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Laver: Federer is best ever

2012-07-05 16:11

London - Australian legend Rod Laver on Thursday proclaimed Roger Federer as the greatest player of all time, but with Rafael Nadal not far behind.

"Roger Federer certainly is my claim to be the best of all time if there is such a thing," said the 73-year-old Australian.

"Roger's got all the shots, his anticipation is unbelievable, his timing off the groundstrokes with his shots, his single-handed backhand is one of the best there is.

"But at the same time, I look at Rafael Nadal and what he's done to win seven French Open titles and Wimbledon.

"Being able to play with somewhat of a suspect knee, his way of motoring around the court and tracking shots down is quite uncanny.

"They're very close. Are they great champions and do they have equal abilities? I'd say 'yes', they're pretty much equal."

Meanwhile, four-time Wimbledon champion Laver, the last man to complete a calendar Grand Slam in 1969, has told Andy Murray that he must be more aggressive if he wants to end Britain's 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam champion.

"He plays a safe game a little bit too long," Laver told the BBC.

"That allows an opponent to be more aggressive, rather than continually putting pressure on an opponent."

Murray will face France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday bidding to become Britain's first male finalist at Wimbledon since Bunny Austin in 1938.

"Murray gets in a position where he's maybe up a break or in a position to win a game, and he just plays it back," added the great Australian.

"That's when you put your foot down and make sure you win that point so you get either two breaks or you get a break back.

""That's the one thing I think maybe he's missing, being able to say 'I've got to win this point' or 'I've got to break serve here' or 'If I get a chance I'm not just going to play it back, I'm going to be aggressive'."

AFP

Comments
  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-07-05 16:35

    Federer is from Switzerland. They are never expected to excel at anything but skiing, are they? So Roger has little or no pressure. He is just such a natural champion and all-round nice guy. Murray has the weight of the UK on his shoulders. And frankly, he does not seem to have the stomach for the challenge. Nadal has guts, like Novak as well. They are tennis for the next 5 years.

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-05 16:47

    But Federer can't beat Nadal and Djokovic in the same tournament? How is he the greatest of all time when he can't beat the current players as we speak?

      steven.mey - 2012-07-05 17:15

      You have not seen the stats have you? Currently Nadal v Federer is 18 to 10. And Djokovic v Federer is 11 to 14. So he has beaten them more than a couple of times.

      millionwatts1 - 2012-07-05 17:25

      He is likable but he really struggles against these two.

      jono.qmann - 2012-07-05 18:17

      Hey u clown....he is about 8 years older than the other two and about 5 years ago when fed was in his prime neither nor came even close!!! Neither one of those two had a sniff against him! It is just recently when they had three kids and he stopped training like he used to! Make intelligent statements next time pls!!!

      millionwatts1 - 2012-07-05 20:14

      @Jono, you think I am a clown simply because Roger can't beat Nadal and Djokovic? Like I said they are playing the same tournaments and Federa has been losing to these guys for a while now (Nadal 7 Time French Champ) Come on this is sport not Miss Personality!

      Kevin - 2012-07-05 20:34

      Only as he comes to the end of his career. 5 years from now Nadal will be struggling against younger players with fewer injuries and Djokovic will be feeling the chill wind on the back of his neck. It is the way of professional sport. As you get older your reflexes go first, then your speed, then your strength and finally your endurance. It is how it should be.

      millionwatts1 - 2012-07-05 20:44

      Come on Roger has been losing to these two since he was 24. They didn't start winning this year.

      jono.qmann - 2012-07-06 08:26

      Dude the more you write on this forum the more you come across as a clown that dont know much about tennis nor sport in general...Nadal is king of clay and thats about it, yes he has won here and there but 5 years ago when Fed was in his prime (try and stay with me now since i am repeating myself) he beat both of these players on a regular basis and therefor he has the most majors!!! he has a family now and he doesnt train that often anymore and also he is getting older while the other two are moving into there prime. Does that make sense??? here are some stats for u... Wimbeldon: 2005 R. Federer SUI 2006 R. Federer SUI 2007 R. Federer SUI 2008 R. Nadal ESP 2009 R. Federer SUI 2010 R. Nadal ESP 2011 N. Djokovic SRB US Open: 2004 to 2008 Roger Federer 2009. Del Potro 2010 Nadal 2011 Novak 2012 Federer (lol) Australia: 2004 Roger Federer (SUI) 2005 Marat Safin (RUS) 2006 Roger Federer (SUI) 2007 Roger Federer (SUI) 2008 Novak Djokovic (SRB) 2009 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 2010 Roger Federer (SUI) 2011 Novak Djokovic (SRB) 2012 Novak Djokovic (SRB) Roland Garros: 2009 Federer and the rest Nadal So do you understand the concept of getting older now and what happens when u get older and have a family? 5 years ago Federer was the best and yet at his age he is still in finals and in semi finals on a regular basis! Best tennis player ever!

      millionwatts1 - 2012-07-06 14:58

      You just love him that's all. Watch him lose in less than 5 sets in the Semi then you Will understand that with Djoko we are onto something here. These two Nadal and Djoko are going to pass the majors record that Federer holds. Age is on their side.(And so is the way they play)

      jono.qmann - 2012-07-06 16:36

      Go siiiiiiiittttttt millionwats....you dont know jack shiz balls!!! Did you see that!!!??? Djoko please GOOO SiiiiTTT!!!! lol Well done FEDEX.......next lol

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-05 16:47

    But Federer can't beat Nadal and Djokovic in the same tournament? How is he the greatest of all time when he can't beat the current players as we speak?

      vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-07-05 16:59

      Simply because Novak and Rafa are at their prime. Roger is nearly 31 and not really expected to win anything. But he did dominate tennis for the better part of a decade. That is brilliant in itself.

      tshandazenzile - 2012-07-05 18:53

      All I want from Federer is to beat the hell out Djokovic in the semis. I don't like the way he(Djokovic) celebrates, he is arrogant!

      millionwatts1 - 2012-07-05 20:20

      But you forget that Nadal has been winning the French open since Roger was 24! Come on this is not about who is nice, its about winning. I think Djokovic would be liked if he came the west side. I mean this guy is a Tennis machine.

      jono.qmann - 2012-07-06 08:30

      whats your point? rafa wins on clay and thats it! he is a specialist on clay and look what happened on the grass this year! fed beat all of them on grass and on hard court 5 years ago...so what you got to say about that?

  • Berto En Petra Mostert - 2012-07-05 16:51

    Roger Betterer!

  • Berto En Petra Mostert - 2012-07-05 16:57

    Roger is in the dawn of his career and has nothing more to prove - he's a legend and a tennis genius!

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