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Wimbledon 2012: Where Roger Federer Ranks Among Best Champions in History

Devin NoonanCorrespondent IIIJuly 8, 2012

Wimbledon 2012: Where Roger Federer Ranks Among Best Champions in History

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    Roger Federer has won yet another Wimbledon Championship in 2012.

    He defeated Britain's Andy Murray in four sets to claim his seventh career title at the All England Club.

    With his seventh victory, Federer is now tied with his hero Pete Sampras for the most Wimbledon titles in Open Era history.

    At the age of 30, he has officially proven that age is just a number as he reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in the world with the win.

    Now that another exciting year in London has come to a close, let's see where Federer ranks among the all-time Wimbledon greats.

5. Boris Becker

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    Boris Becker is the youngest player to ever win a title at Wimbledon.

    In 1985, the 17-year-old German tennis star shocked the world as he beat Kevin Curren in four sets to bring home the championship.

    He became the first unseeded player to ever win at Wimbledon.

    In 1986, the teenager came back and defeated the top-ranked Ivan Lendl for his second straight victory.

    From then on, he reached the finals at Wimbledon an additional five times, winning just once more in 1989 as he defeated the reigning champion Stefan Edberg in straight sets.

4. Rod Laver

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    In 1968, Rod Laver became the first-ever Open Era champion at Wimbledon.

    He won two consecutive titles to begin the Open Era, adding to his two previous victories at Wimbledon as an amateur in 1961 and '62.

    After making the jump to the pros, he was unable to play in any of the major tournaments from 1963 until 1968, since they were only open to amateurs at the time.

    Had professionals been able to play in the Grand Slam events prior to the Open Era, some critics believe that Laver would have been the greatest male champion of all time.

    He won all four Grand Slam tournaments in both 1962 and 1969, the last player to perform such an extraordinary feat.

3. Björn Borg

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    The five-time Wimbledon Champion set the record for consecutive championship wins from 1976-1980, a record which Roger Federer tied from 2003-2007.

    He ranks among the top five players of all time with 11 Grand Slam victories, tied with Rafael Nadal and Rod Laver for fourth on the list.

    Borg only played professional tennis from 1973-1983, winning five of his six career finals appearances at Wimbledon during that stretch.

    Had he played longer or simply played in all of the Grand Slam events each year (he only played in one Australian Open in his career), there is no telling how great he could have been.

2. Pete Sampras

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    From 1993-2000, Pete Sampras put on one of the most dazzling displays in tennis history at Wimbledon.

    He emerged victorious in seven out of eight Wimbledon Championships, the likes of which had never before been seen.

    His only failed effort came in 1996, where he lost to the eventual champion Richard Krajicek in the quarterfinals.

    Sampras is arguably considered to be the best grass player of all time, as well as one of the best players in the history of the sport.

1. Roger Federer

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    With the talented competition of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray all hitting their prime, the slightly older Roger Federer has defied all odds.

    At the age of 30, he has won his seventh career title at Wimbledon in 2012.

    This week, he will officially tie Pete Sampras' Open Era record of 286 weeks atop the ATP World Tour rankings.

    Despite his youthful opposition, he has proven himself time and time again to be one of the most dominant players in the game.

    The great Rod Laver stated a few years back that Federer may even have the potential to be the first true Grand Slam champion in over 40 years.

    Whether he wins all four majors or not, he certainly has high hopes of winning another one at Wimbledon next year.

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