Where does Federer go next?

Nadal IW 13 TR MALT9260One week before the Davis Cup final between the Swiss and France, Roger Federer somehow managed to play even though he was hurt on Saturday against Stan Wawrinka in the ATP Finals semifinal.

He won a classic over his buddy, Stan, but then his back was very sore, making him pull out vs. Novak Djokovic, and the Serbian won the year-end prize.

No one knew whether Federer would be able to play on Friday against France, but some how, some way he got out there. Even though he lost that day against the high-flying Gael Monfils, he still showed up. Just seeing the Swiss team watch Federer trying even though he was stiff, they grew more inspired and they were ready to take down anyone who was in their path.

Wawrinka played terrific crunching Jo-Wilfried, the pair of Federer/Wawrinka in doubles were out of this world, wasting Richard Gasquet/Julie Benneteau on Saturday, and when Tsonga got hurt again and couldn’t play, Federer was there, feeling healthier and ready to rock and roll. He blew apart Gasquet and the Swiss won for the first time ever in Davis Cup, shutting them down 3-1. They smiled all day and all night long.

Who’s the best?

So now Federer has won just about everything. He has won 17 Grand Slams, all four majors, Master Series crowns all over the place, 82 titles overall, and about to go over 1000 career records in Australia in January.  Really, there is nothing to gain any more, except perhaps the 2016 Olympic. He and Stan won in the doubles in 2008 Beijing, but Roger hasn’t won the singles there. And yes, he fell to Andy Murray in the 2012 London – and that hurt – but it is not as important of the Slams, or really, not even as important as the Davis Cup, at least for me.

The Davis Cup is different, because there are national teams which have to work with each other. It is not just one person winning by himself. This time, Federer and Wawrinka worked with each other and it paid off, as they were hurting or tired or not playing great. They just kept going at it. He will never forget that; neither will Stan.

Essentially, it is pretty clear that Federer is considered The GOAT, the Greatest of All Time Perhaps, but the one thing we do now is that there is one man who is nipping at the heels of the GOAT. That man is Rafael Nadal, owning 14 Grand Slams, and who has won a huge amount of Masters Series, has won Davis Cups, and who won the Olympics gold in 2008 in singles. Will Nadal actually win four more Slams and pass Federer to reach 18 majors? I doubt it given that Nadal is constantly hurt again and missed much of this season after June.

But what we do now is that Nadal is 23-10 over Federer in head to head and that is huge.

Roger is 33 years old and Rafa is 28 years old. As the old man is getting a bit slower and you’ve got to figure Federer will retire after the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. But, what if Nadal beats Fed another say four more times? Will the Swiss retire down 10-27 in head to head and say, “I’m the Best Ever” over the guy who beat him again and again? Will he actually say that, or will Federer just say to the tennis media, “What all of you decide is fine by me.”

What we don’t know, but will find out, which one will wins in 2015.

But what we did find out last week is that Federer rose up and pocketed a very necessary win to help grab the Davis Cup for the Swiss.

Now we know that Federer is battling again.

But, considering the Federer vs. Nadal rivalry, we almost have a brand new world.

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