Say, that was some beatdown (as Patrick McEnroe labeled it) Rafael Nadal laid on Roger Federer in the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson bakeoff, yeah?
From the Los Angeles Times:
The top-ranked Spaniard defeats the former world No. 1 Swiss, 6-3, 6-2, in a Sony Ericsson Open semifinal.
That’s a serious gutcheck for Federer, a.k.a. The Greatest of All Time.
The hardwatching staff has always been uneasy with that designation, largely because for most of his 16 Grand Slam titles, Federer lacked a worthy archrival to truly test him.
No Agassi to his Sampras, for instance. No Connors to his McEnroe (John, that is).
Federer’s Grand Slam finals history (via espn.com):
2010 Australian Open Roger Federer Andy Murray 2009 U.S. Open Juan Martin del Potro Roger Federer 2009 Wimbledon Roger Federer Andy Roddick 2009 French Open Roger Federer Robin Soderling 2009 Australian Open Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 2008 U.S. Open Roger Federer Andy Murray 2008 Wimbledon Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 2008 French Open Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 2008 Australian Open Novak Djokovic Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2007 U.S. Open Roger Federer Novak Djokovic 2007 Wimbledon Roger Federer Rafael Nadal 2007 French Open Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 2007 Australian Open Roger Federer Fernando Gonzalez 2006 U.S. Open Roger Federer Andy Roddick 2006 Wimbledon Roger Federer Rafael Nadal 2006 French Open Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 2006 Australian Open Roger Federer Marcos Baghdatis 2005 U.S. Open Roger Federer Andre Agassi 2005 Wimbledon Roger Federer Andy Roddick 2005 French Open Rafael Nadal Mariano Puerta 2005 Australian Open Marat Safin Lleyton Hewitt 2004 U.S. Open Roger Federer Lleyton Hewitt 2004 Wimbledon Roger Federer Andy Roddick 2004 French Open Gaston Gaudio Guillermo Coria 2004 Australian Open Roger Federer Marat Safin 2003 U.S. Open Andy Roddick Juan Carlos Ferrero 2003 Wimbledon Roger Federer Mark Philippoussis
Roddick, Soderling, Gonzalez, Hewitt, Safin, Baghdatis, Philippoussis?
Sure, he beat Andy Murray and Nadal twice (mostly when they were green) and Andre Agassi once (well past his prime), but really, wasn’t Federer in the end a product of his opponents?
That’s not to detract from his overall achievements.
Just to put them in context.