Roger Federer hailed as 'greatest of all time' after Wimbledon 2017 victory

By @saihoops on
Roger Federer
Tennis - Wimbledon - London, Britain - July 16, 2017 Switzerland’s Roger Federer poses with the trophy as he celebrates winning the final against Croatia’s Marin Cilic Reuters / Daniel Leal-Olivas

Roger Federer, without dropping a set, breezed through a fortnight at SW19 and re-wrote the history books Sunday by becoming the first player to capture eight Wimbledon titles. With Grand Slam No. 19 in the bag, Federer is now indisputably the rightful bearer of the "Greatest of all time" tag and very few would argue.

After American pioneer Billie Jean King hailed Federer the G.O.A.T via a tweet, former two-time Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg, Josh Isner and Tommy Haas followed suit. But it didn't stop there. Barcelona star Gerard Pique put Federer on the same pedestal as Lionel Messi and Michael Jordan as "the best I've seen" and snooker star Michael Holt feels "if you don't think he's the greatest you need to go to see a doctor."

Roger Federer on the same level as Ali, Pele and Nicklaus?

Besides Federer’s from the sporting world, celebrities and politicians were equally quick to shower their appreciation for the Swiss Master. The Australian believes that Federer will go down in the history books on the same pedestal as icons Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus, Pele and Donald Bradman. The New York Times can't understate how Federer, at the age of 35 years and 11 months, became the oldest men's champion in the Open Era and the first since Swedish great Bjorn Borg (1n 1976) to win Wimbledon without dropping a set.

After surpassing childhood hero Pete Sampras as the greatest men's champion in Wimbledon history, Federer said he never set his sights on conquering SW19. “Winning eight is not something you can ever aim for, in my opinion. If you do, I don’t know, you must have so much talent and parents and the coaches that push you from the age of 3 on, who think of you like a project. I was not that kid. I was just really a normal guy growing up in Basel, hoping to make a career on the tennis tour.”

Roger Federer in 2017: Two Grand Slam titles, 31 wins, two losses

Federer entered 2017 as the World No. 17 and viewed as an afterthought to win Grand Slam titles. After all, he hadn't won a major title since the 2012 Wimbledon. Fast forward to July and Federer owns a 31-2 win-loss record with victories at the Australian Open, Miami Masters, Indian Wells Masters, Halle Open and Wimbledon. It's fair to state that his feats in 2017 overshadow all of his achievements since 2010. What’s more? Federer isn't slowing down any time soon.

“I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to run through top-10 players the way I am, win all these breakers, win all these big moments. This is what’s made the difference for me. I’ve won all the big matches this year. It’s unbelievable," said Federer, who skipped the entirety of the European clay-court season to focus on Wimbledon and US Open. 

Australia's Ken Rosewall remains the oldest player to win a Grand Slam in the Open Era. Rosewall, at the age of 37 years and two months, captured the 1972 Australian Open crown. For Roger Federer to surpass the record, the ageless wonder from Switzerland would have to win the 2019 Australian Open. At this stage, nobody is ruling it out.