Rafael Nadal Beats Federer For 22nd Time, Talks About GOAT Debate
by Tom Gainey | November 10th, 2013, 2:29 pm

Rafael Nadal beat his rival Roger Federer for a 22nd time with a 75, 63 victory over the Swiss in the semifinals today at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

In addition to the Miami Masters, the tournament is one of the few that Nadal has never won. But with Nadal closing in on Federer’s Slam mark and with Olympics and Davis Cup already won, the debate continues over who’s the best. It’s a conversation Nadal wants to avoid.

“I believe is 100% fair that people say that because he is today,” Nadal said of people saying Federer is the GOAT.

“Always say the same: is not fair to analyze the history of any player only for the Grand Slams. Everyone who is around this world knows that the tennis is not only the Grand Slams. There is a lot of things outside the Grand Slams. Roger have an unbelievable records outside of Grand Slams. For sure, in Grand Slams, he the player who win more.

“But I never saw play Rod Laver, but I know his history. He was away of playing the Grand Slams for a few years because he became professional. He was able to win all four before and all four after. So today the question is not about me or Roger, will be more about Rod Laver or Roger. But I never had the chance to see Rod Laver play.

“Hopefully when I finish my career, we’ll see where I am in the history of tennis.”

About the match, Nadal said Federer played aggressively, but the key was at 5-5 when Nadal broke Roger again.

“I think Roger played really aggressive, that’s my feeling,” Nadal said. “The beginning, his serve worked very well. My feeling is in the first set, he played very well. He was closer than me to have the break. So in my opinion until 4‑all, he was playing better than me, in my opinion.

“The key of the match was probably the 5‑all after he had the break back in the first set when I was serving for the set. Had the break another time. Put 6‑5 in my favor. That was very important.”

Nadal now has his sights set of the final tomorrow against either Novak Djokovic or Stanislas Wawrinka.

“Is true that this tournament is special and I never had the chance to win here,” he said. “So will be great if any year I have the chance to finish the year with a victory. But I know remain a lot of work, probably the most difficult one. And that’s fine, no? I think if I don’t play my best tomorrow, I don’t gonna have chances. I need to play more aggressive.”

You Might Like:
Rod Laver: Novak Djokovic And Roger Federer Are Equals In The GOAT Debate
Pete Sampras On GOAT Debate: Federer’s The Greatest, But Nadal’s Now In The Conversation
Fedal Wars: Agassi Puts Nadal Ahead Of Federer On The GOAT List, Is He Right?
Fedal Wars: In The GOAT Debate, Are Nadal Fans Rooting Against Federer To Win His First Davis Cup?
Fedal Wars: Uncle Toni Admits There’s No Debate Federer’s Better Than Nadal, But Djokovic Also?

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31 Comments for Rafael Nadal Beats Federer For 22nd Time, Talks About GOAT Debate

Anna Says:

Always honest and humble in his assessment. Of course the Goat status goes beyond slams, otherwise Laver wouldn’t be part of the equation, or Rafa for that matter. I really wish they’d quit asking him the “goat” question. His answer never changes, “when I finish my career we’ll see where I am in the history of tennis”. He never wavers. :)

queen Says:

He will be forever known as the GOAT slayer so let Fed be the GOAT, the holly cow, the ballerina, or whatever else. Vamos!

TGIT Says:

Rafa is GOAT.

Giles Says:

Rafa is Humb1e Goat.
Vamos Champ!

skeezer Says:

Vamos Rafa!
Thank you as a tennis fan the respect and admiration you give Fed, the GOAT.
Please provide the sockpuppet vamosheads these quotes so they can print it on there foreheads whilst they walk around in life.
Love you Rafa. My hero.

Slice Tennis Says:


Federer says he is not the greatest. Hope his fans listen to him.

Okiegal Says:

Rafa and Roger have mutual respect for one another……why can’t their fans. The back and forth banter is annoying!!! The fans aren’t going to change their stance on regarding their favs…..so lets move on.

Watching Novak and Stan….those guys from the alps have beautiful backhands, I must say.

Vamos Rafa and good luck for the finals!!!

skeezer Says:

He says he doesn’t “feel” like he is in that interview. Oh sure, and if he said it(GOAT) vamosheads would then call him arrogant.
His records speak for themselves, and your Love, of course. Try googling some more…if that is how you entertain yourself. And visit Feds wiki since your searching for stuff. Read. Enjoy.
Vamos Rafa!

Slice Tennis Says:

Federer is also in the loooong list of people who say he is not the GOAT.

Slice Tennis Says:

Fed’s wiki says he had lost 22 matches against one player. Oops.

TGIT Says:

Skeezer, it is good to see a believer. I sincerely admire your commitment to Roger. I wish I still had it.

I have finally entered into acceptance that Rafa is the GOAT. I just went through anger (see previous thread). It is not easy but we have to get there.

I will give out one but…

2014 Roger has got to win big. He has the off season without that crazy Gillette tour and his back is good. Lets see what he can do. Will he really put in as he says the long yards?

nilam Says:

It is quite interesting how many Nadal Fans, who used to question the very concept of “GOAT” on “principles” when Federer’s fans were boasting about their guy being the “GOAT” a few years back, have no issues at all in anointing Nadal the “GOAT”. As Federer has said consistently, there are so many difficulties in comparing different eras that there can not be a definitive answer. There are far too many variables to analyze and the comparison becomes unfair. People who have no deep knowledge of the history of the game are simply not qualified to chime in on this topic and these include even some of the current or past players who frequently contradict themselves. Let us enjoy the game instead of making ill-informed and silly arguments about who the “GOAT” is. It is not as if Federer has 30 grand slam titles or Nadal is going to finish his career with that tally. At best, we can call one of them the most successful player or grand slam champion of the open era once their careers have finished. Nadal has a great chance of becoming that player since he has so much time on his side to add to his brilliant record.

Steve 27 Says:

You and Rod Laver will be remembered as the two biggest in the history of tennis, with capital letters. Living legends of the sport, and not only managed to get big goals, big trophies, great victories and grand celebrations, but also and more importantly, the most humble champions of all time. You and the Australian are intended to form the duopoly magical and unrepeatable, almost immortal. Two magical left-handed (with the permission of Mc Enroe) who had no opponent and could prevail against adversity. My congratulations

Steve 27 Says:

Check this rafafans(and haters too)this wonder of nature in this wonderful video

Simon Says:

Didn’t see the match! Did he cry? Again?

Okiegal Says:


Thanks for sharing……loved it!! I have FO 2013 and USO 2013 on tape and when I am bored, BOOM BABY I watch two of my favourite matches ever. Boredom leaves me once again. Of course, Rafa won these….I probably wouldn’t watch the ones over that he lost…..but that is my prerogative. LOL

VAMOS RAFA win tomorrow!!

Hawkeye Says:

Rafa is too humb1e to say he is the GOAT so instead he picks from the list of players whose productive days are over.

JMac, Agassi, Muzza, Nole, Courier, Sampras and so many others are willing to say it like it is.

Rafa is too kind. Such a GOAT in such a golden era of tennis we are lucky to witness.


Skeezer Says:

“Rafa is too humb1e to say he is the GOAT”

Ahhh, another vamoshead excuse. Talk to Rafa, he speaks truth, even humble truth.

andrea Says:

and in 20 years there will be some new wunderkind (s) on the circuit and everyone will be professing he/they are the GOAT’s.

it’s a bullsh** term that has gained momentum in blogospheres and the press.

like every sport, there are people who have excelled and won more in tennis than other players. while many on this site will present the case for their player until they are blue in the face, we’ve had 3 extremely talented male players in the past 10 years dominate the sport. are any of them great? yes. are any of them the best tennis player to ever walk the planet? no one can say yes to that objectively and time has a funny way of making everyone forget….

Nirmal Kumar Says:

For a change Roger fans believe what Rafa says and Rafa fans believe what Roger says. Quite crazy.

JMac, Agassi, Muzza, Nole, Courier, Sampras and so many others are willing to say it like it is.

Curious to know what they said? Do you have a link.

skeezer Says:

Yes, show us all the links where they proclaim your Love as the goat. Not “in the conversation” , not “arguably”, but the fact that he is now the Goat of all the other players, past, present.
And please show us all how Laver, the undisputed historical tennis prophet, has said Rafa is the greatest of all time.

Michael Says:

Even Roger has maintained that he is not the GOAT and has tersely indicated not to lay too much stress on it which can be at best an academic exercise and a favourite past time for Tennis lovers and hero worshippers. Here in this interview, Rafa the ever soft spoken guy that he is, has given due credit to Roger and his stellar achievements. Infact Rafa respects Roger and vice versa. This is the best thing that has happened to the Tennis World where powerful personalities appreciate one another and have styled themselves as role models for the younger generation to follow. They are not consumed by arrogance and visualize things as they should be. Roger and Rafa are true Champions.

Hawkeye Says:

Even Rafa no longer thinks that Fedfan is the GOAT like he used to. He now says it could be Laver. He is too Humb1e

Hawkeye Says:

NK it’s easy to find on the interwebs including several articles on TX.

All are on record as either saying that Rafa is the greatest of all the history or that it is no longer a given that Fedfan is goat with Rafa’s legacy.


Hawkeye Says:

Again skeezer misunderstands and misinterprets. Hilarious!

Hawkeye Says:

Andrea, they don’t forget, the game simply gets better.

It’s evolution and you are right that there will some day be a new GOAT after Rafa. This is the nature of the sport and the life, no?

Nirmal Kumar Says:


The last I read from Sampras was he still convinced that Roger is GOAT. Agassi never said Rafa is GOAT. He made a case for both Roger and Rafa to be a GOAT.

Having said that, I don’t believe in GOAT. Just curious to know per you when did these greats concluded that Rafa is GOAT. Looks like you don’t have a proper response.

hawkeye Says:

Said Sampras: “It’s always been so clear to me that Roger is the greatest. But I would say that, with Rafa doing what he’s been doing, he has an argument to be in the conversation.

So by saying, Rafa has an argument to be in the conversation, he is part of the latter group I described, that is, it is no longer a given that fedfan is goat.

Even Tom Gainey agrees in the article I’ve quoted from above,


I have proper responses when I feel they are deserved but I feel generous today.

You’re welcome My fan. Humb1e.

skeezer Says:

Thanks for correcting yourself, about time

skeezer Says:

“I have proper responses when I feel they are deserved but I feel generous today.”

Soo humble.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Sampras seems to be quite clear that Roger is the GOAT. Not sure what is the confusion here. Though I believe the past greats should refrain from making such statements. I believe they know that you can’t pick one guy to be the greatest player ever.

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