Writing by on Sunday, 12 of June , 2011 at 12:17 am

The Greatest-Of-All-Time debate will never end.

The only argument that disbelievers can come up with:
“How come the Greatest of All Time can’t beat the Greatest of His Own Time?”

This is but a fact! A Math professor once told me, all it takes to disprove a theorem is one example and Rafael Nadal has given several. In tennis however, I think it’s different! Look – I’ve been following tennis from the Ivan Lendl era and I have to say that modern tennis is at a level it has never been. The best of this era with all the racket/string technology and athletic fitness will simply breeze through the best of past. So that’s not even a discussion. It is between Sampras, Nadal and Federer.

Nadal’s mental determination to go after every ball has just changed what it takes to be #1. The domination of the top spot by Pete Sampras and Roger Federer definitely called for players like Rafa and Djoker who were mentally prepared to attack anything sent at them anywhere on the court, any time of the day and on any surface thereby raising the bar extremely high. This takes a lot of preparation off the court. Long painful hours in the gym and a strict regimen coupled with countless hours of practice. It is no surprise that these two have gone past the mighty Fed who continues to play beautiful tennis, consistently gets to the business end of all tournaments and is still the most loved player in the world.

The GOAT prerogative, however calls for a tenure of records, extreme consistency on all surfaces, total commitment and sportsmanship and for that I think at this point Roger Federer is the GOAT.

I have no doubt in my mind that Rafa can be the next GOAT if he continues his form not just on Clay and Grass, but also on Hard Courts. Rafa is definitely the Clay GOAT and clay is a really long season which is why he has accumulated and maintained top spot for so long.

Grand Slam Summary:

Roger Federer has 7 Wimbledon titles, 5 US Opens, 4 Australian Opens, and 1 French Open (7 Runner Ups, 10 Semi-Finals, 5 Quarter-Final)
Rafael Nadal has 2 Wimbledon titles, 9 French Opens, 1 Australian Open, 2 US Open (6 Runner Ups, 3 Semi-Finals, 4 Quarter-Final)

Consistent stats in ATP tournaments as well.
Head to Head Rafa is up 23-10 (that’s more than double and is the main reason for the GOAT debate)

If you only look at these numbers, it is evident that Roger Federer is undoubtedly the best of the best, but given their head to head record – you can’t discount Rafa.

Rafa is way younger than Roger and has a long career ahead of him if he continues his form and stays out of injury. He could possibly win more Grand Slams than Roger Federer and earn GOAT respect, but as of now Roger Federer owns GOAT status.

Some players are great on Clay
Some players are great on Grass
Some players are great on Hard
And then there’s Roger Federer!

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Shivdev Kalambi's Blog

Shivdev Kalambi is a Software Development Manager, previously a Principal Software Engineer at ArcSight/HP. With over 16 years' experience in software development, he's worked on several technologies and played different roles and contributed to all phases of projects. Non-tech activies include Ping-pong, Rock Climbing and Yoga at PG, Golf, Skiing, Swimming & a beer enthusiast.