Fedal Wars: Nadal Well Ahead Of Federer In Masters Titles, But Does It Matter In The GOAT Discussion?
by Sean Randall | March 18th, 2014, 5:00 pm

How many Masters Series titles did Rod Laver win?

How many Masters Series titles did Bjorn Borg win?

How many Masters Series titles Ivan Lendl win?

How many Masters Series titles did Pete Sampras win?

Get my drift?

While it’s nice, prestigious accomplishment and worthy of praise, the present history books will confirm the Masters Series titles like the one Novak Djokovic won (or Roger Federer lost) yesterday at Indian Wells probably aren’t going to factor in much in the GOAT debate.

Sure, right now Rafael Nadal is well ahead of Federer in that court (26-21), but in 10-15 years who will really care? Who will remember?

Do you really think Sampras is worried that Andy Murray is just TWO behind him in this category? No!

That’s because it’s the Slams that matter, it’s the No. 1 ranking. Everything else? Well, meh.

Now maybe Nadal and Federer or someone else ends up so close in the Slam count that it warrants a tiebreaker, then I could see Masters events maybe factoring in the discussion. But who knows how many there will be in the future? What if there are fewer, or more, or as they are now easier to win b/c many are no longer 5-sets and now award byes in the first rounds.

So not to diminish these events at Indian Wells and Miami – they are a boon for the sport here in the U.S. – but unfortunately because they are not Slams (sorry, there is no “Fifth Slam”), they’ll likely to be cast off and forgotten as time rolls on.

Note: “Fedal Wars” is part a new series examining the Federer-Nadal GOAT discussion. This is the place on this site to state your case for all things Fedal.

You Might Like:
Fedal Wars: In The GOAT Debate, Are Nadal Fans Rooting Against Federer To Win His First Davis Cup?
Fedal Wars: Agassi Puts Nadal Ahead Of Federer On The GOAT List, Is He Right?
Roger v Rafa Fandom: The Fedal Wars Rage On
Fedal Wars: Hey Agassi, Who’s Your GOAT If Roger Federer Wins A Second Career Slam In Paris?
Fedal Wars: Federer Admits Nadal Could Catch His Grand Slam Total “Quickly”

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328 Comments for Fedal Wars: Nadal Well Ahead Of Federer In Masters Titles, But Does It Matter In The GOAT Discussion?

mike Says:

To me, why is the Masters year end not included as a Masters event, surely the toughest one of all (ask Nadal)

so really Federer would have 27 to Nadal’s 26
just like 17 to 13 GS titles
game over.

Sean Randall Says:

That’s a good point, mike. Federer leads 6-0 in ATP year-end titles. They’d have to rate ahead of any general Masters events when considered.

Slice Tennis Says:

You keep most of the Rafa fans under moderation (and none of the fed fans) and you are asking us to state our case here.
Do you really think you are fair to Rafa fans as you claim ?

salleh ahmed Says:

@slice tennis


Sienna Says:


Rafa better than roger Says:

@ mike

The the Olympic gold medal. — in Singles is worth 4 Slams! To even things up.

But there is that pesky thing called 23-10.

The writer obviously trying to diminish Rafa’s record achievement in 1000s since Roger has no prayer in hell (hey, that’s a goid one) of catching up to Rafa including tje record 500s. It is like Aesop’s tale of soyr grapes

Skeezer Says:

Go to Fed’s wiki. Look under “Stands Alone”. Therein concludes Fedal Wanna War.

Hippy Chic Says:

Both are amazing players,both have achieved amazing things,Federer is the GOAT,Nadal is one of the greats,and is now in that conversation,neither set of fans will change neither set of fans minds on the issue,one of the topics that will never die is the Fedal GOAT debate,im of the opinion that is nice to talk about a number of greats rather than GOATs,the only GOAT i know of is in the local farmers field,long live the GOAT debate anyway for those that it matters to,blog on.

A Tango Lad Says:

“…then I could see…” Is the operative phrase in Sean’s article.

It is pretty much universally accepted that majors is the main criteria.

However everything else being “meh” is simply Sean’s subjective opinion and, at the end of the day, that’s all GOAT talk is.

If everything else was “meh” and considered if and only if slam count was “close” (yet another subjective term), then it would be universally accepted that Roger is the GOAT.

However that is not the case as I’ve read quotes from top professional players themselves with some considering Nadal and some considering Roger as GOAT.

Remember, there was no such thing as GOAT when Laver and Emerson played either nor were there any hard court majors.

Each fan is entitled to his or her opinion on GOAT and all are equally valid because it is opinion.

I used to think Roger was GOAT but in my opinion I think Nadal has an equal say.

“Meh” is dismissive of others opinions and is in itself just an opinion.

A Tango Lad Says:

So which is it then skeezer, slam count which youve said repeatedly in the past or what’s listed under stands alone?

It appears that you’ve changed your tune.

Again GOAT is simply subjective opinion (especially when even our own rules change)!

Hippy Chic Says:

ATL @6.48pm great post.

Okiegal Says:

The beauty of a GOAT is in the eyes of the beholder…….need I say more??

Rafa better than roger Says:

Laver is overrated. His slam calendar as it is, he only played in two surfaces!!!! Sure writers like to put some mystique to his achievement but then it is a new era now. It is easier, though a bit tough now but from the 90s onwards, there is a pattern of consistency what tournaments are players are playing now.

That the modt consistent barometer is the head to head determinative if Quality. Roger’s 17 is artificial since he got it by mere chronological advantage. He stsrted three years earlier than Rafa so, naturally, talents being approx the same he will have numerical advantage.

And listen to this, by the time Rafa is 32, bypassing 17 is very do-able. And where does that leave Roger???

That is the dread and humungous fear of fed fanatics. And the evidence is clear is the very title the writer is trying to subtly undermine.

Rafa who started later, three years and Yet has leapfrogged over roger at 26 to 21!!!!



Rafa better than roger Says:

Sure, the manufactured goat is plain stupidity. An artificial construct to sucker in fanatics to buy more ecpensive tickets!!! Duh!!!

Some are plain stupid not to see that the tennis establishment is all about money. You think??

But one thing is clear. Who is the better player- roger or Rafa??

If that 23-10 does not convince you then USA beating Russia in lake placid did not win
That gold medal!

I know 23-10 gives every pro roger writer nightmares because it is just that. Roger is nothing but Rafa’s whipping boy in grass, clay and 9-6 hardcourts.

Man, so much levity for today.

Quote: Roger said, “Rafa is Better”

Rafa better than roger Says:

Disdain vs. Website clicks …. What to do???

Skeezer Says:

^too many, “if and when my fav turns 32”

No, but some are in denial with Slam count,(not me), so i provide more for them

A Tango Lad Says:

Denial? How does one deny one’s own opinion?

Skeezer Says:

When one says Laver is over rated.

A Tango Lad Says:

So then what you are saying is that one denies their own opinion when one says Laver is overrated.

Interesting logic.

Ok then! Fantastic discussing this with you skeezer!

Skeezer Says:

In denial
“in a state of refusing to believe something that is true.”
Ones opinion is ones own. There’s a difference. It is not neccesarily the truth.
Lots of that kinda talk here.

pigoonse Says:

Yes, Okiegal. You will need to say a lot more about the topic here on Tennis-X if you plan to persuade any Fedalist to agree that the GOAT in tennis is subjective and in the eyes of the beholder. You can try though, I could help too but it is of no use. Better things to do, ya know?

Dominic Thiem won today – that’s good news.

A Tango Lad Says:

I’m not sure that is necessarily a compliment to the Fedalists ironically.

Rafa better than roger Says:



So easy.

A Tango Lad Says:

Skeezer, it is neither true nor false. It is an opinion but perhaps what pigoonse says is quite accurate after all then.

James Says:

Federer is the greatest player of the current era. Nadal will need to at least equal Federer’s slam count to be considered greater than the Swiss. As simple as that.

Rafa better than roger Says:

The author did not think this through. Ok, forget all other tournaments. Just Slams and let rafa vs roger duke it out in hardcourts, clay then grass the hardcoutts again.

Don’t be stupid to think roger has a prayer in hell to win one.

I will just lord it over roger fans with a 4-0 for Nadal.

Yeah just slams and rioger fans will be eating crow four times in a row.

A Tango Lad Says:

In your opinion.

If it was as simple as that then why would Djokovic say otherwise when the slam differential between Nadal and Roger was greater than it is today?

This is the difference between fact and opinion.

Olivia Says:

If the players are playing attention, and watch close, Nadal runs less often, bends the knee less, uses more topspin and power with the hands & shoulder, over time, I think his hands and shoulder would also have problems. So for young guys like JJ, Raonic in his quarter, this offers opportunity. Andy Roddick with his big server has won Miami twice and beat Federer in 2012 in early rounds, so I go with Raonic in this quarter. In fact, with a 4-6 h2h, Hewitt may have a chance to earn a memorable 600-win over Nadal on Saturday.

Nadal has wicked topspin,his will to win, and his determination to win or die, of course cannot be underestimated.

Olivia Says:

And if we want to bring back the GOAT, why not make it more interesting.

GLOAT – greatest lefthander of all time – Laver, McEnroe, Connors, Nadal

GROAT – greatest righthander of all time – what else can we say?

Okiegal Says:


I may be ignorant but I’m not stupid……I know a lost cause when I see one!! Lol Ya know, there is better things to do!! I have an opinion, of course…..but I’ll leave it at that.

Okiegal Says:

@Olivia @9:24

Now that’s a novel idea!! Who would want to wear the title GOAT anyway……they smell really, really bad!! Lol

Skeezer Says:

“GOAT in tennis is subjective and in the eyes of the beholder.”
So who qualifies? Surely not this bunch here, including yours truly. First, the tour players, past present and the qualified coaches and qualified long time tennis writers. And a majority not selecting a few (by mr google)I am confident that Fed is/wil be the GOAT when all is said and done in this era. No one has made a convincing argument otherwise, umless of course, currently, the’re in denial.

pigoonse Says:

A Tango Lad

It was not a compliment to Fedalists (trying to think of a scenario in which I would compliment one). It was neither bad/good. Just a friendly warning to Okiegal about heading down the GOAT path.

I completely agree with her, as far as, too subjective to enforce one set of numbers over another, in such cases as tennis players – Laver, Federer, Nadal; but that does not make us right – just of the same opinion. GOAT is in the eye of the beholder. But you can’t get Sean, James, and Skeezer agreeing with the eyes of the beholder stuff, they stand on GS count; but Rafa better than roger, Slice Tennis, and Gilles are not going to be persuaded. The latter will go on their own interpretation or a different set of numbers, depending on what is needed to support their man. That’s how theories of weak era and so on are born and become popular. Really it is very debatable. Brilliant to have a thread for it, Sean Randall.

The GOAT mystery burns on, even the debate over the relevance and accuracy of the GOAT debate burns on. One can spend a lot of time winding one’s way down a GOAT path; which was my point to Okiegal.

A Tango Lad Says:

Agreed pigoonse.

In fact, the views of Nadal or Roger as GOAT are not incorrect. However, the views that either is a fact is incorrect.

You will notice a clear distinction between how professional tennis players, coaches or journalists state their opinions compared to how those verging on fanaticism or idolization make supposed statement of fact.

The former group will always preface the statement with “I believe that…” or “In my opinion” whereas the latter group make the statement as an absolute truth. It’s all quite understandable of course and quite entertaining as well!

skeezer Says:

If one is going to be involved in the GOAT discussion, you need to know your tennis history. Not just “Nadal” stats.
And to blurt out stuff like “Laver is over rated” is just plain unknowledgable or ignorant. It comes out more like a desperate attempt to say mine is bigger than yours without really knowing anything and seemingly overcome with infactuation over a players butt, or whatever else, but surely not grounded in the players overall resume against the field of players and surfaces he has to deal with throughout his career. Look at some of the recent Rafans posts. It says volumes.

RZ Says:

If it were up to me to define the metrics that would decide the GOAT, the list I would go with in rank order would be:
1) Total number of GS titles
2) Total weeks at #1
3) Total number of Master Series and Year-end Titles
4) Total number of other titles

If somehow there was a situation where 2 or more players were tied with all the above criteria, then I’d add Head-to-Head records and number of Davis Cup titles.

RZ Says:

^ Something that I’d need to work into my list of metrics is the career slam. Not sure where I’d rank order it among my criteria.

A Tango Lad Says:

Skeezer, in my opinion, what comes out more like a desperate attempt is those trying to present opinion as fact.

A Tango Lad Says:

Or as Sean would say, “meh”.

pigoonse Says:

lol, just lol. Loved reading this thread. Big thank-you’s all around.

Okiegal Says:


I know exactly what you are saying.I started to say this on my comment above. I think the issue should be decided after they retire. I will agree with Skeezer on one thing, this bunch on here aren’t qualified. Some of the commentators, former players and coaches will say it’s not a done deal yet…..but they all take a stand now that Rafa is the best clay courter, no surprise there. I think it’s the Fed and Rafa worshipers that have made their decision and will stick with it. I’m not there yet. I truly think if Novak had started his career on a healthier note, the records would be reading a little different today. Of course, that’s one of those ,”ifs”. After all, Rogers h2h against Novak isn’t s runaway. Not being a tennis player, I have no idea why Rafas left-handed game troubles Roger and other left-handed players don’t. Don’t understand that.

Skeezer are you reserving your opinion when all is said and done?? I don’t think so!! Lol

skeezer Says:

Apparently, you are not getting it. I never started sith an “opinion”, others did and maybe YOU?

“Go to Fed’s wiki. Look under “Stands Alone”. Therein concludes Fedal Wanna War.”

Go there and study the facts. Then come back and discuss.

Okiegal Says:

We can discuss this issue til’ the cows come home, nothing is gonna change. How long has this been going on? I’ve been reading TX a year…..so a year any way!! Lol

Okiegal Says:


Are you a Rafa or Fed fan? Just curious.

skeezer Says:

Just curious. Have you taken the time to go to Feds wiki and “stands alone” segment.?

Okiegal Says:


Yes, I did that a while back…..it was so long I got bored! LOL Seriously, though, I was looking for his matches of his early years, who he played and how bad he whooped up on um’, now not sure if it was Wiki or not, but didn’t find what I was looking for Is that info on Wiki? Thanks, Skeezer for the input, are you trying to change me to your way of thinking?? Ha ha!! Now you know that ain’t gonna happen, not in this lifetime!! Lol

skeezer Says:

“it was so long I got bored!”
All I needed to know.
Peace out ;)

Okiegal Says:

I was kidding you, but didn’t find what I was looking for. Rafa’s site breaks it down by years and the matches and the scores. I didn’t find a site like that but I’m sure there is one and would love to find it. You didn’t answer me whether wiki had all his results, who he played and all that.

I will say one more thing I think Roger is better than all the players, I just don’t think he is better than Rafa. I just don’t see it, in the most humble of opinions.

Okiegal Says:


Peace back in…..I want an answer!!

skeezer Says:

Here is your answer;

All-time tournament records
Tournament Since Record accomplished Players matched
Grand Slam 1877 17 men’s Major titles overall Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 3 men’s Major titles per-year 3 times 2004, 2006-07 Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 2 men’s Major titles per-year 5 times 2004-07, 2009 Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 24 men’s Major finals overall Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 34 men’s Major semi-finals overall Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 10 consecutive men’s Major finals Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 23 consecutive men’s Major semi-finals Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 36 consecutive men’s Major quarter-finals Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 57 consecutive men’s Major tournament appearances Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 265 Major match wins overall Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 140 Major hard court wins overall Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 87.50% 140/20 Major hard court winning percentage overall Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 Reached all 4 Major finals 3 times (2006–07, 2009) Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 Reached all 4 Major semi-finals 5 times (2005–09) Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 Reached all 4 Major quarter-finals 9 times (2005–13) Stands alone
Australian Open 1905 73 match wins overall Stands alone

skeezer Says:

^ this is as of 2013..not this year (2014) which he has already got to a GS semi, a title in Dubai, and runnerup in IW, a good start!
So whatever happens herewith is all gravy to the illustrious career of the all time greatest. @32, he is still beating the likes of Nole(Dubai), and the newcomers in his run so far.
Rafa? He is losing now more often to nobody journeymen like darcis, rosol’s and dolgo’s of the circuit. An asterick on his own “prime years” no doubt., in the supposed “golden strong era”?

Humble Rafa response; wait for it…wait for it…..here it comes….”I like GOAT cheese, my favorite”.

Okiegal Says:

Yes, I’ve seen this. I want to see who he played and the scores. I think a lot of his accomplishments were during a weak era of tennis. I quit watching tennis because this guy in a ponytail was winning every match without a problem. That’s what I got bored with. I was wanting to refresh my memory and see his results match by match. Sorry about the weak era remark, I know that’s a sore spot.I did not learn about that from TX’s Rafa fans but figured that out for myself a few years ago, maybe before this forum was established. I was quite surprised that others thought the same……and not just Rafa fans either. I think this era of tennis is lots more exciting…….sometimes it’s hard to pick a winner.
Yes, Rafa has lost matches that he was expected to win…….but crap happens, even to the greatest of tennis players.

Sienna Says:

GOAT simply is the one majority of people call GOAT. look ar nickname roger WIKI ! NADAL still has many victorie before he can equal roger
forget about stand alone.

Nadull is Just behind almost equal with Sampras Borg Laver

John Says:

The only way Nadal fans can make an Argument for Goat is by discrediting Federer. That by itslef proves Nadal is not GOAT: Federer stands on his own merits. Rafanatics have to bring up Roger in every argument. To me that sounds kinda lame and desperate. You cant consider someone Goat when you have to mention another player: Hello!

For the Nadal fans this argument is like a kid with brocken legs. They need the Federer crutches to keep standing, And really what kind of a GOAT needs a crutch?

John Says:

“.I did not learn about that from TX’s Rafa fans but figured that out for myself a few years ago,”.

So you stopped watching tennis and have no idea who he played or how the opponets were playing at the time. Basically you admit you know nothing about the years Fed dominated,

Yet you figured out all by yourself that it was a weak era…

Yeah that makes lots of sense.

Just another crutch for the Rafanatics; gosh how many crutches do these guys need? whats next? full body cast?

Giles Says:

“Federer has to beat Nadal (if he wants) to be considered the greatest ever, certainly in my book” Pete Sampras.
Preach it Pete, preach it!
Simple words that says it all.
Vamos Rafa!

nadalista Says:

Of course everything of note Rafa “bests” Fed at is inconsequential to the Fedfans: clay as a playing surface, H2H and now Masters Shields.

That runaway train you see burrelling towards you? It’s a mirage!

Giles Says:

Sean. Here is a better pic for your article, no? Lol

A Tango Lad Says:

Interesting “opinions” all quite different but no established and agreed upon facts on what defines GOAT. Now according to the above, it’s popular opinion.

Such facts indeed.

Just opinions.

Daniel Says:

Federer was always praised GOAT since he even reach 10 Slams due to his style of play and how he was winning 3 Majors a year and reaching all Major finals in a single year (something Nadal and Djoko are yet to achieve).
As Fed develop ad his status were getting closer to GOAThood consensus, as should it be now (he stands alone with majors and weeks as #1), you can’t get better than those tow parameter.

The problem is that in this mean time, a certain Spaniard who always gave problems to Federer started getting a lopsided HxH (post 2007, when by the end of 2007 it was 8-6 Nadal).
Nadal start believing in himself, as more than a clay courter, which he was back them. Imagine in his head him thinking: If I beat the GOAT, I must be pretty good, or maybe I myself may be the GOAT. He develops his game further, made adjustments and voilà, now he has an even more commanding HxH and more majors to his cause.
But as of now, it still isn´t enough and if it weren’t for HxH nobody would be considering him GOAT when he is yet to surpass Pete.

It ´s like you have to do a list of pros and cons.

The number of cons FEd has is smaller than everybody else and the number of pors he has ius bigger, simple math. Just to illustrate:

Fed cons:
– Record 17 majors
– Record 302 weeks as #1
– Record 237 straight weeks as #1 6 WTF
– Record 24 majors final
– Able to be #1 for a whole calendar year (2005, 2006, 2007)
– Reached all major finals 3 times in a single year
– All the consecutive records in majors semis and quarters and majors played in succession. He is basically the greatest Grand Slam match player of all time
– Reach all major finals more than 5 times each
– Record matches win in AO, second to Nadal in RG
– Better Grand Slam match final per

Fed cons
– HxH versus Nadal
– Less Year End #1 than Sampras, but is joint second in this record.
– Never won Golden Singles medal
– Never won DC

Nadal pros
– Won a major for 9 straight years
(all other records regarding #1 status and majors he loses to Federer)
– Record Master Series titles
– Record match wins in RG
– Won Golden Medal in singles
– Won Davis Cup (bonus here because as a team effort, this shouldn´t be parameter for individual records, but still, is an achievement in tennis

Nadal cons
– Never defended any hard court title
– More than 50% of his majors are on clay
– Never achieved all major finals in a year
– Never was able to play in his entire career more than 6 straight majors. All his inconsistent records in majors speaks volume here
– Never won WTF
– Ther eis not a single #1 related record on his own, he loses all to Federer, with only 3 Year end #1 to Fed´s 5

Nirmal Kumar Says:

This obsession of single GOAT in tennis is quite ridiculous. I can understand a bunch of greatest players placed in the upper quarters of champions, which would make lot of sense. Definitely Roger and Rafa would be in that quarter.

Just look at Roger. You take away clay and grass from the equation, he might end up being one of the Top 2 accomplished player of all time in HC. If you take out HC and clay, still he would be one of the Top2 player in Grass. You take out both Grass and HC, he would be one of the Top 10 best clay court player. But has a poor record against Nadal.

With Nadal it’s a slightly different story. You take out Clay, he is one of the Top 10 player in other surfaces. He would not be a Top 2 yet on either Grass or HC.

I believe if you are a GOAT, you got to be the best in all 3 surfaces. Atleast Top 1 in one surface and in Top 2 in other two surfaces.

I don’t think both Roger and Rafa can be claimed as the GOAT. I don’t think we have a single tennis player who could be classified as GOAT. Maybe one is slightly better than other at different stats, but overall I doubt there is a single wondrous tennis player yet to be claimed GOAT.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

“Federer has to beat Nadal (if he wants) to be considered the greatest ever, certainly in my book” Pete Sampras

Interesting. When did Sampras say this? Do you have the link.

skeezer Says:

“The number of cons FEd has is smaller than everybody else and the number of pors he has ius bigger, simple math.”

Needed a repost. Good analogy Daniel.

Daniel Says:

S&$#t was still editing when pressed submit by mistake.

To add:
Fed cons
– Better Grand Slam match final won than Nada: Fed is 17-7 (70,8%), Nadal is 13-6 (68,4%).

Nadal cons
– Better Grand Slam match percentage than Federer

*CORECTION, Nadal was able to play 12 consecutive Slams twice in his career, my mistake, should have check that correctly first.

But basically, the argument is pretty clear for anyone seeing this data, Nadal can, but now he ain´t. Compare him to Roger now is a disrespect to the Swiss, same as when people were annoying Fed over Pete.

Btw, the GOAT argument was always around, Pete was for a few years before Fed burst the scene.

Next 2 years will be telling, because Fed has his last real chance to win 1 last major and Nadal will close the gap with father time as well. By US Open 2015 I think the subject will be pretty close, maybe 2016 the last.

Daniel Says:


You made a good point separating GOAT by surface, that a player would have to be top 2 or top 3 in all surfaces. But the single logic in your post I don´t agree is when you say there ain’t no GOAT because no player fill all the requirements.
To me you have to go by elimination, If no player is top 3 in neither surface, which is the most accomplished player compared to the rest?
The answer will be Federer, because the only one he is not in top 2 is clay where he is top 10, so 2 our of 3 but top 10 in the other is better than Nadal or Sampras have. He is top 2 or #1 in both other surfaces.

Okiegal Says:


Tell me how you really feel! I was an avid watcher of tennis for a very long time. I got disinterested because of the lack of competition for Federer. He was winning everything……then Rafa hit the scene, finally someone could challenge him! Happy days are here again! I don’t claim to know all there is to know about tennis, but weak era tennis is in the conversation of other people, not just Rafa fanatics. First and foremost, I don’t consider myself a VAMOSHEAD………
and I think there are some on here that can attest to that. I have taken up for Fed when a couple of his fans thought he should hang it up…….but I guess that goes unnoticed…….a true fanatic would never do that! All I’m saying is I got disinterested and don’t think I’m the only one.

This is an opinion and that’s fine that you don’t agree with it. It’s all good. Maybe I don’t have any sense…….but just because Fed isn’t my favorite player and Rafa is……that’s no reason to base that assumption on……just saying! I’m a Rafa fan and you are Fed fan…..maybe you’re a Fed fanatic, haven’t read enough of your posts to make that decision and obviously you haven’t read many of mine. Nice chat and thanks for the response! Have a great day!

Okiegal Says:

Under moderation again. Don’t get it. I scrolled up to make sure it was Fedal War thread and it is. Maybe the powers that be have a beef with Oklahomans. Hey, I’m good people, give me a break please!!

Giles Says:

@Daniel. Does this stat count in the “Nadal pros”?

Giles Says:

@Okiegal. No surprise there then. It is quite obvious the moderators are gunning for the Rafa fans and I would like to know why. Do they want an all Fed forum? If so they are on the side of boredom. Sigh!

nadalista Says:

@Okiegal, moderating posts is a job for some poor soul so please, do try and be more eh…..sanguine?

Think about it…..that’s one less person off the unemployment queue!

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Daniel, It’s an individual perspective, but just because someone does not fit in the criteria, will not make the criteria wrong. I’m not trying to prove my point, but if you call someone a GOAT, we have to set the standard quite high and that’s what I always looked at.

I think Laver might fit into Top 1 or Top 2 on most of the surfaces he played too. Why only single out Roger. Laver missed so many tournaments during his peak.

Just my opinion.

Translated Age Says:

No Giles they want Fed fans who are free to say whatever they want and Nadal fans to not speak freely.

They want tame “Stepford-wife” Nadal fans so there is the appearance of neutrality where it doesn’t exist.

Back of the bus, Rafans.

nadalista Says:

and the Roger-x blog “enforcers” have the nerve to trash Tennistalk saying it was a Rafa only site! I don’t recall Fedfans being moderated there any more than Rafans were. Cheryl and Ricky had more class than that, still do.

Slowly, the mask is slipping………..

@TA,that “Stepford-wife” quip……A++!

SG1 Says:

Rafa hasn’t yet reached Pete’s slam total. He’s too far behind Roger right now in slam total to be considered the GOAT. He’s definitely in the discussion if he wins a couple of more slams though. No doubt about it.

I agree that having more Master’s Titles isn’t something anyone’s going to remember. Besides if you asked any pro whether they’d prefer 17 slams at 21 MS titles or 13 slams and 26 MS titles, I’m certain that the answer would be the former (unless the pro is a total knob). I think that Rafa himself would prefer to have Roger’s 17 majors even if it meant giving up 5 MS titles.

No one ever talks about the tournaments Sampras won in Philadelphia or how many times Agassi won in Montreal. It’s nice stuff when it happens, but in the big picture who really cares. It’s the slams, the rivalries, this epic matches between great players that people remember years after. Connors-Krickstein is as memorable a match as any that has ever been played. A great player digging deep one more time.

Giles Says:

Hawkeye and Holdserve, two great posters have been missing for several months now. Probably abducted by Tennis X moderators. Shame!

James Says:

SG1, Rafa already is in the GOAT discussion. Even Wikipedia now states that Rafa Nadal is considered by some to be the greatest tennis player of all time.

Is he the GOAT? Hell no. Not with 13 Grand Slam titles. Not in my book. He will need to win more slams to be considered greater than RF. If he equals RF’s slam count, I think most experts and fans will consider him greater than RF considering the H2H between the two.
Will Rafa go on to win as many slams as RF? I’m not sure, tbh.
As of now RF is the greatest of the current era.

@Giles, did someone forget that Nadal’s career winning percentage is the highest in history? That’s another Nadal ‘pro’ no?

Translated Age Says:

You can ignore all the Masters, Davis Cups, Olympic Gold, anything played on clay or slow hard courts all you want but for my dollar

No GOAT can be dominated by another player the way Federer is owned by Nadal.

The same way everyone remembers that Sampras never won the French Open, that comprehensive domination by Nadal WILL be remembered by all.

Giles Says:

@James. It’s called selective memory.

Salleh Ahmed Says:

@translated age

one day nadal will get owned. believe me.

Daniel Says:

That counts. But if you look at my post I wasn’t going into surface by surface analysis or it would have to many intangibles and bring the argument clay x others.

But this is indeed a feat. But Fed had one in 2006 where he sweap grass and early part of the season. AO, IW Miami – Halle and Wimbledon. 2 in one single season:)
Plus he had the Basel, Paris, WTF in the end as well, only matched by Djoko.

Hippy Chic Says:

James i disagree,IMO personally i think Rafa needs to win more GS to be called GOAT even then that might not be enough,as he would still fall short due to weeks at number 1,and world tour finals,unless he gets more of an even distribution of GS,Rafa fans dont seem to reagard WTFs as been important,but history does unfortunatly,equaling Rogers GS tally would mean a sudden death situation with WTFs,weeks at no 1 etc coming into the equation,as a fan its fantastic he has his records that are his and his alone with the winning percentage,the nine consecutive years winning a GS,personally i would say hes second behind Roger,as even though he has 1 less GS less than Samprass,he has a career GGS which Samprass hasnt got,still its about Roger and Rafa not Rafa and Pete,but i believe Rafas one of the greats just not thee GOAT,my two cents.

Slice Tennis Says:

James Says:
Here’s a look back at Fedal’s first match in 2004, Miami:


March 19th, 2014 at 11:31 am

Great post James.

So Rafa now completes 10 years years of total domination over the weak era goat.

Daniel Says:

@Salled Ahmed,

Probably not, because the way he skips Slams in his peak years imagine how many he will play when he will be in the downside of his career, if he will not pull a Borg:-)

Is easier to have a high percentage if you can back that up by playing all year round. Let`s see if he will have the same percentage playing more than 1200 matches in his career.

Right now we are comparing Fed (in his final years, can’t see him playing past 36, so 4 more years top) while Nadal is in the later stage of his peak years, the man is #1 now! Unless he keep winning high for the next 3 years his number will only drop, as did Roger’s.

Anyhow, you all got the point. Fed has more significant pros than cons compared to any other player. The comment Translate Age posted showed my point, when he saw that numbers attest Fed’s GOAThood he went to his particular opinion, as a fan which is: he can accept Federer as GOAT because he loses to Nadal 1 every 3 matches played. He can’t see past the one on one aspect.

Quick question, does anybody remember from the top of their head the HxH between Sampras x Agassi, Borg x McEnroe, Lendl x Connors, etc…
I don’t know even who was on the winner side of those apart from Sampras leading Agassi. What “feels” important to you guys now, probably won’t in the future. At least not as tennis were remembered. But who knows, maybe the HxH becomes more lopsided to a point that everytime it will come to memory. What people will know for sure is that Nadal won more than Fed when they played, but if Nadal don’t back that up with more majors (specially outside of clay – getting to 10 RG won’t do him any good because he will be more and more clay related) and #1 records he won’t be goat.
He can’t be declared GOAT having more weeks as #2 than #1, think of that?! It will just highlight that he is the greatest #2, with a positive HxX versus #1!

Brando Says:

These Fedal ‘wars’ are silly.

Is Rafa the GOAT?

Of course he is not- who exactly is putting him on that pedestal? No one! What’s universally agreed upon is that he’s comfortably one of the greatest’s of all time: more than enough for him and his fans!

Is Fed the GOAT?


H2H do not matter: but impression does. When you get publicly dismissed time after time and again by your biggest rivals, on the biggest stages around the world and more than a few times in a humiliating manner than all of a sudden your claim to being the best of all time becomes laughable to many when you cannot even handle the heat from your biggest rival in your very own era.

Anonymous posters and their views on blog sites do not matter as opposed to:

– 14 GS winner PETE SAMPRAS
– 11 GS winner BJORN BORG
– 8 GS winner ANDRE AGASSI
– 6 GS winner BORIS BECKER

ALL of these legends at one time or another as well as great experts of the game such as DARREN CAHILL, BRAD GILBERT etc etc have said that:

It’s hard to label Federer the GOAT when he consistenly and for the longest time keeps on getting beat by his biggest rival in the most certain of manners!

These guys have played the game, their views have merit and regard and they point out the obvious for a reason:

When you keep on getting schooled by your biggest rival, a fellow all time great then it’s pretty frigging hard to stand there and say you are GOAT when one guy clearly proves you are far from it whenever he walks onto the court!

And who is the GOAT? NOTHING but a matter of a opinion and NOT FACT.

It’s one that ONLY:

1. The MEDIA push who will do anything for $$$.
2. Ardent Fed fans want to claim.

Either way: try as they may they cannot shove it down the throats of others who choose not to buy this opinion.

The problem for FED is clear:

The damage is done. Whenever ANYONE mentions him as the GOAT the image of RAFAEL NADAL will immediately come to mind.

NOT because he’s the GOAT. But because he’s so badly owned FED for a long time that it’s rooted into the conscious, awareness for all fans of the game around the world.

It’s got NOTHING to do with dislike for FED, but rather a realization of the obvious that has unfolded on the Tennis court when these 2 have faced off one another.



Federer- to his great credit- has many a time dismissed this notion of him being a GOAT, and pointed out the absolute folly of comparing players from different generations when clearly so much has changed and different circumstances existed with each and every one of them.

It’s time others wake up to such a obvious reality rather than wasting time propping up their idol trying to convince others of his greatness when they ain’t going to be convinced for their own valid reasons.

skeezer Says:

“The damage is done. Whenever ANYONE mentions him as the GOAT the image of 17 Grand Slams will immediately come to mind.”

Giles Says:

@Brando. Excellent post.

nadalista Says:

Oh come on @skeezer, I expect better from you in paraphrasing @Brando. Rafa has a good chance of leveling and/or even surpassing that 17, do you seriously think Fed has a chance of over-hauling that H2H?

How can Rafa be damaged by the number 17 when he can still add to his Slam tally? The damage has been done for Fed, no way is he over-turning that H2H. Even the brashest zealot has to concede that.

The truth of the matter is if Fedfans were comfortable and confident about Fed’s GOAT status, Sean et al would not see the need to post these “GOAT threads”!

C’mon, how many GOAT threads have been posted on Roger-x blog in the last 14 days?

Coincidence? Not………

James Says:

@HC, Rafa is already hyped by some to be the GOAT. He of course is not. RF is much more of a GOAT than RN is. But if RN wins as many slams as RF, the vast majority of fans and experts will pick RN over the great Swiss in the GOAT debate. At least that’s how I see it going. Experts like McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, Wilander and others IMO will go with RN if the two are tied at 17 slams each.

The H2H of 23-10, Slam record (shared with RF) + Master 1000 record would edge it for RN. JMO.

Humble Rafa Says:

Rafa is already hyped by some to be the GOAT.

Facts don’t need to be hyped. It’s a fact. Take the “Acceptance” pill go that corner. Over there.

Sean Randall Says:

Nadalista, to answer I have made TWO “Fedal Wars” posts in the last 2 weeks. And I will be posting more in the coming weeks.

Do you have an idea for the next one? I’m open to suggestions.

Okiegal Says:


Good post, you nailed it! Records are made to be broken. Can Roger’ s 17 be broken? Yes it can……we will see. Federer probably is better than every tennis tennis play that ever played the game…….but he’s just not better than Rafa!

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal great post,dont get offended if i correct you though,you say but hes not better than Rafs,surely you mean against Rafa right?

Hippy Chic Says:

^Anyway the exciting thing will be seeing him try,even having this conversation to begin with, shows that even talking about it means there is an issue,Rafa will be hell bent on surpassing Roger,and Roger will be hell bent on trying to stop him,even though both will say otherwise,and niether will really on other players to help their cause either.^

Hippy Chic Says:

^Meant will rely,not will really^.

Okiegal Says:

If Roger is the GOAT, why is he not on clay? Legit question and and I’m serious, not saying this to be tacky. Maybe some players of the game on TX can explain it.

Giles Says:

@nadalista. C’mon girl, here is your chance to shine even more on this forum. Sean is asking you for your suggestions.

Daniel Says:


Your analysis is essentially based on HxH amd the perception it inflicts. All those past grast you mentioned also claimed Roger to be the GOAT. The problem with HxH now is because they are both playing and we remember it constantly. In the future, we don’t know how it will unfolds, but the question I asked before remains, no one knows the HxH of other past rivalries, we just remember who the rivals were. Same case for Borg. Only expert and really ardent fans of the sport (or old fellows who loved to see) remember that he was losing to MacEnroe constantly.

The thing abut this Fedal wars RIGTH NOW is simply selected in 2 groups: the ones who goes by the records (all of them) and accept Fed overall has a resume that no player dead or alive have ever yet come close to; or the ones who can see past Nadal HxH versus Fed.
It’s basically 2 sides of it and the vast majority that can’t see past Fed records are usually Rafa fans. Because as you pointed to them seems that not being able to beat one guy matter more, or compromise the whole. This are all their is regarding people and their preferences.

Bit one thing that really annoy me is this sentence: “there is no GOAT” Ever sports have, mankind always made list and we will always do, so YES, their is a GOAT and right now is either, Laver, Roger, Sampras or Nadal. Laver is from a different era. From the 3 remaining, Fed is by far superior. so it is between him and Laver.
Nadal can put this all to rest if he reaches the majors tally and increase #1 records, which he is doing right now.

But the single view that HxH matters in the long run is to me ludicrous. History have shown us different, but of course, it may change due to this 2.

nadalista Says:

Sean, that is my point: 2 Fedal threads in 2 weeks? A bit much, no? I mean, why the frequency all of a sudden? Why didn’t we see such prolific Fedal thread posting before?

No, I have no idea what you should be writing about next. If I did, I would have my own site!

Okiegal Says:


Yes, I did mean exactly that. I read it after I posted and realized the error of my ways. Thanks for pointing that out…..no problem! The two “betters” were contradictory in my context…..lost my thought, which I do often! Lol

nadalista Says:

The average Rafan couldn’t care less about this so-called Fedal war because:

a. Rafa has proved on court he is better that Fed;
b. Rafa is still writing his script. The time to tot up his achievements and nalyse them in relation to GOAT-hood is at the end of his career. For now, we are too busy enjoying him play!

Skeezer Says:

“The average Rafan couldn’t care less about this so-called Fedal war because;…..”
That says it all.

Slice Tennis Says:

Great posts from you.

Slice Tennis Says:

Its clear that Rafa fans are losing this fedal war here.

The only consolation for us is that Rafa has won the war against the weak era sheep on the court.

nadalista Says:

Sorry @skeezer, is there an argument in your post of 4:24 pm? Can’t say I saw one…….

nadalista Says:

Hahaha @Giles, 3:50 pm! I’ll let Sean do the creative thinking, I’m only a vamoshead, remember?

Daniel Says:

a. Rafa proved he has a match up upper hand on Fed and beat him 2 out of 3. Is not like Fed hasn’t beat him before. But Fed proved his better overall, against the field for years, vis superior #1 records and majors tally.
b. Fed is still writing his script as well.
I just imagine what would happen if Djoko (or anybody else) wins RG and Fed wins Wimbledon this year, what would happen?!

Slice Tennis Says:

“I just imagine what would happen if Djoko (or anybody else) wins RG and Fed wins Wimbledon this year, what would happen?!”

If….if…and if

Keep hoping….

nadalista Says:

“I just imagine what would happen if Djoko (or anybody else) wins RG and Fed wins Wimbledon this year, what would happen?!


a. If Djoko wins RG this year he would have a career Slam and 7 Slams to his name.
b. Fed wins Wimbledon this year he would have 18 Slams to his name.

Your point?

Yes Fed is still writing his script as well. Which consists of winning 250 and 500 ATP tournaments of late, with nothing to suggest this trend will change in the near future.

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal lol not trying to be rude,in hindsight i dont actually see it matters much either way.

Rafa better than Roger Says:

Sports is about numbers.

As simple as 23-10.


Now, that 17 is in jeopardy pretty soon that even if Rafa gains to a 20 Slam count, roger fans will still not capitulate to it.

It is that stupidly blind!!



A Tango Lad Says:

No I reality some players such as McEnroe already opine that Nadal is the greatest as recent as this past summer.

From articles I’ve read on Tennis X, Agassi and Sampras have on separate occasions claimed that both have an argument as greatest, Nadal’s argument being head to head combined with his other achievements and Roger’s argument based primarily on slam count.

Nadal says Roger is the greatest but he is too humble to say otherwise.

All subjective opinion. Nothing more.

To pretend otherwise is fanaticism and idolry.

Brando Says:

‘All subjective opinion. Nothing more.

To pretend otherwise is fanaticism and idolatry.’:

The smartest and most spot on thing said by anyone here for a long time!

Kudos to you Sir/Lady for that!

Patrick Chiazor Says:

I wud like u guys here to understand that Nadal being better does not make him greater. Leave the no of GSs, leave d weeks at no 1, leave d streaks, leave the davis cup, and lop-sided head to head. I am a tennis fan today (as well as millions of other people) because of Federer and his style of play! Its magestic to watch. Nadal plays like he wud die if he doesn’t win. Even if Federer had 12 GSs, I wud still say he was greater (not necessarily better) than Nadal, solely because of the way he glides across the court in angelic fashion, deepening your love for the sport, the sam way Ali did to boxing fans, and pele, to football fans. Simple.

Okiegal Says:

Chic……no….glad you brought to my attention, I don’t want to sound more stupid than some posters already think I am. A man named John said I didn’t have any sense……Oh, well!

Sorry about Andy. Hope they parted on good terms, that’s the most important thing. I’m worried about Andy’s back…..think he should have taken more time off…imo.

Okiegal Says:

I’m a tennis fan today (as well as a million other people) because of Rafa and his style of play! He’s majestic to watch!! Rafa is a beast on the court and has the heart of a lion!

SG1 Says:

Quick question, does anybody remember from the top of their head the HxH between Sampras x Agassi, Borg x McEnroe, Lendl x Connors, etc…

Sampras 20-14 over Agassi
Borg and Mac tied at 7-7

Lendl has decent edge over Connors, don’t remember the numbers though.

SG1 Says:

Sorry Humble. Your guy may end up as the consensus GOAT but not right now. Too far behind the backhand-less guy from Switzerland with 17 slams. Can’t remember his name….

For what it’s worth, I don’t think your guy needs 17 majors to overtake that Swiss dude. If he were to get to 15 slams and continue his dominance over the upper echelon players, he’d be my GOAT when his career is done.

Skeezer Says:

Borg/Mac was 7-7, but many say Mac helped drive Borg into retirement, he beat him the last 3 times they played. Go figure.

SG1 Says:

I agree that Mac definitely played a role in sending Borg into retirement. Of course that wasn’t Daniel’s question. He wanted to know the H2H stuff so I answered the best I could (without cheating and going the ATP web site and looking up the H2H) :)

Rafa better than Roger Says:

It is Rafa’s Quality over roger’s quantity.

Rafa’s overall percentages not total numbers, are higher indicating more quality. Another way to look at it is how many matches did Rafa achieved a record or milestone compared to Roger.

For instance how many matches to achieve 11 Slams, 12, or 13 Slams. Or, how many matches to achieve record 21 atp 1000 masters, 500 masters, etc. Or how many tries to bag that Olympic Gold medal in singles … In hardcourts, etc.
For instance, if Rafa got 11 slams in 24 tries but roger took 32 tries, then clearly Rafas wins are better and of greater quality. For real numbers, check the Atptour site

Guaranteed Rafa comes out ahead. Roger is vry much like his fawning fan in Evert getting upended all the time by Martina. To get the full impact of this sorry scenario, check out the SNL nite live spoof of that rivalry — esp the tomato episode — very funny.

Rafa got the borg channel slam first, then although roger got 3 slams in one year, what did Rafa do to upstage that seemingly great feat? 3 slams consecutively!!! And here is the kicker — consecutive in 3 different surfaces. Such stupendous quality that even the great laver cannot match. Then roger got the career slam. But how was Rafas career grand slam of better quality? He is the youngest to achieve it!!! Too bad djok not happening to you nor to Murray. The youngest and the fastest to achieve it !!

In fact, even minor stats like tiebreak record. made into a big deal by rogerlings because at one time roger seem to be ahead. Now, rafa leads roger 11-10. And yet rafa started later. And oh i forgot 9-2 in grand slams!!! Ouch.

And on first try, Rafa bagged GOLD!!! Wouldn’t that and the examples above eat you alive??? Like a festering and pestering scab but just cant shake it off because great rafa keeps reminding everyone. Just to pull everyone have a clear perspective and reality check.

So finally Roger has to accept, Rafa is better, after that embarrassment at Aussie Open in front of his rah rah boys in Sampras and Laver. At least roget, this time, he didnt cry!!

Too harsh???

Quality > quantity

Rafa better than Roger Says:

By the way. I dont know if you guys are aware, the author is enjoying his many clicks in his pedestrian article on Goatiness, which is nothing but an artificial you know what.

But no argument, Rafa is better than Roger.

Proof? Ask roger.



Sean Randall Says:

Rafa better than Roger, I’m actually enjoying some of the comedy on this thread. Just wait till my next “Fedal” post. I wasn’t going to do this weekly but I may have to change my thinking on that.

Did you know, Rafa better than Roger, that since Rafa’s first Grand Slam at the 2005 French Open, Federer’s won 13 Slams to Rafa’s 12?

Honest question, why would that be?

Rafa better than Roger Says:

And you thought you had a great comeback! Who did Roger beat? Who did Rafa beat …. Is it roger? Now, again that is quality!

Man, you are funny.

I am sure you hate me but erasing my posts only minimizes you as a writer.

Oops, too harsh.

But then again, dang, those clicks are like your off-season Christmas tree.

But you are a comedian of some type.

Rafa better than Roger Says:

And sure can move the determining line. Prior to 2014 australian, rafa had 13 in less attempts and I am sure you know this, he did not play in 3 or 4 of those Slams.

Your turn.

This is a nice tennis history Quiz. Noo peeking though.

Skeezer Says:

Can’t believe you decided to engage with these types. The moniker alone is Fedal provoking. Good luck with that. ;)

Olivia Says:

IMH, GOAT (GROAT or GLOAT) is not just about records. If so, one day, a robot can be GOAT.

Look at the off court contribution to tennis and their peer players. Who has helped the players to get more slam money even the ones that play in the first few rounds? Who has made the sports more popular? Who has spent a lot of time to represent ATP players in the council?

And then who has earned the most ATP year-end Awards (fan favorite, players vote).

Olivia Says:

Nadal is a bull, it is fitting that the Dog(opolov) beats the bull.

For those who don’t get the benefit of south paw, please listen to Uncle Toni how he predicts who would win (Federer or Nadal) in AO 2014 semi-final. What did he say “I think Nadal would win because he is left-handed”.

For those quoting Sampras, please search his book what he says about “South Paw”.

Everybody can name their own GOAT, only for those who try to make it scientific, please do your research and data analytics.

metan Says:

Sean, your post at 9.27pm.
The answer is simple. Roger can get 12 because there is 2hard court gs. Do you think it is fair to count all these numbers and the field is not balance?? ATP as a parents doesn’t provide balance format. GS has 2 HC and master no grass at all. What do you think? DO YOU THINK IS IT FAIR,??
WTF, only invited can play but the point keep adding to value over all ranking. ..don’t you think it is fair for those who never gets invited. Sad!!!!! Living in this selfish world.

metan Says:

So based on this unbalanced field, people tend to look at head to head result. I myself don’t believe of this so called GOAT. total disrespect to others players

Patson Says:

Unto the world thy Lord shalt send the GOAT; one shalt grazeth thy land, the other shalt playeth tennis.

(Book of Tennis, Chapter ‘the Goat’, page 13 verse 17)

Sean Randall Says:

Rafa better than Roger, is it Roger’s fault Rafa missed so many events? I’m curious, what made him miss so many when his rivals like Federer and Djokovic played on?

Metan, so since there is no true balance of the surfaces, there really cannot be a GOAT?

It’s not fair because Roger is better than Rafa on hard and grass and there are more of those bigger events, so Rafa is at a disadvantage? Is that what you are saying?

Rafa better than Roger Says:

Dont you know? Rafa missed those slams because he was injured! Again – quality wins. It is like acing the test even though you missed so many days because of illness. So, who has more impressive wins, one that got A+ after missing so many classes or one who is present everyday but getting a grade no higher than A?

But then again, roger lost because of injuries since IW 2013.

Make up your mind! Dont be using an excuse that is rightfully Rafa’s!

Oh, the winds ! That’s new!

Rafa better than Roger Says:

I shudder to think what will happen to roger fans when he stays at 17 and Rafa leapfrogs over him at 18 and 2 olympic golds!

So let’s shelve this goAt stupidity and revisit when both are nominated in tbe hall retirement.

But then again, there will be no lights in the Christmas tree!

Skeezer Says:

“Dont you know? Rafa missed those slams because he was injured! Again – quality wins.”
“It is like…”

….Is not “what it is”.

PahLeaase. WTF?
When is this charactor going to be moderated? So much nonsense, so much illogical litter. Ugh.

Rafa may very well surpass Feds Slams and records. Maybe. A long shot.
But has he? NOT! So until then, stfu and quit using Fed has a crutch to justify Rafa’s greatness. And quit ” wishing in the future ” it will be different. Right now it is what it is, Fed reigns, better than Rafa. Enjoy it, accept it, recieve it, absorb it.

Michael Says:

Well Rafa is ahead of Roger in Master series wins and so is Roger who is head and shoulders above Rafa when it comes to amassing World Tour Finals where Rafa is yet to win one. These two Great players have set unique records setting apart themselves from competition. If Rafa has won a phenomenal 8 Rolland Garros title, so is Roger who has won the premier Championship for a record seventh time. Thus, they have records rivalling one another which has taken this sport to a new level in the annals of Tennis History. The question of who is Greater doesn’t fit in well considering that both are yet to complete their respective careers. It is when they call it a day, their careers have to be compartmentalised, dissected and compared with one another and it can only stir up an enriching academic debate which brings insights to the greatness of both these Champions who have no parallel and have grown bigger than the Sport. Infact I shudder to think what will happen to Tennis if both these players decide to call it a day. It would definitely rob the sport of their charisma and broad based appeal. But Tennis will continue on nevertheless irrespective of the loss of individual players.

Okiegal Says:


You are so on target with this post! I say the jury is out on this for now……wait until they retire for crying out loud! We have beat this horse to do death…….Oops…..this GOAT! Lol

skeezer Says:

Have heard this all before. A repeat of illiogical thinking. The old “Let’s wait theory”.
Wait for what? The impervial wheel will forever be turning. If that is the logic then lets wait for 50 years to determine who is GOAT then? Lets wait for a bunch of players throughout many years a chance to change history. Only then will there be “the one”. That argument does not hold water. Pffft.
It is now, not the future then. Based on the factual amassed records that Fed has attained, its an easy argument ( read 12:47 am post, again ). As of now, until further notice, Fed is King of the court.

nadalista Says:

“As of now, until further notice, Fed is King of the court.”

You forgot to add: “when the Humble Bull is not on that court of course, otherwise the King becomes a page-boy!

metan Says:

Sean, I am not supporting this GOAT things even though the surface is balances coz. I am a firm beliver that every human achiement is not permanent.. it means not last All Time (past present and future ). When I saw this comparison of greatness between RF &.RN. It doesn’t go to my logic just based on surface itself. One player favour one surface and other player other. In term of surfaces it’s favour Roger since it is suite his game. But skill I don’t think Roger better than RAFA in anysurface, both of them have different technique.

metan Says:

Yes Sean, the surface is disadvantage Rafa.

Patson Says:

It is time we enact an international law : Roger Federer is the GOAT and whoever says otherwise is an enemy of the human race.

Rest assured, once this is done, we can all live in peace.

Michael Says:


Well, as on today, Roger is the most successful player which even Rafa agrees. So there is no need to drumbeat one aloud which makes little sense when something is more than obvious. Even if Rafa manages to better Roger’s record of 17 majors, will there be an overwhelming consensus that he is the GOAT ? Even then there will be sceptics who would find holes in his record by saying that he has not won enough US/Australian/Wimbledon/World Tour Finals etc. etc. Similarly, for Roger, despite all his stellar of achievements, he has managed to win just one Rolland Garros title which is likely to go against him and his embarrasing H2H against his main rival. There will also be Tennis Analysts who considers Rod Laver as the Goat considering that he managed to win the coveted Calendar Grand Slam twice which Roger and Rafa never has been able to do even once. Ofcourse you can argue against that by saying that we cannot compare Generations. But that is the way it is. Fifty years from now, who is going to know what will happen ? There might emerge a player who might manage to trump up all records of Roger and Rafa, but even then the GOAT discussion will remain inconclusive and the familiar naive in comparing generations will most likely surface yet again.

Michael Says:


GOAT is not a title. It just stimulates enriching academic discussions and literally counts for nothing. I do not know why Skeezer is getting so much excited when he debates on this aspect ? I can understand his adulation for Roger who happens to be my favourite player too. But he just goes over board in his penchant for hyping up Roger who doesn’t need that. He is too great to need such push ups. Even Roger doesn’t believe in any GOAT theory and has said much many a time. It is difficult to compare generations in Tennis. What we can conclude is that in the professional circuit, Roger is the most successful and accomplished player as on today and that even Rafa doesn’t disgree. Therefore, the issue is closed for the moment. However, the problem arises only if you use the GOAT acronym which creates distortions.

Michael Says:


Every human achievement is not permanent. Rightly said. Even life in this earth is not permanent and neither the earth itself is permanent in the majestic Universe.

Giles Says:

@Patson. Not so fast!!

Hippy Chic Says:

Michael i believe Skeezers getting rattled with RBTR posts TBH,as there doesnt seem to be much reason or rationality with his arguments,and is merely basing them on emotional bias,everybody has there own personal opinion on the topic,is there a GOAT i dont know?does it really matter again i dont know?but i can see why people say wait till both retire,as things can change,and both are still writing history,personally speaking i think both are amazing players,and have achieved amazing things in tennis,and have their own areas in greatness of the sport,no need to belttle one in favour of the other,we are lucky to have them both IMO.

Michael Says:

Alison – Rightly said. I agree 100 percent !!

rafaeli Says:

When Rafa equals or surpasses Roger’s 17 slams Rogerians will then change the GOAT criteria to the number of weeks at #1. Mark my words.

How can the GOAT only have 1 clay slam in nearly 15 tries. I have never heard any Nadal fan say he is the GOAT because we have more sense than that. We know there can’t be a GOAT, but we also know that there is only one King of Clay.

skeezer Says:


“When Rafa equals or surpasses Roger’s 17 slams Rogerians will then change the GOAT criteria to the number of weeks at #1. Mark my words.”

Not true.

nadalista Says:

“When Rafa equals or surpasses Roger’s 17 slams Rogerians will then change the GOAT criteria to the number of weeks at #1. Mark my words.”

They are already doing it now. If you notice, the no. of weeks criteria is always mentioned as the 2nd criteria to GOAT-hood by the Federazzi, sort of the insurance policy if and when Rafa gets to 17 Slams.

And the clincher? Artistic impression…..

Skeezer Says:

^keep projectin u all. You wear it well ;)

rafaeli Says:

The criteria for GOATdom is a moveable feast depending on Roger’s achievements; if Roger was the King of Clay, that would be the criteria. Since no official body has set out a criteria, it’s a bit of a nonsense.

In all other competition, the goals are set out first then the winner is the one who achieves the goal. Not so in the GOAT contest.

MMT Says:

What other sport has official GOAT criteria?

rafaeli Says:

That’s just it. No other sport has appointed a GOAT.

MMT Says:

Ah, I misunderstood.

But I don’t see what is the problem with just articulating the criteria, the same way it in all other competitions: whoever has the most wins (at the majors) is the greatest of all time.


If it’s Federer today, then it’s Federer. If it’s Nadal tomorrow, then it’s Nadal. If it’s some kid who just started playing last week in 20 years, then so be it.

What’s the problem with that?

MMT Says:

I have to take issue with one more thing – the #1 ranking has taken on too many incarnations in history for it to be an insightful or effective measure of greatness, and these days it’s extraneous. The the best thing to compare across the history of the game is majors won. It’s an imperfect measure, but at least it’s been around more the 40 years.

skeezer Says:


Slice Tennis Says:

For fed fans weeks at no.1 is the most important criteria.
Interestingly none of them talk about year end no.1 ranking because
– Fed has only 5 and Sampras has 6
– Rafa has a realistic chance of getting to 5

skeezer Says:

My “^none!” post was directed at your 2:52 post. Totally agree with your 3:01 post.
LOL how rafafanatics are speaking on behalf of Feds fans.
Hilarious. Whats next?

Slice Tennis Says:

Fed fans mostly bring up some meaningless logic to hype up Fed’s achievements.
I remember our Dave mentioned that even though 2008 was widely regarded as Rafa’s year Fed had more weeks at No.1 in that year. He ignored the fact that Rafa had more weeks at No.1 in 2011 than Djokovic.
Ignoramus fans !!

Okiegal Says:


Agree with you and Chic 100%. Who ever started this crap in the first place? I have to wonder how Pete, Mac, Borg, Sampras, Connors etc feel? They are forced yo talk about because the issue has been introduced.

Okiegal Says:

At last years USO, Mary Carillo made the statement that

the greatest matches she had ever seen included Rafa on 3 different surfaces. Mac was in the booth with her, he didn’t utter one word! I thought to myself “Mary, the guy right next to you was no slouch!”. Mac and Borg had some fantastic ones also. The matches she named were Rafa/Roger/Wimby……Rafa/Novak/ AO….Rafa/Novak/FO.

The GOAT war has been run into the ground, imo….
The bottom line…….ain’t nobody gonna give an inch!

rafaeli Says:

“If it’s Federer today, then it’s Federer. If it’s Nadal tomorrow, then it’s Nadal. If it’s some kid who just started playing last week in 20 years, then so be it.

What’s the problem with that?”

March 20th, 2014 at 2:52 pm

The problem is why should slams be the only thing taken into account? There are only 4 slams in the season, 9 M1000s plus 500s, 250s, DC and WTF. It’s like saying only one event counts in a heptathlon.

Okiegal Says:

@Patson 11:27

Funny……..but some posters on TX can’t take a joke…….LOL

rafaeli Says:

MMT, even slams have had many incarnations. The USO and Australia were played on grass then the USO changed to clay before h/c. So 3 of the slams were on grass and one on clay for a long time. Laver never won a slam on h/c.

The other thing is, travel around the world was not so easy so in the past a lot of players did not compete in all the tournaments. Laver beat mainly Australians and Americans. Now there are far more nations involved. Don’t get me started on the pre-Open era.

MMT Says:

Majors are the only tournaments that have been (1) universally coveted throughout their history and (2) old enough to connect them to all the great players in the history of the game and (3) maintained a similar competitive format (as in 7 best of 5 matches over two weeks).

No other tournaments in tennis have these characteristics, therefore their utility in determining greatness is inferior to the majors, and we don’t need to consider them when evaluating greatness.

The difference in surfaces is not nearly as important as the fact that they are universally coveted – that’s what makes them special and valuable, and insightful into greatness, not that they are on different surfaces.

The spread of the game is not relevant in the question of greatness, because whether they all came from 2 countries or 100, the best players in the world are/were the best players in the world, and they all busted their arses to win majors. Unless you’re suggesting that there were players that were excluded from the majors that would have been good enough to win them, but that wasn’t the case. The countries that were good were just ahead of the rest of the world, but the best players reveal themselves at the majors. That’s what makes them special, and the most useful in determining greatness.

That can’t be said about any other tournaments in the game current or in the past. So there’s no logical reason to concern oneself with anything other than majors won if your objective is historical comparison.

MMT Says:

Davis Cup is a team competition, so you can consider a players record in Davis Cup (maybe), but not whether their country won – that’s giving credit to individuals for a team effort and that defeats the purpose of GOAT debate.

MMT Says:

“H2H do not matter: but impression does. When you get publicly dismissed time after time and again by your biggest rivals, on the biggest stages around the world and more than a few times in a humiliating manner than all of a sudden your claim to being the best of all time becomes laughable to many when you cannot even handle the heat from your biggest rival in your very own era.”

With all due respect, this is a very illogical opinion – let me ask you this, if Nadal could exchange his H2H against Federer for a guaranteed greater tally of majors won, I guarantee he would take it in a heart beat. Why? Because head to head superiority is just a means to an end – the more players you can consistently beat, the more likely you are to consistently win. But in and of itself it is totally irrelevant to greatness, because results matter more than anything in tennis, and in tennis results revolve around tournaments, and the most coveted and most historical of those are majors.

Anything else is just a means to the end of winning majors, therefore that’s really all that matters. If Nadal is better than Federer, historically, he’ll finish with more majors than him. Until then, he’s got some more work to do, at the majors.

skeezer Says:

^ Shammmmoon!

Post of the year! If needed, this post will be repeated for the rafafanatics of uneducatedness.


Daniel Says:


The “hype” fed fans are given to Fed is counter balance this nonsense RIGHT NOW thta Nadal is the GOAT agead of Federer. Many rafa fans in here has this view and as long as they kept before Nadala ctually surpass Roger’s major tally, if ever. This FEDAL wars will continue.

And btw GOaT is not a “now” concept. Pete was regarded agost for years beacuse he have both major recordsa nd number 1 records. Of the open era he was the one. Until, Federer burst the scrne and eclipse all Pete’s main record (total majors, winning RG for a career Slam, surpassing total weeks as #1 and even equaling Wimby title with 7) except Year end #1 which Pete has 6 to Roger 5.
For those of you saying Fed fan don’t mention it I did not highlith this in the Fed’s pro records because he is seco d in this category. Thos criteria exists from Pete’s era because he set the standard and tey were taken to measure in the future.
And every time a candiadate for GOAThood appears the criteria will evolve: ex. Now having a career Slam count, as they have to be good in every surface.
Btw, MMT last post are excelent and I hope people get some perspective from an insightful post with experience to take them out of Fanhood.

Nadal may very well surpass Fed. The same “if” i pose before regarding RG and Wimbledon can very well be supposed here: imagine if Nadal wins RG and Wimbt this year?! Not impossible same as the other IF I posted.
I bet all rafa fans in here are dieing to see him win Wimbledon once more, specially due to frustration of last two years. Same as all Fed fans want him to win 1 more Wimbledon as his swan song. We can all which, and watch the development of this fantastic tennis sopa opera!

metan Says:

Daniel, the answer is simple, there was no goat for Peter Sampras and it is not for Roger and will not for Rafa. Then again I asked you since you have been posting here for so long, who was started to annoint Roger as goat??? And who is always.post provokative ccomments???? I am sure you know the answer.

skeezer Says:

I think you amoung others, respectfully, are too young to remember. When Pete got to 14 Slams, there was much talk throughout the tennis world that his Slam count made him the GOAT. And although it may have been debatable to Laver, it was authenticated overwhelmingly by his undeniable Slam count. Slams are the ultimate goal of ALL players, and what defines there overall bar of all time best ever greatness.
There is no debate about the meaning of Sampras’s accomplishment. The only disparity, was that he did not in all his accumulations of Slams, won the FO.

Michael Says:


As I said, this GOAT debate can just stimulate interesting discussions centered around personalities. It just means nothing in the end. As I said, even if Rafa manages to overcome Roger’s count in majors, he cannot be considered as a GOAT considering that there are serious fault lines in his record which is loaded with clay titles and neither does Roger who has his own set of weaknesses which is unnecessary to replay. I can accept if these discussions take place with cordiality and mutual respect with one another. But the problem is that it highly gets emotional and people get fired and charged up which naturally creeps into bias and prejudice while evaluating players. So, when this decorative title is creating such tremendous tension in the forum, it is better to ignore it for common good. Roger and Rafa are two of the Greatest players the game has seen and fortunate to be invested with. They definitely doesn’t need such hypes and clamour to shore up their greatness. As fans, We need to learn from the respect these two players generate with one another.

Maestro Fed Says:

A true tennis fan would not indulge in such meaningless goat discussions.
There is not goat. Or at least there is no objective means to conclude who is the goat.
Every fan selects his own set of criteria and proclaim his own favorite player as the goat.
For example even Daniel who appears to be a fair poster lists the inability of Naval to defend a Harcourt title as his weakness but ignores to mention the inability of Federer to defend a clay title as his con.
He loses al his credibility as a fair poster. This is just an example and such unfair selective twisting of facts is done by almost everyone involved in this goat debate.

Margot Says:

I’m SO happy with this thread. Thanks Sean. Means I can avoid all, hopefully all, Fedal wars and endless, repetitive, circular discussions about the GOAT!
*hurries off*

rafaeli Says:

MMT, slams are universally coveted because players are told that it’s all that matters, it’s the only thing they’ll be judged on. It’s easier to win a slam than to win a Masters because there are no gimmes in M1000s where players have to beat good players from the off.

rafaeli Says:

skeezer Says:

When Pete got to 14 Slams, there was much talk throughout the tennis world that his Slam count made him the GOAT.
March 21st, 2014 at 1:02 am

This is exactly the problem. The goalpost was moved when Roger won RG when winning a slam on all surfaces was never a criteria when Sampras was declared the GOAT.

It’s a nonsense whichever way you look at it.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

t’s easier to win a slam than to win a Masters because there are no gimmes in M1000s where players have to beat good players from the off.

If we go by this logic, then WTF should be the toughest, since you have to play only against Top 8 players.

Winning a 3-setter can never be tougher than winning a 5-setter. It’s pretty simple.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Let’s not forget that Sampras was not called GOAT just because of his Slam count. He had 6 yrs consecutive year end No 1 and YE Masters title. It was his complete body the reason why they called him GOAT.

Giles Says:

Don’t forget NK there is a day’s rest in between matches at GS’s.

MMT Says:


“MMT, slams are universally coveted because players are told that it’s all that matters, it’s the only thing they’ll be judged on. It’s easier to win a slam than to win a Masters because there are no gimmes in M1000s where players have to beat good players from the off.”

The history of the game dictates that majors are the most coveted titles, end of story. This is not something invented out of thin air – the history of the game and ITF point to majors as the most coveted titles.

As to MS 1000s, your opinion may be that MS 1000s are harder to win, but (1) that’s just your personal opinion, not shared by the history of the game (2) the universe of players who have won majors is smaller than those who have won MS 1000s, so this opinion is dubious and (3) there is no historical basis to compare throughtout the history of the game when there were no MS 1000s.

For all these reasons, MS 1000s are a poor measure of historical greatness. Only majors can serve that purpose, and thus are the only measure that should be considered in the GOAT debate.

Hippy Chic Says:

MMT maybe then thats the reason why there is no GOAT? Roger has more GS than Rafa,but Rafa has more Masters than Roger?GS are what your judged on most,but many say Masters are harder to win?just a theory,for what its worth..

Hippy Chic Says:

^Meant to say maybe thats the reason why some people dont think that there is a GOAT.^

MMT Says:

Nirmal Kumar Says: “Let’s not forget that Sampras was not called GOAT just because of his Slam count. He had 6 yrs consecutive year end No 1 and YE Masters title. It was his complete body the reason why they called him GOAT.”

This is revisionist, Sampras GOAT acclaim was cemented when he won his 13th major in 2001 – it had nothing to do with year end championships. First, the year end championships is a phenomenon of the open era only – there was no such thing prior to 1970, therefore there is no basis for comparison to players before then. Furthermore, there were multiple year end championships with varying levels of participation and acclaim from 1970 to 2000.

There was the Masters Grand Prix, which was based on results in the Grand Prix circuit (somewhat limited participation) – controlled by the ITF. There was the WCT Championships based on results from the WCT (much more limited participation). There was also the Grand Slam Cup, from 1996 to 1999 based exclusively on performance at the majors, and the World Tour Final which included major results and ATP results from 1990 through to it’s current incarnation.

The point is, even this event has had limited participation, there have multiple versions of it, and they were not universally coveted like the majors. Those factors combined with the fact that it’s only 45 years old makes it a poor measure of historical greatness, and was not the basis for the acclaim of Sampras or any other GOAT candidates in history.

The measure is and always has been majors won. As a matter of fact, I cannot understand how it is that Nadal has somehhow usurped Sampras in this debate – he still has fewer majors than him, so I don’t see why he should even be in the discussion. There is plenty of time for him to complete his resume and if he reaches 18, he’ll be the GOAT without qualification.

But there’s no logical reason to thrust him into the discussion when he hasn’t even matched Sampras’ record, let alone Federer’s.

Giles Says:

Nadal says it is harder to win Masters than Grand Slams.

nadalista Says:


nadalista Says:

^^^^That’s how I feel about this GOAT non-argument. But Sean needs hits on his site so he will pen another Fedal thread..


MMT Says:

Hippy Chic Says: “MMT maybe then thats the reason why there is no GOAT? Roger has more GS than Rafa,but Rafa has more Masters than Roger?GS are what your judged on most,but many say Masters are harder to win?just a theory,for what its worth..”

Appreciate the thought – the real issue, in my opinion, is that the definition of GOAT is being confused with other individual sports where to be the best, you have to specifically beat the best, and have beaten everyone else along the way, like boxing, for example.

But tennis is not structured this way – the #1 ranking has only in the last 30 years become a coveted accomplishment in an of itself, but it’s original purpose was simply to make uniform seedings at tournaments…particularly majors (and not by coincidence, since this is what people of always cared the most about).

Because tennis is played 1v1, there is this confusion about the impact of Nadal’s record against Federer. It is only relevant in that if he plays Federer he’s more likely to win the titles they are both competing for, but it is the title they are competing for. The H2H record is, with all due respect, a side-show to the real question of who wins the tournament, specifically the most coveted ones…the majors.

You don’t win Wimbledon by beating the defending champion or the #1 seed. If you did, then H2H would significant in and of itself. The history of the game, and structure in which it is played revolves around winning tournaments, which is how players are measured, not who they beat and/or how many times.

The argument that Federer is the GOAT, because of his majors won, but Nadal usurps him because of his H2H to Federer, is a bit like saying we’re going to evaluate cars based on top speed, then taking the top two fastest cars and evaluate the second fastest superior because it has more horsepower or torque. It’s a shift to the “left” that invalidates the entire original competition.

That’s precisely what we do when we consider something other than the majors to assess historical greatness. It’s a shift to the left that invalidates the original basis for comparison. Furthermore, it gives Nadal credit for Federer’s majors, which doesn’t make sense. And finally the only way for Federer’s record to appear superior under this paradigm is for him to lose more often in GENERAL, but win more often specifically against Nadal.

It’s twisted, illogical, contrived, and altogether unnecessary when you consider the very REAL prospect that Nadal will get to 18 and invalidate all these other ancillary machinations to place him ahead of players who have better records than him.

Hippy Chic Says:

You have Laver in GOAT conversation even though he has significantly less GS than Sampras,and all because he has two career GS,so why not have Rafa in the conversation,as he has a career GS,where as Samprass hasnt?

Translated Age Says:

Many considered Sampras the GOAT with most majors and dominating the competition. However, without a French Open, there was no consensus.

Many considered Federer the GOAT with most majors and titles at all of them. However, being unable to dominate the competition, there was no consensus.

If there was a GOAT, the closest we have to a GOAT is obviously Nadal as suggested by so many of the great players of the history such as McEnroe, Murray and Djokovic (not a bunch of anonymous Dancing With the Stars fanatics).

rafaeli Says:

MMT, Nadal has won slams on all surfaces, Sampras has not. This GOAT business is too subjective. It is not officially recognized and the sooner the debate is dropped the better. As for the WTF, unless it’s rotated on all surfaces it’s just an exhibition. It’s the only tournament where you can lose a match and still win the tournament. All other tournaments are knock out competitions.

If there has to be a greatest, it would make more sense to have a greatest of the era. Federer was the greatest of the weak era and Nadal is the greatest of this era.

MMT Says:

You know, this argument that the GOAT debate is pointless is really pernicious – this is sports. We keep track of who wins, and how many times for a reason. It’s not so you can be “in the club”. There are points, games, sets, matches, tournaments you want to win, a year end ranking you want to achieve, a million and one measures of comparison we keep track of. But somehow when the ultimate comparison of all time comes up, somehow NOW it is impossible to compare and determine who is the greatest.

Even in a single tournament there are all kinds of variations that, under the too many variables argument, would invalidate determining the tournament champion. Some play in the stadium, some on outer courts. Some play higher ranked players, some lower. Some win in straight sets, others in 5. Some play with the sun, some with the heat, some indoors, some under the lights at night. There are LITERALLY infinite variations WITHIN the same tournament, but we have NO problem comparing results and determining the best in that competition.

So why cop out and say that the GOAT cannot be determined because of the variation? That logic would invalidate any competition where there are variations, but that doesn’t make any more sense than invalidating the GOAT debate.

For those of you that have a favorite player and a nemesis, don’t panic. Your favorite can always become the GOAT until they retire, and then it will be someone else’s turn to give it a go. That’s the nature and value of sports.

That’s the whole point.

Translated Age Says:

MMT Says:
in my opinion


Translated Age Says:

“So why cop out and say that the GOAT cannot be determined ”

Because there is no consensus on criteria just subjective opinion. Many greats disagree as well as anonymous interweb fanboys.

Daniel Says:

Maestro Fed,

You have to check your facts straight, Federer has defended Clay titles before, He won Hamburg 4 times, 2 straight in 2004 and 2005, defending his title. In fact he has defended title in all surfaces, clay, hard, grass and indoor carpet.


I am here in this blog since 2005 and Fed was being anointed potential GOAT after his 2006 dominant year when it was the second year he won 3 Slams, his dominant of 2004-2206 took everybody by surprise and most were in awe with him.

The one who started the GOAT debate were commenters and ex players and they were always comparing Fed to surpass Pete Sampras. Sampras was the standard due to his total major titles and his dominance of #1 ranking, he had most weeks as #1 and most Year end #1 (6 in a row btw, a feat will not be reproduced in tennis and he will stand alone with this record, fitting for him to have at least this record on his won).

As we are living in the Open era, Fed’s accomplishment’s were compared to Pete. You remember AO 2009 when Fed was to equal 14 and RG 2009 later when he achieve 2 goals a once, #14 and Career Slam.

Most Rafa fans have, let’s say short memory and are only counting last years, when Nadal blossom, anjd Nadal’s feat itself are compared to Fed everytime because he will have to surpass most or the more important ones to be above him. HxH will be his “ace” if they are tied.

For example, Pete Sampras was able to be YE#1 for six straight years, winning 2mjaors or less per season and winning a bunch of small tourneys. People try to diminish Fed’s era calling it weak era but even he wasn’t able to be YE#1 not even 5 straight times let alone 6. Nadal had to win 2 Slams in 2008 and still wait a little longer to finally get to #1, and people call 2004-2007 a weak era, it always blw my mind. Kuerten, Moya, Rafter, Ferrero, were all #1 with less points thatn Nadal made in his every year, even Hewitt was #1 with less points than what Nadal had when hie was #2 after Fed from 2005-2008. It just shows that Fed was that good dominating 4 seasons like no one ever had in tennis nor will.

MMT Says:


The surfaces are just a side show – the US Open has been played on 3 surfaces, but it has always been one of the most coveted titles in the world. That’s what makes it a significant title, not that it’s on hard courts (now). It’s always been best 7 rounds of best of 5 matches – it is this structure that makes it the best tool to measure greatness. Same as the other majors.

Federer’s and Nadal’s careers vary by 3 years, so any era that Federer is in, Nadal is in it too. The only thing that makes the era stronger is the number of majors others have won, but if you’re winning more of the limited number of majors, then you’re necessarily going to have fewer opponents who have won majors. That speaks to the greatness of the player who wins all the time, not the weakness of the ones who weren’t good enough to do better. By this logic, you win more and somehow your considered worse, than if you lose more often – that is pernicious, cynical and illogical.

Hippy Chic: The Laver question is legitimate because of the coincidence of his career and the fissure between professional and amateur tennis. Laver won amateur 6 majors by 1962, then was excluded as a professional from 1963 – 1967, then won 5 more in open tennis in 1968 & 1969. Laver’s total majors was 11, but logically, you have to exclude his amateur majors because it excluded the active professional tour players (this is the reason why Roy Emerson is rarely in the conversation).

But there were professional majors and he won 9 of them, so you could “add” those to his open era majors and get a total of 13. Unfortunately there were only 3 professional majors per year, so if you take his major winning rate of 9/12 and apply it the number of majors from which he was excluded, it is reasonable to assume he would have won 12 majors…add that to his 5 open era majors and you get 17 majors, which is exactly Federer’s total.

Now I would agree to putting an “asterisk” next to Federer’s GOAT status in deference to Laver, but nobody else. Because nobody else has Laver’s record or the coincidence of his career and the professional and amateur fissure.

But this doesn’t apply to anyone else in the history of the game.

Daniel Says:

rafaeli and Giles,

Sorry guys, but the moment you say Master is harder to win than Slams you are making Nadal cringe and embarrass him and yourself. You lose all credibility as tennis fans and whatever you say here. This comments just show that you start watching tennis in 2005.

I know…everybody is entitle to their opinion but some things you just don’t mention out loud in public. It’s like if you are a little racist, or doesn’t like poor people. You can be if you want it too, but you can’t say it out loud or show it in public, is not politically correct.

It’s as if your are relegating history aside and using ever Rafa pro in his resume to credibility his status. You have to see the big picture!

MMT Says:

Excuse me, adding Laver’s professional majors to his open era majors would give you 14 majors, not 13!

nadalista Says:

Notice how there are ifs and buts for Laver and everybody else and his uncle, but none for Nadal………….


Can’t wait for Miami to start tomorrow……


Hippy Chic Says:

I would still put Rafa above Pete,simply because of the career GS,and its got nothing to do with emotional fan bias either.

Daniel Says:

MMT the main problem here is that Nadal fans can see past the records and as you pointed out the primary factor, majors. That’s why I love every time Skeeze bring it here 17, to get some sense and people don’t forget it.

Nadal fans can’t accept Fed as the GOAT due to HxH and they know that there is a possibility Nadal never overshadows Fed’s Slam total. If this happen, they will never acclaimed Fed as GOAT because deep down (due HxH0 they think Nadal is better than Federer), their opinion and this one everyone is entitle to have. But they can’t consider history wise and they can accept it.

It goes the same way around, I and I think most Fed fans can’t consider Nadal better than him, because he doesn’t have the resume, but we all know that he may very well surpass Fed’s Slam total, if that happen he will be consider GOAT. But until then… no

But this thing with Masters Title is just bizarre. Monte Carlo is not even a mandatory tournament, Hamburg who used to be a mandatory Masrtes was relegated to 500 status now, Madrid switched surfaces, Shangai was added…ANd if there is to impact Masters you have to increase WTF value above Masters as you only play top 8 players, regardless if you can win still losign a match. The point is Nadal until now was NEVER able to beat the best 8 in a season finale in best of 3, If Masters were easy to win he should have a bunch of those now, specially since he has a great record against all fellow top 10nners. but oddly, he can beat 4 or 5 of them in a row in best of 3 to win a tournament.
Oh… I forgot, because is not on his favored surface nor in his “good part” of the season, we know… he is usually spent by year end because he can’t play a full season with the same intensity.

Daniel Says:

“Now I would agree to putting an “asterisk” next to Federer’s GOAT status in deference to Laver, but nobody else. Because nobody else has Laver’s record or the coincidence of his career and the professional and amateur fissure.”

This is a sentence that gaves perfect explanation to the Laver situation and its peculiarity. This one is hard to compare but not between Fed, Sampras and Nadal.

Translated Age Says:

I guess McEnroe, Djokovic and Murray are Nadal fans then?


Translated Age Says:

Daniel Says:
Federer has defended Clay titles before.

You mean title right? As in singular? During the Weak Era?

Unless he defended some smaller tournament which you’ve already dismissed by calling those unmandatory in your last post.

Such selective arguments.

Interesting… OPINIONS though.

Daniel Says:

TRanslated Age,

At leas he has defended a Clay title before, and a title on all surfaces Nadal was only able to defend Clay titles and nothing more, so your point is?! You said Federer never did and I was select and I prove you he had defended before. And now you shift to defended titleS (plural), talk about selective view here….
Nobody ever defended multiple titles on all surfaces because it’s hard to do, but at least even Djokovic defended WTF and other Hard courts, Nadal only clay.

Ben Pronin Says:

If Federer’s records are the result of playing in a weak era then Nadal’s clay court domination is the result of playing in a time when there are no good clay court players. The second best clay court player for a while was Federer, a guy who isn’t even supposed to be good on clay since he’s a fast court player. Last year he played an aging Ferrer in the French open final who made it there pretty much by default since there’s just no one else who’s good. Nadal isn’t the king of clay, he’s just the clay garbage collector.

nadalista Says:

” Nadal isn’t the king of clay, he’s just the clay garbage collector.”

….and when all else fails, bring in the insults. That’ll work……..

skeezer Says:


skeezer Says:

^LOL was for Ben’s post. Most excellent analogy.

You keep saying your ZZZZzzzzz but then you come back, read, then post. Can’t stay away, no? hehe…
Goood luck to your guy in Miami.

Daniel Says:


“Clay dirty collector” or “dust collector” would be more fitting! :-)
Joking aside, this is an interesting thought, if we were to say every time the “weak era comment” appear here, mention Nadal as Clay dirty collector and see how Nadal fans would react having his accomplishments on clay diminished.

Daniel Says:

….and when all else fails, bring in the insults. That’ll work……..


as if reply ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ to a post from an insightful poster (with more knowledge of the game than most here) who actually saw Laver play is not an insult, amazing…

nadalista Says:

What can I say @skeezer? Your (you and the rest of the Fedfan clan) banging on about your guy’s GOATness is keeping me awake!

Thanks for the Rafa love, he’s taking Miami this year! The Rafa-nation will celebrate even though it’s an unimportant trophy according to Mr. Sean Randall……

Translated Age Says:

Daniel, you say I said Fed never did?

Seems you are being very selective again, no? Please provide a “full” quote.

This is common practise amongst those attempting to present opinions as factual.

Translated Age Says:

Salleh Ahmed Says:
@translated age one day nadal will get owned. believe me.

Doubt it. Sampras never was.

If he is, it certainly won’t be by a teenager while he’s in his prime.

nadalista Says:

@Daniel, sorry if my z’s offended you, no offence meant. Intention was to catch Mr Randall’s attention, actually: no more Fedal threads, please, doing my head in………

In fact, Sean Randall, I am ready and willing to concede here and now that Rafa is not the GOAT…..yet, if you promise never to pen another Fedal thread.

I have no influence on Rafa, he may very well continue on his current mesmerizing trend and establish himself as the undisputed GOAT anyway……..

skeezer Says:

Why don’t you provide the links where Murray and Nole and Mac say Rafa is the GOAT and I then will show you links from all them saying Fed is the GOAT. Whats your point?

Then we can end all the BS and show you a link where Rafa says Fed is the Greatest Ever.

MMT Says:

Nadalista says: “Notice how there are ifs and buts for Laver and everybody else and his uncle, but none for Nadal………….”

Come on now, I know you’re a Nadal fan, but there is a very big but where he is concerned…he has 13 majors to Sampras’ 14 and Federer’s 17. The only reason we have to make room for Laver is because of the very specific timing of his career and the overlap of the amateur and professional tennis.

And I have to point something out: this insistence on anointing Nadal the GOAT BEFORE he eclipses his historical and current predecessors suggests that you think he might not eclipse them…I think he will, and when he does, I’ll call him the GOAT the same way I call Federer the GOAT now.

If anyone calling Federer the GOAT now isn’t prepared to do the same for Nadal if/when he reaches 18, that would invalidate all of their arguments for Federer.

Translated Age Says:

My point is that my quotes will be more recent than anything you can provide.

Like myself, they probably used to think Fed was GOAT until Rafa took over.

nadalista Says:

@MMT, if you read through the Fedal arguments, you will notice how they run like this:

It’s Fedfans painfully making the argument that Fed is GOAT and Rafans politely presenting reasons (and facts) why Fed cannot be THE GOAT.

Notice how Rafans are not saying, nor insisting that, Rafa is the GOAT, they are saying Fed is not THE GOAT. Big difference.

MMT Says:

nadalista: If it isn’t Federer, who is it? Whoever it is, they have fewer majors than Federer, and therein lies the problem.

Neither set of fans are necessarily any more reasonable than the other – the point is which is the better argument.

The argument for Federer is crystal clear: majors won, and he has more than anyone. The argument for Nadal is more convoluted and subjective. And frankly, it is fraught with logic that you either can’t apply to all players in the history of the game, or if did would make for a very weak foundation.

pigoonse Says:

Breaking News:

For the Fedal War Weary – Miami is ON.
Interesting tennis matches are finally scheduled for today!

Djokovic, Federer and the rest of the explosive bottom half will be in action – soon.

GOAT debate continues…


MMT, Daniel, and others make a strong case – for GS count. These are clearly sage and experienced tennis fans to be respected.

However, the GOAT concept is for deluxe fans to toss around amongst themselves and is supported on some rather slippery and arbitrary rules. GS count should be straightforward, and perhaps Greatest of All Time notions started that
way, but over time, the GS count rule appears to be eroding and not likely to be universally accepted in the Fedal GOAT community. No use really trying to enforce this GOAT mantle on each other, but it is human nature to persist.

To me, Federer and Nadal are too close already to say one or the other is The GOAT. Each have enough GS and have earned the accolade to be called one of the greats of all time. In fact, one might argue that Agassi is better than Sampras because Aggasi has the career GS, which is arguably a trickier feat to accomplish in the open era. Djokovic at 7 slams only lacks the FO to have a career slam, then, like it or not, he will be GOAT contender based on my personal preference, to me.

Laver stands apart because he achieved the Calendar Slam but that was in a completely different era, it is my choice to not attempt comparing tennis now to tennis in Laver’s time. It really is comparing apples to oranges.

Sometime soon someone will prepare specifically and have the goods to complete the Calendar Slam and maybe then his records in sum will eclipse the Fedal Beasts. We shall see or not.*

*(There is still time for Rafael Nadal to complete a Calendar Slam but time is running out at almost 28 years old)

Translated Age Says:

“the point is which is the better argument.”

Exactly, who decides? Purely subjective.

pigoonse, good points. This is a view shared by Sampras and Agassi, neither of who consider Federer as the GOAT.

Ben Pronin Says:

Other sports do have goats btw. Jordan, Gretzky, Ali, Manning, Babe.

MMT Says:

There is nothing subjective about counting majors won – you either won or you didn’t. It’s totally subjective because it’s a count of the four most coveted titles in the game.

What’s subjective is saying that winning on a particular surface, or four in a row, or all four in your career, is more “valuable”. That’s why these arguments are weak and counterproductive.

Just imagine for a second if we said, yes, Stan Wawrinka won 7 in a row in Melbourne this year, but somebody else beat more top 10 players, so they’re REALLY the Australian Open champion. That would invalidate the structure of the tournament, which you can do, but then what you should really be advocating for is a totally different format of competition. The same goes for the structure of tennis – everyone covets, follows and is equally interested in the crowned jewels of the game. If you think something else is more important than them, then you’re really in an alternate tennis universe – which is your right, of course, but kind of invalidates your evaluations of greatness in this universe.

But if you accept the fact that the majors are the most coveted titles in tennis (just like you accept the format of win 7 best of 5 in a row, for example) then the total number you win is more than enough to determine who is the greatest of all time.

Translated Age Says:

Lebron, Lemieux, Tyson, Montana, Aaron.

Subjective opinions. Thanks for proving my point again Ben.

That’s all folks!

nadalista Says:

@MMT, why do you (and the Fedfan community) insist on making the argument to disqualify Rafa from GOAT-hood when:

a. Rafa himself has said he is not GOAT……yet;
b. when, as I said, his fans do not claim he is THE GOAT…….yet.

Seems to me you do this because you’re not convinced (anymore) that Fed is THE GOAT.

As for your question, “If it isn’t Fed, who is it?” My answer: does there HAVE to be a GOAT at this point in our lives?

As others have pointed out, maybe there was a time when Fed was THE undisputed GOAT. Maybe he will add to his Slams, narrow his H2H against Rafa,win gold in Rio and Rafa/Novak falter in the future, at which point Fed may become undisputed GOAT again……..

But the truth is, Fed is not undisputed GOAT right now.

Translated Age Says:

MMT, yes you are right, Federer has won more majors than anyone else. It is a fact!

However, many experts (players) do not agree this defines GOAT.

Ben Pronin Says:

Translated Age, you obviously don’t know much about proper debate.

“Debate is a method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than deductive reasoning, which only examines whether a conclusion is a consequence of premises, and factual argument, which only examines what is or isn’t the case, or rhetoric, which is a technique of persuasion. Though logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are important elements of the art of persuasion, in debating, one side often prevails over the other side by presenting a superior “context” and/or framework of the issue, which is far more subtle and strategic.”

There is no opinion involved in who provides a more substantial argument.

pigoonse Says:

Well if a player comes along and wins 18 US Opens, how do they match up to Federer? Not quite GOAT for many will be the answer, is my guess. There is subjectivity around such numbers which stand for distinct and various accomplishments in the beautiful game of tennis. IMO, with all due respect to those who disagree.

skeezer Says:

“Notice how Rafans are not saying, nor insisting that, Rafa is the GOAT……..”

Nirmal Kumar Says:

MMT .. It may be Ok to ignore from Sampras resume, but no one would have called him GOAT during his time if he had not been No 1 for such a long time and have a record of 6 consecutive year end No 1. It’s the body of his work that made people call him GOAT, not just GS.

skeezer Says:

words like subjective and opinion are for those “in denial”.
“There is nothing subjective about counting majors won – you either won or you didn’t. It’s totally subjective because it’s a count of the four most coveted titles in the game.”

MMT Says:

Do the opinions of these experts supercede the history of the game?

It is not my personal opinion that the majors are the crowned jewels of the game. The history of the game dictates this, and no expert can rewrite that. To contemplate other measures of greatness (like H2H matchups, or weeks at #1, or year-end championships, or MS 1000s, or proficiency on multiple surfaces) as superior to the majors, would invalidate the value of the majors.

You can argue this, but then you should really be advocating against the value of the majors in tennis, and for an alternate system of evaluation that better represents greatness.

MMT Says:

“Nirmal Kumar Says:
MMT .. It may be Ok to ignore from Sampras resume, but no one would have called him GOAT during his time if he had not been No 1 for such a long time and have a record of 6 consecutive year end No 1. It’s the body of his work that made people call him GOAT, not just GS.”

You are essentially counting majors twice because he wouldn’t have achieved those other accomplishments had it not been for winning all those majors. And if he had, without the majors, those accomplishments would be an anomaly. We’d all be scratching our heads wondering how the hell he was #1 for all that time without winning majors.

It’s the majors won that gives him his gravitas, everything else is just icing on the cake.

skeezer Says:

Some great posts by you here. Hang in there.

MMT Says:

“@MMT, why do you (and the Fedfan community) insist on making the argument to disqualify Rafa from GOAT-hood…”

If your point is that I’m arguing against something that nobody has suggested, then I’ll stop right there. If your point is that Federer is the GOAT and Nadal isn’t, I agree with you.

“Seems to me you do this because you’re not convinced (anymore) that Fed is THE GOAT.”

I do this precisely because I think Federer is the GOAT, and I think it’s revisionist and cynical to come up with reasons why he isn’t.

“Does there HAVE to be a GOAT at this point in our lives?”

Does there HAVE to be a US Open Champion? Why don’t they all just go to Flushing Meadows and play for the fun of it? The whole point is to see who is the best: in a single point, a game, a set a match, a tournament, a year, a (poorly defined) era, and for all time. That’s the reason we keep records, and that’s the whole point. This is not ballet, where we just go to enjoy the spectacle – we want to know who is the best. To cop out at the all time evaluation and say we should all just be satisfied with being in the conversation contradicts the whole point of keeping score.

“As others have pointed out, maybe there was a time when Fed was THE undisputed GOAT.”

Using the same measure that made him the undisputed GOAT, what has changed? Has someone won more majors than him? No, the only thing that’s changed is other factors that are less insightful than majors won.

Translated Age Says:

MMT Says:
Do the opinions of these experts supercede the history of the game?

No. Do yours?

Comparing apples (slam totals) and oranges (GOAT opinions). Questionable debating approach indeed.

Translated Age Says:

So now Sampras, Agassi, Murray, Djokovic, McEnroe (I could go on), have come up with reasons that Federer is no longer the undisputed GOAT are “revisionist and cynical”.


nadalista Says:

@MMT, If you are CONVINCED Fed is THE GOAT, you do not have to protest so much, methinks.

I cannot speak for other people who may or may not have suggested that Rafa is GOAT but here’s my opinion:

As of now, Fed is not THE GOAT. Rafa is not THE GOAT, yet.

Btw, did you just equate the “title” of GOAT to a US Open Championship? Do you really expect to start an argument on why there HAS to be a US Open Champion?

Okay, that’s my cue to tune in to live tennis, hehehe!

Nirmal Kumar Says:

MMT,no your are wrong. IF winning slams is the measure for No 1, Count Nadal’s 13 slams and his week at No1 with Sampras 13 slams and Weeks at No 1. You would know the difference. You cannot be No 1, just by winning slams. You got to dominate in other tournaments and you got to be better than the field in most of the tournaments.

MMT Says:

“So now Sampras, Agassi, Murray, Djokovic, McEnroe (I could go on), have come up with reasons that Federer is no longer the undisputed GOAT are “revisionist and cynical”.


As I said, anyone arguing that something is more important than majors is revisionist. Sampras qualification of Federer as the GOAT came at the prodding of Peter Bodo, who after hearing Sampras say it was Federer, asked about his H2H versus Nadal, which then prompted the qualification. That’s revisionist and cycnical.

Djokovic’s evaluation was based on the assumption that Nadal was younger than Federer and would eventually surpass his major count. That’s the same as mine.

McEnroe has a new GOAT every couple of months – Laver, then Borg, then Federer, then Nadal, he’s even thrown Djokovic in the mix. He said Justine Henin had the GOAT backhand. That Borg was the clay GOAT, before switching to Nadal…conveniently when Nadal equalled Borg’s 6 titles at Roland Garros. And most importantly he has an incentive to perpetuate the debate. That’s cynical, revisionist and not to mention based in NOTHING consistent.

Murray said Nadal was the toughest opponent he’d ever faced, but he has never said he’s the GOAT. That could be because of this H2H, or in reference to playing him on clay. It is revisionist to suggest that he’s said anyone but Federer is the GOAT – which he’s said more than once.

And at the end of the day, the point is still the same – it’s the majors that matter the most, that player covet the most, that people follow the most, and is the best determinant of greatness.

Everything else is historically less important and logically less insightful.

nadalista Says:

“You cannot be No 1, just by winning slams.”

Caroline Wozniacki!

Translated Age Says:

“As I said, anyone arguing that something is more important than majors is revisionist. ”

That’s not the same thing, not what anyone has said.

That wasn’t Djokovic’s reasoning. He said it outright.

McEnroe has never gone back. Of course Nadal wasn’t always his pick. It took time for Nadal to build up sufficient resume in McEnroe’s opinion. Same for me.

No, Murray said Nadal was the best to have ever played. Disputing that is revisionist.

Yes the majors matter most in my opinion but other factors are heavily considered otherwise no great player would dispute it. QED.

Translated Age Says:

‘He’s probably the greatest player to play tennis.’

– Andrew of the Murrays, 2011

Okiegal Says:

Cliff Drysdale: “If…ifs and buts we’re candy and nuts, it would be Christmas”

Okiegal: “If the Queen had balls, she’d be the King”!

We got Laver, then Pete, then Roger or Rafa, in 20 yrs it might be ole Joe Blow…..we don’t know for sure because records are made to be broken, all this talk is redundant, imo. GOAT stands for greatest player of all time……how can that be decided should this planet go on for another 500 yrs?? The more I think about this issue, the sillier it gets.
BTW, the only record I doubt will ever be broken is the 5th set at Wimby between Isner and Mahut….but within 500 yrs, it’s possible. Oh, and Roger may be greater than all the players in his era, but he simply is not against Rafa……I don’t care if it’s on grass, clay or HC. Someone posted that Roger was very successful on clay before Rafa hit the scene. Clay is a surface as important as any other. Tournaments, from the get go were played on grass and clay. Why do some people want to dismiss that slam? …….because Fed only won it once, maybe??

MMT Says:

“@MMT, If you are CONVINCED Fed is THE GOAT, you do not have to protest so much, methinks.”

Reverse psychology aside, there’s something more important here, and that is respect for the history of the game, and not revising it because you like one player more than another.

“As of now, Fed is not the GOAT.”

What difference does it make whether it’s as of now – what is the point of that? Is it that we have to wait until they’ve stopped playing to evaluate their careers in retrospect? The same argument can be made for the 6-year old kid who just picked up a racquet for the first time – the “let’s wait and see” argument.

Any evaluation you make at any point in time is in retrospect – there’s no logical reason not to call Federer the GOAT based on his record “as of now” because both his, and Nadal’s (and everyone else’s for that matter) is already in the past.

“Btw, did you just equate the “title” of GOAT to a US Open Championship? Do you really expect to start an argument on why there HAS to be a US Open Champion?”

If you can logically explain why we have a tournament to determine the best at it, but there’s not reason to determine a best of all time, go right ahead. The argumentative equivalent of “…really?” doesn’t really do it.

“MMT,no your are wrong. IF winning slams is the measure for No 1, Count Nadal’s 13 slams and his week at No1 with Sampras 13 slams and Weeks at No 1. You would know the difference. You cannot be No 1, just by winning slams. You got to dominate in other tournaments and you got to be better than the field in most of the tournaments.”

First, Sampras has 14 majors, to Nadal’s 13. Second, Sampras first became #1 in 1993 right after he won Wimbledon, and would have done so even if he had lost the final. The point is that if that had happened, we’d all be questioning the validity of the #1 ranking. This is because the ranking depends on weights of tournaments and what tournaments are counted towards ranking, and all kinds of machinations that are subjective.

But when a player wins a major, there’s no if ands or buts about it. That’s why winning a major validates becoming #1 and not vice versa. Try as you may, nothing does as much as winning majors to beef up a players pedigree.

By your logic, Marcelo Rios who never won a major would have been evaluated on par with Nadal in 2007 when he had 3 French Opens in the bag. Novak Djokovic before Wimbledon in 2011 (with 2 Australian Opens won) would have been on par with Carlos Moya when he became #1 in 1997 with no majors.

And nobody would make a fuss about the litany of empty #1’s on the women’s side like Wozniacki or Jelena Jankovic. Are you aware that John McEnroe finished 1982 ranked #1 despite the fact that Connors won Wimbledon and the US Open. Nobody considered McEnroe the best in the world after the US Open that year precisely because he didn’t do it in the majors. For that matter Ivan Lendl reached #1 in 1983 despite failing win any major that year, and he was excoriated.

No, I’m sorry – it’s the majors.

skeezer Says:

“Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray hails Roger Federer saying ‘I lost to one of the greatest athletes of all time'”
Wow, Murray said that?

MMT Says:

“That wasn’t Djokovic’s reasoning. He said it outright.”


“Q. So you think he’s better all-time than Roger?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think he’s the best ever BECAUSE, even though he’s 24, 25 years old, he has done so much already, you know. Many years in front of him to, you know, I think even to overtake Roger in the Grand Slam trophies.”

MMT Says:

Okiegal Says: “GOAT stands for greatest player of all time……how can that be decided should this planet go on for another 500 yrs??”

That’s just semantics – the point is who is the best to have ever played – nobody is saying that it is a fact that no one will EVER be better than Federer. Nobody’s arguing that, and anyone who is just expressing an opinion that can be proven or disproven – it’s irrelevant. What matters is what has happened up to now.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

But when a player wins a major, there’s no if ands or buts about it. That’s why winning a major validates becoming #1 and not vice versa. Try as you may, nothing does as much as winning majors to beef up a players pedigree.

This is just your opinion right? Major does beef up, but it’s not everything though.

I said to compare 13 slams, because that where Rafa stands. When he gets to 14, it would be right to compare with Sampras’s 14 slams and weeks at No 1.

Daniel Says:

Translated Age,

Sorry, confused you with Mestro Fed who said Fed never defended a clay title.

But the point is Fed defended in every surface, Nadal only on clay.

SG1 Says:

“You cannot be No 1, just by winning slams.”

Caroline Wozniacki!

>And Wozniacki is proof you can be Number 1 without ever winning a slam. Ironic. Slams make or break your legacy.

skeezer Says:


btw enjoyed your write up on “FEDERER’S HIGH ONE-HANDED BACKHAND PROBLEM”. Well done!

Sean Randall Says:

nadalista, I began this series because of posters who try to turn every thread of late into a “Fedal War”.

Here’s a recent example from you no less: http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2014-03-20/15216.php#comment-527634

Now you (and everyone who wishes to engage) have a place to debate. And you know what, I’m going to continue this – MMT gave me an idea for my next post! – series once/twice a month because as I wrote in my first post (http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2014-03-09/15061.php), this is only going to worse.

And if you don’t wish to read, no one is forcing you to.

MMT Says:

“This is just your opinion right? Major does beef up, but it’s not everything though.”

It’s not my opinion that majors are the most important titles in tennis – that’s a fact. It is my opinion that when evaluating greatness you need look no further than the majors precisely because of that fact. Weeks at #1, how can you compare Rod Laver to Pete Sampras on weeks at #1? Or Bill Tilden? For that matter #1 in 1993 is different than #1 in 2014, which was different from #1 in 1973.

But winning Wimbledon is winning Wimbledon, and it was the same for Tilden, Laver, Sampras, Federer and Nadal – that’s what makes it and the other majors insightful in evaluating greatness.

pigoonse Says:

So Traditionalist GOAT vs Revisionist GOAT it is then. Or, T-GOAT vs R-GOAT.

MMT Says:

skeezer: glad you liked it. If you look at his backhand with the new racquet, one benefit he gets, without changing his technique much (which can be risky) is more penetration. Djokovic noted as much. I’ll bet you play with a 1-handed backhand? If so, hang in there, there’s hope for us yet!

Daniel Says:

Murray and Djokovic doesn’t like Federer, period. Their opinion don’t count because Fed never acknowledge them as great players. Nadal who is the more affected in The FEDAL comparison has more respect than Fed than the other 2.
Murray hardly ever said something good about Fed, they have bad blood every since Fed said his game didn’t change much, that he would play him on a major final anyday and the list goes on and on. Murray prefers to escalate Nadal over Fed because he prefers to lose to Nadal than Fed. He kind of even accept defeat to Nadal (prior to matches) already in my opinion. Oh, and I bet if somehow Murray betas Nadal 5 straight times, including clay, this all Rafa-Murrya love will go down the sink, as it was with Djokovic evidentially by the hand shakes between them during that stretch of 7 matches in a row. Murrya and Nadla go along well because the status quo haven’t change. Nadal beats Murray 1 out of 4 times they play and he is not consider a treat by him nor his fans, and will most likely never will. We have yet to see them play consistently as the other rivalries (Fed x Nadal, Fed x Djoko, Nadal x Djoko), They haven’t played in 2 years or more now.
SO, even though they are the current players Their opinion is biased, due to their personnel feeling towards Fed. Murray and Djoko prefer Nadal to Fed because hurt them less to admit praise to the swiss. You see in Murray eyes that he transforms one he playes Fed because he know he is the one he has to beat, and how he hates losing to him and his antics on court. Against Nadal more often than not you see him just folds and accept, kind of doesn’t bother him much, as it bother losing to Fed. Djoko is a different anima, he doesn’t like to lose to both but his “love” towards Fed and Nadal are quit different.

Of course, I know that they have more insight on the game than me, but to me (my opinion), this invalidate their saying in the GOAT debate. It doesn’t matter what they say of their current adversary. But when Fed quits, the picture may change.

Okiegal Says:


greatest of all time…so all time means time up to this point…March 21, 2014? OK, I got it . I truly thought of all time meant all time, so my way of thinking is incorrect. Thank you for straightening me out. So Roger is the greatest up to this point in the annals of tennis history, but not when he comes up against Rafa?? I can deal with that!!

pigoonse Says:

“It is not my opinion that majors are the most important titles in tennis – it is fact.”

I don’t read any R-Goatist debating that the tradition of GS count not be weighted with the most value in the GOAT debate. The revision is, imo, is to include other records held once one has gained the Career Slam – holds one of all the four crown jewels of tennis, that is.

skeezer Says:

Yes I do, another reason I enjoyed the read. And yes Love taking it early when I can( 3rd alternative ), but you better have really good timing. It helps to make a good initial shoulder turn first of course.
I thought Fed looked like he is finally comfortable with the new racket. Your analogy compared to Wawa’s BH was spot on also.

pigoonse Says:

^^ You gentlemen are off topic.

Daniel Says:


Fed IS better than Rafa on grass, their “HxH” on 2-1 prove it by Rafa fans logic, no?!
And also on indoor hard, 4-1.
Fed loses on clay and overall hard courts, or outdoor hard courts. But grass and indoor he still rules. Nadal needs two more wins on grass (at least 1 more in Wimby) to tie or surpass him.

Nadal is better in 2 Slams by far, and loses in another. US Open they never played and my very well never play. So if you do a breakdown by surface things doesn’t look that bad.

Ben Pronin Says:

MMT, I’m pretty sure I’m Tilden’s time he only had to play one match as the defending champ of any slam. Also wasn’t he a pedophile?

Translated Age Says:

skeezer, I agree, he IS one of the greatest.

MMT, yes, he doesn’t say Nadal could become the greatest. He said he has already done it at such a young age and that he might even take over on majors. (These are two different things which is my point – thanks for that). I saw him say it on an on court interview where he didn’t explain why.

Daniel, Fed defended during the weak era.

So now anyone who doesn’t think Fed is the undisputed goat doesn’t like Federer. Classic. I love it.

This is so much fun! Thanks Sean, you are awesome!

Okiegal Says:


Would you like Fed if he told your parents to be quiet or shut up or whatever the heck he said?? I never knew what Andy’s reason was. I figured because of Roger being so arrogant. Just like his fans, they think he’s all that and a bag of cookies, and he thinks he’s all that!

Okiegal Says:

@liveliness 1:27

Tee hee……Good one!!

MMT Says:

“Ben Pronin Says: MMT, I’m pretty sure I’m Tilden’s time he only had to play one match as the defending champ of any slam. Also wasn’t he a pedophile?”

You’re referring to the challenge round, the last of which (at the majors) was played at the US Championships in 1911 (so that didn’t include any of Tilden’s victories.

Only one of Tilden’s Wimbledon’s (in 1921) was won by way of the challenge round. His titles in 1920 and 1930 were the full monty. The Australian and French have never had challenge rounds (which Tilden never played).

MMT Says:

I beg your pardon, Tilden never played the Australian, but he did play the French Championships starting in 1927 (final) and made a second final in 1930.

Okiegal Says:

@pigoonse and not liveliness…My Kendall did not recognize your cute little made up moniker…Sorry!

skeezer Says:

“Daniel, Fed defended during the weak era.”

nadalista Says:

Welcome, Sir sanctimonious Sean!The Fedal war threads, I am your inspiration! Puleeeeeze….

My oh my, testy aren’t we?

Here’s a hint: you wouldn’t need to write all these ridiculous Fedal so-called war threads if you and you Fedfan friends had a smidgen of a sense of humour (SOH).

But then again, I too would have trouble finding my SOH if my favourite, whom I have bestowed the title of GOAT, constantly gets shown up by someone whose game I consider ugly!

And if you think this is provocative, hit the delete button. Or you could just choose to summon your inner adult and go find that d@mn sense of humour!

Translated Age Says:

Pretty much everyone considers this to be the golden era in tennis so, by comparison, prior to the Top 4, it was relatively… WEAK.


MMT Says:

“Pretty much everyone considers this to be the golden era in tennis so, by comparison, prior to the Top 4, it was relatively… WEAK.


Again, this is cynical – for an era to be stronger, the player with the most majors has to have lost MORE OFTEN, thereby improving the pedigree of his contemporaries, thereby improving your own pedigree.

In other words, the more you win, the worse your contemporaries, therefore the worse you are. Remove the middle clause of that previous sentence and you get:

The more you win…the worse you are. That makes no sense, and is completely contradictory to the whole point of sports. It’s supposed to be that the more you win the better you are, but somehow that’s held against you.

Ben Pronin Says:

If Federer won during a weak era then Nadal isn’t the king of clay.

Daniel Says:


No harm in they disliking Fed, by the reasons you mention, arrogant or whatever. My point is this particular aspect of them (not liking Fed), disqualifies their opinion in the GOAT debate because they will hardly have anything good to say about Fed. They go diplomatic on the topic because they don’t want to give praise to one of their worst enemies on court. Maybe it change when Fed retires.

You mention the Fed fans and, yes, we will support Fed in this endless Fedal wars as long as people diminished Fed’s achievements and praise Nadals one more than what they actually have RIGHT NOW. Nadalista said no Rafa fan discredit Fed and said that Nada is GOAT but several of them did it in this treat particularly.

And also, MMT already pointed out regarding time as a moving parameter. Of ALL time, will comprehend all time until now, which is what we can evaluate, all time that happened. We can predict the future. And by RG this year, all time will comprehend everything there is today plus that next event and on and on.. So, I don’t understand when people question time, or of all time. The answer is pretty simple.
Also the: “let’s wait their career is over”..By this logic we can compare nothing because there will always be the next younger GOAT wannabe career to unfold. Got the point. You have to measure now and what happen before. This is the ‘of all time’ we all lived in and can quantify and qualify with some parameters/criteria to evaluate, as it is with everything else in life.

Btw, this Fedal wars tread idea is excellent, this way everybody can come here and discuss, the ones who doesn’t like, or pretend they don’t like, come, make fun and leave and we can discuss endlessly without making other treads into Fedal wars. But what amuses me is that people always complain about FEDAL wars in other tredas and now that we have this one they still need to stop by and complain. Go figure.

Oh, another side of this particular GOAT debate is because we are experience two greats playing at the same time, Sampras was easier to measure because he basically stand alone.

Mark my words, after Fed and Nadal stop playing we won’t have this kind of phenomenon in tennis for a long, long time. SO discuss and dissected all you want guys because being part of this is awesome, weather you like it or not.
The next 2 – 3 years can determine the History of our sport for good. We may go 50 years and no one get close to what Fed and Nadal are doing right now and we are at the end of their run, one has 32 going 35 and the other 27 going 28. In next 2 and a half years they will both be over 30. Enjoy while it last!

pigoonse Says:

At best weak era is a straw man fallacy based on the assumption that a particular field of tennis players is soft. It also is helpful to not have watched much tennis during that so-called weak era and can discount the top players in that era, To add, who is to say that in the future, Rafa’s clay records will not be similarly dismissed on such a basis, looking at his competition on clay, since 2005. I prefer revisions that are more supportable – weak era is well, pretty obviously built to discount Federer’s legacy, which is not my agenda here. My argument is with the GOAT debate and I don’t find weak era useful.

Translated Age Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
If Federer won during a weak era then Nadal isn’t the king of clay

In your opinion Ben. And I’m ok with that.

Martina Navratilova Says:
Roger didn’t have much competition for a while either but they weren’t bemoaning that fact.

Preach it Martina. I guess she hates Fed, no?


Slice Tennis Says:

“To add, who is to say that in the future, Rafa’s clay records will not be similarly dismissed on such a basis, looking at his competition on clay, since 2005.”


I do not think any tennis great or expert have made such a claim and I don’t think anyone would claim as such in future.

Rafa’s clay dominance have stood the test of time.

He is in his 10th year and he seen through three generations of clay courters without any problem.

But in case of Fed he was so dominant for 4 years and won 12 slams and after that he took 5 years to win his next 5 slams.

There is a huge difference between the performance of Fed between 2004-2007 and outside of that window. This inconsistency is the main reason why past greats and writers have touched upon this weak era theory.

But in case of Rafa he has gradually got better and did not have such inconsistencies.

Skeezer Says:

Next what? Lol

pigoonse Says:

Thanks, Slice Tennis. We don’t agree on weak era but that is part of the fun of debate. I don’t try to discount Roger Federer/Nadal’s greatness and I find people who try that angle have an anti-Federer bias – which weakens the argument about both Federer and Nadal being for now, considered two of the greatest players in tennis history.

That said, I do not favor Federer to be the one and only GOAT. And the door is open for the numbers to change since Nadal and to a lesser extent, Federer, are not through yet.

cheers. ST.

Okiegal Says:


Thanks for the adult response! The only flaw I’ve ever said Roger has is his arrogance, but have never said he isn’t an amazing tennis player, for he is. All Rafa fans have to know that….putting the goat issue aside, we just don’t think Roger is better than Rafa. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. Still not going to declare a goat now, or forever.

3rd paragraph of your post you said we can predict the future. Maybe you can, but I can’t. Surely you meant “can’t”……or maybe you’re Jamie in disguise….LOL!

Will agree the Fedal wars is the perfect thread for all this feudin’ fussin’ and a fightin’…..and also that these two amazing athletes have given us lots of pleasure watching their battles, but so have a lot of other tennis greats through the years.

I will leave it at that. I have my fav you have yours……it’s all good! If we all liked the same things, it would be a dull world.

Thanks for the feedback…..nice sensible chat!!

Slice Tennis Says:

Daniel Says:
“I am here in this blog since 2005 and Fed was being anointed potential GOAT after his 2006 dominant year when it was the second year he won 3 Slams, his dominant of 2004-2206 took everybody by surprise and most were in awe with him.”

When you can anoint Fed as the potential GOAT in 2006, why do you and other fed fanatics take offense when Rafa is being touted as the GOAT now ?

Rafa is faaaar better than Fed in 2006 who was way below Sampras in terms of slams, weeks at 1 and years at 1.

Okiegal Says:

Hey, Skeezer,about Wiki, I didn’t scroll down far enough on Roger or Rafa, found out everything I wanted to know……..that Roger and Rafa are two of the most amazing players to have ever picked up a
a tennis racquet!!

Okiegal Says:


Get another thread going …….I have to do lots of scrolling on my Kindel Fire, this one is way too long……are you surprised?? Lol

Thanking you in advance…..you can call it world war III!

Daniel Says:

Slice Tennis,

I didn’t anoint Fed GOAT in 2006, he was being praised by some tennis experts, writers and commenters, mostly by the way he played and because no one had won 3 Slams in a year let alone reach 4 majors finals in a single year for a long time. Fed fans started this, the ones outside blogs and social networks.

I though it was premature, but by the end of 2007 it was pretty clear that it would be just a matter of when. With Nadal a very real possibility but he basically have the next 8 majors to do so, 9 if you include RG 2016. After that he will be 30, and very few people won Slams after 30. He basically have to win half the next 8-10 Slams and hope Fed doesn’t win none in the mean time. That’s why this AO 2014 was so important in the big picture. This year he defends 2 Slams, let’s see how the Slam tally will be by the end of 2014. If they are separated by the same 4 or 3 (18-14, 17-13, 17-14), hard to see him surpass him, but if it is just 2 or 1 (17-15, 17-16, than most likely a given.

skeezer Says:

After 287 comments, once again the “in denial” have relented to the truth. Well done true and faithful tennis fans. Keep fighting the truth.

metan Says:

Daniel, thanks for your post. I knew that you had been here 2005.😄😄and I love your fair comments.
Yoohooo HEAD TO HEAD IS MY ACE CARD when Nn tie 17. I love it. Can wait for it regardless the surfaces.

Now my question is based on unbalance surface can I call RAFA Goat Coz he beat the king in his own turf. Remember Roger and RAFA like different surface which is suite their game? ‘ this opinion is just mine . What do you think about it, if the barr for GOAT draw from major only. Plus I like the MMT assessment .re .major. it should be historical.. thanks!!!!

metan Says:

Skeezer. 12.32 am. LOL.
Hey that’s prove tennis is Huuuuuuggeeeee!

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Daniel @2:26 pm

Fantastic and sensible post. We may not see two players of this calibre playing this consistent in our lifetime. Though nothing is impossible, this one can stand the test of time for next few decades.

steve-o Says:

No one ever used the weak era canard to diminish any other dominant player in tennis history. Not Laver, not Borg, not Sampras.

Only against Federer, for he was far more dominant than any of the others ever were.

Either you have to believe that the level of all tennis players all across the world somehow magically dropped for about five years or so, then rose again. Or you can believe that Federer is really that much better than the rest. The latter is far more likely.

volley Says:

“No one ever used the weak era canard to diminish any other dominant player in tennis history. Not Laver”

because when your peers are all time great such as Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Roy Emerson, Pancho Gonzales, John Newcombe and Arthur Ashe, it could never be called a weak era.

“not Borg”

because if you tried calling an era with Nastase, Connors, Vilas, McEnroe and Lendl in it ‘weak’ you would look very foolish.

“not Sampras”

again, very few sentient people would consider an era with players like Edberg, Becker, Agassi, Courier to be weak.

during Federer’s ascendency and peak he had Hewitt, Safin, Roddick and an aging Agassi. do the math.

Daniel Says:

…and Nadal. Rememebr that he first Won Slam in 2005. So he was in the “weak era” too.

volley Says:

^ well that is arguable. in 2005 he was a teenage prodigy on his way up and still relatively weak on hc. he missed the 2006 AO with a foot injury and didn’t make his non-clay breakthrough until 2008. so federer had 2003-2007 before rafa became a real threat on all surfaces.

A Tango Lad Says:

Well, having just turned 19, he actually WAS relatively weak in 2005 yet he still demolished the field.

Even Roger was no where near his greatness at 19 back in 2000.

Ben Pronin Says:

I’m not gonna comment on Laver’s peers and era because I don’t know much about that time. However.

Borg and the counterparts mentioned: Nastase was a head case whose best years were the early 70s. Connors was great but he missed a ton of French opens and by the 80s Borg owned him. Vilas couldn’t hold a candle to Borg. Borg retired before Lendl became a legitimate force And McEnroe was another head case who arguably drove Borg out of the game. But let’s not forget McEnroe’s flame burned for only 2 or 3 more years and then he was never a top dog again.

Sampras and his counterparts: Edberg won nothing after 92. Courier nothing after 93. Becker didn’t do much after 93 either except the AO in 96. Sampras was 1 from 93 to 98. Agassi was OK in 93. No show in 94. Great in 95. Doing meth in 96 and 97. Climbing back in 98.

For Federer, Agassi was never a real threat. Maybe in 04 and 05. Safin and Hewitt stopped being threats after 05. And he owned Roddick even though he was the only other stalwart in the era. But in 05 Nadal came along so he had him to contend with. I wrote an article a whole back about how many slams these guys and others would have won without Federer. Federer was simply better at dominating his generation than Sampras and Borg and that’s why his contemporaries are stuck with 1 or 2 slams instead of 6 to 8 slams. It’s a simple concept: Federer was too good.

A Tango Lad Says:

Ben is right. Roger was just too good until the other Top 4 matured. Agassi was older than Roger is now when Roger was winning majors regularly so he was certainly no challenge. Guys like Ljubicic and Blake were “Top 4” at the time.

Although I disagree that Sampras and Borg/Mac/Lendl played in weaker eras, the rest is well said as always Ben!

I can also say that tennis back in Laver and Emerson’s day was equally impressive at the time.

skeezer Says:

^weak era debunked again!

skeezer Says:

Too bad Rafa played in the weak Clay era. It just diminishes the whole thing ;)

A Tango Lad Says:

When 33 yr old and 19 yr old players are winning majors, it does make you wonder.

Again, why can’t we just enjoy these two greats and put aside pretending GOAT arguments are anything but subjective opinion. It’s quite telling that anyone who believes in GOAT believes that it just happens to be their favourite player!

skeezer Says:

Just being sarcastic about this weak era stuff. It does not comply nor compute that much in the history of Tennis. Again, you don’t pick what era you play in, who you play, etc. You deal with the cards you are dealt. What remains is your record.

A Tango Lad Says:

Even before Roger began winning majors, we had the likes of Thomas Johansson winning a major. What was that all about. A low point in tennis for me. Thank goodness Roger came along to restore legitimacy to the game.

Slice Tennis Says:

Daniel Says:
…and Nadal. Rememebr that he first Won Slam in 2005. So he was in the “weak era” too.

March 22nd, 2014 at 9:30 am

Without an iota of doubt that was a weak era.
How else would you explain an one dimensional 19 yr old winning a slam ?

Will that happen today ????

Rafa is a far better player today than he was in 2005-2007, but still his FO wins after 2008 were not so much straight forward as it was before.

volley Says:


i’m not buying the borg era arguments. connors is the player who had lead their H2H 8-4 between 1974-78 and deprived borg of 2 us opens. and vilas couldn’t hold a candle to borg? the same vilas who had 134 wins in a single season (1977) and held the record for longest winning streak on clay courts at 53 matches (1977) until it was bettered by nadal? and mcenroe the head case who deprived borg of us open & wimbledon titles? you do those great players a disservice.

you do however make a persuasive agrgument about sampras. i’ll concede that his and roger’s eras were equally weak.

steve-o Says:

Thank you, Mr. Pronin, for making the arguments that I wanted to make to demolish volley’s inflated claims about the supposed strength of the Borg and Sampras eras. “Do the math,” indeed.

I would add Philippoussis, Davydenko, and Nalbandian to the list of players whom Federer kept from winning Grand Slams. If any of those guys had broken through and won a major, who knows what they would have accomplished?

@volley: during the time when Nadal was supposedly too green and inexperienced to be #1, his point total was enough for him to stay at #2 for much of ’05 and all of ’06-’07–he holds the record for the longest continuous streak at world #2, starting on July 25, 2005 and ending on August 18, 2008.

So if not for Federer, he would have been world #1 for four straight years. Thus the claim that he was too immature to dominate doesn’t hold water. He was good enough and won enough to consistently outrank every other player in the world–just not Federer.

And it’s funny, if Federer had never existed, you would surely never say a word about Nadal having to contend with a “weak era” in those days. Instead of claiming how weak he supposedly was during the time when he was #2, you would be crowing about how dominant he was even though he was getting blown off hard courts on a regular basis.

Nadal has never dominated hard courts for a prolonged period of time. In 2010 when he had his three-major year, he was not dominant on HC aside from the USO–he did not win a single hard court Masters, nor even make a HC Masters final, and went 2-2 in hard court finals overall.

Last year he had a stellar run during the summer HC season, but then promptly started losing on HC in the fall and has now lost three of his last four HC finals, including the YEC and AO. He has won just one of his last five non-clay major finals, and has a losing record in Wimbledon and AO finals.

Nadal has never had multi-year dominance on other surfaces besides clay. He has had short hot streaks where he is very tough to beat, but he cannot sustain dominance like Federer can.

With his efficient style and varied game, Federer can still sustain a champion level of play for a long period of time on all surfaces, even now at age 32. Especially with the extra margin given him by the new racket.

Slice Tennis Says:

steve-o Says:
“during the time when Nadal was supposedly too green and inexperienced to be #1, his point total was enough for him to stay at #2 for much of ’05 and all of ’06-’07–he holds the record for the longest continuous streak at world #2, starting on July 25, 2005 and ending on August 18, 2008”

This is another clear evidence that it was a weak era.

After this phase the much improved and grown up Rafa could not hold on to his top 2 ranking for such a long time ever after.

A Tango Lad Says:

I am not sure pointing out that a teenager was a sound No. 2 is a sound argument “against” a weak era argument however.

Teenagers today can hardly make the Top 100 let alone the Top 2.

Roger was the first player to restore the tour. Nadal, Djokovic and Murray along with Roger brought it to this golden era for which we as fans are fortunate to witness.

Slice Tennis Says:

“I would add Philippoussis, Davydenko, and Nalbandian to the list of players whom Federer kept from winning Grand Slams.”

If Federer was soo good and kept those players from winning grand slams, why couldn’t he do the same against Rafa and Nole ?

volley Says:

“I am not sure pointing out that a teenager was a sound No. 2 is a sound argument “against” a weak era argument however.”

precisely. that argument rather bit him on the bum.

look at this another way. in claiming 6 of his slams between 2003-07 he defeated players ranked 7, 9, 10, 48, 54 & 86. only he and sampras were afforded as many opportunities with players ranked outside the top 5.

Ben Pronin Says:

That’s because Federer and Sampras won the most slams.

Slice Tennis Says:

Sampras basically maintained his level for a long time.
But Federer had an abnormal level only for 4 years and then came down after that.
No other past great had such a short window of greatness. Almost all the past greats had a dominant or a peak period of about 7 to 10 years.

Federer was beating the weak era midgets for about 4 years and then it was a level playing field when Nole and Rafa came into prominence.

Daniel Says:

Fed and Nadal are the ony two players qho have ver lost #1 Year end and regain it later.
Indded Fed had and abnormal 4 years but he is in the picture einning Majors in a Spam of 10 years (2003-2013), being number one in 8 of those years (04-10 and 12′). Don’t know which other player stayed at the top for so long and he still is top 5 now going top 4 in a few days at 32 going 33. Thia are the Fed years, with Nadal as deluxe supporting player with 3 great seasons in between (08, 10, 13) an Djoko had another run (11). Every other great player had a patch during their dominant years where other player shine as well. If all majors are split this year, as it very well happen, will be another year with no one dominating. I hope Wawrinka wins another major this year, that would do wonders for this weak era argument, if this is the Golden era;-)

Ben Pronin Says:

Please name these other greats who DOMINATED for 7-10 years. And clarify your definition of dominate, too, just so I understand how you can make this claim.

volley Says:

“That’s because Federer and Sampras won the most slams.”

yes, with many of their opponents in finals ranked outside the top 5 which is a further indication they had weaker eras. sampras won slams against players ranked 5, 12, 14, 25 (twice), 44.

where were the nos. 2, 3 & 4? they lacked the consistency to make regular finals. compare it to borg’s or the current era and the vast majority had to face top 4 opponents. djokovic at ao 2008 and federer at rg 2009 were the exceptions.

pigoonse Says:

Let’s gather some information from this weak era discussion.

Sampras and Federer both played in soft competition eras and that is why they were able to win so many GS titles – according to weak era theorists. If such is the case, Nadal began ruling the FO and clay season at the same time the field of competition was weak. Nadal gained most of his titles including GS on clay, which negates Nadal’s Clay Legacy because his closest rival on clay has been the lucky weak era, Federer.

And, the weak era lives on – we are in it now and it is getting weaker look, Nadal just lost AO to basically a nobody because Djokovic, Murray, and others are too weak to get to the final. Beating Federer does not count, remember. (toss out the Fedal H2H as anything historically significant as well)

If there was a clay master like Borg playing Nadal would not have the legendary status he has now on clay. Ferrer, Federer, and Murray are basically the weak era whipping boys for Nadal.

Djokovic is the only hope left for this era not going down in history as being weak when Rafa retires, otherwise, Rafael Nadal’s records, it can be said, were gathered when his competition was mentally and physically weak = Nadal lucky in a weak era to get his Legacy.

Rafael Nadal is not Legendary if his main accomplishment was to beat the weak era phony Legend, Federer on Clay, then to morph into someone who can win Wimbledon twice, AO once, and US Open twice. Subtract and asterisk the titles that Nadal won vs Federer and you get Nadal’s truer number than the falsely inflated one that now stands. Asterisks all over the place.

The best Nadal’s tennis game does is vanquish the weak Federer in a weak era – Nadal has garnered his trophies and titles against the same schmucks Federer had to contend with in gaining his 17 titles. Then, if you subtract Federer’s titles that came before Nadal blossomed in 2008 to all- court, you have Federer’s true number. Federer basically won his first slam vs Murray in 2008. Count from there, since the weak era is supposedly over in 2008 when Nadal won Wimbledon.

Either way, the sum of the parts is that Federer and Nadal are not the shinning stars they appear. Reserve your goose bumps, this is not a golden age of tennis, this is still the weak era until Nadal and Federer retire and hopefully the New Wave of tennis talent deposits some worthy competition on the parched and thirsty beach of tennis soon.

(pardon the poetic license taken in the last sentence there)

Weak Era is a sham, a straw man fallacy, packaged and promoted by biased tennis history revisionists to bump up Nadal – to ensure he is elevated above Federer, no matter when Nadal right now.

My opinion is, as a GOAT revisionist, not a weak era promoter, to say Nadal is already on the same legendary level and quite possibly will have more GS titles to boot. That is, if his followers leave the weak era argument aside and don’t discount his wins based on weak era excuses.

Weak Era Theory is unnecessary and will backfire when pushed as fact – weak era is a straw man fallacy promoted by those with an ax to grind against Federer and only weakens the position of Nadal being GOAT over time. Imo Nadal will be GOAT without it, if one exercises a bit of patience. Enjoy the tennis.

Slice Tennis Says:

Slams per year from the first one to the last one for Sampras is:
1 0 0 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 0 1

For Federer:
1 3 2 3 3 1 2 1 0 1

Federer’s slams are too much concentrated during the first 4 years and he comparatively struggled afterwards.

Sampras had a more consistent and much longer window of slam winning years.

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal March 21st 12.45pm fantastic post.

Slice Tennis Says:

volley Says:
“where were the nos. 2, 3 & 4? they lacked the consistency to make regular finals.”

Good point volley.
2004-2007 was not called as weak era just because one guy won everything. It was because one guy won everything and there was who can claim to be the second best in that era except for a one dimensional teenager.

Even in 2011 Nole won almost everything. But no one called that weak year mainly because he was beating the strong no.2, 3 and 4 almost always for his titles.
The number 2 and 3 posed a huge challenge to Nole consistently.

But the no.2 to no.5 rarely made it to the second weekend of slams during the weak era. Players like Gonzales making a slam final was the icing on the cake.

Slice Tennis Says:


“Weak Era is a sham, a straw man fallacy, packaged and promoted by biased tennis history revisionists to bump up Nadal – to ensure he is elevated above Federer, no matter when Nadal right now.”

“weak era is a straw man fallacy promoted by those with an ax to grind against Federer”

Weak era theory is not floated by Rafa fans.
Please check this with Wilander, Navaratilova, Mcnroe, etc.

Okiegal Says:


Thanx…. I might be done with that…..I said might! LOL

Okiegal Says:

@slice tennis

You have been doing some homework……the response should come soon, after some Wiki research!! lol

Okiegal Says:


I said “I might”…….

Skeezer Says:

Too bad Rafa played in the weak Clay era. It just diminishes the whole thing :(

A Tango Lad Says:

2002-03 was nothing special either. Roger can’t help what era he played in.

Slice Tennis Says:

I agree it was not Federer’s fault. Nobody was there to challenge him and he was winning everything.
But he could have saved himself from this by claiming another triple slam year during the strong era.
Nole and Rafa came up with triple slam years during the strong era. Federer was just 28-29 during that time.

Can you imagine someone else winning 3 slams an year when Rafa and Nole are still in their late 20s.

madmax Says:

Roger Federer’s dominance of the men’s tennis scene since 2003 has been unprecedented. He’s just the sixth player to notch a career Grand Slam and no player has won more Slams than he has.

But aside from a Rolodex of records he’s set, it’s the grace with which he has done it that makes it easy to anoint him the best. He’s humble, he’s classy and he’s dominant. Even on his perceived weakest surface of clay, Federer has still made it to the semi-finals or better in five straight years at the French Open.

While flashes-in-the-pan come and go, legends like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi have moved on and injuries have hampered several careers, through it all Federer has not only been healthy, but his performance has been remarkable.


Nirmal Kumar Says:


I’m not sure from which year you are counting as strong era. But Roger won 2 Slams in 2009 and reached all the 4 finals. He went on to win AO 2010. So from 2008 FO to 2010 AO, he was in the finals of all the GS. This was outside the 4 year window of (2004-07).

His level came down after 2010 AO, it was sort of expected after his kids and having accomplished so much already.

Sampras too was dominant and won 2 slams a year only for a period of 5 years, latter it was littered with only one slam per year and less wins in Masters titles. Also his career did not overlap with next generation, like Roger’s when he had to contend with next generation of players like Novak and Murray.

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