The top 10 athletes of the 2000’s….No. 1December 23, 2009
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