Roger Federer confirmed himself as the greatest sportsperson ever after claiming his 19th grand slam title by winning a record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title, according to Boris Becker. The 35-year-old became the oldest winner of a major title by beating Marin Cilic in a one-sided final at SW19 to further underline his legendary status in a sport he has dominated for over a decade.
Victory was Federer's second grand slam win of the year having claimed the Australian Open title in January by beating Rafael Nadal. He became the first man to win the grass court major without dropping a set for 41 years, when Bjorn Borg won the first of his five titles at Wimbledon in 1976.
Already regarded as the greatest tennis player ever, Becker believes he now stands alone in modern-day global sport. The German believes even the likes of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo trail Federer after his latest triumph.
"If you see other sports and their ambassadors, favourites and leaders, he stands above every single one of them right now," Novak Djokovic's former coach told The Evening Standard. "I think he's greater than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, I think he's greater than LeBron James, I think he's greater than Michael Phelps at this very moment in time. That's where he is and that's from one sportsman to another — perhaps that's the biggest compliment I can give, the greatest of all time, full stop."
Federer has risen to world number three after his second major title of 2017 and could even become the oldest man to top the ATP rankings should he enjoy a successful hard court campaign. The 2014 Davis Cup winner has previously spent 302 weeks as world number one and Becker says he is the favourite to return to the summit of the sport.
"In that battle for number one, Rafa is a little ahead but it's all to play for at the US Open and the rest of the American hard-court season," he added. "The hard courts are a great leveller, so it increases Rafa's chances over Roger but a healthy Novak and Andy will be closer to Roger on the grass, too, and more of a potential threat.
"Who will be the favourite? That'd absolutely be Roger. From what we've seen this year from the two renaissance men of tennis, this should be a wake-up call for the locker room and I want to see what the rest of the competition does. A year ago, Roger wasn't [there] but there's no stopping him right now. He's healthy, fit and his joy for the game is undiminished. There's no reason he should not win more Grand Slams."