Mr. W wrote:Federer, much like Sampras, hasn't done anything on clay as of yet. It's still early in his career, but he's got to win the French, or at least perform well there consistently, to be considered one of the best ever. Bjorn Borg and Ivan Lendl proved they were winners on all surfaces. The power game of Sampras and Roddick vanish when they hit the clay, just like many clay court specialists cannot play their finesse game on hard and grass courts. The best ever must have a winning combination of the two styles, in my opinion.
Look, Lendl did not win Wimbledon and Borg never won a US Open or an Austrailian. There have only been 4 or 5 players ever to win all the majors, the last being Andre Agassi. So winning on the different surfaces is important but doesn't make you the greatest. It is how you dominate your opponents and the players of your generation. Federer is clearly the best of his generation and only time will tell if he challenges Sampras overall record. Federer held 3 out 4 grand slams last year and has 1 this year with a chance to win two. He is 23 and already is being compared with the best ever. I like his chances!
There is a great article on ESPN (under tennis) written by Barry Lorge. He lays the case out pretty well with comments from some of the past greats.