Following Rafael Nadal's record-equalling 20th Grand Slam triumph at Roland Garros, the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) debate between him, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic is once again the talk of the tennis community.
Former Australian Open champion and World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki has also weighed in on the subject now. The Dane claimed that while the debate between the three of them is very close, for her Federer is still on top right now.
Tennis will miss Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal when they retire: Wozniacki
In an interview with Marca, Wozniacki spoke extensively about the tennis world and how she is coping with retirement. But the conversation eventually veered to the debate between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and Wozniacki was asked who deserves the title of the best men's player ever.
"It is a complicated answer. Maybe right now, (I am) with Roger Federer," Wozniacki replied. "We have to see what happens in the next few years. I think both Nadal and Djokovic also deserve that title. Tennis will miss them when they retire."
The Dane also asserted that Rafael Nadal's triumph at Roland Garros this year was an incredible achievement, and claimed that it is one of the more difficult tournaments to win even in normal circumstances.
"Is incredible. Under normal conditions it would be something impossible to achieve, but Rafa has taught us that believing in it and with hard work, anything is possible. It is truly inspiring what the best can do," said the former World No. 1.
The GOAT debate has taken an interesting turn this year. While Roger Federer has for a long time been the most successful male player at the Slams, both Nadal and Djokovic have been hot on his heels throughout the 2010s.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer now both jointly hold the record for most Grand Slam titles (20) in men's tennis history. However, many believe that it is only a matter of time before Novak Djokovic catches up.
The Serb has now also ended a record-breaking 6th year as World No. 1, and will likely overtake Roger Federer's record of most weeks spent at No. 1 by March next year. Djokovic is currently at 294 weeks, while Roger Federer's record stands at 310.
Rafael Nadal has a very strong claim to the GOAT title too. Aside from his mind-boggling statistics on clay, the Spaniard has spent a record breaking 730 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the world rankings. He also holds the record for highest win percentage in tour level matches (minimum 500 wins), at over 83%.
The debate may rage on and on, but these three players are undoubtedly the most successful in the sport's history. They raise their level time and time again, even when it seems incredibly unlikely; the sport will certainly miss them when they retire, as Wozniacki rightly said.Published 18 Nov 2020, 22:26 IST