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12/28/09 - Roger's Run

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Roger Federer - For this final edition of the decade of our 'Weekly Picks', we're featuring the single person from around the sports world who deserved to be picked before everyone else in the Lottery Draft. That person, beyond any shadow of a doubt is Roger Federer. After winning the French Open this year, he is decisively the greatest tennis player to ever live - which is quite an accomplishment. There are very few major sports where there is a clear cut greatest ever - its a list that includes Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth from previous decades and Lance Armstrong & Michael Phelps from this generation. The reason the other two didn't make the list is pretty easy - cycling has been marred by drug use and Lance took a few years off this decade, and Phelps has really only had two spectacular runs (04 & 08 Olympics). However, Roger has just been steady and dominant. In the middle of the decade Federer won 5 straight US Opens and 5 straight Wimbledons, something no one else has even come close to, while en route to a record 15 major titles. Not including the French Open, which they play on clay (a rarely used modern surface - akin to an NBA team having to play on a gravel streetball court with chain nets), Federer won the first 12 grand slam titles he played in. Jordan won all 6 of his NBA finals and Montana won all 4 Super Bowls - but 12 for 12 is just insane, particularly when you consider its one match for all the marbles and its a one-on-one sport, meaning a single leg cramp can easily derail a championship. Over his major championships, he has beaten a record 11 different opponents, meaning he is better than anyone that could be thrown at him. And, just as we all thought he was aging, he finished off the decade with probably the two greatest matches ever played - first a loss to Nadal in the '08 Wimbledon final that should have been enough to drive a man to suicide, then a similarly exhilarating victory over Roddick in '09, where he closed out the decade as the Greatest Of All Time.