Roger Federer: How Never Winning Olympic Singles Gold Affects GOAT Legacy

Kevin PacelliCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05:  Silver medalist Roger Federer (L) of Switzerland congratulates gold medalist Andy Murray (R) of Great Britain during the medal ceremony for the Men's Singles Tennis match on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 5, 2012 in London, England. Murray defeated Federer in the gold medal match in straight sets 2-6, 1-6, 4-6.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With 17 Grand Slams and almost 14 years of professional tennis under his belt, the world is beginning to reflect on the incredible career of Roger Federer. It seems that the only thing missing is an Olympic gold medal. He was certainly out for that entering the 2012 London games. 

Unfortunately for him, the British crowd was far too strong on Andy Murray's back in the gold-medal match, and the Scotsman was simply unstoppable.

It appears that if Fed wants to take the gold before his career is out, he will need to play through 2016.

The opinion that the Swiss Maestro is one of the greatest players in history is pretty universal among tennis fans at this point. But not everyone is ready to call him the individual greatest of all time (GOAT).

Does his lack of a gold medal have much of an effect on this debate? Some may argue that this year's Olympic games were Fed's chance to set himself apart from the others in the GOAT discussion. But the fact that he has yet to take gold really doesn't put much of a strike against him.

When it comes to his competition in the GOAT discussion (mainly Rod Laver and Pete Sampras), the Olympics cannot be used as a fair comparison. Tennis was not an Olympic event during the era of Laver, and Sampras participated just once, in 1992. In those Games, he only managed to reach the third round.

It is also important to consider the fact that the Olympics in which Federer has participated have all been on surfaces that we know he is good on (hard court in 2000, 2004 and 2008, grass in 2012). In other words, it's not like his Olympic career has exposed any kind of weaknesses in his game.

While winning that Olympic gold in London would have been another nice accomplishment to record, the fact that Federer failed to do so really doesn't hurt his legacy much. The Swiss Maestro has undoubtedly proved his worth among the greats through his numerous other feats. He will definitely be remembered as a GOAT candidate for years to come.