Is Novak Djokovic pushing Fed and Rafa for the GOAT tag?
Is Novak Djokovic pushing Fed and Rafa for the GOAT tag?

Djoker surge adds fresh impetus to GOAT debate

Roger Federer was formally wedded to GOAT (greatest of all time) status in 2012.

At the time, the Swiss owned 17 majors, Rafael Nadal had 12 and Novak Djokovic five.

Seven years on, Federer has 20, Nadal 17 and Djokovic 15.

Federer is 37 years old, Nadal is 32 and Djokovic is 31.

The numbers are compelling, blurring GOAT discussions.

Federer's best chance of adding to his tally is a Wimbledon, even though he's returning to the French Open this May - a journey tinged in sentiment.

Based on Djokovic's utterly dominant Australian Open victory over claycourt king Nadal - and 11-time Roland Garros champion - the Serb will seriously press Nadal at the French Open in May.

Rod Laver predicted pre-tournament Djokovic is the player most likely to hold all four majors in the same year.

If so, the baseliner will continue to chip away at Federer's tally.

Ditto for Nadal, whose effort to reach the Australian Open final was remarkable given his compromised preparation here.

Assuming the Spaniard is able to attack the French Open in decent health, he could narrow the gap to Federer to just two majors by mid-year.

Novak Djokovic was imperious in his straight-sets demolition of Rafael Nadal.
Novak Djokovic was imperious in his straight-sets demolition of Rafael Nadal.

As a multiple Wimbledon champion, armed with his remodelled serve, Nadal can also be a threat on grass - Federer's natural habitat.

It would be folly, too, to dismiss Federer.

He has made a career - and a habit - out of proving the doomsayers wrong.

 

But he is now in the twilight of a glorious career.

Given Djokovic's unworldly form, no player - or record - is safe.

In five years' time, possibly sooner, the GOAT debate is likely to have a new dimension.

 

And, not necessarily, conclusive.

News Corp Australia


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