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Australian Open: Web Review

29.01.2007 | Tennis

Contemporary Dominance Secure, Federer Is Now Measured by the Ages (New York Times)


At least there is history for Roger Federer to play against, because for the moment, no man is much of a match. Federer has won 36 consecutive matches over all, and six of the past seven major titles. No other active player has won more than three Grand Slam titles. Federer is tied for fifth on the career list with Bill Tilden, who won his majors between 1920 and 1930. Pete Sampras is atop the list with 14.


Federer, still only 25, is moving rapidly into range, and Sampras has already said that he is convinced that Federer will pass him, perhaps sooner than later.

Tiger Woods is not yet convinced he will lose his race with Federer. Woods, who met Federer at last year’s United States Open, has befriended him. According to Federer, Woods often teases him that he is going to break Jack Nicklaus’s career record of 18 Grand Slam golf victories before Federer breaks Sampras’s record. Woods is six victories from his target, Federer is four from his.


“He loves it; he likes to beat me up,” said Federer, who spoke with Woods while he was in Australia. “He says he’s going to break it first. I hope just to get close to it. He is more, I think, driven than me. I’m maybe more laid-back in terms of looking at all these records and matches, but he really is so driven by the majors and by beating Nicklaus’s record.” He added: “But I always hope well for Tiger, and not that I’m going to break the record the first. I hope he breaks it as well. I hope we both do.”




Roger Federer: One of the All-Time Greats? (ABC News)


As Roger Federer lifted the champion's trophy above his head after picking-up yet another grand slam title, the tennis fans around the world resumed the debate that is dominating the sport: Is Roger Federer the best player to ever swing a racket?


Sports are filled with superstars, but legends are few and far between. The title of "best ever" is even rarer. Players like basketball's Michael Jordan and hockey's Wayne Gretzky hold those unofficial all-time honors. Tiger Woods is now up there with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer on most best-golfer lists. But tennis is a sport that has seen many dominating players throughout different eras.


There was Don Budge, the first man to win all four Grand Slam titles in a single year, 1937. He dominated the sport in the 1930s and '40s. The '50s belonged to Australians Ken Roswall and Rod Laver. Arthur Ashe and Jimmy Connors dominated the 1970s. The early '80s belonged to Bjorn Borg, before a young upstart named John McEnroe changed the way tennis was played. And in the '90s, American Pete Sampras revolutionized the game again, winning a record 14 Grand Slam titles in the process.


Still, while the torch has been passed from generation to generation, Cindy Shmerler, broadcaster for the Tennis Channel and contributing editor of Tennis magazine, said Federer is now untouchable, and that he is making his own run at the "best-ever" title.


"Not only is he so dominating on every surface," said Shmerler. "I don't see anybody that can beat him in any way, shape or form." And, said Shmerler, while those other champions may have had their day in the sun, Federer has the potential to be something more.


"There's a certain mentality that superheroes have that mere mortals don't," she said. "Roger certainly has it. Among his peers, and certainly among the last decade [of tennis pros], there's no question that he's the greatest."




Roger Federer Now Just 3/1 to Win Grand Slam in 2007 (CNW Group)


Leading international sports betting site, PinnacleSports.com originally released odds on the number of Grand Slam singles titles won by Roger Federer prior to the start of this year's Australian Open. Now with the first major tournament already under his belt, the bettors at PinnacleSports.com believe Federer has a very good chance to complete the Grand Slam this year. Knowing that the world's top player has never won the French Open, PinnacleSports.com lists the chances that Federer falls just one title short of completing the

Grand Slam for the third time in his career as a 3/2 favorite. The odds that Federer will finish the year with just two major championships currently stands at 5/2, while the most unlikely scenario is that Federer will close

2007 with only one Grand Slam title at 11/1 odds.


How Many Grand Slam Singles Titles Will Roger Federer Win In 2007?





Grand Slam........3/1




“Federer yet to play his best” (Tony Roche at Eurosport)


Tony Roche believes Australian Open champion Roger Federer will continue to get better and that the world number one is yet to play his best tennis. Roche - Federer's coach for the past two years - also said that Federer is within touching distance of emulating Rod Laver's calendar year grand slams of 1962 and 1969 by winning all four majors this year.


"Roger hasn't even started to use a lot of his game," Roche said on his return home to Sydney from Melbourne.

"I think Roger's best years are ahead of him. I think his big years are when he is 26, 27, 28 as that is when he will be both mature and at his physical peak. I think he will become a better player in many respects.


"It is a challenge for all of those who are trying to stop him but they are playing against a man who will probably enter tennis history as the best ever. "He is like a good red wine, he is getting better with age."


"When Roger starts off a year, he always says that he will be happy to win one slam but winning two would be great and winning three would be fantastic," Roche said.

"The grand slam would be the ultimate. I had always thought that it would be impossible for anyone to do the grand slam again after Laver. And then I met Roger.

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