Federer reaches 34th consecutive Grand Slam quarter final ... so what?
It is hard to challenge the argument that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of time, having reached his 34th Grand Slam quarter final in a row at this year's US Open. The 16 time Slam winner is top of the all-time winners list, and in his prime could beat any player that has ever played the game.
But he’s not the only player to have lit up the game in the modern era. His remarkable achievements are matched by Rod Laver, who held all 4 grand slams at once; Rafa Nadal, who has won 7 French Open titles; Andre Agassi who has won all 4 slams plus an Olympic Gold - the Golden Glam; Bjorn Borg, who won 11 grand slams by the age of 25 and of course our own Andy Murray, reaching his 8th straight Slam quarter final, and with arguably his best chance to win a Slam this year with Rafa injured and fresh from an outstanding grass court season.
For me though, all of these achievements are blown out of the water by what I consider to be, not just the greatest ever achievement by a tennis player, but by any sports person in my lifetime…..Boris Becker, aged 17, triumphing at Wimbledon in 1985.
For starters, the roll call of players in the Championship included Lendl, Cash, Edberg, Wilander as well as defeated finalist Kevin Curren who blew away both McEnroe & Connors in straight sets on his way to the final.
The young Becker’s route to the final included two 5 set games in the first week, followed by tough match-ups in the second against the flamboyant Henri Leconte & 5th seed Anders Jarryd, meanwhile Curren was fresh having dropped only 1 set en route.
Despite that, the big serving American had no answer to Becker’s aggressive, athletic and arrogant play, the German holding his nerve to eventually serve out the match after 3 gripping hours, winning the title & changing the face of tennis forever.
And so, for being the first unseeded player, the youngest ever player & the first German to win the Wimbledon Men’s title, Boris, I salute you.