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Whether Rafael Nadal is the 'GOAT' remains a difficult question, Novak Djokovic can be a fool at times: Marc De Hous

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal
ANALYST
Modified 05 Jan 2021, 17:48 IST
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Kim Clijsters' former coach Marc De Hous recently opened up about Rafael Nadal in the context of the 'Greatest of All Time' or 'GOAT' debate. The Belgian pointed towards Rafael Nadal’s utter dominance on clay and suggested that the Spaniard is one-dimensional compared to Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. De Hous also spoke in detail about Djokovic, criticizing some of the Serb's antics last year.

Marc De Hous is a former player who is more well-known for his coaching work with Kim Clijsters and Kirsten Flipkens. Under his tutelage Clijsters achieved the No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles, winning multiple Majors along the way.

In a write-up for Nieuwsblad, Marc De Hous explained why he believes Rafael Nadal’s claim to the 'GOAT' title is questionable.

“Whether Nadal is the best of all time remains a difficult question,” De Hous said. “He is more specialized than Djokovic and Federer on one surface.”

Clijsters’ former coach does believe, however, that Rafael Nadal’s professionalism and dedication to the sport are second to none. De Hous also expressed hope that his compatriot David Goffin - who has been struggling for form of late - takes a leaf out of Nadal’s book.

“But Nadal remains the ultimate super pro, who, even on a bad day, plays every ball as if it were his last,” De Hous added. “David Goffin can learn a lesson from it.”

Turning his attention to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, De Hous claimed that the Serb is often his own worst enemy - as evidenced by his controversial ouster from the US Open.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

De Hous was also critical towards some of Novak Djokovic’s other slip-ups in 2020, highlighting how the 33-year-old has been irresponsible with some of his actions.

“He (Novak Djokovic) was virtually unbeatable for a whole year until he eliminated himself by unknowingly hitting a tennis ball against a female line judge," De Hous said. "He can be a fool at times, with his nonsense about dirty water and his exhibition tournament that produced so many COVID infections.”
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But the Belgian went on to assert that Novak Djokovic remains as determined as ever to end his career with the most Slams.

“All three would love to get that record number of Grand Slams behind their names, but Novak Djokovic is really working hard on that,” De Hous added.

I want to bet a thousand euros on Rafael Nadal to win the 2021 French Open: Marc De Hous

Rafael Nadal with his 2020 French Open title after beating Novak Djokovic in the final
Rafael Nadal with his 2020 French Open title after beating Novak Djokovic in the final

Rafael Nadal won his 13th French Open title in 2020, and in the process equaled Roger Federer’s all-time Grand Slam record. Nadal's continued dominance on clay has made many believe he is likely to triumph yet again at Roland Garros 2021.

Marc De Hous is also convinced that Rafael Nadal will do the job again this year, even going as far as contemplating a huge wager on the Spaniard’s victory.

“In this new season full of sporting and extra-sporty uncertainties, Nadal is the only certitude for me on the Parisian clay,” the Belgian stated. “I want to bet a good thousand euros on him. A win at Roland-Garros would immediately make him the only record holder with his 21st Major."
Published 05 Jan 2021, 17:48 IST
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