The debate rumbles on about who is the greatest men’s singles player of all time in tennis. Three of the leading players in that discussion are still playing today: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
By the time those players retire from the sport, their numbers may be enough for them to stand out as the best in the men’s game to ever pick up a racquet. Here is a look at who is currently leading the way out of those trio of stars in the respective tallies.
Grand Slam Wins
This is the one that is the most important. The four Grand Slam events are the ones which tennis players focus on much more. When a player retires from tennis, their career is defined by how many Grand Slam titles they won.
Djokovic is two behind Federer and Nadal on 18 Grand Slam wins. The world number one is the most dominant player in the sport at the moment though, and at the age of just 33, he will fancy winning more than 20 before he ends his career.
The next opportunity for the three all-time greats to win a Grand Slam will come at the French Open in June. The King of Clay, Nadal, is the odds-on favourite at 5/6 in the tennis betting in Paris. A 14th win in the tournament could prove a big step towards separating himself from his two rivals.
World Number One Spot
Current number one Djokovic has held the top spot in the ATP rankings for the most time in history. The Serbian has been there for 317 weeks and that number should extend this year as he has some distance between himself and the pack in the list.
Federer has had the number one position for 300 weeks. He is now down to number eight in the current rankings and at the age of 39, it is hard to see the Swiss legend climbing back to the top again.
Nadal has been world number one for the least amount of time out of the three players. He has been there for 209 weeks. Injuries have hampered the Spaniard at various stages of his career, otherwise that number would most likely have been much bigger.
The other big event outside of the four Grand Slams in tennis is the Olympic Games. Tokyo is the chance of all the leading men’s and women’s players to experience stepping up on the podium receiving the gold medal.
Nadal is the only one of the trio of legends who has won singles gold in the Olympics. He achieved that feat in 2008 in Beijing, beating Fernando Gonzalez in the final. Federer does have a gold medal following doubles success. He partnered Stan Wawrinka in 2008 to victory in the event.
Federer and Djokovic will be desperate to prevail in the singles tournament in 2021. It will be played on a hard court at the Ariake Coliseum.
Although tennis fans may continue to have their own opinion around who is the best ever in the men’s game, there is no doubt we are unlikely to see an era like this one again any time soon.
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