Roger Federer wins a record 20th Grand Slam, is he the G.O.A.T?

Switzerland's Roger Federer holds his trophy aloft after defeating Croatia's Marin Cilic during the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

Next Sunday night, Tom Brady will be playing for his 6th Super Bowl championship, and quite possibly his 5th Super Bowl MVP award as well, both things totally unheard of. If done, it is a feat that will be sure to get him called the greatest to ever to play the game.

But in all of the praise and accolades of someone like Brady, we so easily forget about a man like Roger Federer. Maybe it’s because of how humble he is, or maybe it’s just because he plays Tennis and that gets put on the back burner in the minds of most Americans.

The fact of the matter is though, is that this man, Roger Federer, just won his 6th Australian open earlier this morning and his 20th grand slam title overall. To put that in perspective, the 36-year-old Federer won his first grand slam in the 2003 Wimbledon. Since then, he won at least one grand slam every year through 2010. In some years, winning multiple titles.

Before making his way to a ridiculous 20 grand slams, Federer beat Pete Sampras’ record of 14 slam titles back in 09′. He has now surpassed that old record by 6…6 grand slams! To have six grand slams in your entire career will get you into the Tennis hall of fame. But Fed now has six more than the old all-time record. Think about that for a second. What is also truly impressive is his longevity. You can’t be the greatest ever without longevity. There was a period between 13′ and 16′ where Federer struggled with injuries and changes to his game. A sort of dark ages if you will for the champion where he did not win one grand slam title.

But then a renaissance of sorts took place beginning with last years Australian Open championship to start off the 2017 season. Then an all-time record 8th Wimbledon title. Fed was back and some were saying maybe better than ever. After knee surgery and struggling through injury, Federer’s quest for a 20th grand slam was alive and well. Now that it’s happened and that seemingly impossible milestone has been met, it’s time to really start asking where Roger Federer belongs in the pantheon of all-time sports greats. He is undoubtedly the greatest Tennis player ever to live, but what about after that?

Muhammed Ali, Babe Ruth, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Tom Brady. It’s well overdue to add Roger Federer to that list. And maybe, even put him towards the top.

 

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