And he continued to bolster his fame this year when he won the 2017 Australian Open, becoming at age 35 the oldest man to win the event since Ken Rosewall in 1972.
In 2007, Switzerland issued a postage stamp bearing Federer's image, making him the country's first living person to be so honored.
The data for each athlete in the pool was then fed into a formula created by ESPN director of sports analytics Ben Alamar that weighs athletes' endorsements, their following on the social media Big Three (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and Google search popularity, producing a comparative ranking system.
The analysis includes five categories: endorsement money, Twitter followers, Instagram followers, Facebook followers and Google Trends score.
And he'd won only 10 of his Grand Slams at the time.
-- Jim Caple "What makes it so special is that he doesn't just take something from you and just keep on going.
Get on my back and I'm going to carry you.'" -- Richard Jefferson, Cleveland teammate He remains the greatest current exponent of global soccer, a player of such otherworldly skill that the one remaining question to be answered in his career is whether he can be considered the best in the game's history.
We could wax lyrical all day about the Barcelona and Argentina nonpareil's unreal goals, visionary assists and magic wand of a left foot, but it's surely better to simply follow his old mentor Pep Guardiola's wistful advice: "Don't write about him, don't try to describe him.
Salary is not used as a factor because of differences among sports. We have also excluded amateur athletes -- Deshaun Watson, Lonzo Ball and Katie Ledecky, for example -- due to lack of salary and endorsements.
They have both been blessed with a genius that has never been seen before." -- Carlos Queiroz, former Real Madrid and Portugal manager Hero ... James turned the moribund Cavaliers into a contender -- only to take his talents to Miami in 2010 and win two championships with the Heat.
James returned to Cleveland after four years in subtropical exile, and in his second year back, the Cavs memorably overcame a 3-1 NBA Finals deficit to capture their first championship.
Fans once jilted by James adore him again, and, still dominating at age 32, he might be delivering them thrills for years to come.
James received rave reviews for his appearance in the 2015 Amy Schumer film "Trainwreck" and is slated to star in the forthcoming "Space Jam 2." Will he add an Oscar to his four MVP trophies? -- Thomas Neumann "I've never seen a man in my life tell an entire state: 'Get on my back, I got you.
Last year, it was to deliver the dream finale to Brazil's Olympics with the glorious free kick and winning shootout penalty against Germany to earn gold.