Fedal Wars: Agassi Puts Nadal Ahead Of Federer On The GOAT List, Is He Right?
by Sean Randall | May 8th, 2014, 1:06 pm

Andre Agassi has fanned the flames yet again in the never ending GOAT debate between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Last year Agassi ruffled many a feather stating Nadal, because he’s beaten Federer so many times, has a strong argument as the greatest of all time.

And now six months later or so, he’s sticking with Nadal as his man.

“I’d put Nadal No. 1, Federer No. 2,” Agassi told Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper. “Federer separated himself from the field for four years. He separated himself from Roddick and Hewitt.

“Nadal had to deal with Federer, Djokovic, Murray in the golden age of tennis. He has done what he has done and he’s not done yet.”

While Nadal isn’t done, neither is Federer who just had kid No. 3 and 4 earlier this week. And after Nadal missed a chance at a second Career Slam at the Australian, Federer gets another try at the French in a few weeks.

Nadal leads Federer 23-10 in their head-to-head but Federer holds a 17-13 leads in Grand Slams.

Warning: If you don’t want to talk “Fedal”, go somewhere else. In keeping with the spirit of this debate, this is an almost-anything goes thread.

Also Check Out:
Fedal Wars: Nadal Well Ahead Of Federer In Masters Titles, But Does It Matter In The GOAT Discussion?
Fedal Wars: In The GOAT Debate, Are Nadal Fans Rooting Against Federer To Win His First Davis Cup?
Fedal Wars: Hey Agassi, Who’s Your GOAT If Roger Federer Wins A Second Career Slam In Paris?
Roger v Rafa Fandom: The Fedal Wars Rage On
Fedal Wars: Federer Admits Nadal Could Catch His Grand Slam Total “Quickly”

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113 Comments for Fedal Wars: Agassi Puts Nadal Ahead Of Federer On The GOAT List, Is He Right?

Hippy Chic Says:

GOAT,H2H,WEEK ERA,GOAT,H2H,WEEK ERA ETC,ETC,ETC,rince and repeat,nothing new to see here move on….

Hippy Chic Says:

This is an almost anything goes thread,fair enough i suppose till posters start to get personal,and then start the name calling of each other and the players,i really hope you know what your doing here Sean?

RZ Says:

Agassi is entitled to his opinion and has every right to share it. I don’t see a point in discussing whether he is right or wrong; it’s not as if I’ll have a chance to debate this with Andre personally. :-_)

contador Says:

Not getting into the goat debate. Only want to voice my opinion about believing what Agassi has to say about Federer – ha! Agassi himself got clobbered by Federer.

But the man has a right to his own GOAT opinion. lol…

However I think the popular rule on this tennis forum is that GS count is the ultimate measure. Was that not already decided on another Fedal War thread?

roy Says:

agassi may be a meth-taking,cheating, lying, unbearably phoney pseudo-guru … but he’s not stupid.

context matters.

first you just consider djoker:

if prime federer had to face a prime djoker … federer would not have 17 right now. that’s a fact of life.
add a prime murray, cut a few more off.
add a prime fed level player (i.e. big4 level player) at no.1 as fed is in his early 20s … cut a few more off.

would federer even have 13?

then consider nadal has missed many more slams simply through injury.

Giles Says:

Preach it Andre, preach it!

Daniel Says:


” that’s a fact of life.” This is not a fact in life because didn’t happen. It’s your opinion, or what you think would happen.

Just as Agassi opinion regarding competition.

But in saying Nadal, with lesser Slams than Federer is top 1, creates this notion that a player don’t have to hold more slams than the other player nor be #1 for long and etc… to be in a level above. Very convenient for him with 8 Slams (career Slam) to be considered higher in the GOAT debate list?! Food for thought.

It is actually pretty interesting having this past greats voicing their opinions, assuming they are saying what they truly feels instead of going Dorothy for the media. It shows that like most of us, they evaluate some parameters different from one another.

Daniel Says:

“then consider nadal has missed many more slams simply through injury.”

Another gem. This is one of the reason I find it hard to account him as GOAT. He can’t even play 10 Slams in a row for Christ say choosing to not play when he can’t see chance of winning. I bet in this 50 plus Slams Fed played IN A ROW he was injured in some of them being able not to compete to the fullest. But he face it like a man and played. And it even pay of: Wimbledon 2012 he was hurting and hardily serving in one of this matches in 4th round if I am not mistaken and he went on to win the tourney. Now Nadal, the ultimate competitor as some preach, don’t play when he see no chance of winning, see AO 2013. If he could play 2 weeks later, he could have returned earlier, But why play on HC knowing he had virtually zero chance to win and maculate his Slam legacy. Better to not play and keep the percentages up. BS

Polo Says:

Hehehe, everybody is going crazy about Agassi’s comment as if that guy is the Dalai Lama.

the DA Says:

He’s going to be trashed for this but he’s certainly entitled to his opinion. He has an insights into the game we’ll never have. There are some persuasive arguments. I think the debate will never end.

Giles Says:

Hey Daniel. Why would Rafa have wanted to compete in AO 2013 after a seven and a half months lay-off and no preparation? The man is not stupid!! I’m sure people like you would have loved to see him attempt it and then gloat thereafter at his loss! Sorry to disappoint you! NOT!

skeezer Says:

Remember where Agassi comes from. If anyone remembers the Sampras/Agassi rivalry you’ll begin to understand his opinion. He never got past Pete’s Slam count.

Giles Says:

Daniel. BTW if you remember his first tourney back was a 250 event on his favourite surface and was beaten in the final. So, did you really expect Rafa to play in the AO 2013??

Giles Says:

Well done Andre, you’ve started a big ball rolling on Tennis X.

Daniel Says:

See Giles, I touched a nerve didn’t I?!:-)

All opinions, I think you have to play for the love of the game regardless of 100 or not possible chance of winning, if you play you always have a shot.

Imagine if every player who think they can’t win a GS due to lack of fitness or match toughness don’t play, we would have 16 players draw. LOL

Giles Says:

Daniel. So, why did Andy Murray pull out of RG last year?

Humble Rafa Says:

Finally, people with common sense are speaking up. First, it was the Angry Man with a mic. Now, it’s the charitable Blonde One.

Eventually, truth will prevail. Humble is like good Indian food, its subtle and spicy. Then it takes you over and you are addicted for life.

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

First McEnroe, then Djokovic, then Murray, then Sampras and now et tu Agassi?

Where does it end? How can these tennis guru’s spread such falsehoods.

Agassi’s opinion is factually incorrect!

17 is is 17 does, am I right?

courbon Says:

Well while we talk about goat, I just want to mention that I had a very good goat curry last week…not bad at all.

Humble Rafa Says:

He never got past Pete’s Slam count

Dear cat lover,

The charitable Bald One is good in every respect.

Married better, made more money, is marketable even today, a good businessman etc. More importantly, his tongue is not stick out all the time like the Sober One (he reminded of me of constantly grieving for something).

Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon lol curry is my favorite food,i live in a flat with a bunch of Indians next door,they also own a restaurant downstairs,theres a Chinese takeaway too,never had goat though is it like lamb?

Hippy Chic Says:

^Need cheering up,LVC have blown it,blowing a 3/0 lead against Crystal Palace pftt#gutted….^

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

Warning: If you don’t want to talk “Fedal”, go somewhere else. In keeping with the spirit of this debate, this is an almost-anything goes thread.

“almost-anything” being the operative word I guess?

Still, I think it is ridiculous that these former players can just have their own GOAT preferences.

Purcell Says:

Giles:actually it’s Sean who started the ball rolling by quoting Agassi’s opinions. Try to contain your excitement.

Hippy Chic Says:

Polo lol i enjoy reading books by the Dalai Lama,havent read Aggassis Autobiography to actually draw any comparisons though,no desire to as theres no comparison….

Sean Randall Says:

Inconvenient Truth, that’s the truth. I see you are going by Incovenient Truth today. What happened to Hawkeye/A Tango Lad/Translated Age and your other monikers?

Giles Says:

Purcell. No a tally it was @DA who started the ball rolling by posting a link with Agassi’s opinions! Try checking all the threads first before confronting me.

Giles Says:

*actually* ^

skeezer Says:

“What happened to Hawkeye/A Tango Lad/Translated Age and your other monikers?”
Lol ;)

Giles Says:

Sean. Why are there so many Rafans missing especially the ones you mention in your post at 3.40 pm? Have you by any chance banned them or are they just sick and tired of being moderated? Don’t you want a lively forum? I must admit its pretty boring here without them.

Daniel Says:


Because Murray had surgery, something Nadal, Federer or Djokovic never have. SO compared to him or DelPo, they shouldn’t even mentioned time off due to injury. When someone hit the knife you know it’s serious. Time to rehab is not clear, when he actually was ready to play again that’s why several theories emerged during that time: 6 months silent ban (same as some mention regarding Djoko right now), he was changing his game, injury itself, but choose to play clay first and etc,, We choose to believe what ever we want with the news we receive and evaluating their on court performance, which is the only real “fact’ we have. How they play, and even so is a bit foggy because we can’t know for sure how they are feeling injury wise.

Daniel Says:


“Humble is like good Indian food, its subtle and spicy”

And it goes out itching and burning your a#$%! No wonder the endless butt picks :-)

Daniel Says:

Sorry Giles, Murray’s surgery was after Wimbledon.

But I think he saved himself for Wimbledon because he was hurting a lot by them. Either choosing RG and Wimby he chose the later and it paid of for him.

Giles Says:

Daniel. Get your facts straight please. Murray withdrew from FO 2013 . Murray had back operation in September 2013. So, answer the question – why did Murray withdraw from FO 2013??

A Tango Lad Says:


As you know, I’m still here but you rarely allow my posts to appear so I post much less given that I only have an audience of one.

I suspect that the same is true for the other monikers you have mentioned.

Not that any of this has anything to do about tennis or silly GOAT talk for that matter.



Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel you make good points,but your post @4.00pm was in poor taste sorry,shame to see what some people think passes for humour,i really thought you were better than that :((….

Giles Says:

Daniel. So, according to you Murray can choose which tourneys he should miss in order to save himself for other tourneys?? Why can’t Nadal do the same? You are not making an iota of sense!

A Tango Lad Says:

Giles, I suspect Sean wants a lively but “Stepford Wife” like forum.

Can’t have it both ways I’m afraid. Yes, I’ve noticed, as a forced lurker, that it’s been very quiet around here.

I’ve posted many times, but Sean has not let them get past the moderation filter. Perhaps he has been away.

I will try again.

skeezer Says:

As Sean pointed out, this group typically uses multiple monikers, trying to make themselves look like a big Rafa fan club, but there’s way fewer than you like to believe.

A Tango Lad Says:

I don’t know if Nadal is the GOAT, but he certainly has changed my mind on Roger being the undisputed greatest.

Sean Randall Says:

Gilles, per guidelines only one moniker is allowed per person.

ATL (and anyone else), if you feel like you’ve been unfairly moderated, per the guidelines, which I’m sure you are familiar with, you can always drop us an email to get re-instated.

A Tango Lad Says:

Sean, I have done nothing wrong in my opinion and therefore I do not feel the “need” to defend myself as it would only serve to lend credence to these unsubstantiated accusations.

Moderation is of course your prerogative. There is nothing I can do about that.


tennismonger Says:

Well, that settles that…

Hippy Chic Says:

Just to say Rafa himself regards Roger as the greatest ever,as does Uncle Toni,IMO Rafa seems satified to be regarded as one of the greatest,and just to be the best he can be,and play the best he can play,and do the best he can do,i dont really think its that much of an issue for him?….

Bad Knee Rules Says:

First McEnroe, then Djokovic, then Murray, then Sampras and now et tu Agassi?

Pete Sampras:
“Is there one greatest player of all time? I don’t know. If you look at the numbers, you have to look at Roger: 17 majors, been No1. ”


Pete Sampras:
““It’s always been so clear to me that Roger is the greatest,” Sampras told The Tennis Space. “But I would say that, with Rafa doing what he’s been doing, he has an argument to be in the conversation. Rafa isn’t done yet. He could win more majors. He’s got a winning record against everyone that he has played in his generation. He’s won the Davis Cup [with Spain], he’s won the Olympics [singles].”


A Tango Lad Says:

From the same article in the first link above, Sampras sums it up as follows:

“There’s not one greatest player.”

Daniel Says:


I am not saying Murray can. The fact that he selective choose one shows that he will not be in the league of the pther greats. Gretaness is a sum of factors or the most of what is considerer more important. To me longevity and the fact Federer played 50 plus Slams consecutive is a major og f greatnetts that Nadal and Murray will never achieve. I am o ly pointing out that in Murray’s case he knew he would have to undergo surgery soon so of the 2 he chose wimby. Nadal played 4 Slams after his retunr
Prn, so playing AO 2013 would n’t make that big of a difference would it?! In Murray’s case playing RG 2013 could jeopardize Wimby 2013, see the difference?!

Daniel Says:


Just a joke with spice food nothing deeper;-)

andrea Says:

agassi must have something to promote so he gets his name in the press by talking about an issue that he knows will get coverage by the sports community.

totally irrelevant.

i embrace the many legends past and present in the sport. there does not need to be an endless comparing of racquets, string type, competitive/non competitive field, H2H, right handed, left handed, GS won, masters won…yada yada yada.

roger and rafa have both been incredible in the past 10 years and each will leave the sport with various records and achievements that may or may not be surpassed.

A Tango Lad Says:

Sampras is not saying Nadal is the GOAT but he is basically saying that Roger’s claim to the title is now in question and i tend to agree. Here are some additional quotes from Sampras:

“Very good question and tough question to answer. I do understand the argument as far as being the best ever. You have to be the man of your generation. He has come up short against Nadal. I can see the point. It’s hard to answer that. Roger’s career isn’t done yet. He’s going to play Nadal a number of times over the next number of years, and he has to beat him. He has to beat him in the finals of majors.”

“It would have bothered me if I had a losing record against Andre in majors. It wouldn’t have sat well with me”

“I mean, if I was 7 15 against Andre and I was done, it’s hard to say I was the player of my generation just because he got the best of me.”

Polo Says:

I think I know somebody who couldn’t care less about this “greatest” debate. He may have before but now I think he knows what brings greater pleasure and satisfaction. And he has them, all four of them, plus one who will always take his side.

Eric Says:

This whole argument is officially dumb. When Rafa retires we can take the measure of their careers.

Steve 27 Says:

The only GOAT is The Time!

A Tango Lad Says:


A Tango Lad Says:

Am getting the distinct feeling that only those who are willing to state that Roger is the unequivical GOAT are unmoderated here.

I don’t believe I am too far off.

Rita Says:

Andre “wank-bait” Agassi

skeezer Says:

You’re off, as usual. Sean has moderated Fed fans as well, including yours truly. Quit the whining already.

Okiegal Says:

I was moderated for a whole year. Never could figure out why, but no problems now. I am trying to be in accordance with all of the guidelines. Of course, we all know who my favorite is!

Steve 27 Says:

Okiegal your favorite without a doubt is Kevin Durant!
Good luck for the Thunders today against the Clippers.

metan Says:

Is Agassi right? Yessssssss!!!

Hippy Chic Says:

Sean are you letting comments like the one from Rita @11.00pm May 8th get through moderation,seems like you have a strange idea on what passes for good taste?

Rita Says:

Wank in the internet sense means fan-angst and not what you’re thinking HC

Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel May 8th 6.47pm hmm yeah ok then whatever….

Hippy Chic Says:

^Seems like a rather classless remark coming from a lady IMO?^

Hippy Chic Says:

^Post for Rita.^

Rita Says:

LOL that seems like a very counter-progressive remark in the 21st century? But anyways I’m not here to argue with you since I have nothing against you so ok my bad I guess. Next time I decide to post something on the internet I better remember my gender and censor myself, god forbid if women have the freedom to say whatever they want!

Hippy Chic Says:

It would be a classless remark from a man too,but as women theres things you say and things you dont say,especially on an internet forum,nothing personal and nothing against you either,just an observation….

Michael Says:

Well that is Agassi’s personal opinion that Rafa is the GOAT and he is entitled to it. Ofcourse doubters can find holes in his claim as no player can become the indisputable GOAT transcending generations. Parodixically, Agassi’s erstwhile rival Pete Sampras claims that Roger is the GOAT. Interestingly, this rivarly is now extended beyond the tennis courts and will make interesting reading listing out the respective achievements of the two players and premising on their strengths and their weakness. But, ultimately they might never be able to settle the debate one way or other. Nevertheless, this debate makes intertesting time pass.

volley Says:

^ the summarizer strikes again

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

Sampras claimed Fed was GOAT back in 1999 when Fed got the channel slam but more recently he’s changed his tune just like Johnny Mac.

Once they say Fed is GOAT, they shouldn’t be allowed to change their mind.

Besides, what do they know. Seems sketchy to me.

Pick your GOAT and stick to it I say.

17 is is 17 does!

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

Fedal Wars: Agassi Puts Nadal Ahead Of Federer On The GOAT List, Is He Right?

I wasn’t aware an opinion could be right OR wrong.

(On another note, Rita, well put.)

Jack Lewis Says:

This Hippy Chic sure seems anything but, based on the constant whining about lack of moderation.
You have to wonder how her sensibilities deal with the rest of the internet, it’s pretty wild out there…

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

Darren Cahill ‏@darren_cahill 33m
Rod Laver 😉 RT “@ServeReturn: @darren_cahill Darren who you have as Goat? Agassi recently said Nadal”


This is getting CRAZY!!!!

Soon it will just be Nadal and Uncle Toni.

contador Says:

Mmkay, here is an example:

!) I like dark chocolate and it is the GOAT of chocolate!

^Fact or opinion?

2) But, but… dark chocolate gets more awards and honors; just count them and it is better for you…you will see I am right.

^Fact or opinion?

1) is not up for argument, whereas, 2) can be argued up one side and down the other, or in a circular fashion, all the day and night long.

RZ Says:

ESPN’s Matt Wilansky’s response to this was to stir up trouble by posting a column on whether Agassi or Sampras was the better player.


contador Says:

2) is still an opinion, but, even if one thinks it an absurd opinion, it can still be argued.

contador Says:

That was a fun read, thanks @ RZ.

Still can be argued, even when Wilanskiy puts up a good argument.

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

All but two of Laver’s slam wins came from one surface. how can he be GOAT???

He NEVER won a slam on hard court, arguably the most important surface.

No one can be GOAT from a time when there were no hard court majors.

Okiegal Says:


Yes, KD is a favorite of mine. Thanks for the good luck wishes. I hope they can pull it off….it’s a tough series. They better put the stoppers on Paul, he is a big time threat at 3 point range. The HEAT is the team to beat in the end. I am proud of Oklahoma’s MVP.

SG1 Says:

Andre the Mouth. Mostly expels hot air. Stick to your charities. The guy bashed Sampras back in the day because he was green-eyed jealous. Now, he makes dumb statements like this. Rafa may in fact be the GOAT but he’s still got some work to do to get there. What if Roger, at 32 or 33 manages to pick up another slam or two? Will Andre the Mouth recant, flip-flop or do whatever it is he does?

Giles Says:

“What if ……?

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

On second thought, in my opinion, I don’t think Agassi is right. I don’t think that’s his opinion.

I think his opinion is that Fed is the GOAT.

contador Says:

But, but… he said it is his opinion.

You think Andre is not telling the truth @ Inconvenient Truth?

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

contador, in his opinion, he is telling the truth. In my opinion, he is not. He simply can’t be.

RZ Says:

How about we play a game called “Silly GOATs”? To play you just need to come up with silly things that Fed or Rafa would be the GOAT of. For example:

Fed: GOAT of shiny locks of hair held back by a bandana

Rafa: GOAT of keeping even amounts of liquid in his on-court bottles

contador Says:

Well, Wilansky over stated some points and threw up a straw man argument he could not resist in that ESPN piece. Those kind of words and turns of phrases – like the wig-bashing weakened the good points he made for his GOAT, Sampras, by exposing his amount of bias.

Skeezer Says:

Thanks for the link. We have posters here who aren’t old enough to understand the Sampras/Agassi dynamics back then. Agassi was way more popular than Sampras, but Sampras will go down as the better player, and the results proved it. Something Andre never got over.

contador Says:

Silly Goat games go on all day and night in sport, RZ. .

Rafa and Roger are goats of so many things, lol…

RZ Says:

Contador – you are right LOL.

We could open it up to other players…

Djoker: GOAT of having a parent wear a t-shirt with a huge picture of him on it

Murray: GOAT of grimacing during matches for no apparent reason

Lesego Says:

For me, Federer is the greatest of all time due to streak of 10 consecutive grand-slam final appearances. The second behind Federer on that list is 7(Set in 1934). That stat alone shows how he dominated the entire field of tennis, in his era and how well it compares with the former greats

Okiegal Says:


I am definitely old enough to remember Pete/Andre rivalry……..Pete was my guy! Didn’t care too much for Andre….but they had some great matches.

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal me too,i always prefered Andre though,and his matches with Pat as they matched up well with each other,although niether matched up well with Pete,Petes style of tennis i found boring,Andre and Pat were less sucessfull but more exciting to watch well IMO anyway….

Hippy Chic Says:

But maybe Andre is having a dig here i dont know?he once said Roger was the toughest/best player he had ever played against,i cant remember the exact words but it was something along those lines anyway,perhaps taking a dig at Pete?could he be also taking another dig at Pete here saying ha there is now another tennis player greater than you?and also one at Roger?im just sumising here but you never know?Andre could be a little bitter here given that theres 3 player that achieved way more in their careers than he did,not that 8 GS is anything to sneeze at?

Purcell Says:

Actually Giles you seem to be more in need of comfort than confrontation. However, I’m quite happy to unleash my keyboard in your direction.

Hippy Chic Says:

Nice post from Andrea 7.25pm May 8th….

kriyuk Says:

All Time.. means something. Hard court, clay court, grass, outdoor, indoor, slow, fast, fit, injured, etc. If you cannot play well indoor or in fast court or when the time between serves is strictly applied, or when you are not 100 pct fit, why still call it all time?

kriyuk Says:

Nadal.. is the greatest of 100% fit time. Federer perhaps the greatest of all time.

Patrick Says:

I would agree until their careers are done it’s too early to say who’s the GOAT.
But… Fed has also won, I believe, 6 World Tour Finals to Rafa’s zero. Does that count for anything?
And when Djoker beat Nadal 6 or 7 times in 2011 that takes a little shine off Nadal’s invincibility.
I enjoy Fed’s game for its eye-pleasing simplicity and creative agressiveness.
When watching Nadal I am amused and disgusted at the same time; his constant butt-picking and then wiping his face afterwards after ‘every’ point is his hallmark and makes him the GOAT in the wedgie-adjusting department.

skeezer Says:

The time is now. Not then, later, when, if……Why do some say “wait”.? That methodology will always have the target forever moving. When Rafa’s career is over we may very well have some other player marching at the all time records. So what then? Have always said Rafa MAY surpass Fed is GS titles(doubt it though). But until then, and as of now, Fed’s records and GOATness stands.

Giles Says:

Patrick. I take it you’re not a Nadal fan then!!

Voicemale1 Says:

You gotta love how this single debate – Fedal – generates so much passion. It’s great for tennis as a sport, generating interest just to watch it. Which I’m sure is part of the calculus of the Agassi comment.

Has anyone ever defined exactly what a GOAT status would translate into, objectively speaking? It is presumed that the essence of GOAT-ness is some sort of All-Conquering Man, that such a GOAT player can take on any player from any era on any surface at any time and this supposed GOAT would come out the winner time and again? Seems to me this whole discussion of GOAT today has at its root an even bigger mouth in tennis than Agassi – John McEnroe – who basically elevated this GOAT nonsense to this near-hysteria today during the Federer ascendancy by 2005-2006. Every broadcast he was on, he couldn’t shut up about whether Federer earned McEnroe’s accolade as the GOAT. As if that mattered. But no one had ever defined, objectively, what exactly a GOAT is. Without that, we’re basically flailing in this discussion, at best.

The most you can do is evaluate individual careers, since you have to beat whoever shows up not matter what else happens. And no matter how good you are, you can lose. Rod Laver won his 2nd real Grand Slam in 1969 – but in that US Open Final played on swampy grass against Tony Roche, Laver – in mid match – switched his shoes to a pair with spike cleats while Roche struggled with flat soled shoes, literally sliding onto his backside while struggling to stay on his feet. Who knows how the match would have turned had either Laver not switched shoes, or Roche had? But for that huge advantage of cleats, we might not be discussing Laver as a member of this pantheon at all. Such is the nature of what can turn a match.

Federer has been to the Final of every single Major AT LEAST 5 times. This alone is simply outstanding. That he won 17 of those underscores his talent. Thinking about his 2006 and 2007 seasons, but for a guy named Nadal, Federer would have had Ljubicic in 2006 and Djokovic in 2007 as French Open Final foes and likely would have owned two calendar Slams of his own. When you reach a consistency of that playing the Title Match at a Major that often – no matter the surface – that’s a career in the Men’s game that doesn’t have an equal. Yet. Add in Federer’s 237 straight weeks at #1 – and 302 total weeks there; regaining #1 in 2009 after losing it to Nadal; over 70 titles; 23 consecutive Major SF’s reached – you don’t find anyone with a career like that (and contrary to naysayers, his Gold Medal from Beijing in Doubles is every bit as Gold as Nadal’s Gold Medal in Singles from the same event).

Nadal, however, is making things interesting to Federer’s career in his own right. Has there ever been a dominance of any surface that even comes close to Nadal on clay? Aside from 8 French Opens, there’s 8 Monte Carlo’s, 8 Barcelona’s, and 7 Rome’s. Staggering to think if he win’s Rome this year it makes 4 different events he’s won at least 8 times (it’s gaudy enough he’s got Four 7-timers). Who has ever come close to dominating anything like that in tennis? And when you consider how many guys today play really well on clay, it’s a much harder surface to dominate this way as opposed to grass, where few players play their very best. If Federer’s greatest achievement is appearing in each Major Final at least 5 times, it’s worth noting Nadal isn’t far from that himself: 8 RG Finals and 5 Wimbledon Finals measure up already, but add in that he’s been to the US Open Final and Australian Open Final 3 times each, to date. The 3 Davis Cups he has do enhance him ever more, that’s true. So Nadal is building his own legacy – one different from Federer. But not necessarily lesser than Federer’s.

Roger Federer has set the standard for all tennis players who come after him on what they need to accomplish to even be considered as especially outstanding. To Federer’s chagrin – and to our benefit as fans – Rafael Nadal has stepped up to have his own name considered as a player who is uniquely exceptional. When you think about the fact that from 2005-2008 – 4 calendar years – these two locked up the #1 & #2 spots over an entire tour of players. That they achieved what they have – while have to face each other – is something we might not see again for a very, very long time.

MMT Says:

What’s the basis for determining the primes of his contemporaries? The fact that they won majors – thus that’s the basis for all evaluations.

End of story.

the DA Says:

Hmmm. There isn’t any codified metric for judging who is the GOAT. Many say just the GS count matters but there are others within the tennis world who use different criteria (such as Cahill & Agassi). There are many who think the methodology should include factors like who the opponents in finals were as well as their rankings at the time. I think that’s persuasive too.

One thing is for sure: this topic will never not be controversial and devolve into a big hot mess. :P

Patrick Says:

Is the Pope Catholic?

Hippy Chic Says:

Voicemale 1 fantastic post,no need to belittle one in favours of the other,they have both made history in one form or another,as tennis is all the better for it….

A Tango Lad Says:

Agassi, what have you started dear boy?


What’s next Roger, a DHBH?

Just kidding!

A Tango Lad Says:

Wow Sean. It appears that this is the only tread I am permitted to post on.

Sean has removed all of my other posts today including my assessment of the Rome quarter sections.

So touchy it seems.

I will take a break on here. Too many touchy moderators, Ha ha!

I guess you are one of the fans still suffering with an Agassi hangover.

It gets better.

Will try again in a few weeks once Roger gets a few wins under his belt.

Hopp Suisse!

A Tango Lad Says:

No wonder it is so quiet around here. Too much moderation!

Bye now!

MMT Says:

@the DA: you’re right, there’s in a codified method, which is why you get completely illogically based analyses like what Agassi has given.

The simplest and most logical (and by the way) the most telling metric is majors won. That’s the only time you are assured that the title is pervasively coveted, and these are the only tournaments that have a historical context.

Considering these other metrics seems to make sense, until you dig a little a discover all the problems with them as historical bases of comparison – almost none but the majors have this. The majors are imperfect, but less imperfect than all the other measures, if that makes sense.

Also, Agassi has made an incredibly illogical machination to reach his conclusion – first, by considering the players “primes” he’s giving credit to Nadal for the accomplishments of his contemporaries – why? If he was a better player (i.e. if he won more), their “primes” wouldn’t matter. In other words, by Agassi’s logic, because Nadal has won less often (because by virtue of Djokovic and Murray winning more, they are in their so-called “primes”) he is a better player. Take out the parentheses and you get the following sentence: because Nadal has won less, he is a better player.

That’s just totally illogical. Let’s just stick to the facts.

skeezer Says:

“That’s the only time you are assured that the title is pervasively coveted, and these are the only tournaments that have a historical context.”
Awesome and just post.

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

Facts!!! Yes! Like GOAT is a FACT! Everyone knows of this.

No more of these “opinions’ allowed, ok???

Look up GOAT in any encyclopaedia and you will see a picture of Roger!

Anything else is a falsehood!!!

Am I right?

An Inconvenient Truth Says:

Slams are all that matter!!!

If someone ever passes Federer, then we can talk about other considerations!

I am an open mind of course!

Fedal Wars: Hey Agassi, Who’s Your GOAT If Roger Federer Wins A Second Career Slam In Paris? Says:

[...] Agassi is on record multiple times stating that he puts Rafael Nadal ahead of Roger Federer in the never-ending GOAT discussion. [...]

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