Greatest Player of all Time, or GOAT, in a sport is not an easy title to win. The recently deceased Pele has retained the title in football since the sixties of the last century, despite stiff competition from the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar. And Micheal Jordan is still the biggest player in basketball even though he’s been retired for nearly two decades.
So the current situation in tennis is exceptionally unusual, with the three top players in men’s tennis for the last two decades all having a claim to the GOAT title. Between them, this trio have won a total of 64 Grand Slams.
Roger Federer retired last year with 20 Grand Slams under his belt, and Djokovic and Nadal both have 22. To put this into perspective, the former tennis GOAT, Peter Sampras, had 14, and before him, Bjorn Borg won only 11.
The extraordinary and dramatic competition between these three rivals has contributed to tennis being extremely popular and attracting a wider audience as more video games are being released, as well as tennis-inspired online slots games which can be found in the gambling world.
Now, although Roger Federer has retired and Rafael Nadal was forced out of this year’s Australian Open early due to injuries, debate about which of these three superstars truly deserves the tennis GOAT title rages on.
To answer that question once and for all, a Reddit user has made and published a detailed list comparing the player’s statistics. There are thirty categories in all, including peak ELO ranking, total weeks as #1, consecutive weeks as #1, and overall win/loss percentages, as well as Grand Slams won.
This comprehensive analysis ranks all three of the big players in each category. And when they see the statistics displayed like this, side by side, even the most ardent fans of Federer and Nadal will have to admit the truth. The Serbian Novak Djokovic is truly the Greatest Tennis Player of All Time!
Out of the 30 categories, Novak ranks first or joint first in 27! In comparison, Nadal and Federer only made it to the top spot three times each.
Some of Djokovic’s more noteworthy statistics include 374 weeks in the world number one spot, the current top ELO rating of 2629, a win-loss ratio of 83,56%, and a total of 65 big titles to his name. He also came out on top as the winner of the most matches between the big three, with a total of 57 wins. Nadal has won 53, and Federer only 39.
Federer is out of the running now, and at 35 and 36 years of age, Djokovic and Nadal are pushing the limits for pro-tennis players. The stresses and strains of competing at this level are beginning to show on Nadal, who admitted to being mentally as well as physically destroyed after his loss at this year’s Australian Open.
But Djokovic went on to take the title at the same event and remains unbelievably agile and nimble on the court, leading us to believe he will continue to dominate the sport for years to come.