MIAMI (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) Hot on the heels of his victory at Indian Wells, the world’s number 3, Roger Federer, heads into the Sony Ericcson, considered by many to be the “fifth major,” with the wind at his back. His recent play has not only revived talk of his return to top form, but rekindles the debate: is Federer the greatest player of all time? Some argue that he’s the best since the open era began in 1968, when professionals were allowed to compete with amateurs. The argument becomes increasingly complex when one considers the game’s evolution, from the more genteel sport played in slacks and sweaters to the breathtaking pace of today’s game.
While he’ll never have the opportunity to compete against the Bill Tildens, Don Budges and Rod Lavers – giants of the pre-open era (Laver played in both) – Federer is determined to show he can perform at the highest levels on tennis’s grandest stage in the restrictive throwback garb seldom seen outside of a Ralph Lauren ad. (more…)