22-time Major champion Explains Why Rafael Nadal Took Away Roger Federer’s GOAT Title

Published 12/17/2020, 2:31 AM EST
Roger Federer of Switzerland shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in the Men’s Singles Semi Final at The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at Wimbledon on in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)


Australian doubles great Todd Woodbridge has given his take on the ‘GOAT’ race in men’s tennis. The legend said that the fact that Roger Federer doesn’t have a winning record against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic sets him back in the race for the greatest.

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Though Federer, with 20 Major titles, is currently tied with Nadal for the most number of Grand Slam trophies, he trails both his prime adversaries in head-to-head battles.

Excited for what’s to come🔥#thisistennis @atptour pic.twitter.com/vFEfJVRjxj

— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) December 11, 2020

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Federer is comfortably behind the Spaniard with a win/loss record of 16-24. His head-to-head record against the Serb is marginally better at 23-27.

Roger Federer, the greatest all-court player, says Todd Woodbridge

Woodbridge said that while some of Federer’s feats in men’s tennis are truly unmatched and may stand the test of time, his track record against the other two in the ‘Big Three’ – combined moniker for Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic – makes it difficult for him to put the Swiss ahead in the ‘GOAT’ race.

Great memories of @DavisCup in its glory days. https://t.co/jM4NZ6Kwmm

— Todd Woodbridge (@toddwoodbridge) November 11, 2020

However, Woodbridge, speaking to Wide World of Sports, gave Federer the label of the “greatest all-court player”.
“He’s (Federer) the greatest all-court player. (But) I find it hard to suggest (that) he’s the greatest (of all time) when he doesn’t have a winning record over Rafa and Novak,” Woodbridge saidHe said Nadal spoiled Federer’s Grand Slam record by winning as many French Open titles as he has. 
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Federer would be ‘GOAT’ if he’d taken 3 of Rafa’s French Open titles, says Woodbridge

Woodbridge added that the race for the greatest would have turned out better for the Swiss if he could have taken at least three Roland-Garros titles off the Spaniard. Nadal has 13 French Open titles to his credit, with the latest landing in his kitty this year. He said:
“But his (Federer’s) game style, the way he’s carried himself – Rafa spoiled it by dominating the French Open with 13 Grand Slam titles. If Roger could have won three of them and Rafa just 10 – well then yes, he would’ve been (the greatest of all time),” the 22-time Major winner said.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 30: Novak Djokovic of Serbia walks past Roger Federer of Switzerland during change of ends in their Men’s Singles Semifinal match on day eleven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 30, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
At 39, Federer, by his own admission, isn’t likely to carry on for too long. 

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And with Nadal and Djokovic still having some tennis years ahead of them, provided they stay fit and motivated, they are likely to race for most Major titles once Federer goes.
At an award show in Switzerland, Federer effectively ruled himself out of the Australian Open next year, saying he was unsure how long his frail knees could hold.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

740 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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