The debate concerning the greatest tennis player of all time will never know a single answer, especially now that Rafael Nadal has equaled the record of 20 Grand Slams of eternal rival Roger Federer. The Spanish phenomenon silenced the skeptics once again by dominating Roland Garros despite the unprecedented conditions not entirely congenial to his style of play.
For the fourth time in his sensational career, the Majorcan lifted the Parisian trophy without relinquishing a single set, with the added satisfaction of having annihilated world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the final. The 2020 did not bring too much luck to Federer, who after the semifinal at the Australian Open at the beginning of the year, underwent surgery twice on his right knee, ending his season prematurely.
The 39-year-old from Basel is expected to return in early 2021, provided that the Coronavirus emergency makes the Australian Open possible. Finally, good news for Novak Djokovic, who has strengthened his leadership in the world ranking while maintaining an excellent chance of breaking Federer’s record in March 2021.
In a long interview with Tennis Majors, former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli expressed her point of view on the GOAT issue.
Bartoli on the Big 3
“Neither Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic have finished.
We really have to wait till those three – all of them – are retired. Because all of those three players have different qualities. For Rafa, it’s clay… For Roger, it’s grass… For Novak, it’s the Australian Open,” Marion Bartoli said.
“I think the Rafa’s 13 French Open titles will push Novak and Roger to even greater heights because they want to catch up. Once those three players, unfortunately for tennis, retire, then you really have to take everything into consideration to see which of those three are the greatest of all time,” she added.
“Will Roger Federer win another Grand Slam title? Yes, of course. I think it is better he has a four to five month warm-up before he arrives at Wimbledon. I think if he arrives at SW 19 without any matches for 9 months and if Wimbledon is his first Slam of the year, he might be too rusty,” said Bartoli.
Bartoli added that Roger Federer’s easy style of play will suit grass now more than ever, and that the conditions at SW19 will help him win at Wimbledon. “He doesn’t have to use too much of his fitness on the grass due to the nature of his game.
He can serve and volley, come to the net and use that slice wisely. If Roger Federer is able to build up some momentum and confidence, he can win it. He was so close against Novak last time,” Bartoli said.