don’t compare Roger Federer to Tiger Woods

23 06 2009

It seems like a lot of analysts are comparing tennis great Roger Federer to golf great Tiger Woods.   They both excel at their respective sport, and they both have won 14 majors.   They both might be considered the greatest of all-time in their sport.   But that’s where the comparison should end.  Federer has tied the all-time record, but Tiger has not.  And there just is no comparison between tennis and golf.  That’s not to put either down.  I realize golf is really difficult to excel at.  But it isn’t as difficult as tennis.   And a major difference is that you don’t have someone who is trying to exploit your weaknesses to defeat you.  In golf, it’s you against the course — no one can make you play worse.  In tennis, your opponent has the opportunity to make you lose.  (I could go on…)

Let me show you something Tiger Woods said a few years ago about Federer’s accomplishments:

What [Federer] has done in tennis, I think, is far greater than what I’ve done in golf. ~ Tiger Woods, about Roger Federer, after being named 2006 Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press

Maybe Tiger was just taking the high-road, but I agree with his assessment.  Anyway, my point is that the two sports shouldn’t be compared.  If your discussion stays within the realm of one sport, then you don’t have this situation.

While I’m ranting, what’s up with the producers at NBC?  Let me explain.   Recently Federer won the French Open, completing his career Grand Slam and tying Pete Sampras’ all-time record of Grand Slams won.  It was historic.  Federer said it was his biggest win, except perhaps his first Grand Slam.  So it was huge.   And his chief rival, Rafael Nadal, didn’t make it to the final, despite his usual dominance on clay.  Clearly, this day was all about Federer and what this win means to him and to tennis.  So can anyone explain why after the match, NBC was showing the 2008 Wimbledon final, which was one of the most painful losses Federer ever had to endure?   Were they trying to ruin the moment for Federer’s fans?  I don’t get it…   I realize that was arguably the greatest match of all-time, but that’s not the time to show it.

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