The top 10 athletes of the 2000’s….No. 1

December 23, 2009

"Quiet, for the serve"

The countdown is about to come to a close, and this tennis player was the most dominant athlete of the 2000’s.  Many lists picked Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, or even Tom Brady to claim this spot, but many also did not realize what my number 1 athlete accomplished over the past 10 years.   As of September, 2009, he is ranked world number 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), having previously held the number one position for a record 237 consecutive weeks.   Many sports analysts, tennis critics, former and current players consider this athlete to be the greatest tennis player of all time and one of the greatest athletes the sports world has ever seen. 

The number 1 athlete of the 2000’s after the jump!


Roger Federer has won 15 Grand Slam singles titles, more than any other male player. He is one of six male players to have captured the career Grand Slam, winning all four Grand Slam tournaments.  Likewise, Federer has appeared in an unprecedented 21 career Grand Slam finals, and as of September 2009, has reached the semi-finals or better of the last 22 Grand Slam tournaments, a record streak that spans over five years. He also holds the record of reaching 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals and has appeared in 17 of the last 18.  As a result of his successes in tennis, Federer was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for four consecutive years (2005–2008). 

This decade, Federer won the Australian Open three times, Wimbledon six times, the U.S. Open five times, and won the French Open for the first time this year. Moreover, he won the Tour Finals four times and held a record of 678-161.   His five consecutive men’s titles at Wimbledon from 2003–07 matched a feat achieved only by Björn Borg in the open era.   In addition, Federer holds the open era record for most consecutive US Open titles at five (2004–08)and is the only male player in tennis history to win at least five consecutive titles at two different Grand Slam tournaments (2003–07 Wimbledon, 2004–08 US Open).  His victory at the 2004 US Open marked the first time in the open era that any male had won his first four Grand Slam finals.   He eventually won his first seven Grand Slam finals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the 2006 French Open final.   Federer, Richard Sears, and William Renshaw are the only male players in tennis history to win their first seven Grand Slam finals. 

At the 2007 Australian Open, Federer became the fourth man in the open era to win a Grand Slam title without dropping a set. The last man to do this before Federer was Borg at the 1980 French Open.  The only other man to win the Australian Open during the open era without dropping a set was Ken Rosewall in 1971.  At the 2006 Australian Open, he became the first man to win three consecutive Grand Slam titles since Sampras in 1993–94.   Federer repeated this feat at the 2007 Australian Open, making him the only man to achieve this feat twice in the open era.  By winning the 2007 Australian Open, Federer became the only male tennis player to win three different Grand Slam tournaments at least three times each. 

Federer’s versatility was epitomised by Jimmy Connors’ statement: “In an era of specialists, you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist…or you’re Roger Federer.”  Roger Federer is an all-court player known for his fluent style of play and shot making. David Foster Wallace described Roger’s exceptional speed, fluidity and brute force of this forehand motion as “a great liquid whip”, while John McEnroe has referred to Federer’s forehand as “the greatest shot in our sport”.  Tiger Woods may get the endorsements, Tom Brady may get the supermodels, and Peyton Manning receives plenty of commercials, but nobody dominated their sport like Roger Federer took over Tennis in the 2000’s. 

“Roger Federer is definitely the best tennis player of all-time.  He is the perfect tennis player.  Some players are great physically, some mentally, and others technically.  Roger is all of them. 

– Marat Safin

The top 10 athletes of the decade:


No. 10- Martin Brodeur

No. 9- Tim Duncan

No. 8- Albert Pujols

No. 7- LaDainian Tomlinson

No. 6- Peyton Manning

No. 5- Michael Phelps

No. 4- Kobe Bryant

No. 3- Tom Brady

No. 2- Tiger Woods

No. 1- Roger Federer



  1. omg…who gives a shit about tennis tho

  2. “omg…who gives a shit about tennis tho

    by Justin December 23, 2009 at 7:49 pm”

    Many people do and most people I know watch tennis only because of Roger Federer.

    So thank you for the very well-researched article, your list is intriguing and I applaud your choice of No. 1.

    I and his millions of fans around the world hope Federer will have another fantastic year in 2010 and that he will continue to play and astound us with his mesmerizing skills on the tennis courts for years to come.

  3. who gives a shit what Desner thinks? lol seriously tho, the tennis ratings are pretty high so people do care.

    • So i guess Pete Sampras was the athlete of he decade for the 90’s? I extremely disagree with Federer being #1. One the list?…Definitely, but not #1.

      • hmmm not sure about Sampras but Federer was the most impressive athlete, playing in an individual sport (much harder), this decade. He had 15 major titles, compared to Woods’ 12. I could have went with Brady, but Tom Terrific missed two years (2000, 2008).

  4. Manny Pacquiao captured the world light weight belt, super featherweight belt, ibf super bantamweight belt, wbc world flyweight belt and is currently the wbo’s welterweight champ and ring mags light welter weight champion of the world… he is also currently recognized by all boxing sanctions as the number 1 pound for pound champion of the world. ALL IN THE PAST DECADE…. how can he not be on the list man??

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