“Nadal and Federer Hurt Each Other”: Billie Jean King Reveals Why Novak Djokovic Is the GOAT

Published 11/10/2021, 9:35 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 has been witnessing the greatness of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for close to two decades now. However, over the past decade, we have seen a challenger in Novak Djokovic, who has dominated the scenes.

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The World No. 1 from Serbia has earned such honors in the game that he has begun breaking the records set by his other two rivals. Djokovic won the first three Grand Slam titles this season and in doing so, equaled his rivals, Federer and Nadal.

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Novak Djokovic has caught up swiftly 

Recently, the Serb was praised by former tennis star Billie Jean King. The 12-time singles Grand Slam champion felt that because Federer and Nadal faced most of their matches against each other in their prime phases, they felt short of titles. If they had been in different eras, they would have probably won more titles. 

The American player gave the example of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. These two legends came across each other on numerous occasions. If they were indifferent generations, they would have won 40 titles each. 

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 30: Billie Jean King speaks to the crowd prior to the match between Naomi Osaka of Japan and Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic during their women’s singles first round match on Day One of the 2021 US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The 77-year-old player spoke on this subject and stated, “I think Djokovic is going to be the best in titles because when Nadal and Federer competed they hurt each other in that sense. Martina (Navratilova) and Chris Evert would have won 40 Grand Slams if one of them hadn’t been on the board.” (Translated via Google Translate)

Coming to the current season, Djokovic has won three Majors. Federer and Nadal, on the other hand, failed to win any. In fact, they ended their season early after requiring to undergo surgeries for their respective injuries.

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We hope to see them come back fully fit for the next season and it will be interesting to see the big three compete in a Major in 2022. 

Watch this story: The Journey of Roger Federer to the Elite Billionaire’s Club

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Rohan Kollare

1373 articles

Rohan Kollare is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Rohan has studied Sports Management and has a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering Tennis and Formula One.

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