The debate over who, amongst Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, is the GOAT has become prominent since the second decade of the 21st century. It will be interesting to see which one of them ends their career with more Majors.
The eight-time Grand Slam champion, Ivan Lendl, solely considers Major titles to be the parameter to decide the GOAT tennis player.
“It’s between Novak, Rafa, and Roger on who ends up with the most Majors. Who is considered the best of all time in the Open-era,” Lendl told Australia’s Channel Nine television.
“All you can say at the moment is that Roger is leading the race – the race has not been finished. When they retire the race will be finished and you will be able to judge. The race is far from over,” Czech-American Lendl reflected.
“I’m not closing the book on that” – Ivan Lendl on Roger Federer Being GOAT
Currently, Federer is leading the race with 20 Slams, but Lendl feels his two arch-rovals will soon surpass him. Nadal and Djokovic are one and three Slams behind Federer, respectively. Their age-factor and astute fitness are certain to enable them to win more Slams in the coming years.
Every tournament Federer plays, the tennis world suspects it could be his last appearance, at least in that particular event. Nevertheless, the Swiss maestro continues to prove the world wrong and raises the bar with his records.
“You have to go with Roger right now, but I’m not closing the book on that. As Djokovic and Nadal are younger and have longer to play, that is going to be one hell of a race to follow,” he added.
During the 2000s when Federer was in his prime, he won 15 Grand Slams. In the same period, Nadal was conquering all the French Opens and he pulled off his first non-clay Slam at Wimbledon in 2008. During those days, Djokovic was still a developing player and he won his first Slam at Australian Open 2008. In the next decade, while competing against strong players like Federer, Nadal, and Andy Murray, the Serbian ace won 16 Grand Slams.