This week’s caption contest celebrates Roger Federer, Andy Murray and the Australian Open

I’m always hesitant to label an athlete the best to ever play his sport, particularly since that label gets thrown around like a hot potato.

That being said, Roger Federer is the best men’s tennis player ever. Period. I never saw Bill Tilden play. I never watched Rod Laver. But I have seen Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi. Federer’s better than all of them. Or at least more dominant.

This weekend, Federer won his record 16th major. At only 29, he’s making a mockery of men’s tennis. His straight-set victory over Britain’s Andy Murray in the Australian Open finals was no exception. Not only did Federer destroy Murray’s will, he talked trash while doing so, mocking that it had been 150,000 years since a Brit had won a major. Make that 150,001.

Federer kills you with kindness then with aces and winners. So to celebrate the best tennis player ever, sportschump.net presents an often seen photo of Federer’s latest conquest: the mouth agape of Andy Murray.

Show me what ya’ got, boys and girls. And uh… keep it clean.

andy-murray

49 thoughts on “This week’s caption contest celebrates Roger Federer, Andy Murray and the Australian Open

  1. In all seriousness though, Al, I’m drinking the Federer Kool-Aid. He’s got at least 3 or 4 more majors left in him. He can retire when he wants. With an unhealthy Nadal, nobody can beat him. Nobody’s even close. Is he that good or is everyone else that bad?

    We might never see someone rule tennis like this ever again.

    Not until Tim Tebow joins the tour.

  2. Caption: Who cares if I can’t compete with Federer, I’m a Brit who actually has decent teeth…..see!

    Chris……it’s hard to argue the greatness of Federer. But I could argue that during his reign of tennis domination, who has been a solid #2….apart from a healthy Nadal? And Federer can’t beat a healthy Nadal. He struggled against a one-legged Nadal.

    Of the players you named in the article, any number of those guys could have won in the 80′s. It took a dominating young “phenom” named John McEnroe to beat Borg. McEnroe had to deal with a resurging Jimmy Connors. Lendl was always there….probably the most underated professional men’s tennis player in the history of the game. And you had a cast of characters that could knock off any of these guys….Becker, Wilander, Cash, Courier, Chang…..what about Pete Sampras? He was pretty good.

    I don’t know what’s happened to tennis. But I believe that if this guy played during the Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Sampras error…..we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  3. Han…. hmmmm. Odd. Don’t know where my head was. I was thinking Sampras the entire time too.

    It’s funny how unassuming guys like Lendl and Sampras and now Federer become the best at their craft.

  4. Miguel… are you suggesting Federer’s dominance is due to a lack of consistent competition at #2 and not that he’s beating them into submission? Is there an asterisk by his legacy because everyone else sucks? We’ll see what happens if/when Nadal comes back at 100% but remember, Roddick played his ass off that last US Open Final and it STILL wasn’t enough to tame Federer.

    Furthermore, where does Serena rank? She’s kicking ass among a field that is plenty more competitive than the men’s end.

    And when are we going to see the next great American men’s champion? It’s not too long before we end up like the Brits. 150,000 years removed from a major.

  5. Chris…yea that’s what I’m suggesting. You wouldn’t put an Andy Roddick in the same class as a Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Sampras would you. He doesn’t deserve to be there.

    Anyways it’s such a judgement call. Are you telling me that a McEnroe or Connors in their prime wouldn’t beat Federer at least 40-50% of the time in a major? I just think those guys were mentally tougher and competitive than the guys on the tour now…and it doesn’t necessarily come down to talent.

    How many times did you see Jimmy Connors will points into the court that he had no business getting to? Or McEnroe somehow returning a volley to an untouchable location when he’s at the net like a sitting duck?

    It’s interesting to think about it isn’t it?

  6. Chris

    It’s been nigh on 70 plus years since a British male has won a Grand Slam singles’ title. And that was done by Fred Perry , who three consecutive singles’ titles at Wimbledon in the thirties. We’ve been lucky enough to have a female winner with Virginia Wade and that’s been it. What more can I say than we suck ?

    This Tebow ad for the Superbowl is really creating a firestorm of unwanted proportions.

    Alan Parkins

  7. Chris

    Dropped these two pieces. One is on college football and who allegedly came out the better in terms of the so called top recruiting class. The other is on the accusations about ‘Lefty’ being a cheat on the PGA Tour.

    Did I Miss Something Here But Since When Did The PGA Tour Turn Into A Free For All ………. ?

    =================

    It’d Be Easier To Pull A Rabbit Out Of A Hat Or Your Own Ass Than It Is To Predict Who Had The Best Recruiting Class In College Football …… So What Gives ?

    Alan Parkins

  8. Even Andy Murray failed in the latest event of the Australian Open festivities, Bobbing for Roger Federer’s Ego.

  9. Chris

    I loved the fact that former Bucs’ player Derrick Brooks let rip and wailed on the Bucs’ ownership ! ’bout time considering what has gone on there !

    Courtesy of Tampabay.com

    Derrick Brooks speaks candidly on Bucs’ lack of “commitment”

    Derrick Brooks is here in South Florida for Super Bowl week and took a little time from his Sirius Radio and other obligations to chat rather freely about the Bucs.

    The 14-year linebacker and Hall-of-Fame shoo-in who was released before last season was adamant that there’s a lack of commitment on the franchise’s part to both its players and its staff.

    “I was asked what’s the difference now where the Bucs are (compared to) when you go back 12 years when I was young,” Brooks said. “I said this: The difference is the commitment in terms of where is the franchise going?

    “All the coaches are obviously on one-year deals and the economics of the game of the game (a potential 2011 lockout) forced that hand. But as a franchise, they don’t have a core group of guys who are beyond three or four years. When I was young, they had that. This year, I don’t see that. The guy that was told to be the leader of the defense (linebacker Barrett Ruud), no one showed him any long-term commitment (Ruud’s contract expires this month). How can he really embrace that role? It was hard for Barrett to do that. I fielded a lot of phone calls from guys on the team this year because they missed that presence. You can’t force that. . . Leaders kind of evolve from situations that are not manufactured. I did the best I could just being me, being positive to help the guys through.”

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    article in its entirety
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    This isn’t about sour grapes but he’s merely stating the obvious concerning the organization .

    Alan Parkins

  10. It is interesting, Mike. So where do you rank Federer? Seems like the old school in you is unwilling to call him the best ever.

    And how will Federer be remembered? Is it his fault that he’s destroying the competition one by one?

    Is there an asterisk next to his Majors record because he’s played against seemingly lesser, pound-for-pound competition?

    As I mention on the Loaf at http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2010/02/04/this-week%E2%80%99s-caption-contest-celebrates-roger-federer-andy-murray-and-the-australian-open/, what about athletes like Mike Tyson or Lennox Lewis? Both those guys dominated their sport at a time when competition wasn’t historically great. Does that make them lesser champions?

    We both know Federer will rattle off at least three more majors.

    I thinking, right or wrong, he goes down as the best ever.

    And personally, I think he’d destroy Sampras.

  11. Al… nobody but Switzerland is crowning a tennis champion any time soon so the rest of the world might just want to wait in line.

    And I wonder how his Tebow ad will change his public perception.

  12. Golf has some funny rules, Al. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that another golfer called Phil out for using the club.

    But I guess the sport has nothing to talk about with Tiger gone.

    I’m guessing the commissioner is probably glad they’re actually talking about the sport in his absence.

  13. Al… they should just sell the team.

    I don’t think there’s any sour grapes there. As you well know, Brooks carries much weight here in the community.

    Next year will tell a lot about the franchise and their willingness to put a winning product on the field.

  14. Chris

    I think that DB’ll call it as he sees it with the Bucs. And now that he’s also got a gig with Sirius, it’ll be interesting to see if he can truly be impartial and objective when necessary.

    As to Lefty , he knew full well what he was doing and the excuse used doesn’t hold water.

    Neither McEnroe or Connors on their best day could hold a candle to Federer. What Mike is also forgetting is that the technology then and now has improved vastly. Connors being a serve and volleyer would be killed in today’s game ! McEnroe would be lucky to win a set much hold serve against someone like Nadal , let alone face Federer.

    Dropped this on the Chargers’ LT and his imminent departure from the team.

    It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday ………….Oh No It Isn’t Just Do It ……….. As In The Nike Ad …………

    Alan Parkins

  15. I like Derrick on air, Al. I wasn’t sure how he’d do but he’s pretty solid. When is he on Sirius? Is it his own show?

    Interesting points about Connors and Mac, Al. Although Mike happens to be a huge Mac fan so he might fire back at you with a vengeance.

    I wonder who’s gonna be in the LT sweepstakes and who would pay what he’s askin’.

  16. How can I respond to that……….you think he would destroy Sampras? Wow!

    That is definately interesting…haha

  17. Chris

    In my younger years when I use to head to Wimbledon to watch the championships. I was something of of Mac fan. That was ’til he went off on a profanity laced tirade against an official and young ball boy. From thereon in I simply had enough of his whinin’ a_s a player. I was glad that year when Bjorg crushed him !

    As for LT he’s definitely going to end up with a contender. Simply put , he’s still got at least one or two years at best left in him. He’s no longer an ‘every down back’ but he can still do some damage given the right opportunity. Just as long as he doesn’t take the money and run the ‘Edge’ did in Seattle. Edgerrin James sank faster there than his previous entire career of almost a decade in the NFL.

    I see that Lane Kiffin likes ‘em young ? Recruits that is , so take your mind out of the gutter just this once .

    13-year-old ‘commits’ to USC, and pancakes for breakfast

    Last year, a fairly ridiculous story made the rounds wherein Lane Kiffin, then the new head coach at Tennessee, reportedly offered a scholarship to 14-year-old Evan Berry, younger brother of UT All-American Eric Berry and soon-to-be high school freshman, who reportedly accepted. Now at USC, Kiffin apparently figured on Thursday that was setting the bar a little too low — why target eighth-graders, after all, when you can get to them in seventh grade:

    According to the Wilmington News Journal, Bear, Del., seventh-grade quarterback David Sills committed Thursday night to accept a football scholarship from USC.

    The 13-year-old, who attends Red Lion Christian Academy, told delawareonline.com, “my heart was beating so fast” when he talked to Kiffin.

    Red Lion high school varsity coach Eric Day confirmed confirmed that Kiffin recently offered the teen a scholarship, and that Sills committed, according to the Wilmington paper.

    I offer this brief pause to allow you to stop laughing and/or crying. OK, we good?

    Onward: Sills is a camp kid, already molded and polished enough to star in at least one earnest promotional video set to a Fountains of Wayne song for his high-priced private coach, Steve Clarkson (or, as he prefers to refer to himself, “Steve Clarkson, Dreammaker”). If he were to eventually join the Trojans, he’d enter as a member of the class of 2015, five full seasons from now. In the meantime, he hopes to pass the seventh and eighth grades and begin studying for his driver’s license, among more lurid pursuits.

    I maintain, as I did last year when I wrote about the younger Berry, that the usual recruiting parlance of “offers” and “commitments” is rendered virtually meaningless when extended to players too young to have taken a varsity snap. It’s almost a contradiction in terms, like a four-sided triangle or something. Coaches aren’t allowed to extend official, written scholarship offers until Sept. 1 of a player’s junior year in high school — still three-and-a-half years away for Sills — and though the scouting process begins much earlier than that for many players, any story that employs the offer/commit language prior to that point is only serving a publicity-seeking sideshow, a grotesquerie of a process that’s grotesque enough to begin with. It’s no coincidence that both incidents of unabashed middle-school stalking in the past year have been attributed to college football’s resident carnival barker, Kiffin, who will push any button for a headline but can’t even promise with a straight face that he will be at USC in five years. (Has anyone asked Evan Berry about his “commitment” to Tennessee since Team Kiffin hightailed it for L.A. last month?) That’s all Sills’ “commitment” is: A weird, slightly disturbing and ultimately empty headline.

    In the meantime, USC has landed its first commitment for the class of 2011 from a local player with three seasons of high school play under his belt. That one I’m willing to acknowledge, but in the recruiting business, nothing’s in the bank until a signature is on the page.

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    If things end up ‘going south’ on this then Kiffin could end being registered as a sex offender . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Alan Parkins

  18. Let’s look at it, Mike.

    Sampras career record (per Wiki):
    762-222 for 77%
    64 total titles
    $43 mil in earnings

    Federer career record:
    688-162 for 81%
    62 career titles
    $55 mil in earnings

    I think if you pit these two against each ten times other in their prime, Federer would win the majority of the matches.

    Let me ask you this. Did you think Sampras was the best player ever before Federer came around?

  19. Al… don’t listen to Mike. He’s still pissed he’s never beaten me at tennis.

    I’m not sure LT can be a 300-carry back anymore. It’ll be interesting to see who is interested in signing him and how much they’ll pay him.

    I’m wondering how long it will be before USC regrets that hire… if they already don’t.

  20. I can think of a few teams that might make sense though.

    How about the Eagles? Give McNabb one last shot at a title.

    I read the defense! I read the defense!

  21. Chris

    Sampras’ game was built for the hardcourts and grass. On the slow surface of clay it became his achilles’ heel. He never won the French and more often than not he was found wanting at the Monte Carlo event which was a precursor to the French Open.

    Federer has won on all surfaces and that’s why I view him as a much better player ! Plus he’s got a better backhand and forehand !

    This is my take on LT and the Chargers.

    It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday ………….Oh No It Isn’t Just Do It ……….. As In The Nike Ad …………

    Alan Parkins

  22. Chris

    To my mind the most dominant male player I’d seen was Bjorn Borg prior to Federer. That stretch where he won multiple Wimbledon and French titles is still unmatched to this day.

    Sampras pales in significance if you want to make a comparison.

    Alan Parkins

  23. Chris

    On this side of the pond you think that you know the sport. But in essence you’re all too wrapped up in the preconceived hype . ’til you see the guys like Bjorg , Becker , Noah and Nastase , you can’t truly appreciate the sport.

    Alan Parkins

  24. I remember Borg well, Al. I loved his game. And you’re right, he was dominant. But not for as long, nor was he as versatile as Federer, who is nowhere close to being done with his own run of dominance.

    Let’s compare Tiger and Roger for a second, who are both the best players in their respective sports.

    I think it’s safe to say that most people perceive the field of professional golfers that Tiger competes against as better than the field of tennis players Federer must play against.

    Does that make Tiger a better golfer than Federer is a tennis player?

  25. Chris

    People simply forget how young Bjorg was when he retired from the game professionally. He hadn’t yet hit his 28th birthday. But yet he’d won 11 Grand Slam singles’ titles. So don’t tell me he couldn’t have been around a lot longer. He simply had burned himself out , all too quickly. He made a brief comeback but it merely lasted a couple of months and then he rode off into the sunset once again. His slam singles’ title victories were amassed faster than any other male tennis player pre or post Open era. That’s how dominant he was as a player.

    So I leave it for you then to start to make comparisons.

    Dropped this on the Raptors. I think I pis_ed off some of their mypopic fans on another website when I stated the obvious as to them living off the monies afforded via the loans received from Stern’s bailout of last year. Sixteen teams shared $ 250 million. But yet these morons act as if because they received that money they’re in fact OK.

    They possess about as much business acumen as the entire board of Enron did at the time of their collapse.

    The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum ….. As If Not Being Placed In A Straight Jacket Wasn’t Enough ………… The Business of Sports ………… The Raptors Are Said To Be Making Oodles of Money

    Alan Parkins

  26. Chris

    The closer the NFL & NFLPA comes to the March 5th deadline the less optimism I have that a lockout can be averted.

    Goodell hopes union is wrong about lockout chances

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP)—The way Roger Goodell sees it, more is better when it comes to NFL games.

    The commissioner likes overtime, and doesn’t favor changing the rules. He’s pushing to add a game or two to the schedule. He wants more games overseas and in Mexico.

    And the notion of less football? Goodell doesn’t like that at all. He said he hopes the pessimism from the players’ union regarding a lockout in 2011 doesn’t become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    “I don’t think anybody wants to see a work stoppage,” Goodell said Friday at his annual Super Bowl-week news conference. “There are no benefits to that. If it comes to anything like that, we would all have failed.”

    For 51 minutes, Goodell fielded questions with the nonchalance of a veteran returner fielding kicks. Topics included the oft-maligned overtime system, the possible expansion of the regular season to 17 or 18 games, and the league’s future in Jacksonville, St. Louis and Los Angeles.

    But on the subject of the stalemate in labor talks, Goodell’s bearing stiffened. The current contract expires in March 2011, and Goodell disputed an assessment Thursday by NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith that the chance of a lockout next year is a “14” on a scale of 1 to 10.

    “I couldn’t make that prediction, and I sure hope he’s wrong,” Goodell said.

    “Right now we don’t need a lot of focus on that. We need to take advantage of the opportunity we have right now to structure an agreement and sit down and negotiate. That’s how this is going to get done, and we will have an agreement. It’s just a matter of when, but talking about options like work stoppages is not going to get us there.”

    Goodell rejected the idea ownership wants any stoppage, and he said there is no contingency plan regarding the 2012 Super Bowl in the event of a lockout.

    “We still have a lot of time and a lot of important opportunities here to structure something that makes sense for everybody,” Goodell said.

    On other issues, the commissioner said:

    — There’s more work to do on the issue of concussions, but the league has made progress in player awareness and changing the culture.

    “We want to make sure people understand that they are serious injuries, and make sure that we deal with them in a conservative and medical fashion,” Goodell said.

    — Extending the season will be part of the discussion when talks with the union resume. Goodell favors adding one or two games to replace exhibition games.

    “I consistently hear from players and fans that the quality of our preseason is not up to NFL standards and that we need to fix that,” he said. “This is one way of doing that, and what I believe is an effective way.”

    — The NFL is still eyeing a return to Mexico; the Cardinals and 49ers held the league’s first regular-season game outside the United States in Mexico in 2005.

    “We would like to expand the number of games we’re playing internationally,” Goodell said. “The restructured season, actually, is one of the ways to do that. By adding two more regular-season games, it gives us a little more flexibility to be able to reach our international audience.”

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    Smith and Goodell simply want to stamp on each others’ throats and not much else.

    Alan Parkins

  27. Han… I left my picks on SRM. Tough game to call but I’m going with the ‘Aints in this one.

    I’m thinking Dolphin Stadium will be packed with Saints fans.

    Oh to watch this game in the French Quarter.

  28. Be right over to check out your Raptors piece.

    Next time I see Carrier, we’ll drink some whiskey and I’ll ask him what he thinks would happen if Sampras, Borg and Federer all played a round robin in their prime.

  29. Chris

    If it’s a choice between watching the Animal Planet and a blackened screen where there should NFL highlights of games or games being played live. Then I’ll be watching the Animal Planet that’s for sure ! I caught the ESPN’s OTL before heading off to Publix to get my 2 dozen boxes of fried chicken , beer ,chips and dips for today’s game. Boy , remind me never again to invite friends over for a Superbowl party.

    If Goodell and Smith haven’t the temperament to get this sorted out, then they ought to fight it out in a duel. Winner takes all !

    Calmer Heads Ought To Prevail ……..But We’re Talking About The NFL and The NFLPA (Players’ Union) Here …….. So What Gives ?

    Alan Parkins

  30. Chris

    To my mind this was one of the better Superbowls of recent years . Both teams came to play and left absolutely nothing but themselves on the field at the end of it all. Kudos to the Saints on a thoroughly deserving win.

    What is it with ex players and the law when it comes to the Superbowl weekend ? Though not proven and no charges filed. We have ex Cowboy Michael Irvin and the charge of sexual assault . Then we have ex Buc Warren Sapp and him allegedly beating up his girlfriend in their hotel room at the Shore on Miami Beach. He bonded out on $1,500 bail.

    Alan Parkins

  31. Chris

    So the ‘noles </a. will have to vacate 12 victories in football as well as another 12 in basketball and a variety of other sports ? And we’re meant to believe that Bowden , his coaches and the AD knew nothing of this ?

    They knew full well what was going on concerning the cheating . Otherwise why would they have initially approached the NCAA about imposing their own sanction before then wanting to take it to court ? They’re full of a great deal of fecal matter of the highest order from top to bottom ! And that includes the current crop of coaches for the football squad.

    Alan Parkins

  32. Bad week for former Hurricanes, Al.

    No big surprise about Florida State having to give up those wins. I would have been more surprised had the NCAA ruled the other way.

    Be right over to check out the Super Bowl piece.

  33. Chris

    The biggest fallacy in this all is the deceptive speed with which the NCAA came down hard on the ‘noles. But as of yet they can’t even mete out any punishment whatsoever the USC Trojans for their undoubted malfeasance !

    It adds to the perception that there’s a degree of favoritism to be had by some and not for others !

    Alan Parkins

  34. Come on, Saul.

    That’s Columbia humor.

    By the way, I took the Hard Rock for some money on the blackjack table the other night.

    They’re eagerly awaiting your return.

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