Roger Federer: Platonic Form and Trusted Man
I know Roger Federer would like to get one more run at #1 to tie or break Pete Sampras’ record 286 weeks as the top player in the world. Somehow, I think Roger must be excited about being the second most respected person in the world!?!?! Nelson Mandela is #1 in the recent survey, but Federer at #2 is pretty awesome for the Fed and for tennis in general. How much does this end the once popular notion of tennis players all being self-absorbed petulant people with a knack for throwing memorable temper tantrums?
Can He Catch Mandela?
I like Roger’s chances on grass against Mandela. Still, Roger trails Mandela by a decent margin. Bill Gates is always a threat to go deep and help Rotary International eradicate polio. Richard Branson is launching a project to innovate how humans produce electricity. Bono is always a factor. Still, none of these contenders are the Platonic Form of a tennis player like Federer.
Tennis and the Common Good
In all seriousness, Federer’s organization of the Hit for Haiti, the tennis efforts after the 2005 Tsunami as well as efforts aimed at Chile, Japan and Australia during various disasters is something special. Federer, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Roddick among others all have active foundations. If one adds the work of Arthur Ashe and Billy Jean King, it is plausible to say that tennis is the socially conscious sport.
Does this Mean Anything in the GOAT Debate?
Probably not, but Roger Federer’s good citizenship is obviously part of his legacy.