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TOTALLY RANDOM

A writer questions Roger Federer's rise to greatest

Davin Scargetta of Australia disputes the notion of Federer as best tennis player ever, citing Federer's 7-13 record against Rafael Nadal.

July 07, 2009|Mike Penner

Is Roger Federer the greatest tennis player of all time?

Sunday's victory over Andy Roddick for his 15th Grand Slam title should have clinched it, but if you search long and hard enough, you will find a dissenter.

Writing for the website WAtoday.com.au, an online newspaper that focuses on coverage of news in Western Australia, Davin Scargetta disputes the notion of Federer as best ever, citing his 7-13 record against Rafael Nadal.

"For years, Federer danced around the grass, hardcourt and rebound ace without a worthy adversary he was a foe-less hero and he was racking up the stats," Scargetta wrote. "We never saw him tested and we never saw how deep he could dig."

Then came Nadal. Finally a foil, and then some.

Scargetta notes that while Pete Sampras dominated his chief rival, Andre Agassi, in Grand Slam finals, Federer is 2-5 in Grand Slam meetings with Nadal.

"Granted, many of their matches have been on clay, but even when you take clay out of the occasion, Federer only edges Nadal by one victory," Scargetta wrote. "Their two most recent battles, the Australian and Wimbledon finals, have gone Rafa's way."

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Trivia time

Jonathan Broxton is the fifth Dodgers closer in the last 15 years to be named to the National League All-Star team. Who are the other four?

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Hot-dogging it

Joey Chestnut's latest gut-wrenching performance at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest moved the record for hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes to 68. How impressive is that? When the event debuted in 1916, the winning amount was 13 hot dogs.

As Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times observed, "Maybe Barry Bonds should've loaded up on hot dogs instead."

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No contest

U.S. Open golf champion Lucas Glover says choosing golf over football and baseball as an eighth-grader wasn't such a difficult decision.

"I was a short, dumpy kid," he told the Associated Press, "so I played football and I didn't like to be on the bottom of the pile. I was a catcher, and I got hit a few times where it didn't feel great. So I pulled the plug on that pretty quick."

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Trivia answer

Takashi Saito (2007), Eric Gagne (2002-04), Jeff Shaw (1998, 2001) and Todd Worrell (1995-96).

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And finally

From Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: "It's brilliant what the Lakers pulled off in essentially swapping Trevor Ariza for Ron Artest. But it's not risk-free. Artest is a time bomb attached to about 12 alarm clocks. He and Kobe Bryant will get along beautifully -- as long as they practice in separate gyms."

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mike.penner@latimes.com

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