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Slam tally shouldn't be the only factor in GOAT debate between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal & Novak Djokovic: Sascha Bajin

Novak Djokovic (L) and Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic (L) and Roger Federer
Rudra Biswas
Modified 28 Feb 2021

Novak Djokovic thrashed Daniil Medvedev in straight sets last week to win 18th Grand Slam title; the Serb now trails the record tally of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer by just two Slams. With the GOAT debate among the three legends so close, many players and tennis personalities have weighed in on the matter.

In a recent podcast, Karolina Pliskova's coach Sascha Bajin has also given his views on the debate. The 26-year-old claimed that Slam titles should not be the only factor in determining greatness levels when we compare the 'Big 3' members with each other.

"It is not because you have the most Grand Slam titles that you are automatically the best tennis player," Bajin said. "So many other factors must be brought together and it is moreover difficult to define them."

We should just enjoy that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic can play for a long time: Sascha Bajin

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer

Sascha Bajin, who has also worked with the likes of Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams in the past, went on to assert that fans should enjoy the 'Big 3' as long as they can - especially since all three of them are in the twilight of their careers.

"We should just enjoy that the Big 3 can play for a long time and hopefully they meet a few times," Bajin said.

The trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have won 15 of the last 16 Grand Slams, and share a mammoth 58 Majors between them. Every other narrative in tennis has seemingly taken a backseat to the Big 3, and right now the there is a lot of interest about which one of the trio will manage to come out as the undisputed leader.

Speaking of all-time greats, last week Serena Williams failed at tying Margaret Court's record tally of 24 Majors as she fell in the Australian Open semis. But Sascha Bajin insisted that the American still has her winning instinct, and that she can still 'hit the number 24'.

"She must have gotten more relaxed off the field," Bajin said. "But she is still on the field and she is Serena, not a mother. She still wants to win as much as she did before and definitely hit number 24 so that there is no doubt."
"That’s one of the few reasons why she keeps playing, for what I guess," he added. "Nobody should say Margaret Court, but she has one more."

Sascha Bajin then showered effusive praise on his former client Naomi Osaka, who has won back-to-back Major titles at the US Open and the Australian Open. The German spoke about the all-round nature of her game before remarking that he expects big things from Osaka going forward.

"I think she should dominate now," Bajin said. "I don’t know if she will win again, win, win, but I do expect some consistency from her. She is very good – whether in the offensive zone or in the defensive zone. I expect very big things for them in the future."
Published 28 Feb 2021, 23:07 IST
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