Fedal Wars: Hey Agassi, Who’s Your GOAT If Roger Federer Wins A Second Career Slam In Paris?
by Sean Randall | May 22nd, 2014, 12:11 pm

Andre Agassi is on record multiple times stating that he puts Rafael Nadal ahead of Roger Federer in the never-ending GOAT discussion. And there’s merit to his argument.

Nadal has dominated Federer on clay and on outdoor hardcourts, the two premier surfaces the tour is played on, and of course over 23-10 (beating Federer more than twice as many times, as Andre says).

Nadal’s also put up some incredibly majestic numbers in clay wins, winning pct, winning the gold and the Davis Cup, etc. The guy has won just about everything there is win and he’s consistently beaten everyone there is to beat (still true? – no one in the Top 40 has a winning record against Nadal).

And I can see Agassi’s points, there’s nothing wrong with them. He makes a good case. I though, still favor Federer’s 17-13 Slam margin.

That said, Rafa missed an excellent, maybe once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of strengthening his case in Australia where he could have become the first man in the Open Era to win a second career Slam. An achievement I think that would have moved him past Federer.

Easy come, easy go.

Now it’s Roger’s turn. It’s only fair. With Nadal’s confidence shaken and Novak Djokovic as the only other true threat to walk away with the title, maybe Federer has a chance in Paris. So what’s the argument if Federer wins his second French Open and another career Slam? For me it’s a virtual “GOAT matchpoint.” Debate over.

I’m fully aware it’s quite a longshot, but I’d say not as long as the other Swiss was when he won in Melbourne this January.

You Might Like:
Fedal Wars: Agassi Puts Nadal Ahead Of Federer On The GOAT List, Is He Right?
Fedal Wars: Nadal Well Ahead Of Federer In Masters Titles, But Does It Matter In The GOAT Discussion?
Fedal Wars: In The GOAT Debate, Are Nadal Fans Rooting Against Federer To Win His First Davis Cup?
Roger v Rafa Fandom: The Fedal Wars Rage On
Fedal Wars: Federer Admits Nadal Could Catch His Grand Slam Total “Quickly”

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

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

Sirius Says:

“Hey Agassi”

i wonder if Agassi reads articles of this blog

Hippy Chic Says:

Sean why cant we have a thread on the none GS GOAT,the greatest player ever that never won a GS,as this topic has been beaten to death,surely it would be far more intetresting?by the way the none GS GOAT is our very own Tennis Vagabond,as he told me so a few days ago?

Sean Randall Says:

Hippy, you want a post on the greatest players to have never won a Grand Slam? Rios, Nalbandian, etc?

Hippy Chic Says:

Sean nah not a post,an actuall thread would be nice,err please,id love to here other peoples take?

tramlines Says:

Perhaps easier to say after he missed that opportunity than before.

EASY come? Easy? Really?

At the end of the day, who really gives a monkey’s what Agassi has to say.

Hippy Chic Says:

YAY Thanks Sean,will check it out now :))….

gonzalowski Says:

Rome 2014
Nadal – Dimi 6-2 6-2

Who’s in the funk – in the trunk??

leo Says:

seriously who cares?

If Nadal is the GOAT, then he should have no problem winning 18 slams, no?

Slow news day I think.

leo Says:

I mean Agassi? He is entitled to his opinion: He’s also the same man who thinks Steffi Graf is the most beautiful woman in the world…. and I happen to disagree ;-)

roy Says:

”Rome 2014
Nadal – Dimi 6-2 6-2

Who’s in the funk – in the trunk??”

good point.

but you forget this is a fedophilia site. and any chance to discredit nadal is jumped upon.

djokovic is now their proxy with which to protect their hero. when nadal loses to djoker, thrills of passion run through their bodies and nadal is dismissed as a terrible player and often ends up in the trunk.

Humble Rafa Says:

8 is greater than 2. Most people know that. They also know a goat from a goat owner.

Rahul Says:

For me obviously the slam count is important but what made Fed GOAT in my eyes were the records that reflect his domination.

I mean 236 consecutive weeks no.1, his streak against top players, his performances in finals. Yes there was a time when no one wanted to play Roger on a Sunday, and so on. These are near impossible records and Im surprised guys like Agassi dont give it enough weightage.

RZ Says:

If Fed wins RG for his second career slam, it would definitely put another twist in this debate. But frankly I think #18 would overshadow career slam #2 in most people’s eyes, so any slam would benefit Fed in this debate.

Chobbs Says:

Unfortunately I’d like to quote boris Becker who said fed is the most successful player ever. Hes favourite to get the Davis cup this year but it’s still a team comp and Spain are always strong , Olympics isn’t that recognised compared to slams. If it comes down squarely to head to head vs majors then look at the stats off clay – fed had a wining h2h until last year I believe And he’s almost 33 now, got to 10 slam finals consecutively twice ( I believe ). Djok could soon overtake h2h with nadal and is about 5 up already off of clay , if he gets 8-10 slams including rg and has h2h winning record over ‘top 4’ at the end of it – is he the best ?

lylenubbins Says:

Fed has more slams but Rafa owns Fed. Rafa has more slams than Novak but Novak owns Rafa, at least when he is in top form. It’s impossible to sort out!!

HD Says:

Who cares, pfft all this GOAT stuff is a waste of time.

sportsfan2285 Says:

Slams, weeks at #1, consecutive weeks at #1 and winning the World Tour Finals is what determines the Greatest Of All Time. Rafael Nadal has a losing record against several players not even ranked in the top 10. Does that mean he isn’t better than them? Absolutely not!! The bottom line is that until somebody breaks Roger’s records he is the Greatest OF All Time.

didi Says:

Hmm might be Agassi is going with Nadal because he knows he really is behind Nadal like Agassi always was behind Pete, Also how many year ends has Nadal won??? A big fat ZERO!

pogi Says:

why is it a tennis player can’t be called one of the greatest if he never ever win even a single slam?

it’s because slams are the most prestigious, most coveted and the most important title a tennis player want to achieve.

so until the no.17 is not yet overtaken… there’s no debate here who’s the GOAT

Humble Rafa Says:

Also how many year ends has Nadal won??? A big fat ZERO!

Dear Didi,

How many Davis Cups or Olympic medals has the Arrogant One won?

skeezer Says:

You can have your DC’s. Olympic medals? Fed has 2. How many do your have?
You do have more fishies than everyone else though, being in Mallorca and all.

Goatexpert Says:

17>13. Nobody eventually remembers or cares about anything else.

Also, almost all of Nadal’s H2H edge over fed has come after Fed turned 27. Before that it was 6-8. Since then, 4-15. Nadal is 6 years younger. What else do you expect?

H2H makes sense if players are of similar age. Otherwise its nonsense.

I am surprised so many people (including Agassi, it seems) see sense in nonsense.

skeezer Says:

Great post. Please try to re post to HR in Spanish, apparently his language skills are limited and can’t comprehend. Talking about fishing helps, and water bottles,
Or maybe he chooses to be ignorant of all time Tennus records., which is nit surprising.

Its not impossible to sort out. The flawed logic is H2H. Every player has tough match ups. But Tennis is designed to play against a field of players, not one. Your record and achievements are based on that system, not H2H.

Hippy Chic Says:

IMO Its fantastic when we talk about all time greats of the game,rather than just one player been a GOAT,i heard one commontator say you could put Jimmy Conners in that conversation,as he won over 1000 matches on tour when he was playing?

Okiegal Says:


Google Nadal News…..there is a translated interview titled “A Journey into the Heart of Nadal”. It is a great interview. I think you will enjoy it, I really did. Great read.

Goatexpert Says:

I guess in a year or so we will anoint Djokovic as the GOAT, since his H2H against Nadal will be positive (right now 19-22)? But then Fed again ends up as the GOAT since he has (at least so far) positive H2H against Djokovic????

H2H is only what it is – H2H. No more no less.

Goatexpert Says:

BTW, since start of 2011 (when Djoke finally came into his own after a racket change the previous year and gluten allergies behind him) – he is 12-6 on Nadal, including 4-4 on clay and 8-2 outside of clay.

doesn’t look pretty for Nadal since he doesn’t have the benefit of an opponent 5 years older in Fed (djoke is actually one year younger!).

Patson Says:

Goatexpert has raised some very valid points, and because of his moniker i.e ‘Goat expert’, I contend that Agassi’s opinion does not matter.

gonzalowski Says:

Goatexpert, Imo we are not talking about a simple positive H2H, but about a difference of more than twice! as Agassi says.
Nadal-Nole, Nole-Nadal will be far away from that distance.
Anyway if Djokovic surpases Rafa it would be painful for me
I don’t think Rafa, or his team, considers himself the Goat, over Fed.

Tennis lover Says:

Folks, never get frustrated by Agassi’s erudition. I hereby predict Nadal will never ever surpass Federer’s Grandslam total. Moreover, Federer’s not done winning grandslam but both Djokovic and Nadal, in particular will end up having no grandslam after 2014. Wait till, 2016 when maestro will retire he’ll end up with mindboggolingly astounding achievements. For the time being, let nadal fans unleash their 23-10 prattle.

mat4 Says:


I made complete fun of the H2H in the previous thread, with the circular match-up between Fed, Rafa and Novak as an example.

To know who the GOAT is, let’s just make a detour by the wiki page about ATP World Tour records. I think that everything is clear there.

mat4 Says:

Roland Garros:

Projected QF:

Nadal-Ferrer, Wawrinka-Murray, Federer-Berdych, Djokovic-Raonic.

Planned semis : Nadal – Wawrinka and Federer – Djokovic.

mat4 Says:

Tsonga could meet Novak in the 1/8.

Giles Says:

Looking forward to a possible Fedal final!!

gonzalowski Says:

Thanks mat4!
Mmm, no perfect for Nadal

Shailesh Says:

Yet another easy draw for Nadal!! This guy seems to be super lucky when it comes to draws!

Chanda Says:

Tell Nadal to play a fair game and then see his results – No grunting that distracts opponent, no time wasting between games, no on-court advice from coach.
If he can do all this then tell him to play as elegantly as Federer and play only with his powerful one hand. Why does he need 2 handed backhand?
During Federer’s prime, Nadal used to be eliminated early in hard courts or grass courts so didn’t really play Federer much on these courts.
He is no comparison to Federer.

SG1 Says:

Agassi is a babbling blowhard.

SG1 Says:

You can’t really take anything he says too seriously. Rafa has a case for being the GOAT. So does Federer. So does Laver for that matter. Rafa needs another couple of slams to be in undisputed GOAT, at least IMO.

Federer wants to be the undisputed GOAT? Simple…beat Rafa in the final at Roland Garros. That would shift my opinion…but it’s not going to happen.

pogi Says:

“beat Rafa in the final at Roland Garros. That would shift my opinion…but it’s not going to happen.”

@SG1, you are correct it will not happen… because Rafa will exit early…

Goatexpert Says:

Again, Nadal is 5 years younger. Most tennis players peak in their early to mid twenties – it varies from player to player – Becker peaked at 21, 1989. Wilander peaked early too. Regardless, there isn’t a single player that peaked past 25. Fed peaked in 2006 (25 years old). Nadal peaked in 2010 (24). Sampras in 1995 (24). Take any to player in the last 30 years.

What happened once Fed crossed 27 (well past his peak) and Nadal crossed 22 (on way to peak) is highly affected by age. That started in 2008. No person with a reasonable brain should compare these two players in direct H2H, especially since Fed is playing way into his 30s when most top players quit much earlier (Sampras quit at 31, Borg much earlier, McEnroe earlier, etc. etc.).

Again, Since start of 2008, Fed is 4-15 against Nadal (during which time Fed has been of age 27-32, well past his peak, while Nadal has been at age 22-27, Bang into his peak years). Before that is was 6-8 H2H.

Both players must be at their peak around the same time for it to be a valid comparison.

skeezer Says:

All this smack talk before RG………expected. But when all the other Slams are talked about Rafa starts to desiminate. Oh yeah, Agassi loves to prop up Rafa. Why? Agaasi has won a French Open, one of his greatest achievements, and which his nemesis, although always considered the better player, is the only thing he can hang his hat on over Sampras.

Rafa has great achievements in Paris, and so does Roger @Wimbledon, so? Results and records is what matters, smack talk is for amatuers.

Jess Says:

Sorry but you can’t compare Rafa’s RG results to Roger’s Wimbledon. Rafa has utterly dominated at the French and 58-1 is seriously ridiculous. That is backed up by his crazy Monte Carlo and Rome records too. Rafa is more dominant on clay than Roger is on grass.
But then of course, across all the surfaces, Roger is more dominant as more than half of Rafa’s grand slam titles are from RG while Federer’s is more balanced(9 HC and 7 grass)

Hippy Chic Says:

Rafa has won 3 of the GS at least twice,has multiple GS on all surfaces,its still short of Rogers achievements,but a fantastic career though and hardly one of a failure never the less….

autoFilter Says:

@Jess: “Rafa is more dominant on clay than Roger is on grass.”

I’m probably in a small minority here, but I think this is arguably a difficult comparison to make. Rafa is certainly more accomplished on clay than Roger is on grass, but then there hasn’t exactly been parity in terms of potential achievements on those surfaces. Federer was undefeated on grass from 2003-2008 while Nadal was undefeated on clay from (comparatively) only 2005-2007.

What if there were grass masters in equal number to clay masters? What might Federer’s results look like then? Would he have doubled his current total of masters’ titles by now? Would he have excelled even more as a grass player due to increased play and momentum on the surface? Or would he have lost more frequently because the entire field’s level of grasscourt play had been elevated by the same? We’ll never know the answers to those questions, but personally I feel that they point to plenty of room for subjectivity.

contador Says:

^ Absolutely agree with you, autoFilter.

The numbers are skewed by the lack of parity, when comparing wins to surfaces, and just plain personal opinion aka subjectivity.

How these players will be remembered boils down on the most basic level: number of GS titles. Supposedly that simplifies the whole thing. As more than a weekend fan, I find that interpretation too basic. I like to break it down more.

Novak Djokovic will be knocking on my personal GOAT door by winning FO; particularly if Nole wins in the FO final vs Rafa. Novak becomes the Goat-beate, and is a GOAT himself.

I am so tired of Rafa winning the FO. At some point the wins become so ludicrous that they back-fire and one has to question the competition = disappointingly weak competition clay decade.

Hippy Chic Says:

IMO Novak is already an all time great,6 GS is already a fantastic achievement,hes alongside Becker,Villas,Kuerten etc, and hes still destined for more,i would like Andy to win a few more GS,so he would also get to the status as an all time great….

Jess Says:

I don’t know. I think Rafa’s dominance on clay is unparalleled by any other player on their respective preferred surface.
Yeah there isn’t a grass masters, but there is Halle which Federer plays consistently but still doesn’t have the kind of record Rafa has at Barca.
I’m not saying Federer has never dominated in tennis the way Rafa has (301 weeks at number 1 speaks for itself) but I think it is unfair on Rafa to say Roger’s grass dominance is the same as Rafa’s on clay.

Okiegal Says:

Rafa and Roger have achieved so much……so did Pete, Borg, Laver etc. I agree with calmdonplease on the GOAT issue, he or she suggested the GOTT title instead…….GREATEST OF THEIR TIME, sounds more reasonable to me.

Steve 27 Says:

Wait till, 2016 when maestro will retire he’ll end up with mindboggolingly astounding achievements.

Hahahahaha. No, Federer is done. No male player player has won a grand slam with 32 years or more. since the creation of ATP, except Agassi.
Unless you believe in astrology and other nonsense, the Swiss have a close to zero percent percentage to win a slam again. And age does not forgive anyone.

Salleh Ahmed Says:

What will be the reaction of the ones who cant see fed winning another GS IF HE DOES SO. Cant imagine their faces hehehehe

Steve 27 Says:

Is Federer the new Rosewall?
17 is more than enough.

Top story: Murray Advances In Metz, Makes QFs