Tiger Woods is just eight golf majors away from Jack Nicklaus' mark; Roger Federer is four Slams from Pete Sampras' record.
Robert Beck, David Callow/SI
Before their careers are over, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer may well be considered the greatest athletes their respective sports have ever seen. Woods needs nine more golf majors to overtake Jack Nicklaus' record of 18. Federer needs five more tennis Grand Slam singles titles to surpass Pete Sampras' record of 14.
But which is the more dominant athlete of the day? Tiger has won seven straight PGA tournaments and Federer tied a 73-year-old record recently by making his seventh consecutive final in a major. Or is there someone else you'd like to make a case for? Let us know.
I think the key word here is "athlete". Not to disparage Tiger's accomplishments, but there is no comparison between the athletic demands of the two disciplines. Roger has to be in peak physical condition to dominate a sport requiring speed and stamina, hand-eye coordination and power, strategy and skill. He's raised his game to the level of art, leaving an impressive field of merely fit, talented and powerful players behind. Kudos to Tiger, but Roger is THE preeminent athlete of our time. It is a privilege and joy to watch him compete.
Carolina Kluft...I believe she has the World (2x), European (2x), and Olympic (2004) titles in the heptathlon. Not only that, she hasn't lost since 2002(!) and has the Junior World Rcord, along with being one of three females to exceed 7000 points. Oh yeah, and I think she has one both a European title and World title indoors in the pentathlon - not many people have won all five in their event. Although, Federer has been dominant since the 03 Wimbledon - and he still has several more years, so I think we should just sit back and enjoy all these wonderful athletes for as long as they dominate.
I would sit up all night to watch Roger Play. I have lost so many hours of sleep watching the Australian Open when he's playing. I would select Roger because tennis is far more hectic and you have to be real fit to play that game. Golf is slow and you have all the time in the world to play all day.
I think the only glitch in Federer's resume is he has not won all four majors, which Tiger has done twice. I would give the nod to Tiger at this stage, but it is very very close. If Federer wins the French Open this year, I think the pair would be on par based on pure domination of their sport. Traditionally, golf has never been dominated the way that Tiger has dominated the sport. Tennis on the otehr hand, has always had dominant figures (Lendl, Borg, Sampras). I have an equal admiration for both and I would get up any time of the night to watch them play
The problem is you are comparing apples and oranges. Tennis and golf are completly different. Both require an insane amount of talent and ability. The way to compare is to fiqure out the percentage of tournaments won. Seeing that Tiger could realistically play golf for another 20-25 years and Roger will be done in another 5-10, obvoiuosly tiger will win more tournaments. But figure out the percentage of tournaments won and Federer is WAY more dominant than Tiger.
There is no question that Roger Federer has been far and away the most dominant athlete of any sport for the past 3 years. Barring injury, he will go down as the best tennis player of all time.
Further, professional tennis players must be athletic, posses a dificult skill set and be able to think on the run in order to react fast enough to keep their opponent off balance and out of a point.
On the other hand, golf is hardley a sport but rather a game of skill. Golf is as much a sport as dart throwing! You don't have to be in great shape (John Daily) and realistically, there is no opponent which determines how well someone does on a particular day.
A comparaison of Tiger Woods and Roger Federer has no merit in the realm of Athletics, simply because Tennis is a Sport, and Golf is a Game. Roger Federer is an athlete, Tiger Woods is not. However, a sensical comparaison of those two gentlemen can be achieved in terms of their accomplishments in their respective fields of endeavor. In this realm, Tiger Woods resides atop the food chain. It is far more difficult to win consistently at Golf, than it is at Tennis. No one can make a valid argument against this point. To win a grand slam, Roger Federer has to only beat seven players. Tiger Woods has to essentially be better than a much larger field to win. He has to beat more than 100 players in a "sport" where parity is almost natural, because there is no real physical/athletic demand on the player. Tiger Woods success at Golf is far more improbable, and therefore more compelling than Roger Federer's at Tennis.
Tiger Woods may be a great athlete, we just may never know. Why? Because his sport does not demand it. Granted one has to be coordinated, mentally tough and possess a high skill level to be a successful golfer. But, if that is ALL you got, you could not even win a local tennis tournament!
Championship tennis not only demands these abilities, but also speed, strength, endurance, quickness, agility, etc. In short, abilities required of any total athlete.
Who's the most dominate in their sport? Not sure. Who's the superior athlete - no question - Federer.
Bottom Line - if you don't sweat, it ain't a sport!
Jordan- It will take forever for Tiger and Roger to catch up to the accomplishments of the raging competitor known as Air Jordan. Forever is a mighty long time. Although Jordan is not active, he still has enough credits built up for a lifetime.
I think it's quite difficult to compare Apples and Oranges. Roger is definitely on his way to become the greatest if not already. I used to think his competition (Top 10 players) are too weak, now I am a firm believer that he is what's making that gap exist. But Roger only has to beat 7 players in a major to win the title. In golf, you have to beat the other 144 in the field. Anyone who plays golf knows how difficult it is to win a tournament. Tiger has won 6 straigth tournaments in a ROW twice. I have to give the edge to Tiger for now.
Golf is a more difficult sport to dominate because you are playing against the entire field all the time. However in tennis, you play 5-7 matches to win a tournament and if you have the luck of the draw you may not be competing against the best players. What Tiger Woods is doing in unfathomable.
Golf is the toughest individual sport to dominate and Roger is the most dominant athlete. May be Roger is the toughest to beat one-on-one. So, Who's More Dominant? Roger may have the edge, but, Tiger and Roger are pretty much even.
Alycat....Jordan played in a TEAM sport so I think your discussion on Jordan is beyond the scope of this discussion. This would be an example of comparing apples to oranges. Take the Ryder Cup for example....Tiger has a dismal record in this TEAM competition, but it will never deter from his legacy...just like Federer who rarely plays Davis Cup...another TEAM event. Comparing Jordan to Tiger and Rog is just a stupid discussion
Kudos to Roger, but I have to give the edge to Tiger. Golf demands so much mental skill and preparation. Tiger put golf back on the map for the younger generation. As far a athlete, YES Tiger is an athlete, what other sport do you have to walk 16 miles(4 rounds @ 6900 yards avg), compete not only against the other competitors but against the weather, fans, and course, and the ability to hit a an 8 iron fade 200 yards to within 2 feet of the cup.
In trying to contrast Federer and Woods, let's not forget what makes both of them remarkable:
1) Both are far more skilled at what they do than all their highly skilled competitors.
2) Both dominate mentally against the most mentally tough competitors in the world.
3) Both have done things in their sport that no one thought could be done.
That said, it is very hard to decide much because of the differences:
1) Federer has not won all the majors. However, there are (a few) courses that Woods struggles with. Unlike tennis, where the French Open is always on clay, the golf major courses that can cause Woods trouble are not the same every year.
2) Tennis is much more athletic. This has been mentioned, but no matter how good of shape Woods it in, he can never really prove he is as good an athlete as Federer.
3) Golf is competition against all, tennis against one at a time. No matter how much Federer dominates (only 15 losses in three years!) he cannot change this disparity.
I'm more of the "let's just enjoy the show" school of thought. The debate becomes even harder when we (legitimately) inlcude team sports (Jordan, Jerry Rice, Pele) or track and field. And how about biking -- who can compare athletically and mentally to Lance Armstrong? It gets kind of ridiculous.
There are a few glaring differences between Tiger and Roger, and that is that Tiger has won the career grand slam, not once, but twice, and if he wins another US open, he would have done it three times, he's also won four majors in a row. Until Roger wins the French open, then you may have a good debate of who's the most dominant.
The answer is pretty simple. Just look at Rafael Nadal, Federer's archrival, and his high level of fitness and sculpted arms, and compare him to Phil Mickelson, Woods's archrival, with his puffy face and man-breasts.
Just a comment about the argument that golf is tougher to win than tennis because you have to beat the entire field instead of one at a time. If this is true, then a hammer thrower in the Olympics would be more impressive than say, Carl Lewis. Because he had to beat the field as opposed to 6 (or whatever the case may be) at a time. And Michal Jordan can never be called the greatest athlete because he can only beat one team at a time.
Tiger hands down. It is much, much more difficult to beat an entire field in golf than in tennis.
I have played both golf and tennis competitively, and while it may take a better athlete to dominate tennis the original question is "who is more dominant" and not "who is the better athlete". Regardless, Tiger trains so hard, that I think he'd still give Roger a run for his money athletically.
I have great respect for both players in their sports, though, and it is just amazing to think what either has done.
Roger Federer is definitely the more dominant athlete. You can look at his record and just know that he is destined for greater things. He will surpass Pete's record and go on to win many more. Tiger is great, but he is no comparison to Roger Federer.
The difference between a "major" and a routine tournament is dramatically greater in tennis than in golf. To win 21 sets over 2 weeks when everyone that you play has nothing to lose is a Herculean task. Tiger never has to worry about how his competition are adjusting their games to take him out. The mental and physical stamina required to win a tennis major is not even closely comparable to golf.
In tennis one plays against an opponenet. In golf one plays against "the course". To be successful both must be in top physical condition, possess peak hand-eye coordination, concentration and dedication to being the best. Sport-schmort. They are both the best at what they do, as was Ted Williams, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, John Elway. Apples and oranges, and a totally, useless arguement. Better playeers are in the wings, and after that, and after that
First of all, if you think golf takes no athletic skill, then your perception of an athlete is incorrect and you probably have never played golf. You wouldn't call a sumo wrestler, an olympic discus thrower, etc. non-atheltic because they don't have chiseled bodies would you?
Atheltically, golf demands the one thing that you can constantly train, but can't predict results for and that is the timing of using nearly every muscle in your body in the exact way to hit a little ball far and on target.
I have played both golf and tennis competitively, and while tennis is more physically demanding, golf is much more difficult to learn and improve.
Now is Tiger a better athlete? It's hard to tell because they use their atheletic skills so differently.
I would say that Roger, though, is the better athlete, but Tiger is much more dominant in his respective sport.
Winning consistently in an entire field of golf is much more difficult than against an entire field in tennis.
Also, since tennis is one on one, your good play can directly affect your opponents play, and that isn't true for golf where you play against the course and not the person.
I think the answer as to which is more dominant is easy...it's Federer. But a few comments are suggesting that golf isn't a sport and doesn't require athleticism and that's insane. I am a former excellent tennis player and basketball player and of all the sports I've attemped to play the one that required the highest degree of athleticism to play at a relatively high level was golf. You simply cannot become an excellent golfer unless you have outstanding hand / eye coordination, balance, hand quickness, and a few other attributes that definitely fall under the category of athletic ability. Just because the great golfers don't have to be fast runners doesn't mean they aren't athletes. Chess and poker are both games and forms of competition but not athletics as they require no athletic skills. Golf and tennis are also competitive games but they both require a set of physical abilities to perform at a high level albeit a different set of skills.
ps: I think Federer is an incredible athlete who would have been a star in almost any sport.
1) Golf isn't a sport like lots of people have said. It's a game of skill. Tennis is a sport that requires mental and physical ability. Tennis wears on your body. People play golf to relax. So athletic ability goes to Roger.
2) Dominance - Yes golf is a hard sport to dominate, but you have 4 days. You can have two average or lousy rounds and still play out of your mind on day 3 and 4 and win. Tennis, you have to be on your game every single match against every single opponent.
3) Obviously Tiger has been doing this for sometime now and he plays big in the big moments, so if Roger keeps his pace up for the next 2 years, I would give it to him no matter what Tiger does over his career. To dominate an extremely physical and gruelling sport over 5-6 years anhilating your opposition is far superior to being a bunch of overweight 40 year old guys.
The bottom line is that you cannot compare both athletes. It would be unfair to say one is better than the other because they are in totally different sports. Tiger is the greatest in Golf and Roger is the greatest in Tennis period.
I disagree with the idea that golf is more difficult because you "are playing against the entire field the entire time." In fact, in golf your performance has NOTHING to do with who you are playing, you play only against yourself and the course, which, aside from changes in weather, remains the same course for the duration of the tournament. In tennis, you play against a different opponent each time you step on the court - and unless you are a top seed, you may play on a different court each round as well. As was mentioned several times already, golf is a game and tennis is a sport. Don't think so? Serena Williams just won the Australian Open Women's title, crushing #1-rank Maria Sharapova in the final. Serena was constantly referred to as out of shape or not being fit by people ranging from the press to her own mother. Take a look at a picture of the "unfit" Ms. Williams and compare it to a picture of John Daly or Craig Stadler at the peak of their games. Enough said.
I think the key word here is "dominant," which presumes in my mind some sort of athletic contest against a fellow competitor. Both Tiger and Roger are highly skilled at what they do. Both Tiger and Roger have to combat with the conditions on the course/court and the elements. But only Roger truly "dominates" his fellow competitors. Tiger only has to play to the best of his abilities. The best way to look at this is to ask yourself how well Tiger would do if Mickelson were out there forcing errors on Tiger's drive or putt.
Both are great ATHLETES, but comparing Golf to Tennis is rediculous! The only way to settle this is for Tiger to play Roger at tennis and Tiger to play Roger at golf. Now we know the obvious outcomes of both competitions, but I would bet Tiger would fair better at tennis than Roger would at golf. I bet could eventually return Roger's serve, but Roger wouldn't be able to hit to golf ball past the lady's tee box or put the ball feet from the cup at 250 yards?
One way to measure dominance is to compare an athlete not against athletes in other sports, but against their peers. How far ahead of everyone else in their sport is the athlete? In terms of world ranking points, both Woods (837 points, 470 for 2nd) and Federer (8120 points, 3775 for 2nd) are miles ahead of everyone. Both have won the past 6 or 7 events they have entered. Both seem to be equally dominant over the rest of their fields right now.
Both sports use wins in majors as a measure of overall greatness. To dominate his field all-time, Woods is at a disadvantage because golf already has 1 all-time great player, Nicklaus, who with 18 majors is way ahead of 2nd place 12 (who happens to be Woods!). In tennis there is no such dominance; Sampras with 14 is only just ahead of 2nd place 12 (Emerson). If Federer ends up with 18 or 19 majors Woods would have to get over 20 majors just to be considered equally dominant.
Golf and tennis are 2 different sports. I think the level of competition is a lot higher for Tiger. Guys like Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, and even Charles Howell III can beat Tiger on any given Sunday. I can't think of anyone in Tennis who has the talents to compete with Federer. I guess in my opinion, Federer dominates Tennis because of weak competitors. Tiger is truly more dominance because every tournament he entered, there are at least 5 guys that could beat him. Yet, some how, he always find a way to win.
Suprised to see so many variations of "Well, tennis is more exciting to watch, so...Federer." That wasn't the question. The question was, "Who is more dominant in his game?" The more dominant player is clearly Tiger Woods. Why? Because golf is not a game that can be dominated easily. It's all but unheard of to be a threat to win every tournament. There are a million variables in golf, so that no matter how good you are, you're going to have good days and bad days. You're not going to be the favorite to win every time out. Even Jack Nicklaus in his prime was not a threat to win every single tournament. What Tiger is doing is really unprecedented. He's just astoundingly, freakishly good. Whereas in tennis, a dominant player emerges every 5 to 10 years. The last one was Pete Sampras, now it's Federer. That's not to say Federer isn't one of the all-time greats. He may very well be. The point is, there is always another brilliant tennis player waiting in the wings to step up and dominate the game. A few years from now, it will be someone else. In golf, there is traditionally more parity among great players, so it's a more impressive accomplishment to totally dominate the game the way Tiger has.
Hands down...Roger Federer is the most dominant athlete! His grace, power, stamina, speed, and agility put him at the top of the pack. No disrespect to Tiger, but Roger's ability to consistently dominate the rest of the men's tennis tour regardless of surface is truly amazing.
I do not know whether it is more difficult to play golf or tennis. The issue is whether one can play those sports well. Tiger already has won 55 career tournaments, which places him in either fourth for fifth place, only 7 tournaments behind Arnie Palmer. tiger is only 30 years old. On the other hand, Connors won about 110 tournaments, Lendl about 95, McEnroe more than 70, Sampras about 65, Agassi about 60. Federer is not the next player to close in on 60. Federer is only 25 years old. So both dominate. How does one compare the measure of dominance? I don't know.
As much as I love tennis and Roger Federer (who I believe is already the greatest player of all time despite being short of Sampras by 4 grand slams), real domination can be summed up as "Wayne Gretzky". You need only to go to his Wiki page to understand that he is Jordan to the 100th power in terms of statistics and winning. Perhaps someday if Federer wins 18-19 grand slam titles, he can be surpassed. No one will surpass these records in hockey!
Wow, anybody who says golf is not a sport is an idiot. especially when you're just arguing semantics. golf is a "game" and not a "sport"? give me a break. while I agree that you can't compare the two sports of tennis and golf. Tiger is definitely an athlete and in better shape than most of us. And by the way, if you want to split hairs, he sweats plenty, when the tour is in the summer stages. I wonder how much you would sweat on the back nine of the U.S. Open with a one shot lead.
Next to tennis golf is a little slack. Golfers don't even carry their own bags. Roger is a fantastic athlete in every respect, he has mastered every component of his sport and is dazzling to watch. Tiger is also great, but lets face it, he's only walking around in the park.
Yes, golf is not a sport, but a game to relax for those who don't have anything else to do. Golf requires less athleticism than skills. As such, one who is as old as 80 can play golf all day long, all week long, without much physical wear and tear. Simply ridiculous to attempt to make any sensible comparison between one which is a game and the other whi ch is a sport requiring the highest level of physical and mental fitness. Look at Stadler, Daly, and bunch of senior players who can barely walk, let alone run, and still shoot 60s as a routine. No question Federer is way, way above Tiger when it comes to athleticism.
Golf requires as much athleticism and physical endurance as bowling and dart-throwing. It will be an insult to the name of sport to attempt to make a comparison between golf and tennis. A more sensible comparison will be between the best golfer (who is obviously Tiger Woods) and the best dart-thrower or bowler. If you look at Stradler, John Daly, Laura Davis, Arnold Palmer (who, after strolling just a few hundred yards, breathe hard like a guy who just finished a full-course marathon, you may know how much athletic golf is.
i've said it before - tiger woods never gets his heart rate into the 140 bpm range while federer does so federer gets my vote....tiger woods plays a glorified game while federer plays a sport, don't get the two confused
Let's flip their colors and ask the question again. Let's say Tiger was caucasion and Federer black. Ninety percent of these posts would change. "Golf" would magically become a "sport", and "Tennis" not quite so hard to do. If James Blake were on his way to breaking all the records in Tennis and Phil Mickelson had 10 majors, would we even be having this conversation? Instead of "arm chair" examining these two men at the top of their respective disciplines, maybe we should be examing ourselves.
come on now - golf is a glorified game and tiger woods never gets his heart rate up to 140 bpm while roger federer plays a high speed sport that regularly pushes his heart rate over 140 bpm.....federer faces serves over 140 mph and must return them to score while tiger never faces such circumstances.....its a question of a game versus a sport - try not to get the two confused....ROGER FEDERER IS THE MAN!!!
Saying that Tiger is less of an athlete than Federer is as absurd as saying that Federer is less than an athlete LaDainian Tomlinson. How can you call Federer an athlete when he has never been talked by someone who is 250 lbs that runs a 4.4 40?
Different sports, different types of athleticism.
Who is more dominant, Woods or Federer? I'd say Woods. He dominates in a way that rarely happens in golf, whereas tennis always has someone that dominates. For tennis its more rare not to have a dominant player than it is to have one.
Plus, while the sport of golf may not have people with great standard athletic ability, I would guess that Tiger could out bench press Federer.
This is not even close. Tiger Woods is much more dominant, in a sport where domination is much harder. In golf, you have to play different kinds of courses, where in tennis it is hard to deviate from the norm. On top of that, Federer only has to beat one person at a time to advance, Tiger has to beat 144 guys at the same time to win. Look at the number of tennis players who have won the Grand Slam, and compare that to the number in golf. There is a reason only a few golfers have ever done it. Plus Tiger has already done this TWICE.
Golf is not as worldwide popular sport as tennis is. Essentially you are competing with much smaller pool of opponents in golf than in tennis. What I want to say is that there is probably 100 (or more) times more people trying to beat (at the end point) Federer than Woods. So, obviously Federer is a much larger figure than Woods. In a matter of domination in their respective fields they are almost equally good. But so is some dude in some “sport” in some country we do not know and do not want to know.
It would be more appropriate to compare Tiger to athletes of primarily "skill" oriented sports like pocket billiards or something slightly more strenuous like bowling. Golf gets more than it's share of attention because it is the "money" sport. It is highly over rated and to compare Tiger with real athletes like Federer and Lance Armstrong is ridiculous.
Both dominate his respective sport, but in all honesty, the very nature of developing as a tennis player or golfer means that we will never see the persons out there that would have been the best or most dominant. Those persons never found the sport. Kinda like watching the U.S. soccer team.
I am not sure who this can be much of an issue let alone an entire blog discussion. Every week Roger goes out and has to compete and directly beat 4 - 6 fellow competitors. That same week Tiger will directly compete with 70-150. The question is not which sport is more athletic but who is more dominant in their sport. As long as their wins and major wins stay comparable, a golfer against a field beats more competition than a tennis player ever will.
Ugh. I wish people would stop referring to golf as a "game." Golf is a sport. Tennis is a sport. They are both hard. They both demand a massive level of skill to compete at world-class levels. There is of course no way to compare the two. Yes, tennis is a very fast game. But golf, at its highest level, demands that you have every muscle in your back, legs, arms, neck, head, etc. be in perfect tune. Tennis demands that you be quick, make decisions on the fly, know your opponent's tendencies, etc. So there are different skill levels. What I'm also tired of is people who talk about 80-year old guys playing golf. Guess what, old guys play tennis too. To say that golf is not a sport because people who aren't traditional athletes play and play it well is extremely ignorant. One of the issues here, I believe, is that tennis fans are a little envious of the exposure that golf gets in the media, expecially in the U.S.A. and they have a right to be. In the end, tennis fans will say Federer, golf fans will say Woods. Both have their bodies of work out there and I would put it to anyone to come up with a way to measure who is more dominant. But please, enough about golf being a "game." It is a sport. Thank you.
Gretzky! Don't forget the Great One who holds some 60 odd scoring records. Jordan is out of the running. The Great One passed Air Jordan in number of scoring titles and years as MVP. But now Tiger has more money titles than Gretzky had scoring titles. Yet, Gretzky has scored almost 25% more points than anyone ever. Will Tiger have 25% more majors or PGA victories than anyone ever? Will Federer have than many more titles or majors than Sampras? It's still too early to tell. But for now, the Great One wins by far.
I'm a tennis player and fan whose vote goes to Tiger. I agree with the earlier comment about "different sports, different athleticism". But Tiger wins based on his competition. He faces opponents that, on a good day, can beat him. Federer, through no fault of his own, only has Nadal in his class (and he may be moving away from him at this point). Having said that, I would rather watch Roger than any tennis player I've ever seen. But when he's not on, I love watching Tiger!
Golfers take on the whole field while tennis players only have to beat one at a time--that seems to be one of the core arguments here. I find this interesting, however, because a golf tournament is not a one-off event (i.e. the best player on a given day wins). Rather, it is done over four rounds and one does not have to be the best on a given day to win in the end. Perhaps if golf's majors were done on a matchplay format, the discussion would be different, and I don't know if Woods dominates matchplay like he does other tournaments. In turn, if tennis were a skills competition where you took the highest (or lowest) scores over a four days, I don't know if anyone wouls ever beat Federer. Just a thought.
"Golf is competition against all, tennis against one at a time." How about looking at Tiger's match play record (perhaps including Ryder Cup matches) and see how they stack up against Roger's win-loss percentage? (By the way, Tiger's three consecutive U.S. Amateurs are exactly that -- against amateurs -- so they wouldn't necessarily count.) Granted, golf is not predominantly played this way, but at least this comparison is somewhat closer, like apples with loquats.
One good test is to have them play against each other! In both "sports!" And over many games/months/events. Tiger improving his tennis, Roger improving his golf. I'd bet that, at the end of, say, 100 games/tournaments, Tiger would pull way ahead of Roger, given his nature of domination, which is the bottom line answer to the question of comparing the two.
Tiger dominates golf because he does not have athletes participating against him. He regularly competes against a bunch of out of shape middle aged men who are skilled with golf clubs. In order to maintain a consistent swing in golf, you cannot get physically tired during the round, which will result in loss of concentration. Whereas other players lose steam, resulting in poor consistency, Tiger maintains his concentration longer. It is no surprise that Tiger who is physically fit, much younger than his top competitors, and sublimely skilled dominates his sport.
Now, lets talk about Federer. Undeniably, if you are not in top physical shape compared to hundreds of 20 yr old athletes on the men's tour, you don't stand a chance. But physical conditioning is just the minimum requirement to dominate in tennis. You also need sublime skills. Federer dominates period and does it so masterfully, that it seems he hardly even breaks a sweat. He doesn't just keep his concentration for an entire match, he's done it day in and day out for years, despite getting older.
Federer is the more dominant, not to mention, better athlete without a doubt.
The real question is who wouldn't pay to see Sampras in his prime take on Federer?
If you absolutely have to choose between the two, Roger is my pick. Tiger's biggest advantage is his length off the tee, which puts him in wedge distance and, usually, beyond most trouble. This poses no real disadvantage when his tee shot goes astray, as it often does. He is far from the best putter on tour. Roger, likewise, could be considered at or near the top of every facet of the game. He has no clear advantage other than he hits every shot with almost perfect precision. His strokes and serve aren't overpowering--just perfectly struck and placed. What Tiger does is unfathomable, though. His slumps make him as good as anyone else. But, Roger dominates his competition with relative ease, where Tiger, most of the time, comes roaring from behind. Roger rarely comes from behind--he's always out front
both of these player are the true kings of their kingdom. but he question is who is the effective king of their kingdom or shall i say who is the better dominant player of their field. by looking at the oods i think roger is at his best form and dominating the game like no one has ever done in any game. so i think roger is more dominant player at present situation .
I would have to agree with most comments that we are comparing apples and oranges. However, the one issue that has come up that I take issue with is the idea that when tiger wins he beats 144 players but when Roger wins he only has to beat five to seven. In a golf tournament you get a chnce to gain ground. If you have a poor opening round, you have the next day or three days to recover. In a tennis tournament, it is win or go home. So in th emajors, you have to be at your best against the best fo reach match. In my mind, that requires staying focused for the entire tournament. Frankly, I doubt that in head to head competition, Tiger would win seventy-three straight matches, or whatever it was that Federer won. With that as a standard, I would give the nod to Federer although I would much rather hand out with Tiger.
I'm reading all these posts and I keep seeing people say that golf is not a sport. I would ask any of these people to go play 18 holes of golf, four days in a row, and see how they feel when they're done. I think they'll have a little more respect for the "game" after that.
Of course tennis fans should be annoyed that golf is currently a more popular sport in America. Golf is more popular simply because it can be played by the over-abundance of typically out-of-shape, affluent American men, who can no longer be physical anymore. Tennis, on the other hand, is a physical and demanding athletic endeavor that takes an amazing amount of different physical abilities and techniques to cover all the different strokes involved. You have to be in shape to even get on a court. I know plenty of tennis players who easily become decent golfers. I know very few golfers who don't look uncoordinated on a tennis court. It is alot easier to play a game of skill after playing a athletic sport, than the other way around.
I have to say I am not totally convinced about the playing the whole field argument instead of just playing 6 or 7 guys in the case of tennis. Does Tiger dominate in match play as much as he does regular tournaments ? I think not... The difficulty of match play is that any time you do not beat your opponent, you cannot make up the lost ground the next day. I have to admit Tiger is money come Sunday but so is the other guy.
This weekend is a perfect example of why Federer is a more dominant athlete in his sport. Tiger is a great golfer, but he does not need to be at the top of his game every time he competes. Tiger routinely has bad rounds and can come back and play great later in the weekend to win. Roger has to play great every time he steps onto the court, or he goes home. If golf were more match play, Tiger would NOT have nearly the number of wins. If tennis were best match over the weekend, Roger would have won every event he entered for the last several years.
Roger is awesome. I think he's been player of the year or leading money winner three or four times now. Tiger has been leading money winner and player of the year eight times in 10 years. You geeks have got to get over the game/sport thing and forget about Roger's heartrate or John Daly's waistline or you're going to fall in love with somebody. The quality of writing here is sad.
With all due respect to Tiger, he cannot be called a athlete, simply because Golf does not demand athleticism. It's not the right comparison. It would be like comparing Gary Kasparov to Federer. However, they are both great and peerless in their respective fields.
If you have never seen the pros play tennis, do it. They hit the ball harder and more precisely than you can imagine, anticipate returns in micro-seconds, concentrate like mathematicians for hours on end and expend incredible amounts of energy in matches that can last 5 hours and often last 3. None of this comes through on the tv. All the other stuff people point to (this skill, that problem beating 144 instead of 7, etc.) is just apologetics. Tennis, at the pro singles level, is the most demanding sport on the planet. There are more dangerous sports (downhill skiing, car racing) but this is it baby: super skill, super stamina, intelligence & mental toughness. Roger rules.
The argument that golf is harder to win because you're facing the entire field while in tennis, you only need to beat 5-7 people is completely flawed. Let's flip it around. Let's say the format of golf is changed so that it is a tennis style tournament with one-on-one match play. Would Tiger win 7 matches in a row that often? And let's say tennis is changed so that we have one massive round robin where everyone plays everyone once and at the end, the person with the best record wins. Would Roger ever lose a "tournament"?
I have read most of the comments and I am actually shocked that you would think that Federer is more dominant in his sport than Tiger! And to bring up JORDAN. Jordan couldn't shine Tigers shoes. I think that their are a lot of people making comments that have never played golf. Tiger has just begun his 11th year as a professional golf player. Have you taken a look at all the records he holds? Keep in mind he has just turned 31. He is just getting started! That's scary! I believe the last major Jack won was at the age of 46. Remember he is 31 and has 12 Jack has 18. In golf there is a lot more competion. He is playing at any given time 100+ PROFESSIONAL Players. He has won over 25% of the tournaments he has played in. How's that for consistancy??? Unheard of in golf. Most pro's in golf are happy to win a tournament. And if they win a major it is like a dream come true. For Tiger, it's just another notch under his belt as he plays against records not people. The top players in golf have only won 3 majors and they are all well older than Tiger. Remember he has 12. So I said all of this to say TIGER by far is the most dominant player in his sport. Do ya think thats why he the most highly compensated and noticeable player in the sports world??? And remember he doesn't play basketball or football, he plays golf!! Think about it!!!!!
Roger is King..... He has to be in great shape physically to dominate. Tennis needs speed and stamina, great hand-eye coordination and power, strategy and skill. None of these qualities are required in Golf except for skill. Federer has the ability to raise his game to a higher level whenever in difficulty. Golf cannot be compared to Tennis at it is just a sport only needing skill & concentration.
Roger is a better athlete simply because he is in a sport which demands a more obvious and vigorous display of his athletic skills. Unless you are an insider of golf, you may not appreciate the skill required to perform at the levels Tiger has. Both are intrinsically as different as their chosen sports. Both have dominated their opposition. Right now, I would say Roger is in a more dominant phase than Tiger is, though, we need to see if he sustains it as Tiger has done.
I really dont understand when these sports writers use the word dominant and Tiget Woods. If he is the best and so dominant, then how can he lose tournaments??? If he wins 10 and plays in 20 tournaments how can you use the word dominant. If he is soooooooo good he should have made it to finals round or be the runner up in all the tournament. So, just stop bringing up Tiger Vs Federer debate and just hand it over to Federer. Federer is so great that i am sure his opponent would have put money on him when they are playing against him and that is called "DOMINANCE".
It's close, but I'd have to say that Roger Federer has been devastating the competition in a way that has never been seen before. I play both sports. Golf is difficult. But in competition, it's you against the course (which would include conditions). If Tiger shot 60 on the course without 143 other players on the field, it's still a 60. The other players do NOT directly affect my shots. (Granted, Tiger will have to bear the mental load of knowing that his competition is closing on him.) In contrast, Roger Federer must react to his opponents, who DIRECTLY impact each shot he hits. Federer must have all the shots in addition to being able to counter other peoples' shots. In that regard, I believe that the dominance we've seen from Federer in light of his relatively short time as a professional surpasses Tiger Woods.
I think when you talk about who the more dominant athelete is right now between Tiger Woods and Roger Federer in their respective sports, you have to go with Roger Federer. The demands of tennis in terms of being in top physical condition far outweigh that of the physical requirements that are needed to be a top golfer. You would never see a tennis equivalent of John Daly on the ATP Tour. Both guys have accomplished a lot in terms of winning the Grand Slams and staying on top of the tour, and both players are very mentally tough, although I would probably give the mental toughness edge to Tiger for sure. The big difference here is the sport itself. Golf is almost all skill oriented. In addition to this, the really great golfers are also mentally tough. Tennis, on the other hand is a skill oriented sport that is also very physically and pshycologically demanding. Based on this, I give the nod to Roger.
Stop calling golf a sport. Will you? Golf is a game like monopoly, whereas tennis is a sport like soccer. Once again, for the benefit of those who do not understand the difference: RUN/JUMP/SWIM/GET TIRED - is SPORT; whereas ROLL DICE/SHUFFLE A DECK OF CARDS/COUNT MONEY IN MONOPOLY/SWING A CLUB AND WALK LEISURELY SMOKING A CIGAR WHILE SOMEONE ELSE CARRIES YOUR CLUBS - is GAME. So now let's talk about who was/is more dominant Roger or Michael Jordan? Now that's a comparison "SPORT v/s SPORT." 'NOUGH SAID.
Federer needs to win the French Open before he can be declared the best. I believe he has the game to win on clay against the best but he will have to prove it. Also, Nadal may not be the only player who stands in his way. There are some other players that have the kind of game that can give Roger fits on clay.
Roger has about five more years of prime. Tiger has ten or more.
Undoubtedly both players are highly dominant in their own sports. It would be quite difficult to quantify who is more dominant than the other. They both are the greatest "Tigers" in their own territories. We could perhaps use artificial dichotomies such as player statistics to compare these two geniuses. Based on the fact that Roger is only four slams from previously established (Pete Sampras') record, while Tiger is eight golf majors away from Jack Nicklaus' mark, it would be logical to say that Roger is more dominant that Tiger.
i give admiration to both Roger and Tiger for their domination in their "SPORT". But when it comes down to saying "ATHELE"-there is no one that can beat him--bottom line-- u gotta give it to ROger. Tennis is a "SPORT" that requires lots of stamina, strenghts,skills,hand-eye coodination,speed and ect. If u aint sweating then its NOT A SPORT! i gotta give it to MY MAN ROGER!!!
It's definitely a Toss-Up between the 2, as each Excels in their given sport. Each, admire the other for what they have achieved, & they may, well, surpass their predecessors. I can't think of anyone else that has been so consistent in his or her Current Achievements.
Fed.. and by far. It FAR more difficult to dominate in tennis than it is in golf. If Tiger has a couple of bad rounds or a bad day, he is still in and can still win. Tennis is single elimination. You lose a round, you are done. No more chances to win that tourney. That difference alone makes what Fed has done more impressive. Beyond that, tennis is much more difficult to be accomplished in than golf. Tennis demands more technical skills than golf does, AND it also requires that you be increadibly fast, agile, have world class dexterity and stamina, and strength in ADDITION to the technical (eye hand coordination, various stroke production, etc...)skills needed to be a champion tennis player. Tiger has done great things in golf, but you can't compare golf to tennis... it is just much, much harder to be a great tennis player than a great golf player....
I agree with the statements that the 2 sports have different skill sets and challenges making comparisons impossible. It is rather uninformed to say that Golf is not a sport given the demands of coordination and flexibility. Ultimately, the only comparison will be what they do against the all time records at the end of their careers, in the meantime sit back and be amazed at both.
I can't believe you're even putting them both in the same league. Golf is not a sport. Just go to any golf course and see all the old and out of shape men and women playing that game. You don't need the athletic talent that is needed in tennis. There is probably no other sport that demands as mush physical talent as tennis. Try playing 4 hours in the heat of day and in the heat of battle. Golf is in the league of bowling. If you want to compare players compare Tiger with Earl Anthony who was one of the great bowlers of our time.
Just last decade it would seem impossible that anyone could dominate golf and tennis the way Woods and Federer now do. Competition gets harder every year. At least it seems so.
My vote goes to Federer, WHEN he wins the French open. Arguably the toughest tennis tournament to win, the French Open shows who really is the best tennis PLAYER, as the whole spectrum of skills are tested. Not with a strong focus on the first 1-2-(3) contacts with the ball, as in say Wimbledon.
First, I'd like to address Mark's comment about Tiger having one all four grandslam titles while Roger has yet to do so. Then I want to chime in on Karen's on-the-point remarks. Actually, I'll combine them. Winning all four grandslams in golf is not as difficult as winning all four of tennis' grandslams. Today, tennis grandlams are played on 3 different surfaces: hardcourts, clay and grass. Generally, those who do well on, say, grass, which is an extremely fast surface, do not perform well on the slow red clay surface - though a fellow named Borg proved to be a notable exception. Nonetheless, It is rarely done. Golf is played on, well, grass. All of the time. Sure, the courses differ, but it is still grass. To say that Tiger has won all four grandslams and Roger hasn't, shows ignorance. Only someone who is absent of knowledge (a euphemism) would dare say such a thing. And Karen is right on the money. Every time Roger plays, it is match play. He has to win. Tiger has not distinguished himself as a great match play golfer. In fact, I dare say he is average. If he shoots a 74 in a tournament, he can still come back and win. If Roger has the equivalent of a 74, he is out. There is no cut to be made. Tiger played horribly in this year's Masters, yet was in contention late into the tournament. No such thing occurs in tennis. Plus the window of opportunity for a tennis player to win grandslams titles is, generally, below the age of 30. Golfers traditionally do not reach their peak until 30. So, please, do not compare tennis and golf grandslam titles. That being said, I think Tiger is the best golfer ever. He has more skills than any other golfer. A golf maxim is that God always gives a golfer a weakness: Nicklaus' short game; Hogan's putting. But this adage does not apply to Tiger. Roger may never win the French. At least, not as long as Nadal is around. Yet, he is the best tennis player ever.
I keep seeing the argument put forth that Tiger's accomplishments are more impressive because he beats an entire field, whereas Federer only beats a single player at a time. However, if you consider Tiger's head to head record in match play events, he appears to be much LESS of a dominant player than Federer. In the past 3 years of the Accenture world match play tournament, Tiger hasn't even made the finals. In Ryder Cup singles play, his career record is 2-1-1; and in all Ryder Cup a dismal 7-11-2. The reason he is so dominant in 4 day stroke play events is that in this format, small differences in skill level between players is magnified. Tiger is clearly the most dominant golfer in the world, and in my view the best ever, but when considering their head to head records against their foes, the distance between Federer and his competitors is far greater than the distance between Tiger and his.
1) You can make an argument that golf is a sport, depending on how narrow or broad your definition of sport is. For example, it can be argued that archery is a sport. Tennis, on the other hand is a sport regardless of your definition of sport. The key difference being that tennis players need physical strength, agility, and stamina (merriam webster's definition of athlete), whereas golfers may or may not need agility and stamina. That is not to say golf is any lesser or easier of a game. It just requires a different skillset. So "player" may be a more appropriate term here than "athlete". If we are using the term "athlete" here, it's hard to overlook those three attributes: physical strength, agility, and stamina.
2) The true test of dominance would come from pitting Tiger and Roger against the other players in their fields. I think it is pretty even here, with both having their blemishes (Michelson almost became Tiger's "rival" last year and Nadal having had Roger's number earlier in their matchplay, albeit on clay) but for the most part dominating play.
3) However, the level of competition for golf at the professional level is smaller and weaker, in my opinion, than it is in tennis. For one, Tiger single-handedly popularized golf to a new generation. Tiger basically came into a playing field that was reserved mainly for the privileged and players not in their prime years. There weren't many notable youth academies and training facilities or programs for golf available to youngsters. There just wasn't the demand for up and coming youngsters the way there was in tennis (Agassi and Bollettieri for one). Plus, the high school and collegiate tennis scene pre-Roger was relatively more rampant and developed than was the high school and collegiate golf scene pre-Tiger. Roger, on the other hand, did little, if anything, to popularize the sport of tennis.
4) Perhaps the most telling and convincing point is that tennis has an opponent. While "competitors" exist in golf, the point is to concentrate on your own game while your "competitors" stand idly to the side trying not to distract you. In tennis, your opponents are showing their emotion, bringing their life experiences to the table to directly try and outplay you. Each point is a mind-game of talent, determination, emotions, and will-power between two players. This variability speaks volumes to how Roger can time and time again dominate each and every point, game, set, and match. In golf, you have the wind... and your own mind, which is a given in any game. Take away Tiger's "opponents" and he can still hit great shots and putts in a certain number of strokes. Not possible in tennis. As far as the "golf plays against 100+ whereas tennis plays against 7" argument goes, that is just the format of the respective sports. The 7 who got to that tournament beat out all of the other tennis players to get to those spots. So it can actually be argued the other way around. Roger is playing one of the best players in the world for that round, each and every round. In golf, if you make a certain number of strokes, that eliminates a certain percentage of your competition. It's just a matter of structure vs. content. It's hard to argue that Tiger is more dominant based on the structure of the golf tournament.
I actually think Tiger is more dominant in golf, but that is only when compared to the competition. They are both dominant, but I think Tiger is dominant because he is better and because his competitors are weaker (relative to Federer's competition in tennis), whereas Federer is dominant solely because he is that much better than his competition.
But in the end, who cares? I have now spent too much time thinking about this topic.
Both Sampras and Federer are great, but I would think Pancho Gonzales has a better right to the title of 'greatest ever' than either.. had he not been bareed from contesting the slams as a pro, he would surely have won dozens of them.. how easily we forget!
Who in the world ever said lets talk about jordan vs federer as a more dominant, is just stupid and has a lack of knowledge in sports. Golf is a sport just like tennis, who in da world can drive a ball like tiger... and on the other hand be as accurate as him... when yall find an answer get at me, but until then anyone who me believes the statement made on pic 16 is just dumb. oh yeah, as an added bonus, jordan wasnt dominant, bill russell was, compared to bill russell jordan was just a little kid on the block practicing jump shots, while bill russell won 11 out of 13 seasons, so someone tell me who is really the greatest basketball player EVER!!!...
I really do not think you can make a comparison between the two, because what each person does is so different from that of the other, that it just becomes a futile argument about the idiosynchracies of the sports, and not of the players themselves. No one in the world can play golf as well as Tiger Woods, and no one in the world can play tennis as well as Roger Federer. While both men admittedly dominate their respective fields, tennis and golf are too incomparable to make a coherent argument one way or the other.
I am tired of people not caling golf a sport. Honestly, i would like to see some of these "athletes" like baseball players aka manny or big papa walk 18 holes 4 days in a row bending their body is non ordinary ways at speeds over 100 miles per hour for say 70 times a day. Oh wait they would break 200, so 800 for fours days. I bet i could swing a baseball bat 4 times a day 5 days a week and feel alot better than after a mental and phsyical demand of golf. Stop knocking some of the better athletes and best sports icons today. Play 18 holes and call me in the morning.
There is a new dominant tennis player every 3-5 years. Roger is a great tennis player but the demands of the sport on his body will soon end his career. Look at the history of dominant tennis player. Sampris, conners, mcenroe, etc, etc, etc. Roger is simply the man now, but soon his career will be over and the next young, athletic, dominant tennis player will take over. I dont see Tiger woods falling off his game for the next 15-20 years barring serious injury or something. Bottom line is you will see probably 20 dominant tennis players come and go over the course of a lifetime. You will be lucky to see one dominant golfer per generation. Therefore the nod has to go to Tiger on this one.