There are good athletes. There are great athletes. There are the greatest athletes to grace the game. And then, there's somebody like Roger Federer.
Someone who is beyond logic. Someone you can't measure in terms of the general sporting metrics, who transcends all of those and leaves you in awe every time they get on with it.
Federer was exactly that.
There's no point in trying to explain the Swiss. His records speak for him. It's a wonder how many personal records he holds, and the most astonishing thing is that the guy once stayed at the top of the ATP rankings for 237 weeks. That's more than four years.
To be the best is one thing. But doing that with as much ease as Roger did? That was special. That was something which happens once in a lifetime.
Federer's forehand was like a painter putting his final strokes on the perfect masterpiece, and his backhand was just pure grace. Federer's speed during his prime was similar to Flash, but it never felt like more than a morning stroll.
But above all, what stood the Swiss out was his absolute arrogance. Federer and arrogance truly seem like water and oil, but hardly anybody was more arrogant than him on the pitch.
Because he carried an aura of ease around him. As if he was always taunting his opponents, "Whatever you can do, I can do better." Because it was always too easy for him.
Federer was majestic. Federer was mercurial. Federer was born from a fairy tale. And Federer was more than a tennis player.
For many people, he is the one who made them aware of tennis. At any corner of the globe, Federer was recognisable. And yet, he would seem like just another guy, like Andy Roddick said, "He's a real person.
He's not an enigma. If you met him at McDonald's and didn't know who he was, you'd have no idea he's one of the best athletes in the world."
Federer did not win one Grand Slam in the last four years and saw Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic go past him. But numbers are not everything, are they?
And thus, when Federer walks into the central court of Wimbledon, wearing a suit instead of carrying a kit bag, the applause seemingly never stops.
20 Grand Slams, 103 titles, 310 weeks at the top – he is the only player with more than five titles on two surfaces, the only player to win four consecutive titles in two different Grand Slams.
But when talking about Federer, numbers suddenly fall short. Federer's greatness probably lies there that his numbers are incredible, but they will never even get close to explaining him.
Numbers will never explain one of his backhands or even the slightest of his fabled forehand. And the person himself? Let that be.
"You have to wonder if he's from the same planet," Novak Djokovic had once said about Federer. That's the answer to Federer's greatness. He was so good that even the best had to put their hands up and surrender.
Federer was magisterial. He himself was magic, he was mythical, he was… There might be better players in the future, but the crown will forever be him, the Swiss supreme.