Federer Still the Best – Bjorkman;Sports

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Roger Federer is ranked third in the world

and has won only two titles in 2010 but nine-times men’s doubles

grandslam champion Jonas Bjorkman has no doubts about who is the

best player in the world.”There’s a difference in class and Federer

is a much, much better player than (world number one Rafael) Nadal

at this point in time,” Sweden’s former world number four told

Reuters.Bjorkman’s assessment may raise a few eyebrows considering

Nadal has won seventournaments this season, including the

French

Open,

Wimbledon and USOpen crowns.However,

Bjorkman was adamant that nine-times slam winner Nadal could only

be compared to the Swiss maestro once the Spaniardhad matched

Federer’s staying power at the big four events.Not only has the

29-year-old won a record 16 majors but he also reached an

astonishing 23 consecutive grand slam semi-finals – a record many

pundits believe is unbreakable.”Nadal has to come up to the same

level whenit comes to grand slam titles before it (who is the

greatest among Federer and Nadal) can even be discussed,” said

Bjorkman, who is now the marketing director for the Stockholm

Open.”It’s a question of injuries and motivation and how long he

(Nadal) can continue, but the bigdifference is that Federer is such

a great ambassador.

He does so much to market tennis. “Nadal will need to stay

healthy for a long timeand break all of Federers records before

it’s even worth discussing.”Even though Federer has endured a lean

season, by his own high standards, Bjorkman was delighted that he

managed to pursuade Federer to compete in Sweden.”He missed the

tournament once before and he said that he wanted to make it up to

people. He’s a fantastic ambassador, hedoesn’t usually miss

tournaments and he really felt that he wanted to come back here,”

Bjorkman said as he watched an amateur player hit forehands on the

centre court of the Royal Tennis Hall.