When Roger Federer lost to Rafael Nadal in excruciating fashion in the 2008 Wimbledon Finals, the words being used to describe Federer were "Done" and "Finished." The experts weighed in that "Roger wouldn't win another Grand Slam title." Since that match there have been six Grand Slam tournaments: Federer has won four of them and finished second in the other two; Nadal has won just one. Not bad for a grand champion who was "finished" just 18 months ago. (Serena Williams has also won four of the last six after losing to her sister, Venus, in the 2008 Wimbledon final.)
His three-set, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 stomping of Andy Murray was vintage, height-of-his-career Federer. And what made it even sweeter was that Nadal declared Murray the Australian Open champion after he lost to the Scotsman in the quarterfinals.
Nadal was supposed to be the man who passed Federer's now-record 16 Grand Slam wins. But Federer and Nadal are now showing what makes the greatest champion of all so great: Longevity. Nadal could be dominating tennis right now, but he has not escaped injury. Federer's march to all-time greatness isn't just because he can put together a great match, or a great tournament, or a great year, or even a great few years. He's the greatest ever because he is now working on his seventh consecutive incredible year. Not since 2002 has he lost more than three matches in a season.
And despite being "finished" in 2008, he's still going and going and going...