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Becker, Connors call Federer 'a class above'

7/3/2005

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."