How Sweet Is Sweet?: Roger Federer's Sweet 16th

Donald MarhefkaCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2010

All the hype for Andy Murray should start fading any minute now. 


Look, Murray has been in two Grand Slam finals, and he deserves credit for that. But Roger Federer, the Swiss Maestro, has just won his 16th Grand Slam, and how sweet it is!


Murray is still young and should win some Slams before he is through. But, as of now, the Grand Slam count is as follows: 




It’s no secret that Roger’s nemesis is Rafael Nadal. Rafa has six Grand Slam wins, which is enough to merit him the title of one of the all-time best. But six is woefully short of 16, with no chance of catching up. Even if Rafa’s current injury turns out to be not so serious, his knee problems will probably always be with him. 


So, what does this latest accomplishment mean for The King of Tennis?


Of course, 16 is better than 15. He has already surpassed Sampras, so what does one more really mean? 


As a Federer fan, you could accuse me of being a glutton, but I want 20.


He will be the favorite at Wimbledon for the next three years minimum. He will contend for the AO and the US crowns for at least the next two years. So 20 is not out of the question.


As far as the French, maybe it would be asking too much to want another one. But he has been in the semis there (or better) for five years in a row. Not even Bjorn Borg or Nadal has done that. So it’s not a stretch to see him continuing to contend.

Make no mistake; Nadal will be ready for the French this year. I, along with everyone else, had him figured for 10 in a row until the Robin Soderling upset last year.


Significance of Sweet Sixteen

  • Increases the gap between him and Sampras. Pistol Pete is now two behind The Fed Express.
  • He has now reached the semis or better in 23 consecutive tournaments. None other than Long John Silver told me that if anyone doubts he is the GOAT, to remind them of this statistic.
  • He has now reached the finals in 18 of 19 Grand Slam finals since Wimbledon 2005.
  • He has now won 16 Grand Slam titles in only 27 majors since Wimbledon 2003.
  • He has reached the finals of all four Grand Slam titles three times. I wouldn’t bet against 2010 being No. 4.
  • The Swiss also holds numerous other records that were not enhanced by this victory.



I’d like to make a comparison of tennis to music. Beethoven was the greatest writer of symphonies. Chopin would be hard to beat for piano compositions. For operas, how do you feel about Verdi or Bizet?


Then there’s Mozart. He rises above categorization. Name any genre you wish, and Mozart is in the top five.


So, what has this to do with tennis? You probably know where I’m going with this. Sampras is the King of Grass and the serve. Nadal is the King of Clay. Agassi is the ultimate returner of serves.


So, where does this leave Federer?


Just like Mozart, he rises above being categorized.