Top 10 Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time

Updated on February 9, 2020
bdegiulio profile image

I have had a lifelong passion for the game of tennis from my days as a competitive youth player to now following the world's top players.

International Tennis Hall of Fame: Newport, RI

The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum
The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum | Source

I grew up playing tennis in the 1970s, which was a great time for the sport of tennis. It was then that tennis really became more of a mainstream sport than a sport for the privileged, especially here in the United States. With the likes of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, and others, there were plenty of personalities to fuel the rivalries that took place on and off the court. Since that time, many great players have come and gone. Because it is difficult to compare players of different eras in any sport due to technology changes and higher fitness standards, selecting the greatest player ever can be a difficult and very subjective task.

One thing I think most fans can agree on is that we are currently witnessing 3 of the greatest ever in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.

Despite the challenge, here is my list of the ten greatest male tennis players of the Open Era - 1968 to present. I have actually included eleven players here with two greats tied for the tenth position.

10. Ken Rosewall

Ken Rosewall
Ken Rosewall | Source
  • Born: November 2, 1934
    Sydney, Australia
  • Resides: Sydney, Australia
  • Turned pro: 1957
  • Retired: 1980
  • Career prize money: $1,602,700
  • 133 career titles
  • 8 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 4 Australian, 2 French, 2 US Open
  • 15 Pro Majors: 2 US Pro, 5 Wembley Pro, 8 French Pro
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1980

With a long career that included both the pre and post Open Era, Ken Rosewall certainly deserves a place among the all-time greats of tennis. His eight Grand Slam titles combined with 15 Major Championships undoubtedly qualifies Rosewall a place in tennis immortality. With a career that started in the early 1950s and ended with his retirement in 1980, the quick and agile Aussie was renowned for his backhand and crisp and accurate volleying. His last Grand Slam title came at the 1972 Australian Open at the age of 37, still a record for the oldest Grand Slam winner.

I watched Ken Rosewall play during the latter part of his career and at the time probably did not realize the greatness I was watching. To compete at his age with the next generation of tennis greats speaks volumes to his conditioning and mental toughness. I am placing him in the tenth position along with Andre Agassi as I feel that both players are worthy of a top ten.

10. Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi | Source
  • Born: April 29, 1970
    Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Turned pro: 1986
  • Retired: 2006
  • Career prize money: $31,152,975
  • 61 career titles
  • 8 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 4 Australian, 1 French, 2 US Open, 1 Wimbledon
  • Olympic Gold Medalist 1996
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2011

Who can forget the young, brash, long-haired Andre Agassi when he first arrived on the tennis scene in the late 1980s? I have to admit that at first I was put off by his seemingly "rock star" looks and attitude. But something happened along the way, and by the time he finished his 20-year career, I was not only a fan but I had also come to respect him as a great player and spokesman for the game. With those killer ground strokes and returns of serve, no top-10 list would be complete without Andre Agassi.

Off the court, Agassi has proven to be a champion as well. There may be no athlete out there who does more for their community than Agassi and his wife, tennis legend Steffi Graf.

9. John McEnroe

John McEnroe
John McEnroe | Source
  • Born: February 16, 1959
    Wiesbaden, West Germany
  • Resides: New York City
  • Turned pro: 1978
  • Retired: 1992
  • Career prize money: $12,547,797
  • 105 career titles
  • 7 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 3 Wimbledon, 4 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1999

John McEnroe: What do we do about Johnny Mac? Well, for starters we include him on our list of all-time greats. When it came to hard courts, fast surfaces, and creative shot-making, there may have been no one better.

His fiery attitude and occasional bad-boy behavior made tennis fans either hate him or love him. Underneath was a highly competitive athlete who hated to lose and sometimes let his emotions get the best of him.

Who can forget his epic battles with rival Jimmy Connors and his five-set loss to Bjorn Borg in the 1980 Wimbledon final, one of the greatest matches in Wimbledon history?

8. Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors
Jimmy Connors | Source
  • Born: September 2, 1952
    East St. Louis, Illinois
  • Resides: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Turned pro: 1972
  • Retired: 1996
  • Career prize money: $8,641,040
  • 147 career titles
  • 8 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 Australian, 2 Wimbledon, 5 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1998

No one dominated tennis more during the mid-1970s than Jimmy Connors. In 1974 alone, Connors had a staggering 99-4 record and won the three Grand Slam tournaments that he entered. Connors was banned from playing in the French Open in 1974 due to his association with World Team Tennis, and this prevented him from a possible Grand Slam sweep. Despite peaking in the 1970s, Connors had a long and impressive tennis career, retiring in 1996. Connors still holds the record for ATP tour titles with 109.

7. Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl | Source
  • Born: March 7, 1960
    Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
  • Resides: Goshen, Connecticut
  • Turned pro: 1978
  • Retired: 1994
  • Career prize money: $21,262,417
  • 144 career titles
  • 8 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 Australian, 3 French, 3 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2001

The quiet and stoic Czech with the big serve was the most dominant player of the 1980s. Lendl wore down his opponents with his powerful ground strokes, topspin forehand, and incredible level of conditioning. He was the world’s top-ranked player for four years, and held the number one ranking in the world for 270 weeks, a record in that day. In contrast to many of his more outspoken peers, Lendl was known for letting his game do his talking.

6. Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg
Bjorn Borg | Source
  • Born: June 6, 1956
    Sodertalje, Stockholm County, Sweden
  • Resides: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Turned pro: 1973
  • Retired: 1983
  • Career prize money: $3,655,751
  • 101 career titles
  • 11 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 6 French, 5 Wimbledon
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1987

What was not to love about the long-haired, blonde Swede with the killer ground game? With ice water in his veins, the quiet Borg dominated tennis in the late 1970s and had some memorable matches with the likes of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. Borg dominated Wimbledon, winning the title five consecutive years from 1976 to 1980.

Despite his relatively brief career (he retired in 1983 at the age of 26), Borg won 11 Grand Slam titles, all at Wimbledon and the French Open. Borg was the first player of the modern era to win more than 10 majors. In my book Bjorn Borg could have been a top five all-time had he continued to play and not retired while seemingly in the prime of his career.

5. Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras
Pete Sampras | Source

Born: August 12, 1971
Potomac, Maryland

  • Resides: Lake Sherwood, California
  • Turned pro: 1988
  • Retired 2002
  • Career prize money: $43,280,489
  • 64 career titles
  • 14 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 Australian, 7 Wimbledon, 5 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2007

Pete's place in tennis history is difficult to judge as he only won three of the four Grand Slam events over the course of his career. Clearly more comfortable on hard courts and grass how do we decide one's place when they dominate on one surface and struggle on another. When Pete retired in 2002, he was considered to be the best player of all-time although some would dispute this. He was number one in the world rankings for six consecutive years and his 14 Grand Slam titles was a record at the time. Who can forget his epic battles with Andre Agassi that made the 1990s a great decade for tennis? Pete went out on top when he won the 2002 US Open, his last Grand Slam tournament. But, without a French Open title, or even a final, how do we decide where he belongs in the list of best ever. For now I think he comes in at the number five spot.

4. Rod Laver

Rod Laver
Rod Laver | Source
  • Born: August 8, 1938
    Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
  • Resides: Carlsbad, California
  • Turned pro: 1962
  • Retired 1979
  • Career prize money: $1,565,413
  • 200 career titles
  • 11 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 3 Australian, 2 French, 2 US Open, 4 Wimbledon
  • 9 Pro Slam Singles Titles: 3 US Pro, 4 Wembley Pro, 1 French Pro, 1 Wimbledon Pro
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1981

It’s difficult to assess how Rod Laver would have fared against the players of today, but I suspect the redheaded Aussie would have done just fine. It’s hard to argue with the “Rockets” record. He was ranked number one in the world for seven straight years (1964 – 1970) and has more career titles (200) than anyone in the history of the game.

He is the only player to have twice won the Grand Slam, doing it once as an amateur in 1962 and again as a pro in 1969. If Laver was not excluded from the Grand Slam tournaments during a five-year period in the mid-1960s, who knows how many he would have won. During this time period, the pre-open era, the Grand Slam tournaments were for amateurs only. The “open era” in tennis did not begin until 1968, when professionals were finally allowed to compete in the Grand Slam events. Given that Laver was ranked number one in the world during this five-year period, it’s likely he would have won many more Grand Slam titles.

3. Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic | Source
  • Born: May 22, 1987
    Belgrade, Serbia
  • Resides: Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Turned pro: 2003
  • Career prize money: $143,059,955
  • 78 career titles
  • 17 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 8 Australian, 5 Wimbledon, 3 US Open, 1 French Open
  • Current active player

Placing Novak Djokovic on this list was an easy decision, but where to place him was not. At 32 years of age and in the late prime years of his career, Djokovic is clearly the best player in the world at the moment and has the potential to win many more Grand Slam titles. With 17 Grand Slam titles already under his belt, he certainly has the potential to surpass Federer’s total of 20. But, in the highly competitive world of tennis, he could also succumb to injury and miss out on some of his best remaining years, so the jury is still out on his ultimate place in tennis history.

Based on his body of work to date, he has certainly made the case that he is deserving of a top three all-time. With his 2016 French Open title, Djokovic became the eight-man to secure a career Grand Slam. His dominating performance at the 2020 Australian Open and his epic 5-set win against Roger Federer at the 2019 Wimbledon Championship makes it clear that Djokovic is the best player in the world at the moment. But, is his body of work to date, and his status as the current number 1 enough to grant him greatest of all-time status? Time will tell, but for now we place Djokovic at number 3 all-time.

2. Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal | Source
  • Born: June 3, 1986
    Manacor, Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • Resides: Manacor, Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • Turned pro: 2001
  • Career prize money: $120,583,119
  • 84 career titles
  • 19 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 Australian, 12 French, 4 US Open, 2 Wimbledon
  • 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist - Beijing Summer Olympics
  • Current active player

Were it not for the recurring tendinitis in his knees, and wrist injuries, Rafael Nadal may well have a few more Grand Slam titles to his already impressive resume. At 33 years of age, the fiery Spaniard, known as Rafa and “The King of Clay,” already has 19 Grand Slam titles and certainly has the potential to catch Roger Federer. Rafael is regarded as the greatest clay-court player of all-time, although fans of Bjorn Borg may dispute this claim. His record 12th French Open title in 2019, in dominating fashion, certainly makes it difficult to imagine anyone being better on clay.

While it is difficult to draw comparisons of players from different generations I think Nadal has proven that he deserves to be considered among the best to ever grace the courts. Winning 2 Grand Slams in 2019, including his gusty, marathon 5-set win at the US Open certainly raises the possibility that he will catch and potentially pass Roger Federer in the coveted race to capture the most Grand Slams titles.

1. Roger Federer

Roger Federer
Roger Federer | Source
  • Born: August 8, 1981
    Basel, Switzerland
  • Resides: Bottmingen, Switzerland
  • Turned pro: 1998
  • Career prize money: $129,231,891
  • 103 career titles
  • 20 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 6 Australian, 1 French, 5 US Open, 8 Wimbledon
  • Current active player

It’s hard not to select Roger Federer as the greatest of all time. His record 20 Grand Slam titles speak for themselves, and even at the age of 38, he is still winning and competing at the highest levels. His 310 weeks ranked as number one in the world is an open-era record. From 2004 to 2008, Federer went 237 consecutive weeks being ranked number one in the world, a record that may never be surpassed. Even though younger players are now finding a way to beat him, his consistently high level of play over his twenty-year career is a testament to his conditioning and ability.

Winning the 2018 Australian Open after his outstanding 2017 season that saw him win Wimbledon and the Australian Open prove without a doubt that Roger Federer is indeed the greatest of all-time. Barring injury, Roger will continue to be a force to be reckoned with for who knows how long? His dramatic 5-set loss to Novak Djokovic at the 2019 Wimbledon Championship proves that even at almost 38 years of age that he can still compete with anyone. Roger certainly had his chances to secure Grand Slam number 21, a loss that will haunt him with limited opportunities remaining, but he is setting a new level for excellence at an age when most players have long since retired.

After 6 years and almost 125,000 votes it’s time to refresh our list of players and the votes.

Who is the greatest men’s tennis player of the Open Era?

See results

Thank you to everyone for voting over the last 6 years (2013 - 2018). We are closing this poll in lieu of the newly expanded list of players.

Who do you think is the greatest men's tennis player of all-time?

  • 1% John McEnroe
  • 9% Novak Djokovic
  • 1% Andre Agassi
  • 0% Jimmy Connors
  • 0% Ivan Lendl
  • 14% Rafael Nadal
  • 3% Bjorn Borg
  • 2% Rod Laver
  • 2% Pete Sampras
  • 67% Roger Federer
124,807 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

Questions & Answers

  • How do you comment on the fact that Djokovic has a better score H2H vs. Nadal and vs. Federer? And Fed has a negative score vs. two of his greatest opponents? Few grand slams to Djokovic and few more wins vs. Fed and Nadal (so the score can be even better), and for me, he is the goat with no doubt.

    The head to head between the three players is very close. You have to take into consideration the playing surface and also their age. Federer is the oldest by almost five years, so obviously you would expect Nadal and Djokovic to have an advantage, especially at this point in their careers. Likewise, Nadal excels on clay so he would have a distinct advantage when playing on this surface.

  • Why don’t you take into account that almost half of the Federer grand slams were in the first years, before Nadal, Djokovic, etc?

    I did take that into account, just like I took into account that most of Nadal’s Grand Slam titles have come on clay, and Djokovic has not won a Grand Slam title since 2016. If you take their entire body of work into account, I think most ratings will have Federer as the greatest of all-time.

  • If Federer is the greatest men's tennis player, why was he never able to beat Nadal on the clay?

    Clay is just one surface, if you take that out of the picture the advantage goes to Federer. Consider also that Nadal is five years younger than Federer.

  • What do you think about the 1000 masters series complete by Novak? is this achievement worth the upgrade on the list?

    Following completion of the U.S. Open, I plan on updating both the men’s and women’s top 10. Completing the Masters 1000 Slam is quite a feat, and Novak certainly seems to be back in top form.

  • After Novak's win at Wimbledon 2018, do you think he deserves to be at number three?

    Novak is certainly making a case to be considered among the top three all-time players. What makes moving up for him difficult is that Rod Laver, who many people have never seen play, was really a great player and one of the few from that era that I think would give today's greats a run for their money. For the time being, I will leave Novak in the number five position and wait to see how he fares at the US Open. Certainly, a win at the 2018 US Open could convince me to at least to move him into the number four slot.

© 2013 Bill De Giulio

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      mirko 

      25 hours ago

      Pity that a current situation stopped tennis being played because Novak has been in an incredible swing and likely to surpass a majority of Federer's records. We hope that tennis will be soon played and these three aliens keep pushing boundaries.

    • profile image

      Tony 

      3 weeks ago

      Head to Head issue.

      This is a misleading issue to these 3 all time greats.

      No matter what is the form of Federer, he always went deep into the tournament.

      But this is not the case for the rest of two. Those who do not agree could check, e.g. the most consecutive wins in grand slam matches.

      And if Nadal and Novak were in good form, they are certainly could go deep into the tournament.

      And for example, in 2015, Novak is in a very good form but how about Federer, only a fair one. But they meet for 8 times in which Federer could still secure 3 wins. And in 2017, people thought Federer came back and Novak had some issues, how many times they met in 2017 ? No doubt, I would have thought if they met 8 times in 2017, how many wins could Novak get ?

      And for Nadal, since the end of 2016, if I am not wrong, they had met 6 times in which Fed got 5 wins and Nadal could only get a win on clay in FO 2019. Taken also into account of their age, the issue between them who is better is quite clear.

      Besides, I observe there is some difficulties for Nadal to beat top players in a consecutive manner in the same tournament and that is why his win in London Final is yet to be accomplished.

      Grand Slam wins issue

      Without the Nadal and Novak, there is no doubt Federer will have more slam wins in his pocket.

      It is very difficult for him to get some more wins in view of the 2 potential all time great are still playing at this high level.

      But for Nadal and Djo, there is now no competitive young guys to stop them to win some more slams, unlike Federer to face Nadal.

      It accounts for the reasons that even if Nadal and Djo could surpass the number of slam wins, there will not reflect the difficulty in which Federer to get a slam win at the age of 30+

      Grand slam wins in early days issue.

      Federer in his early days, he has to face many No. 1 and these No. 1 are almost the same age of Federer, like Ferror, Hewitt, Roddick, Safin. Apart from these so called young guns at his generation, he has also to face other 2 potential all time greats - Sampras and Agassi who are only at their late twenties or early thirties at that time, you could see how competitive or to get a win in a slam or other tournament at this era.

      So people say Federer could get easy win in his early time is by all means showing disrespect to all these good and No. 1 players.

      There are in fact some other issues which are in favour of Federer to be the all time great over Nadal and Djo. that could not be possibly list them all out.

      Hope there is no hard feelings to all Nadal and Djo fans.

      The above is only my personal observation and there is nothing showing disrespect to Nadal and Djo and the duos are still remain the best players for the moment, indeed.

    • profile image

      Tennis player 

      3 weeks ago

      Open era is since 1968.

      1. Federer

      2. Laver

      3. Nadal

    • profile image

      Dragan Cekic 

      3 weeks ago

      Period 2010. - 2020. - ATP Masters 1000 - Novak Djokovic 29 Titles, Rafael Nadal 20 Titles and Roger Federer 12 Titles. Period 2010. - 2020. - GRAND SLAM (2.000 points) - Novak Djokovic 16 Titles, Rafael Nadal 13 Titles and Roger Federer 5 Titles.

    • profile image

      HHfan 

      4 weeks ago

      I think Nole should be No 2, and Rafa on the 3rd.

      Nole: approx 10% less weeks as No 1 and 15% less GS.

      Rafa: approx 33% less weeks as No 1 and 5% less GS

      comparing to Roger's records.

      The number of weeks as No 1 shows that Nole is much stronger in general. Even with another Paris Rafa loses to Novak. Besides it is not sure that Rafa will win in Paris 2020, because of seed: he (2) will probably play in semifinal with Thiem (3). In the same way we can be sure that Nole will add some weeks as No 1, because of statistics. So - there are no arguments to keep Rafa as No 2 at the moment. I think in one year time we will discus if Nole is better than Federer, because No 3 for Rafa will be obvious for everybody.

      Sorry for my English.

    • profile image

      Gonzalo 

      4 weeks ago

      Keynes, your predictions could happen since Novak has brought the best tennis ever back in 2011-12. Now, recently, he has come back quite strong again. Nevertheless, nothing is sure and more so since Novak has had very serious physical impairments. It appears that he has learned to overcome his injuries; elbow and shoulder. But we are not sure; his ailments could come back at any moment and make him disable as a tennis professional as it happened a few years ago. Being truthful, I have strong doubts that Novak can keep up healthy because he will have to confront very challenging opponents.

      So Keynes, we must wait about two more years. If Novak could hold physically, your predictions will be correct.

      Similarly happens with Nadal. We don't know how long he could keep up strong and also, if he could improve further his game; he is showing a weak tennis game, again, because he is not offensive enough. Maybe he is weak physically and because of this, he is afraid to raise his level. If Rafael wants to succeed playing against Novak he must begin attaching him from the very first return. It appears that uncle Toni is gone from the picture, so everything is possible.

      So basically, all depends if Novak can keep up strong and if Rafael can improve his game.

    • profile image

      Keynes 

      4 weeks ago

      I'm pretty much sure that Nole will finish career wiht:

      1. Most Slams (I think 22 or 23)

      2. Most masters

      3. Most big titles (masters, master finals and GS together)

      4. Most master finals

      5. Most years end as no1

      6. Most weeks as no1

      7. Most all titles ever (more than Conors)

      8. Better H2H with Fed and Rafa

      9. All masters won

      10. All slams won

      11. Four slams in a row(first and only ever on three different surfaces)

      What will be left for Rafa and Fed fans?

      All of what I said is very close and very much possible.

    • profile image

      dpmanangan007@gmail.com 

      5 weeks ago

      GOD BLESS YOUR RF. CONTINUE TO BE A HUMBLE MAN. I PRAY FOR YOUR TO HAVE 1 OR 2 GS200

    • profile image

      Insider 

      5 weeks ago

      The New Gen is the Now Gen. Starting with Thiem at the French, Tsitsi, Zverev, Medvedev and co. are ready Now for DomiNation. I do wish Monfils would win one French Open, but his fitness at 33 over 5 sets? We'll see.

    • profile image

      Gonzalo 

      5 weeks ago

      Jorge, you are quite correct, Roger was a great tennis player and he was the player to follow. Now Roger is about to formally retired; he is injured and his body will not be able to hold strong enough.

      So now the question is, who is the goat? This year, 2020, will be interesting. Will Nadal be able to hold? I have serious doubts. It appears that Djokovic has learned on how to overcome his physical ailments.

      I have a feeling that Nadal's glory is about to be a thing of the past and Djokovic is going to be the goat with no challenge in the near horizon. I am pretty sure that Djokovic will end this year with a tally of at least 19 grand slams.

    • profile image

      Jorge 

      5 weeks ago

      Another important fact for setting Federer as number 1 is his style of game and being considered by fans the most beloved or favorite tennis players for 17 consecutive years. So many people cannot be wrong!

      In addition, courts are slower and slower every year in order to have larger rallies, that´s goes totally in favor of Nadal and specially Djokovic and against Federer. The 2019 Wimbledom tournamanet looked more like a clay tournament than a grass tournament and still Federer missed two championship points. Besides there are not masters 1000 grass tournaments.

      Federer is also almost fiver years older than Nadal and almost six years older than Djokovic, the last two are also lucky that did not appear a strong player younger than them. So there are many reasons why Federer is by far the GOAT, no matter if Djokovic and Nadal wins more Grand Slams than him since there are many, but many more records held by Federer even when the ATP tournaments has put all the odds against him as the courts speed.

    • profile image

      GOAT Tennis 

      6 weeks ago

      Rewatching Federer matches from 2004-7, you can see why he is the greatest of all time. Before he got mono, his consistency was incredible, hit lines at will. His backhand at tennis masters 2006 was the best ever.

    • profile image

      Ratko 

      7 weeks ago

      Gonzalo. I think you cry every time Novak wins the GS title. :) Do you know Novak personally? He is a great humanitarian and a fighter for sick children, especially in Serbia. Novak is a member of the Orthodox faith, who comes from the Balkans from Eastern Europe from a small country called Serbia. do you know how many Serbs there are in the world? Maybe just over 12 million. Tennis is a sport that was created in Western Europe and is most widely represented in Western Europe, US and Australia. How do these people feel about themselves when one man from a small country, another Christian faith comes and defeats all their players? They were angry. In the beginning of his career, Novak was popular in the eyes of the tennis audience. He liked to imitate other players and make jokes. The problem is when he started to beat the biggest players of that game. First of all, I think of the icons of Federer and Nadal, he changed their careers and ended their great rivalry. Then Rafa and Federer had to share all the trophies with Novak. What is evident Novak has had a much harder road to tennis G.O.A.T players than Rafa and Federer. He was far behind them. He never had support in stadiums when playing with Federer, Nadal or Murray. Always 90% of the audience cheered against him. Alone against all. Novak is a mental rock. Many agree that if Federer and Rafa had such miserable and poor support they would never become what they are.

    • profile image

      Gonzalo 

      7 weeks ago

      Again, Novak Djokovic, to my judgment, will never be accepted as a truly professional tennis player and all because of his demeanor. He even behaves as if he were a superior man, above the others.

      At the contrary, Federer and Nadal have always been worry about their professional conduct; they are humble and are not afraid to accept others as great professionals.

      And believe me, my feeling about Novak is not just me. Very many people feels the same way; many tennis fans simply don't like Novak as a person. Novak does not have the level of acceptance among fans as Federer and Nadal; it is a fact no one can deny. Even, Novak's father has come forward to give support to his son because of this situation; they feel envy because Novak is not liked by fans as Federer and Nadal.

      Yes, I don't deny that Novak could pretty soon end up with a much higher quantitative record playing tennis than all other tennis players. But to me, I will never accept Novak as a truly professional tennis player; you must also be a human person with values to be a professional sport man or woman.

    • profile image

      Keynes 

      7 weeks ago

      We are coming to the point where Fed fans, who always told us that Fed is Goat cuz of GS record and no1 record, will now start saying that that is not crucial. That even if somobody else takes over this records, he will remain goat. It's very funny, really... Now they start talking about elegancy, fair play and etc... What a defeat. When somebody proves that he is better you just shake hands and admit that fact... Its Sportsmanlike.

    • profile image

      Nebojsa 

      7 weeks ago

      Dear collegemath@gmail.com.

      It doesnt matter what one does to win. At the end people will remember one thing. Novak dominated past decade. You can argue he is not best because he doesnt have 20 GS. But as soon as he gets there... this conversation is finished.

      BR, Nebojsa

    • profile image

      collegemath@gmail.com 

      7 weeks ago

      Dear Ratko, I don't agree with your evaluation. Novak has been a tricky player many times. When Novak is losing control he uses unprofessional acts mostly playing the extremely tired player and in this way distracting the opponent or calling the trainer for special treatment; this is a fact that you can observe in important matches. Also, although not proven yet, I have observe Novak also intakes very questionable food because after it, he feels a lot better. In other words, I don't trust one bit Novak's professional conduct.

      At the contrary Federer has never canceled a match even though he may be injured. Federer has never been tricky in every single match. The same Nadal. Nadal is not afraid of accepting losing; he has played even injured until the very end knowing he was going to lose.

      I don't trust Novak professionally one bit. Also Novak's behavior often on is disgusting. All of this very easy to remember because it has been obvious.

    • profile image

      Ratko 

      8 weeks ago

      Novak Djokovic is the best player of all time. He has proven it in over 50 matches with his two biggest rivals Federer and Nadal. Djokovic will set such tennis records that they will not be broken for a hundred years.

      First this record with 310 weeks of Federer, then everything else. BIG TITLES Djokovic: 17GS, 34 M, 5 Atp = 56, Rafa Nadal : 19GS, 35 M and dont have Atp masters title which is very important = 54, Federer: 20GS, 28 M, 6 Atp finals = 54. All these titles must be counted when selected G.O.A.T between these three tennis titans. Then the number of weeks in place number ONE and their mutual score, especially in the finals . Do not forget Djokovic hould all four major titles at once, the first since Rod Laver in 1969 and the first ever on three different surfaces. And first won all 9 Masters titles. Federer plays perhaps the most beautiful tennis but is the big question is he the greatest ever.

    • profile image

      Tennis fan 

      8 weeks ago

      Federer is the GOAT for sure. Great list.

    • profile image

      Keynes 

      8 weeks ago

      I think even Rafa and Roger both know that Novak is unplayble, and that he has surpassed them with the level of tennis long time ago. Of course, that doesnt mean they cant win Nole sometimes, but they are always underdogs in those matches(except Rafa on clay)... Between this three, Novak is no1 on all surfaces except the clay, and on clay he is the greatest treat to Rafa. If you see their head to head from 2011 to 2020 and thats last ten years, you wont believe how Novak was superior... He has 10 more wins vs both other goats. I think somethig like 21:9 or something similar vs both... Its been ten years that Novak is best in the world,and so many fans dont want to recognize that. And Roger and Rafa won 2-3 more slams while he was out of the game cuz of injury... When he came back, they were nowhere. RAFA won US just cuz Novak lost vs Wawrinka cuz of injury... He would not win Nole onhard court. NEVER.

    • profile image

      HHfan 

      8 weeks ago

      Novak has a chance to beat two the most important records of Federer: No of Grand Slams, and No of weeks as a No1 in ATP rank. In my opinion his tennis is also the most universal because of his great movement.

    • profile image

      Dr. Tennis 

      2 months ago

      H2H is very important.

      You cannot discount Clay court.

      If we take Grand Slam as the measuring stick.

      You cannot have players count both the USA open and the AU open. Is a double reward. If Nadal had played two Clay Grand Slam per season no one would be close.

      To count the Grand Slams, you must take the total number of US and AO and divide by 2.

      Djokovic would be in the worst shape.

    • profile image

      Ralph 

      2 months ago

      Interesting listing

      I have watched tennis in the flesh since 1949.

      The greatest by some distance is Rod Laver - its very obvious that Federer thinks the same - he treats Laver with awe.

      Laver - 2 grand slams - none of the others have done that

      Laver far greater mobility then the other top 3 - a much smaller and more athletic man - led to much better court coverage.

      His net game was sublime

      A top spin back hand left handed that made him impossible

      The gap of 5 years at his peak made no difference - came back with another Grand Slam

      Of the others - Gonzalez better than all except Laver plus your top 3 - aggressive with tremendous athletic court coverage and power

      At number 5 - Roy Emerson - had it all - same era as Laver

      Better than Sampras, Agassi, Rosewall, Newcombe Borg etc

    • profile image

      M.murugan 

      2 months ago

      Roger Federer best in the world

    • profile image

      Dhanwant Bath 

      2 months ago

      I think Pete Sampras was better player then Roger Fadrer....if he didn’t retire in young age......

    • profile image

      Shawn 

      5 months ago

      On grass it isn’t even close.

      https://www.ultimatetennisstatistics.com/goatList

      Federer is by far the GOAT.

      Federer has the edge on hardcourt 11 majors to 10 but it is closer on that surface.

      Cheers.

    • profile image

      Tom 

      5 months ago

      Djokovic is younger now then Federer was the first time Djokovic ever beat Federer on grass. Federer had 7 Wimbledons at 30 and Djokovic is 32 with 5 so for sure Federer is GOAT.

    • profile image

      Zaza 

      5 months ago

      I loe Novack, but he could not make the top 100 if the surfaces were the same as even 2000. He can NOT compete indoors as you saw this week, and the sport has been FIXED AND RIGGED perfectly for the AMAZING, but talentless defending-retriever he is. He does NOT have the hands or skill to return on REAL grass , (which he has NEVER played a single match on), and it's DISGRACEFUL that Wimbledon is soooo slow and high bouncing that Federer could produce MORE MAGIC than any 4 Wimbledon Finals combined......but still couldn't get enough by novack.

    • profile image

      Tom 

      5 months ago

      Tim- Federer held the H2H lead against Djokovic until 34. Djokovic is only 32 now so H2H is meaningless. Of course Federer is better on grass. 8 Wimbledons to 5 isn’t close and Federer won the match when he was 30 and Djokovic 25 so of course Federer is GOAT.

    • profile image

      Tim 

      5 months ago

      As a Djokovic fan I LOL every time someone claims Federer is the greatest of all time on grass and hardcourt. Forget the greatest, first try to equal your record against Djokovic on those two surfaces and then talk haha.

    • profile image

      Greg 

      5 months ago

      The GOAT is definitely Federer. He is Tennis.

    • profile image

      Randy 

      5 months ago

      Federer is the greatest of all time on grass and hardcourt and therefore the GOAT of tennis.

    • profile image

      Gonzalo 

      5 months ago

      I believe that there is a very high probability that Nadal and Federer both own equally the 1st place ever among professional players. Both share about the same level of physical disability: Nadal with a weak knee and Federer with weak back muscles and back injuries. Both quantitatively speaking have accomplished very much the same. Both have superb style of tennis styles but of course quite different styles. Do to the age difference, we can not rely on the late results, say since about 9 years ago; remember that Federer is about 5 years older than Nadal and that is a lot in professional tennis and now Federer is about 38 which means he is a very old tennis player. We can mostly rely or based on their own performance independently one with respect to the other. Definitely we can perfectly argue that Nadal is the best tennis player ever on clay; that has no doubts. In the same way, Federer is the best tennis player on grass; no doubts. Remember that Djokovic is about 6 years younger than Federer and Federer has been for several years now a very old tennis player; unbelievable that he can still play. On hard courts recently Nadal has proven to be a highly competitive tennis player. I like also to include that to me, about 3 years ago, Djokovic has shown the best tennis game ever; yes, ever. No tennis player has shown a better tennis ability that Djokovic; Djokovic's tennis game used to resemble that of a robot; that is perfect. But nevertheless, quantitatively, Djokovic's results are significantly behind than Nadal and Federer, and for this reason. overall, Djokovic is behind the two best players. Other than that there is nothing to argue. I like to include that there have been wonderful tennis players that we should never forget even though were like stars of short life; for example like Del Potro, that when he was just 20 years old practically was a threat to all tennis players; not even the very best like Murray and Federer could handle Del Potro.

    • profile image

      Jacob 

      5 months ago

      @Tom: I am sticking to what I know- which is that Nadal is hands down the GOAT! Federer owns Nadal on 2 out of 3 surfaces?? Lmao. Then why for over a decade was Nadal 9-6 against Federer on harcourt? Why is Nadal 8-6 overall in outdoor harcourt? Smh- kno ur facts. No matter how you try to massage the stats- it won’t change the fact that Nadal OWNS Federer- period!

      Also, wow what a great article u shared! The conclusion: Laver “thinks” Roger is GOAT because .. “Roger surpasses tennis, the world of sport, and sports in general in a way that no one in history has done before him” - haha what a load of fact-less crap. These are just feelings, opinions... no stats or facts or truth. Typical of a Federer fan, always says Federer is goat but never back it up with facts (just see how many comments below say Federer is goat and that’s it.. nothing to back it up)

      Want an honest answer, from one of the biggest sports related organization? Read and weep Nadal haters:

      https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/23784126/te...

      ESPN: Nadal not only King of Clay. But he’s the GOAT.

      Even Federer’s beloved Wimbledon had to stop pretending and finally admitted with some sense: “long live the King!”

      I’ll take a stats/fact based piece from the most popular, most subscribed to organization like ESPN’s article on why Nadal is GOAT.... vs. no name reporters, fans, has-been old tennis players who defend Federer based on “feelings” and “opinions” that have zero facts to defend their feelings!

      Per the words of ESPN and Wimbledon: Long Live the King, Long Live the GOAT- Long Live Rafael Nadal!!!

    • profile image

      Shawn 

      5 months ago

      Federer by a wide margin. Awesome site.

      I like this one too:

      https://www.ultimatetennisstatistics.com/goatList?...

    • profile image

      Tom 

      5 months ago

      Jacob- Federer owns 2 out of 3 surfaces against Nadal and is universally regarded as the GOAT by experts. Respect your opinion but please stick to what you know. You are obviously not a tennis commentator.

      https://www.tennis365.com/atp-tour/roger-federer-s...

    • profile image

      Gonzalo 

      5 months ago

      I want to clarify since I was not understood. Nadal's disability is based on a congenital defect on his right foot; one of the bones in the ankle has very poor blood supply and for this reason it could break. That is why they have had to find special shoes that back then injured his knee. They had to work hard to overcome this disability. Yes, he could also have other type of ailments but the root of his main problem is his defect on the foot. Even more, if you observe how he walks, you could agree with me that the motion of his legs is not normal; his ankles look twisted.

    • profile image

      Jacob 

      5 months ago

      @Fred:thanks for proving that u don’t know anything about tennis, or sports in general. Anyone who thinks there is a Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Simone Biles equivalent in tennis clearly has never watched sports in detail.

      These other Goats have never been dominated by another player in their sport ... in the same generation ... and definitely not for OVER 15 YEARS!

      Even though I know Nadal is the GOAT, I would never say he is the MJ of tennis- because there is no such thing in tennis. It is a three headed race (N,F,D) with Nadal on top, for now.

      Nadal is 1 GS away from Federer but has a better overall win%, oh and dominated Federer for majority of their careers. FYI - MJ was 6-0 in championships finals and his dominance and success in such moments help make him the GOAT (even though he doesn’t have the most # of rings) Roger on the other hand is 4-10 in GS ... just against Nadal! Lmao

      Nadal is 10-4 against Federer and 9-6 against Djoker in such clutch moments!

      Nadal is undisputed the greatest of all time! No matter what Federer fans want to believe.. no matter what stats they spit out.. they cannot argue that Nadal has dominated their beloved Federer.

      A GOAT that has been dominated by another player in their sport in their generation for over a decade ... just does not exist! It defeats the whole purpose of the G in GOAT when you weren’t even the “greatest” in a 15 yr rivalry with another player in your generation- who happens to be 1 GS away from tying ur biggest achievement.

      Oh and Mary, you spelled Nadal’s name wrong ;)

    • profile image

      Mary 

      5 months ago

      I love the GOAT Federer

    • profile image

      Fred 

      5 months ago

      Jacob. Respect your opinion but most people who know tennis have Federer as the GOAT.

      20 slams, 8 Wimbledons, 310 weeks at #1 and 6 ATP finals.

      Federer is the Michael Jordan of tennis as you see in the above poll.

      Best wishes sport.

    • profile image

      Fred 

      5 months ago

      Federer

      Laver

      Nadal

    • profile image

      Jacob 

      5 months ago

      @Bliss- do you not realize we are in yet 2019 or are u just stupid? (Lmao)

      The answer to the homework question (who is the greatest all time) at least right now (which is 2019) is:

      1)Rafa

      2)Roger

      3)Novak

      Of course the answer to the Goat debate can always change (these three don’t even make the GOAT debate in 1990 obviously).. but as of now, which again as a friendly reminder is 2019, this is the correct order.

      @Jason: haha. “Vast majority” = 6 no name reporters?? Lmao- good one. That article isn’t even fit to make TMZ.

      Also when u actually read the response for those who say federer is GOAT- their reasons are all objective and arbitrary. Ex: “he owns the court”- I think Rafa on clay and Novak on grass will disagree on that one.

      “Wimbledon is most majestic grand slam”.... not true for a global sport like tennis.

      “He has great support”... wtf does that even mean?! How do u make that claim, he never asked me about my support for any of these players haha.

      Injuries or not. Majestic or not. The GOAT debate is about success, achievements, dominance over others, who is better head to head etc. At the end of the day the answer is simple.

      RAFAEL NADAL IS THE GOAT. PERIOD.

    • profile image

      Doc Eusound 

      5 months ago

      Gonzalo: It’s called PRP injections & stem cell treatments that Nadal receives before each clay court season. Read about these amazing medical treatments that allow his game style to play past 30. Best.

    • profile image

      Gonzalo 

      5 months ago

      Nadal disability is amazing and this physical impairment is critical since it is congenital defect on one leg. How can a professional tennis player have such unbelievable success for so very many years with such a physical disability? In a way most people have a physical disability. For example, Federer is physical disabled because his backhand is weak; that is how Nadal has been able to overcome Federer. But Nadal's disability is of much higher order.

    • profile image

      Doc Eusound 

      5 months ago

      In 2008 Federer was 26 years old, but he was recovering from mononucleosis, which interrupted his training schedule and causes many professional tennis players to retire (Ancic, Soderling...). Check out Federer's cheek rash in 2008 pictures. Federer contracted EBV in December 2007 and it lingered throughout the 2008 season. To have such a miracle season in 2008 was a Herculean effort for the GOAT.

    • profile image

      Gonzalo 

      5 months ago

      Yes, certainly Federer is significantly older than Nadal; about 5 years and that in the tennis world is a lot. Nevertheless, in 2008 Federer was approximately 28 years old, probably in his best physical form, and he lost before Nadal on grass; remember that grass is the best Federer's surface. Also, considering that Nadal physical limitations are significantly worse than Federer, I believe that Nadal has definitely showed that in good health, Nadal is much better than Federer. Not long ago Nadal's uncle, Tony, presented his nephew as a disabled tennis player and that is a fact. Nadal has a congenital defect on his right feet that has caused injuries on his right knee. So, thinking in all these facts, Nadal's achievements as a professional tennis player could be of highest possible order; to me I think that it is simply unbelievable.

    • profile image

      Jason 

      5 months ago

      Federer for sure. Vast majority agree.

      https://www.express.co.uk/sport/tennis/1175813/Raf...

    • profile image

      Bliss 

      5 months ago

      Jacob- he is talking all time, not 2019.

      Federer has most slams, most of the biggest slam, most weeks at #1 and most year end championships. Federer should be 100 % GOAT.

    • profile image

      Jacob 

      5 months ago

      Easiest homework ever. Here is the right answer in 2019:

      1) Rafael Nadal

      2) Roger Federer

      3) Novak Djokovic

    • profile image

      Azaira Ellis 

      5 months ago

      It is my homework

    • profile image

      Vijendra Vikramaditya 

      5 months ago

      By the age of Novak Djokovic, Rafale Nadal and Roger Federer have won GS 17 Each one more than ND (16), ATP 1000- RF less than both, ATP 500- R N leads the way more than both, ATP-250 R F much more than both. Total titles by same age by the three greats R N no. 1 (79), RF no. 2 (less 2-77) and ND no. 3 (further less 2-75).

      But R F has played more Finals /SF/QF than both. It is difficult to say who is GOAT? Bill De Giulio or any one else may correct my data. I will be thankful. However, after the retirement of the three, one can say authentically who is the GOAT? BDG, please react.

    • profile image

      Clifford L. Virador 

      5 months ago

      +Thank You fOR Posting Amazing Rankings On the Greatest Of ALL Time Gentlemen's Singles Champions of ALL Time. 1)Roger Federer Is the Greatest Of ALL Time On Grass Amazing Wimbledon & Anazing Hard Courts Australian Open+ US Open 2) Rafael Nadal Is the Greatest Of ALL Time On Clay Consistent Domination at Roland Garros French Open & US Open, 3)Pistol Pete Sampras Is the Greatest Of ALL Time North American Gentleman's Single Champion unfortunately Sampras Could not EARN +Achieve Roland Garros French Open Gentleman's Singles Championship, Men's Doubles Championship & OR Gentleman's Mixed Doubles Champiomship, 4)Amazing Andre Kirk Agassi Is the Greatest Of ALL Time ALL Surface Tennis Player of ALL Time Select Class of 7 Gentlemen Who Have EARNEd+Captured the Grand Slam of Tennis 1 Wimbledon, 1 French Open, 3 Australian Open Championships, 3 US Open Championships. 1999 Is Still In Our God Bless Always Honest Opinion the Greatest Comeback of Amazing Andre Kirk Agassi Tennis Career We Call This Agassi Resurrection. Marrying & Teaming Up With Amazing Stephanie "Steffi" Graf, EARNEst+Prudent Tennis Coach Amazing Brad Gilbert+ Amazing Strength & Conditioning Trainer Amazing Gil Reyes Is the Greatest+ Excellent Decision Amazing Andre K. Agassi Did to Resurrect His Amazing Tennis Career. Very Unfortunate His First Marriage Did not Work out As We Planned & As We Envisioned But It Taught Us A Very Valulable Lesson About Building Character, Inner Strength, Will power, & Developing Character & Perseverance In Times of Challenging Adversity. Steffi Graf, Amazing Gil Reyes, EARNEst Brad Gilbert Was + Is the Very Best Platinum Standard for Team Agassi 1999 Is Still Remembered As Agassi Resurrection EARNIng+Achieving 3 Grand Slam Championships & 1 Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles Runner Up Title to G.O.A.T Pistol Pete Sampras from North America & Amazing Nick Bolleteri Tennis Academy Classmate from Golden State of CAlifornia. Thank You fOR Posting Amazing Rankings Wishing & PRAYING You Could Post Top Ten Women's Tennis Players of ALL Time Because Amazing Steffi Graf, Martina Navriltinova, Amazing Billie Jean King, God Bless Always Amazing Chris Evert, Amazing Monica Seles, Amazing G.O.A.T. Serena Williams Amazing Williams Sisters Have EARNEd the Right To Be Recognized As the Greatest Of ALL Time On Women's Tennis Association Tour Especially In the Open Era. One Very Important Question: "Where Does Arthur Ashe, Amazing Boris Becker, EARNEst Andy Murray, Amazing Michael Chang Rank In Gentlemen's Tennis In the Open Era? In Jesus name...Amen. Always Glory To God. To God Be the Glory. Te Alabamos Senor Thanks Be to God.

    • profile image

      Honest Opinion 

      6 months ago

      Thanks for highlighting my point! Yes, F has beaten N 6 out of last 7 times... AND YET... N owns Fedal rivalry 24-16 (10-4 GS). Not just on clay, but in tennis! (Btw can’t fault N that F has missed clay season because he was too coward to face him on clay these past few years haha)

      If I cherry pick years to highlight the rivalry like folks have done when pointing out only their last 7 meetings.. then here are some facts to think about :

      Fedal’s first 7 matches (N:F = 6:1)

      Fedal 2008-2011 (N:F = 9:2)

      Fedal 2012-2014 (N:F = 6:1)

      Fedal 2004-2014 (N:F = 23:10) which is over a decade!! Pure dominance by the GOAT.

      Also, Nadal is King of clay-that is obvious.. but that doesn’t mean he can’t be king of tennis!

      Federer isn’t even king of grass or hardcourt:

      Djoker owns Federer on grass (including 3 Wimbledon finals!)

      D leads F on hardcourt 19-17 (including 6-4 GS)

      For over a decade, Nadal led Federer 9-6 on HC!

      Federer is one of the smoothest tennis players, a great icon and ambassador of tennis! Apparently he is also the most POAT (see comments below lol).

      But Nadal is King of Clay, King of Federer and King of Tennis!- put simply, Nadal is majority GOAT :)

    • profile image

      Ben 

      6 months ago

      Federer = GOAT & King of Tennis

      Nadal = King of Clay, best fighter

    • profile image

      Grace 

      6 months ago

      Federer has beaten Nadal 6 out of the last 7 times at age 34+.

      Federer is the majority GOAT. Period. Only people who love clay more than grass and hardcourt think otherwise.

    • profile image

      Honest Opinion 

      6 months ago

      LMAO- same old comments... Wimbledon is most prestigious- it is the Super Bowl of tennis (why? Because players are forced to wear white? Because the Brit’s are the best? Because Rolex endorses it? Lol ask the Americans, Australians, French what tournie is most prestigious to them).. Most ATP finals (but it was always played on hc?).. Most weeks at #1 (even though atp finals always played on hc and 2 hc gs every year?)

      I’ll take pure dominance (both overall and GS head to head) any time over those achievements.

      “Nadal can’t be GOAT because he won Wimbledon only TWICE”... but Federer is GOAT because he won French open only ONCE?! LOL- reality is tennis has 4 Super Bowls every year- because it is a GLOBAL SPORT! Tennis is played on 3 surfaces around the world , and to become a fair sport- each surface should be given equal importance - with no advantage given to a group of players just because they come from a different background. At least that’s how a global sport should be treated smh.

      If folks wanna call F the most POAT (prestigious of all time lmao) go ahead- doesn’t sound too prestigious at all haha.

      To most, they are salty because Federer can never be GOAT without wiping N’s lefty forehand from memory :)

    • profile image

      Tennis fan 

      6 months ago

      Federer owns 2 out of 3 surfaces against Nadal (3-1 on grass and 11-9) even though Nadal is 5 years younger and has the clear youth fitness advantage. 63 % of Nadal’s slams are at the French which is not as prestigious as Wimbledon, where Federer has a record 8 titles. With only 2 Wimbledons, the Super Bowl of tennis, you can’t be GOAT.

      Federer has way more weeks at #1 than Nadal and 6 more ATP finals, which are most prestigious than Masters 1000.

      To most, Federer is the Clear GOAT.

    • profile image

      Honest opinion 

      6 months ago

      Disappointed because this follows every other generic GOAT article (ie Federer is goat because most # grand slams, longest #1 seed... nadal is 2nd because most of his accomplishment was on clay lol- ever think abt how Federer or Djokers record deplete when you take away hardcourt?!)

      Truth is Nadal is GOAT and it’s not even close at the moment.. 3 simple reasons:

      1) Nadal owns Federer- how can F be goat when N has consistently won 60-70% of their matches throughout their career? And in grand slam- 10-4?! More than double F’s wins? Also this guy that F has been dominated by happens to be 1 GS away from tying F’s record, has won more ATP 1000 Masters, has a better win % oh and is also in the GOAT discussion. Sorry folks, as of now F can not beat N on the GOAT discussion. Also age works both ways- when N was rookie at 16- F was already maturing in his prime at 21 (btw F already had 4GS before N won his first- talk about a head start...)

      2) Nadal has accomplished more than Djokovic. Their overall head to head is 28-26 (D has adv with ~51%) but N leads GS H-H 9-6.... so can’t say one dominated over the other. So now we go to the generic stuff ie #wins, win %, titles etc) and N has clearly achieved more in those categories (more wins, better win %, more titles, more grand slams etc.)

      With just those two reasons easy to see why N is GOAT. But biggest reason...

      3) Pro tennis is unfair, biased and unbalanced. 3 surfaces but 4 GS?! So hardcourt gets two GS? Even atp finals always played on hardcourt? More than half 1000 masters on hardcourt? Landscape of pro tennis past 20 yrs allows certain group of players to achieve more success than others (Roddick, Isner, F, D gain the adv) ... (Bjorn Borg, N, Thiem lose out)- that’s not what u expect from pro sports. If tennis was actually fair and we only had us open to represent GS hardcourt (since it is older tournie, more impactful for global tennis with us market, and historically ppl didn’t play in Australian open because it was far and isolated).. then think about this:

      F would go from 20 to 14 GS.... D would go from 16 to 9 GS... and N would go from 19 to18.... that’s twice as many as D, and 4 more than F... MIC DROP. And we haven’t even talked about impact this has on H-H, ranking, seeding for other tournies etc. and N would also have accomplished 2 career GS... and make it harder for F and D to close the gap.

      Sorry folks, it’s not even close rn. Despite the reality of reason #3... N has still accomplished reason #1 and reason #2.

      1) Dominated F while accomplishing as much if not more in some cases

      2) Clearly accomplished more than D

      3) Achieved the above despite pro tennis being biased in favor of players like F and D.

      What major points am I missing?... thoughts?

    • profile image

      Edwin Aguilar 

      6 months ago

      I agree, as of sep 10, 2019. However at the end of Djokovick's story ranked 3 says 2 but 2 was given to Nadal,We will have a better idea when the big 3 retire,

    • profile image

      Tennis fan 

      6 months ago

      I agree with this order, although with only 2 wimbledon titles (the biggest tournament in tennis), for Nadal to be #2 is amazing.

      Federer is definitely the GOAT.

    • profile image

      maybe 

      6 months ago

      3 fastest gs and only 1 slow

      İn may Opinion nadal is greatest player all time.

      And He beat in Hardcourt Novak He beat in grass Federer but in clay he is unbeaten.

      Don't forget 3 fastest courts and one clay plus olimpyic golden.

      He is unbeliveble.

    • profile image

      carlos 

      6 months ago

      Nadal 19 gs plus oliympics he is the greatest.

    • profile image

      mabrito67 

      6 months ago

      Oh, and Nadal has won more US Open titles than Djokovic. So Nadal is not only better than Djokovic at Roland-Garros.

      19 is more than 16.

    • profile image

      mabrito67@hotmail.com 

      6 months ago

      Bill, do you hate Nadal? What else does Nadal need to do for you to put him over Djokovic? To win 50 Grand Slams? Please, consider changing the position of Nadal. Nadal has won 19 Grand Slams, Djokovic 16. A difference of 3 Grand Slams is giant. Nadal is closer to Federer in Slams than Djokovic is to Nadal. Also, it is not like Nadal only leads Djokovic in Slams. Nadal has an advantage over Djokovic in the Olympics, H2H in Slams, Masters 1000 and ATP 500 titles. Not to mention that Nadal has the highest % of victories in ATP matches and has won at least 2 Slams on every surface (while Djokovic only has 1 Slam on clay).

    • profile image

      Laundra Petrovich 

      7 months ago

      If Federer can't beat Rafa as much then Rafa is the GOAT! Of their 40 matches, 20 have been on hard court (14 of them in outdoor hard court and 6 on indoor hard court), 16 have been on clay, and 4 have been on grass. Federer leads on hard court (11–9), grass (3–1), and indoor hard court (5–1). Nadal leads on clay (14–2) and outdoor hard court (8–6). Nadal leads 14–10 in finals. A total of 14 matches have been in Grand Slams with Nadal leading 10–4.[1][2] Nadal leads 6–0 at the French Open and 3–1 at the Australian Open, while Federer leads 3–1 at Wimbledon. The two have yet to meet in the US Open. Maybe this year 2019

    • profile image

      Laundra Petrovich 

      7 months ago

      Why is Laver so high on the list when during the time he played the Australian, Wimbledon, and US Open were on grass? Imagine Rafa playing on 3 clay courts GS.

    • profile image

      Tennis fan 

      7 months ago

      1. Federer

      2. Laver

      3. Nadal

      4. Djokovic

      5. Borg

      6. Sampras

    • profile image

      Basavaraj Chilazari 

      7 months ago

      Djokovick is the greatest player ever pick up tennis racket. He has achieved along with two dominant players and also he paired well in all surfaces. Further he is the only player to win all masters 1000 compared to Federer who was lucky to win more than nine slams in weak era Nole edge all his opponent ... He deserve all respect and many might have voted against Nole just because he beaten two of top players consistently.

    • profile image

      aks 

      8 months ago

      within a year or 2 we will have a very strong argument that federer, nadal, djokovic have enough on each other that it is impossible to consider one to be better than the others.

      additionally in the same era we also have andy murray whose only real weakness was that he did not have enough confidence in critical points but played at a level very close to the ones above and beat all of them in grand slams

      wawrinka also has beaten all the above players in grand slams, and on occasion convincingly ...

      we can't even compare players of different eras ..

      all of this only serves to demonstrate that the whole GOAT argument is basically silly businesses, lots of players of same era are being considered best ever ... and people of different era can;t be compared to each other ...

      i would highly recommend that you shut down this blog as being disrespectful to all these players who give it their all and yet come up short .... and are covered in blood and sweat ...

    • profile image

      Kp 

      8 months ago

      These three (Federer, Novak, Nadal) are amazing! Yes we will have to wait to see who, in the end, becomes the true GOAT. I'm a Novak fan because of his passion when he plays and I think, if he can stay healthy, will be the GOAT of all time. The stats will bear this out. His h2h against the other two, two x four consecutive GS titles, golden 1000 Masters Titles, weeks at #1, come on. Someone referred to Novak as the GOAT herder. I like it. However Roger is so smooth when he plays; perfect form, a fan favorite of all time. He owns the goat title for now and earned it. Roger blew it at the all England club final. Two match points on his serve. That will sting. I think he can feel Novak coming. Nadal is so polite and a strong player. He does his talking on the court and is the undisputed goat on clay. Borg on his best day would not beat Nadal on clay. Nadal is amazing on clay but he is not the all time goat and won't be. We are blessed to watch these three compete. Thank you to all three of them for the amazing level of play they have provided us. Take a bow gentleman.

    • profile image

      Fred 

      8 months ago

      What? Those guys just are not as good as the big three... that is why the big three beat them. Nothing to do with age...

    • profile image

      BigLubowski 

      8 months ago

      You obviously did not get my point. By saying that Joker has an edge on Roger because he is younger, this automatically implies that e.g. Tsitsipas, Thiem, Zverev...all of them should beat Roger, as well as Joker and Nadal too, because they are much younger, but they obviously don't. That's why the age differences is not a relevant argument. Right?

    • profile image

      Fred 

      8 months ago

      How do I explain what? Federer is still the 2nd or 3rd best player in the world at 37 so he beats most of the younger guys. Just not at his top level like from 2004-7 before the mononucleosis in December 2007. His unforced error count has been much higher every year since then, starting in 2008, which is a huge element of tennis.

      I am not saying a 30 year old Federer is better than a 6 year younger Djokovic. Just that when Tsitsipas and Felix rise to the top they will have to get passed 20 slams to become the GOAT.

    • profile image

      BigLubowski 

      8 months ago

      Federer is over 10 years older than Thiem, Zverev, and many other great young players, and still he's beating them regularly and he's doing much better on Grand Slams in comparison to the Next Generation. How do you explain that? p.s. I like all of the Big Three, but since 2011 is the Joker who is the best player, like it or not.

    • profile image

      Fred 

      8 months ago

      BigLubowski- haha. 6 years is a huge difference in tennis. That is half a career for most players. Calling somebody the GOAT because of one match is... fill in the rest.

      Federer still has all the major records and achievements in tennis so he is still the GOAT.

    • profile image

      BigLubowski 

      8 months ago

      thanks for the effort. The age for Djoko and Nadal having edge over Federer is not an argument, as Federer has a better score over all the younger plays, despite the obvious age difference. After WF 2019 my number one is Djokovic, mostly because he played without his return and serve and still managed to win.

    • profile image

      ;D 

      8 months ago

      If you put any of big three as GOAT, then you must put other 2 right behind GOAT. Why? Well if you got more slams than any other player while GOAT was active player... Doesnt that automatically make you 2nd/3rd best ever? So @Sports fan please dont disrespect Nadal. PS: I am Nole fan.

    • profile image

      BOJAN IONEL 

      8 months ago

      No doubt,Roger Federer.

    • profile image

      Sports fan 

      8 months ago

      I think Djoker is the best tennis player ever followed by Ivan Lendl and Roger Federer. Rafa is next on this list.

      With due respect to other tennis players like Jimmy Connors I started enjoying following the game after he had quit

    • profile image

      Eric 

      8 months ago

      Milivoje- Federer has 2 out of 3 surfaces against Nadal (11-9 on hard and 3-1 on grass), which is a winning tally, 2 surfaces to 1. Djokovic's first H2H lead came when Federer was 34. See if Djokovic is still playing tennis at 34, unlikely... being 6 years younger is a huge advantage. For now, Federer is the clear GOAT with his accomplishments.

    • profile image

      Milivoje 

      8 months ago

      Is not only an important number of GS trophies. For 50 years, there may be a player who will win 30 GS trophies in poor competition and era. This does not automatically mean that this player is GOAT. All parameters must be included. Of course, important matches between two players and their score is not important for several games, but when two players play 50 matches, then of course it matters. Especially in the finals . There can not be a GOAT player who has a negative mutual score with two of his biggest career rivals. Let's wait and see what will happen next. It became very interesting.

    • profile image

      mabrito67 

      8 months ago

      This list is subjective and incompatible with an objective fact: 18 is more than 16. Nadal has the Olympic Gold in singles, which Djokovic lacks, more Masters 1000 titles than Djokovic, more Masters 500, a positive H2H in Slams over Djokovic (Nadal leads Djokovic 9-6 in Grand Slam matches (including 2-1 at the US Open). So it is false that Nadal only surpasses Djokovic in number of Slams. Anyhow, the number of Slams is the most relevant criterion, other criteria are just tie-breakers if two players are tied in Slams.

    • profile image

      Keynes 

      8 months ago

      From 2011 and big rise of Novak to nowadays, he is the best in the world. He broke the duo of Fed and Nadal then, and Fed was 30 then, so he wasnt old, he was in best years. Not to mention that he looked great in the wimbledon finals this year. I think he played his best game ever there, and phisicaly too... He was not tired even after 5 sets. So years are not the reason. Novak won mentaly this match, and didnt play his best tennis at all. The only reason Fed and Nadal got good seasons and new GS titles in 2017 and begining of 2018 is because Djokovic had an injury... Everyone knows that. The guy dominated them with four consecutive GS titles. After that he lost motivation, and then got injured... Lost 1.5 years... In that period Fed and Nadal have risen and took more GS, but when Nole got back from Wimbledon 2018, only GS he didn't take was RG... Nadal won that one thanks to thiem and bad weather conditions which Novak hates a lot(he can't play when the wind is strong, he also lost the US final vs Murray cuz of that once)... If Novak got in to the finals, there is a good chance that we would be talking today about 5 consecutive GS as a new record. :-)

    • profile image

      Milivoje 

      8 months ago

      Eric number of weeks in the first place next year will be on Novak's side. Why do you think Wimbledon is a more important tournament than AO, RG or US Open? These are all great tournaments with a long tradition and give the same number of points. Federer and Djokovic played 20 finals and Djokovic won 14 and Federer only in 6 matches. On Wimbledon, which you say is the most important, Novak leads 3-0 in the finals against Federer. It's a great number of matches. Djokovic has 5 final season masters and Federer 6, It's not a huge difference. Đoković won all 4 GS tournaments consecutively. Federer and Nadal never. Djokovic won the career of all 9 masters. Federer and Nadal never. Djokovic had harder opponents to win each GS trophy. See Federer's opponents in the finals and semi-finals of the GS tournament. That's easy to see in statistics. Novak's GS trophies have more weight if we look at which players had to win, especially from top 10. Federer has a number of 20 GS trophies. In the heads of his fans only because of this is the best of all time. But that's just a number. Which Nadal or Novak will overtake very quickly. He plays the most beautiful tennis ever, but it's not the best all time.

    • profile image

      Tennis fan 

      8 months ago

      Eric- Federer won 16 out of 27 grand slams from Wimbledon 2003 to Australia 2010. Much better than 16 out of 47 for Djokovic from Australia 2008 to Wimbledon 2019. So we’ll see if Djokovic can pass the GOAT and get to 21.

    • profile image

      Eric 

      8 months ago

      But seven years ago Djokovic was younger and had one of best seasons ever.

      Federer seven years ago was about same age as Djokovic is right now. And in past 12 months Djokovic won 4/5 GS. So why didnt Federer win 4/5 GS at age 31? Federer clearly got better with age (forced into different playstyle by Nadal and Nole). But Djokovic got even better... won 15/35 grandslams.

    • profile image

      Eric 

      8 months ago

      Keynes- Djokovic is 6 years younger than Federer so he's expected to win. In tennis terms that is huge.

      Milivoje- the best of all time will keep getting better and better every tennis years. It's called evolution of the game, fitness racket technology, training techniques, nutrition, recovery. Federer is the Greatest Of All Time so far based on his achievements. 20 Grand Slam titles, 8 Wimbledons (most prestigious event), 6 ATP finals, 310 weeks at #1 and 237 consecutive weeks at #1. Those are the 5 most important achievements in tennis.

    • profile image

      Keynes 

      8 months ago

      After 3 final wins at Wibledon finals and only one loss (happend 2012, their first match on wimbledon)... Who can ever say that Federer is better player than Djokovic on grass? And that is his best surface...Not to mention how difficult is to win the match when crowd is so hostile, and thats always the case when Novak plays Roger in London. I think its clear that Novak has surpased the level of Fed and Nadal. Nadal is only favourite on Clay, but even there Novak has a good chance to win. At all other surfaces Nole is favourite vs Fed or Nadal. Thats a fact.

    • profile image

      Milivoje 

      8 months ago

      2010. US Open 5 sets, Novak saves 2 balls against Federer and wins.

      2011 again US Open, again 5 sets, again 2 balls for Federer to Federer's service and again Novak wins.

      2019. Wimbledon, again 5 sets, again 2 sets of balls for Federer to Federer's service and again Novak wins.

      And after all this, somebody dares to call Federer the best of all time??

      Federer against Novak played 20 finals and lost 14, and won only 6.

      On the GS they played five finals and Federer won only the first 2007

    • profile image

      Alex 

      8 months ago

      Weeks of no1 and nitto finals champion is novak is way ahead if nadal. Nadal fans is but hurt placed him no 3. Novak earned the position of no2 not only the slams matter.

    • profile image

      mabrito67 

      8 months ago

      The disrespect to Nadal is big. Has Novak won 18 Grand Slams? If your answer is no, then he is not greater than Nadal yet. If you don't care about number of Slams, why don't you put Nadal over Federer? Nadal is 2 Slams behind Federer, just like Djokovic is 2 Slams behind Nadal. I do not understand your double standard: Novak is 2 Slams behind Rafa but you place him higher, Nadal is 2 Slams behind Federer yet you rank him lower. Either the number of Slams is relevant for all cases or it is irrelevant for all cases. So, if you want to avoid a double standard, Nadal shold be place above Djokovic until Djokovic wins 18 Grand Slams.

    • profile image

      don 

      8 months ago

      You can’t always pick the greatest by their championship records.

      The most talented was probably Pancho Gonzales.

    • profile image

      max 

      9 months ago

      If Bjorn borg wasnt recieving threats in the 70's who knows how many more slams he wouldve won

    • profile image

      aks 

      9 months ago

      Boris becker has clearly pointed out that the older technology of wooden raquets and older court surfaces and techniques can not be compared to the newer technology. So frankly your ranking of older players with newer ones is meaningless. It is worthless to imagine them playing the newer players.

      Rod Laver has indicated that Djokovic and Federer are tied for greatest ever.

      Nick botteleri has indicated that Djokovic is most complete

      Nadal has indicated that peak djokovic was invincible.

      Nadal has convincingly beaten Roger on all surfaces.

      Federer's contributions are more than the matches but rather about the sport of tennis itself.

      The bottomline is that it is impossible to consider one of these 3 players to be better than the other 2, and they should all be tied to be at rank 1, i hope that within an year or two djokovic and nadal have made their own case, and then you club them together.

    • profile image

      Eric 

      9 months ago

      Federer

      Laver

      Nadal

      Djokovic

    • bdegiulio profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill De Giulio 

      10 months ago from Massachusetts

      Totally agree.

    • profile image

      Yoshi 

      10 months ago

      1 Federer

      2 Nadal

      3 Djokovic

      I can understand the arguments contherning these 3 players but for me what is clear is that they are the best without any doubt. Every comment that does not include these 3 in the top, means that person has no idea about tennis.

    • profile image

      George Matos 

      10 months ago

      Djokovic is the best one. Federer won most of his great Slam before Nadal e Djokovic. Head to head Novak has more victory than Nadal and than Federer.

    • profile image

      Kp 

      10 months ago

      In my opinion today Federer has earned the GOAT title but I believe Novak will become the GOAT soon. Nadal will only be the King of Clay. I don't think Nadal has earned or will earn the GOAT title. King of clay no doubt. Best ever and no one will ever take that from him. You have to consider all surfaces, number of 1000 Masters titles, holding all four GS in a row when evaluating the GOAT.

    • bdegiulio profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill De Giulio 

      10 months ago from Massachusetts

      At the tennis.com website.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)