Legendary Swiss star Roger Federer is considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time, but Todd Woodbridge says one key fact makes it hard for him to agree.
The Swiss ace and Rafael Nadal both share the record for the most grand slam singles titles in men’s history with 20 majors each to their names.
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Then there’s Novak Djokovic with 17 grand slam titles, despite being six years Federer’s junior.
All three men have strong cases to be considered the GOAT of tennis but Woodbridge argues that Federer’s record against the other two men rules him out of contention.
Despite being a dominant force in tennis for two decades, Federer actually has a losing record against both Nadal (16 wins, 24 losses) and Djokovic (23 wins, 27 losses).
It’s a fact that Woodbridge says has to be taken into consideration when debating who the sport’s greatest player is.
“He’s (Federer) the greatest all-court player,” Woodbridge told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports Radio.
“I find it hard to suggest he is the greatest [of all-time] when he doesn’t have a winning record over Rafa and Novak.”
A whopping 13 of Nadal’s grand slam titles have come at the French Open, where the Spaniard is close to unstoppable.
Woodbridge admits that if the Swiss maestro had managed to take three of those French Open titles off Nadal, then his opinion would be much different.
“His (Federer) game style, the way he’s carried himself – Rafa spoiled it by dominating the French Open with 13 Grand Slam titles,” Woodbridge added.
“If Roger could’ve won three of them and Rafa just 10 – well then yes, he would’ve been (the greatest of all-time).
Federer announcement stuns tennis world
Federer sent shockwaves through the tennis world this week when he admitted that he might not be ready in time for next year’s Australian Open, with his recovery from a double knee operation taking longer than expected.
“I would have hoped that I would be 100 per cent in October. But I am still not today. It will be tight for the Australian Open,” Federer said.
The 39-year-old even dropped a hint that he may have played his last tennis match, during an awards night in Switzerland where he was named the country’s best athlete over the last 70 years.
“I hope there is still something to see from me next year. But if that was it, that would have been an incredible ending for me at these Sports Awards.”
Woodbridge says Federer would surely love to bow out of the sport at the home of tennis during Wimbledon in 2021, and admits it would be a cruel blow if he was unable to.
“I finished at Wimbledon because that was the mecca for me, that’s where it all began, that’s the home of tennis,” Woodbridge said.
“I really feel that’s where Federer would like to leave, and it could then be on his own terms. I think it’s such a shame that if this is what happens to Roger, COVID has taken away from it being on his terms.”
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