Becker, Connors call Federer 'a class above'

Updated: July 3, 2005, 2:36 PM ET
SportsTicker

LONDON -- Boris Becker hailed the "supreme" Wimbledon champion Roger Federer after the Swiss world No. 1 dominated American Andy Roddick to claim his third consecutive title.

Federer joined a group of just three men in the Open era (1968-present) to win three in a row at the All England Club with a 6-2, 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory.

And Becker believes the best is yet to come from 23-year-old Federer, who already has Pete Sampras' modern Wimbledon record of seven titles in his sights.

Becker, Wimbledon champion in 1985, 1986 and 1989, told the BBC: "Federer is on top of his game and at the pinnacle of his career right now -- we are watching greatness unfold. It really is a privilege to be a part of this whole time -- this year he was supreme out there, he was oozing confidence and I can't believe the way he played in the final.

"He is [a] different class to everyone else, he has raised the bar and everybody has got to look up to him. But the bad news is Roger is only going to get better. He is only 23 and he has got another three or four years of great tennis in him at least."

Eight-time Grand Slam champion Jimmy Connors -- victorious here in 1974 and 1982 -- also paid tribute to the Swiss star and warned Roddick things could be about to get worse before he can bridge the gap.

"Federer is certainly a class above," Connors said. "Roddick had a successful event and got to the final where he lost to the No. 1 player in the world. But for him to win the Championships and beat Federer he is going to have to suffer, to go away and pay the price, adapt his game and work out what can get him to the next level.

"Federer was really just a pleasure and a joy to watch."

Former British No. 1 John Lloyd also hailed Federer and predicted his dominance would continue for some time to come.

"You see magic moments when you're watching matches but Federer seems to have one almost every game," Lloyd said. "It's a privilege to watch him and he is the complete player.

"He is raising the bar all the time and the rest are going to have to work extremely hard to get near to him. He is on a different planet to everyone else."

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