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Thread: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

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    Default So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    It has to be asked. Djokovic has just pulled even with Roger and Rafa, with 20 career major titles. I think @Master just voiced what I'm feeling... that Djokovic is now the male tennis GOAT. Which is too bad, really... 'cause I've always pulled for Federer. But Novak can no longer be ignored in GOAT discussions. Not to mention he's got a year advantage on Nadal, and 5 on Federer. PLUS... he's got the head-to-heads. So in what order would you put them?

    To me, it's:

    1. Djokovic
    2. Federer
    3. Nadal

    People talk about the Samprases, Borgs, and Lavers of the past... but for me the gap in majors is just too big. None of those guys can crack the Top Three.

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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    Don’t forget Borg retired at 26 ….. he would have won many many more Slams had he continued. He was nigh on unbeatable on clay
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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    I'm voting for Nadal by far the best on clay and won enough of the other tournaments too, he had some injuries and came back so I'm voting Nadal... I think it's between him and Djokovic both beat Federer enough for me to not have him as the top....

    Also I didn't seen guys like Borg and mcenroe... First superstar I remember was Sampras

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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    Quote Originally Posted by X View Post
    Don’t forget Borg retired at 26 ….. he would have won many many more Slams had he continued. He was nigh on unbeatable on clay

    Borg is definitely in the conversation. But his retirement at 26 unfortunately puts him at a disadvantage, no matter what the reason he may have had.

    Reminds of a great in another sport (you may not be familiar with this one).

    Barry Sanders was arguably one of the greatest talents ever to play running back in the NFL. The cuts he made at full speed defied the laws of physics. Unfortunately... for whatever reason he decided to retire at the young age of 30 years old. Had he play a handful more years, who knows how many records he would've broken. Yet when talking about running back GOATs in the NFL... his name doesn't come up very often. Longevity in and of itself is a necessary requirement for GOATs.

    Back to Borg though... you're right. He was unbeatable on clay, and held the record on French Opens until Nadal came along. Unlike Nadal, however, Borg would just as easily win on Wimbledon as on clay. For this reason I don't rate Nadal higher than # 3. It's ALL based on the sheer volume of clay victories.

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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    These are the 3 best players ever and to still win as many titles makes their achievement even greater having to beat one another. Novak is just a machine and a miserable git (as Palmer's would say) but just a undeniable force of nature.

    The Lavers, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Sampras were great in their time but would not have won as much in this era.

    Andy Murray did amazing to do what he did he could have been 4th.
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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    Can't see Federer or Nadal winning another slam now. Time has caught up with Fed though Nadal will maybe have a chance at the French next year.

    Djokovic should easily reach 25 you'd think unless someone comes along to take over but you can't see that at moment.

    Despite this, all things being equal and with no home surfaces my vote would still go to Roger for GOAT. He dominated, French aside, for 7 years or so till he hit 30ish. Djok hit his peak about the same age and still has 2 or 3 years on his side now the other two have faded.

    I know it will be harder to argue against the stats mind but that's where I am at mo.

    I put Djok ahead of Nadal (but never on clay !) as they're the same age there or there abouts - it's a shame Roger's prime didn't coincide with Djoks.

    A I said in another thread imagine how many they'd have won if the other two had not been around but then again maybe they wouldn't have been as great as they all pushed each other.

    What an era. Will not happen again
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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    Yeah, I agree with you - these three guys are all in the conversation about the best of all time. The fact that they are all around at the same time is just about unprecedented in ANY sport.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to write off the old timers though, it is something that every generation does - as if we imagine that the world was in black and white!

    Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Sampras would certainly have been successful in the modern era. Talent is talent. Equally, I’m not convinced Nadal or Djokovic would been as dominant playing on grass courts with fast balls and wooden rackets.Federer would.

    I go with Federer as the best of all time. His dominance was just unbelievable, and he won everything seemingly effortlessly. There is also something important about aesthetics….. watching how graceful and beautiful Federer’s game is is just uplifting and joyous.

    Nadal is a bull of a player, rock solid temperament and just so physically strong. Easily the best ever on clay. Being bombarded by those unbelievable topspin forehands at Roland Garros is one of the toughest asks in sport.

    Djokovic is a great player, and he has shaded the head to heads against the other two. He will also be ranked number one for longer and I do think he will win more Slams …… but ……. but

    I can’t make myself support him as much as the other two. He has definitely caught them on the way down, and I can’t help but be a bit suspicious about his incredible stamina and resilience (especially since he struggled with stamina so much earlier in his career).

    There is also something about his game - winning on defence, grinding through matches, playing ugly to win that I don’t enjoy as much as watching Nadal and Federer’s styles. He does seem like a bit of a dick too, with all his political views and anti vax beliefs etc.

    It’s strange, Djokovic is very possibly the best tennis player that has ever lived, but I don’t warm to the poor guy
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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    Roger started to lose more slams as those two hit 24ish around the time their dominance started.

    Of course he would have won much more into his 30s but for the other two's existence.

    Would love to see him have one more go at Wimledon when he's 40 but at that age to win a 14 day slam is a big big ask - and not just win the slam but you'd need to beat Djon on the way you'd think.

    Must grate at Roger when he fluffed two championship points against Djok two years ago to put him on 21
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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    It's Absolutely amazing and there is no right and wrong answer in my book. I Think the only thing I can say for definite is that Nadal is the Greatest ever on Clay.
    People can say Borg could've done this and that , but these 3 actually did it!
    The most amazing thing is that if you add up all their Majors, that is 15 whole years of majors between them ! that is ridiculous when normally a sportsman might be in the top 1 , 2 or 3 for 5-10 years max.
    if you held a gun to my head , i would say at the Moment Fed overall, Nadal Clay, but Djokovic will overtake Fed and become GOAT.
    Former Undisputed 4 belt Prediction champion. Still P4P and People’s Champion.

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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    I forgot Novak has had allegations about his stamina being due to PED or machine but it has been so long ago and he has been consistent that I do not think they have any merit.

    Djokovic has also been careless and acted irresponsibly about Covid. Novak has said he may not go to the Olymics because of the high number of Covid 19 cases.

    Certainly the Greek/Australian player Kyrgios hates Djokovic.
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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    I know you guys don't "do" basketball...... but I heard the perfect analogy this morning.

    Some guy on a talk show likened Federer and Nadal to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird of the NBA in the '80s. The two top players in the NBA at that time... and it seemed they were always going head to head in NBA Finals. Then along came Michael Jordan (you may have heard of him) in the '90s... and eventually became the consensus GOAT. His prime was after the primes of Magic and Bird... so it was tough to compare. Not saying Novak is "Jordan" by any stretch of the imagination... but the analogy is still pretty good.

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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    But he’s not even the best Jordan …… what about cavernous-fannied pneumatic Katie Price?
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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    1. Nadal
    2. Federer
    3. Novak

    In Boxing terms. Nadal is like a prime Tyson. He puts his all and tries to knockout his opponent with every shot. Nadal seems generally loved and appreciated by all camps. It’s very easy to see how much work he puts into his tennis. You can hear and feel it with every stroke he hits.

    Federer is like a prime Mayweather. Very pretty to watch. Technically brilliant. People may think his persona isn't true or is overly engineered, but he’s at least very consistent with that image. This is in addition to the gracefulness in movement and play that he displays on the court.

    Novak is like Carl Froch or Holyfield. Not great at anyone thing. But very good at everything. Very tough. Very durable. Never quits. Hard to put down. Hard to discourage and just keep on coming and coming and coming.

    Novak for whatever reason is the least popular by far and that annoys him.

    His personality is not as smooth as Federer's, or as humble as Nadal. He is somewhere in between and it’s just hard to figure out.

    It’s easy to root for this



    Or this



    But not so much this



    I think a lot of it is classism and snobbishness. Novak is a Serb. He's an eastern European. The tennis crowd is mostly European and European Americans. They are more Anglophilic. If Novak was French, Spanish, Scandinavian or American it would be different.

    If your an Eastern Europe and you kick ass you're not going to be popular. Go and ask Navratilova or Ivan Lendl.

    Now if your on Eastern European that has one or two ass kicking moments like when Goran ivanisevic won Wimbledon in 2001 then o sh*t, the crowd will go nuts for you. Or if your eastern European female and ppl think your attractive ? Like a Maria Sharapova or a Anna Kornikova or a Ana Ivanevic then yeah they'll cut you some slack too.

    When Djokovic came to the scene, he was a number 3 player for a long time. Federer and Nadal were winning all the big titles and Djokovic was… just there. He was good, but he wasn’t winning. Obviously, the fandom began to develop for Federer and Nadal at a rapid pace.

    So when Djokovic started winning. He was seen as this new kid who was beating their heroes and he was beating them IN THEIR PRIMES.

    If a young Djokovic was to come along NOW and start beating Nadal and Federer then it would have been much easier for the crowds to take.

    Timing is important. Nadal and Federer came at the right time.

    They smoothly took the baton off Sampras and Agassi who were the two dominant players before them and who were bowing out the game. By the time Djokovic started winning most people were already firmly in the Federer or the Nadal camp.

    Djokovic has proven that he can play tennis as well as the other two guys. But there is a lot more that goes into making fans love someone. Sometimes the reasons are obvious. And sometimes, they’re not as clear. But that’s just how it works.
    Last edited by Denilson3.0; 07-13-2021 at 12:25 PM.

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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    Did you know that Nadal signs with his right hand and is not naturally left handed?

    https://www.essentiallysports.com/th...p-tennis-news/
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    Default Re: So who's the male tennis GOAT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Denilson3.0 View Post
    1. Nadal
    2. Federer
    3. Novak

    In Boxing terms. Nadal is like a prime Tyson. He puts his all and tries to knockout his opponent with every shot. Nadal seems generally loved and appreciated by all camps. It’s very easy to see how much work he puts into his tennis. You can hear and feel it with every stroke he hits.

    Federer is like a prime Mayweather. Very pretty to watch. Technically brilliant. People may think his persona isn't true or is overly engineered, but he’s at least very consistent with that image. This is in addition to the gracefulness in movement and play that he displays on the court.

    Novak is like Carl Froch or Holyfield. Not great at anyone thing. But very good at everything. Very tough. Very durable. Never quits. Hard to put down. Hard to discourage and just keep on coming and coming and coming.

    Novak for whatever reason is the least popular by far and that annoys him.

    His personality is not as smooth as Federer's, or as humble as Nadal. He is somewhere in between and it’s just hard to figure out.

    It’s easy to root for this



    Or this



    But not so much this



    I think a lot of it is classism and snobbishness. Novak is a Serb. He's an eastern European. The tennis crowd is mostly European and European Americans. They are more Anglophilic. If Novak was French, Spanish, Scandinavian or American it would be different.

    If your an Eastern Europe and you kick ass you're not going to be popular. Go and ask Navratilova or Ivan Lendl.

    Now if your on Eastern European that has one or two ass kicking moments like when Goran ivanisevic won Wimbledon in 2001 then o sh*t, the crowd will go nuts for you. Or if your eastern European female and ppl think your attractive ? Like a Maria Sharapova or a Anna Kornikova or a Ana Ivanevic then yeah they'll cut you some slack too.

    When Djokovic came to the scene, he was a number 3 player for a long time. Federer and Nadal were winning all the big titles and Djokovic was… just there. He was good, but he wasn’t winning. Obviously, the fandom began to develop for Federer and Nadal at a rapid pace.

    So when Djokovic started winning. He was seen as this new kid who was beating their heroes and he was beating them IN THEIR PRIMES.

    If a young Djokovic was to come along NOW and start beating Nadal and Federer then it would have been much easier for the crowds to take.

    Timing is important. Nadal and Federer came at the right time.

    They smoothly took the baton off Sampras and Agassi who were the two dominant players before them and who were bowing out the game. By the time Djokovic started winning most people were already firmly in the Federer or the Nadal camp.

    Djokovic has proven that he can play tennis as well as the other two guys. But there is a lot more that goes into making fans love someone. Sometimes the reasons are obvious. And sometimes, they’re not as clear. But that’s just how it works.

    Nice boxing analogy... except you probably should've put an asterisk on the Federer-Mayweather analogy with a big ass footnote underneath saying... "ONLY AS FAR AS TECHNIQUE IN THEIR CRAFT".
    That's because their personalities are not even in the same galaxy, and it pains me to see both names in the same sentence.

    Interesting take on the "snobbish" component of it. I can't dispute that, since I'm not European. But I'll just say that if Federer had a boorish personality, it would matter little that he's Swiss. He wouldn't be so much of a crowd favorite. Also, there's more to Djokovic than just being Serbian. He had a horrific childhood, to which the childhoods of Federer and Nadal couldn't possibly compare. That of course has had a lot to do with Novak's scrappy attitude, and that laser focus he's got on eventually being all-consensus tennis male GOAT. Let's face it. That doesn't exactly endear him to some people.

    Me? I still root for Djokovic over Nadal in head-to-heads (although by all rights I should be rooting for the Spaniard), mainly because I have a problem with someone being male GOAT on the strength of Roland Garros alone. Which is why I have Nadal # 3 behind Novak and Roger.

    Good point about the timing also. I myself hated when Federer (my favorite of the three) began losing to Novak when it was supposedly still Roger's "time." I resented a young upstart coming in and cutting Federer's run short, instead of letting Roger accumulate a few more majors and maybe put that career record out of reach. But all credit goes to Djokovic, who did just that.

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