I found this article on Mens Tennis Forum today, and I think the writer did a pretty solid job. I mostly agree with his list, although I would have preferred that the men and women be separated. I just think that male and female tennis is so different that it is almost a different sport. Steffi Graf is number two on the list for her golden slam, yet Laver is at number 6 for his two calender slams for example. I mean there is simply no way that Graf should be ahead of Laver, unless it is automatically assumed that men is far superior to women in tennis. Of course the author realized this, so the list isn’t really ‘wrong’. It would just be more fair to the men if there were two separate lists. But like I said, all in all I like the list.
Roger appears on the list three times, for most number of consecutive weeks spent at number one, the record fifteen grand slam titles, and of course the number one on the list which is the twenty-two(and counting) consecutive grand slam semi-finals. I guess most people would have expected that Roger’s grand slam record of fifteen titles would be the most impressive record, but I must agree with the author that Roger’s twenty-two consecutive semi-finals at majors is even more impressive. You may remember that I made a post about this record when Roger made his twentieth major semi this year at the French Open, called Federer’s Grand Slam Record. This record is so impressive because it shows incredible consistency.
Even when Roger was in a slump in 2008, he still managed to keep this record in tact. To go through the worst period in your career and still make every major semi-final or better just show what a dominant player Roger is, and how good he is when it matters most. I mean the guy is a grand slam specialist unlike any other. In my previous article I remarked that the previous record was ten consecutive major semi-finals by Ivan Lendl, who was known as a machine. So for Roger to more than double that record is just sick. There is no doubt that Roger has many impressive records. Another record which is not on the the list is the fact that Roger made seventeen out of eighteen consecutive major finals. In fact that may be even better than the twenty-two consecutive semi’s.
Whatever the case may be, all of Roger’s records show incredible consistency and dominance. It is arguable whether Roger’s fifteen grand slam titles should be number two on the list. There is no doubt Borg’s three French Open/Wimbledon doubles in a row was an amazing feat, but winning the most grand slam titles in history which includes the career slam is probably even better. I guess the author wanted balance to his list, that’s why he put the women there and didn’t put Roger in the number one and two spot. Or maybe not. What matters is that Roger is on this list three times, while the other GOAT contender Laver is only on there once. This has got to count in Roger’s favor when we are talking about a GOAT.
Laver has two calender slams, but one of them was before the open era and the best players were playing pro. Roger just has so many records that it becomes harder all the time not to appoint him as the GOAT. I mean his career isn’t even over yet, yet he holds all the important records. The only angle the critics has left is that Roger did not win the calender slam, yet he came within one match of doing so on two occasions, losing on both occasions to the clay court GOAT in a very competitive era. So I don’t think one should make such a big deal of Roger not being able to win the calender slam. You can make it a black and white issue, or you can say Roger came within a single match on two occasions. It’s really up to the individual to make that decision.