80s and 90s and yet the tennis was fun to follow. But whoever finds the need to adhere to this GOAT myth because that's all they find interesting in tennis, they by all means should. Nobody ever said that we should all be interested in facts.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
#45
Wrong. And I've called you out on this nonsense multiple times previously.

Eric Murray and Hamish Bond have a 100% win rate in every event they ever entered across multiple Olympic cycles. No-one has even beaten to the finish line in a heat where multiple boats qualify for the finals and coming first isn't required. They're that dominant.

And there are other examples of more dominant sportspeople/teams than Taylor.
What other examples?

Phil Taylor's competition was constant, and professional, over decades. Responding to adversity is also a huge positive for Taylor, too. There were loads of occasions where he just blitzed other players, but also occasions when he had to dig deep on a bad day by his standards and won. I've seen nearly all of Taylor's career, missing only the very early period before he won his first World Championship. Believe me, there is no sportsperson with a more ruthless winning mentality, taught to him in the 1980s by the late Eric Bristow a 5-time World Champion, which Taylor merged to the strong work ethic drilled into him by his working class parents in Stoke since his childhood. Bristow created a monster.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
#49
This question is asked regularly, and my answer is the same as always. The sportsperson with the greatest dominance and best winning mentality is the darts player Phil Taylor. Taylor's dominance dwarfs Federer's. For example, Taylor does not have a losing head-to-head against any player he has met at least twice, in a career of 30 years. Taylor has won the two biggest tournaments in darts 16 times each. He retired in January 2018, his last match being when he lost in his 21st World Championship final at the age of 57, thereby falling 1 match short of retiring as the reigning champion of the two biggest tournaments. He won his first World Championship at the age of 29 in 1990.

Some people might chose to sneer at darts out of some sort of snobbery, but Taylor has the best winning mentality of any sportsperson I've seen. With all due respect to Federer, he isn't in Taylor's league for dominance of his sport. Taylor would never let a rival like Nadal get the better of him like Federer did, without breaking him mentally in the future. Raymond van Barneveld had some success against Taylor in 2006-2007 (close to even), but Barney didn't beat Taylor for 6 years on TV after June 2008. He broke him bad.
Oh my gosh not again.

How many time do we have to tell you that dart can't be compare to sports that require athleticism, especially when it doesn't required any running. Dart is a game, not a sport. It can only compare to non-athletic game like billiard or archery. A game that even an 80 years old man can still compete without much(if any) physicality.

Please stop with the apple-to-orange comparison. It's embarrassing
 
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