Who is the greatest basketball player who ever lived? Good arguments can be made for either Michael Jordan or LeBron James. Greatest baseball player? If we’re judging by Wins Above Replacement, Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth are neck-and-neck. Football player? Hockey player? Tougher to say. With all those sports, there is no one definitive answer.
But not in tennis. Roger Federer is the greatest male tennis player in the history of the sport, full stop. This is not up for discussion, but accepted fact. Twenty Grand Slams. Eight Wimbledon championships. Five U.S. Open titles in a row. Olympic Gold.
Federer is also a man of finer tastes, with endorsement deals from Rolex and Mercedes-Benz to Uniqlo. He also endorses Barilla and its Collezione line of pastas, which was why Federer was in The Takeout’s hometown of Chicago this week, and why he agreed to a sit-down interview, and why he consented to answering the most vexing question in the history of mankind.
The Takeout: Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Roger Federer: No.
The Takeout: Why?
RF: Well, in Europe where we come from, we don’t eat a lot of hot dogs. Sandwiches are a much bigger thing. Hot dogs are very much an American thing. And for me, a hot dog is a hot dog, even though, yes, it is bread on either side. But, isn’t it semi-connected? And the type of bread of the hot dog, for me, is really not a sandwich bread. In my vision, a sandwich looks different.