“Reduced To Two Names”: Tennis Legend Puts Roger Federer Out Of The GOAT Race with Nadal and Djokovic

Published 01/02/2021, 11:56 AM EST
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


The Tennis world is yet to find a way to separate Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic as the greatest-of-all-time. Until then, the debate relies on the number of Grand Slams that they own as the distinctive factor between them.

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Recently, the retired Croatian legend, Nikola Pilic, added his valuable input to the GOAT conversation. According to him, the Swiss maestro is no longer in contention of the race.

Nikola said, “It’s hard for me to imagine Federer winning one or two more Grand Slams. I’m not saying he can’t, but it will be very difficult.” (All quotes are translated via Google Translate.)

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Since the 20-time Grand Slam winner from Switzerland withdrew from the 2021 Australian Open, the debate has turned against him. It has raised many concerns about his competency and fitness level for stringent tennis tournaments.

However, the 39-year-old is passionate enough to compete for the Olympic Gold medal and Grand Slam titles in 2021. His arch-rivals, Djokovic and Nadal, are equally motivated to leave behind the old champion.

The threat against Roger Federer in 2021

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 28: Roger Federer of Switzerland looks on during his Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match against Tennys Sandgren of the United States on day nine of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2020, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Both, World No. 1 and World No. 2, have a dominant Slam tournament. Novak has won the Australian Open a record 8 times whereas Rafa has a whopping 13 French Open titles.

Hence, Federer will have his eyes focused on the Wimbledon Championships where he has won more than any player (8). Nevertheless, Nikola highlighted the challenges that the Swiss maestro will inevitably face ahead.

“He now has, in addition to two greats Novak and Rafa, a constellation of younger players: Zverev, Medvedev, Tim, and he is also 39 years old. In my opinion, the race for GOAT was reduced to two names,” the Croatian concluded.

Fans hope for one last glory for Federer

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning a point during his Men’s Singles third round match against John Millman of Australia on day five of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Despite undergoing two knee surgeries last year, Roger is working hard to get to his best level. He will, indeed, surprise the on-lookers with what he has got to offer.

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As far as the GOAT race goes, it will be alive as long as the Big Three continues to fight for it. But no doubt, the Serbian and the Spaniard have the upper hand with fitness and age on their side.

Be that as it may, tennis fans are only waiting for Federer to return on the court. Even his longest-running rival Nadal hopes he returns soon. Which spot the Swiss maestro will end at among the Big Three?

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Purav Joshi

690 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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