Does It Matter Whether Roger Federer Is the Greatest Ever?

josh millarSenior Analyst IAugust 27, 2008

Quite frankly, I need to get something off my chest.

While the debate of greatest of all time may entertain some and act as filler for actual sports talk, it never has tickled my fancy.

I am not interested in the conversation of "this guy has so many titles" and did such and such.

Why do I feel this way, you ask?

It is because so often this debate is about numbers and not about the old eyeball test.

It's about the numbers you know and what you hear and not what you see.

Which brings me to Roger Federer.

Forget the numbers for once. Just watch and absorb the man they call Roger Federer, and my point will become clearer.

He has a quiet composure. His matches always seem to carry that composure. Even his most exciting matches seem to allow tennis purists to be overcome with quiet and calm.

His footwork s graceful; even slow motion doesn’t do it justice, because he doesn’t run on the court; he soars and prances. It’s elegant, really.

The sound of the ball off his racket is purely crisp; you can hear it, as there is no intimidating grunt.

Throughout a match he breaks nary a sweat. For Federer, tennis is not work but a talent show, of moments never before seen, perhaps never to be seen again.

To the man, his sport is the greatest in the world. He doesn’t carry the torch; he shares it with his compatriots, wanting to do his best, not just for himself.

He has a gracious attitude on and off the court, carrying himself with the grace of a champion.

So next time you watch Roger Federer, observe him for who he is and what he does.

Then let the numbers tell their half of the story, for it is only half.

The other is the great man himself.

ROGER FEDERER: greatest of all time? Let someone else decide.

For he already exemplifies greatness, and that’s all that should matter.