The eternal debate, the legitimate opinions of each one based, above all, on subjective aspects, in filias and folias. That is what emerges every time a question comes up in a meeting that surrounds the minds of all lovers of this sport. Who is the best player in history? A boat soon, the first factor to consider is the number of Grand Slams won, which has led to a battle without quarter between the members of the Big 3. But in a sport as complex and polyhedral as tennis, other aspects have to be taken into account.
Given the possible draw between the Big 3, should one consider only the number of Grand Slams to determine who is the best tennis player in history?
Without wishing to position ourselves on either side, it is convenient to take an X-ray of the career of Novak Djokovic since despite being the third in disagreement regarding majors titles, he holds a series of statistical records that make him a clear candidate for the GOAT. They can also be easily found at Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and possibly this debate will not end even when the career of the three has ended, but it is worth throwing light on what arguments the Serbian already has to his credit to be considered the best in history and what challenges lie ahead for his candidacy to this fictitious and impossible to unify “title”, be firmer.
– Arguments to consider Novak Djokovic the best tennis player in history.
He is the only one who has managed to win four consecutive Grand Slams in the Open Era, although he could not do it in the same season; from Wimbledon 2015 to Roland Garros 2016.
He has managed to win all the Masters 1000 of the tennis calendar. Some question this statement when they point out that they could not win in Hamburg, where they only participated in one edition, that of 2008. However, the fact of having won the title in the Madrid tournament on clay, which was the one that replaced him, assumes that he has the nine Masters 1000 that make up a tennis course.
He is one of only two tennis players in history to have won a Grand Slam in three different decades; between 2000 and 2009, between 2010 and 2019, and in the decade started in 2020, having been champion at the 2020 Australian Open. Nadal and Federer will have the opportunity to do so as well and join the Serbian and Ken Rosewall, who achieved it in the decades of the 50s, 60s and 70s.
All-time record winner at the Australian Open, with eight titles, and one of three men to have garnered a Grand Slam eight or more times. Here he is at the height of Roger Federer (Wimbledon) and below the 12 of Nadal.
He has face to face won with his two maximum rivals. Roger Federer (27-23) and Rafael Nadal (29-26)
Player with more “great titles”, adding here the Grand Slams, Masters 1000 and Olympic Games. He has a total of 56, for Nadal’s 55 and Federer’s 54.
Best winning percentage in disputed finals, with a balance of 79 wins out of 113 disputed, that is, a 69.91% effectiveness. Behind Nadal, with 69.67% (85 wins out of 123 plays).
Longest record of victories on hard court in all history, with a record of 592-110, which means having won in 84.33% of the games played on this surface.
The only tennis player capable of having won the ATP Finals in four consecutive editions, between 2012 and 2015.
He is the Big 3 member with the best win-loss balance against top-10 players, with an impressive 212-97, which is 68.61%. He is only surpassed by Björn Borg, who won 84 and lost 36 against members of this select club.
He has managed to beat the other two Big 3 members in his favorite tournaments; Nadal at Roland Garros 2015 and Federer at Wimbledon 2014, 2015 and 2019. Federer was able to beat him in Australia, but not Nadal in Paris. For his part, the Balearic assaulted Roger’s house in London, but not Djokovic in Melbourne.
– Great challenges ahead to be considered the GOAT
Become the tennis player with the most Grand Slam titles. It is evident that this is the parameter that most motivates Roger, Rafa and Novak. Although it is true that the Serbian has 17 wound, the fact of being somewhat younger than his rivals gives him the hope of achieving the sorpasso.
Achieve Olympic gold. It is the only major tournament that is not in their windows. He took bronze in Beijing 2008, was fourth in London 2012, and the disappointment of falling in the first round to Del Potro in Rio de Janeiro 2016 still lingers in his mind and heart. Tokyo 2021 seems like the great opportunity to achieve a milestone that Nadal holds both in doubles and singles, while Roger could only do it in doubles, having to settle for silver at the individual level in London 2012.
Try to approximate the number of total titles won by Federer. The Swiss has a whopping 103, just behind Jimmy Connors’ 109. Novak has a total of 79, behind also Nadal, with 85, and Lendl, with 94.
To be the first player in the Open Era to be able to add at least two titles in each Grand Slam tournament. To do this, Roland Garros should win once again. Federer can also do it if he won in Paris, while Nadal would achieve this milestone if he adds a new trophy at the Australian Open.
No player in Era Open has managed to win all the Grand Slams at least twice each. Djokovic will look for him in Paris.
Finish his career as the tennis player with the most Masters 1000 titles. He currently has 34, for Nadal’s 35, while Federer is the third in contention, with 28.
Become the player with the most weeks as number 1 in the world. It seems assumable that he can surpass Federer’s 310 weeks, although he also has Sampras ahead, with 286. He cannot neglect the rear since Nadal is listed with 209.
Equalize Pete Sampras as the player with the most seasons ended at the top of the ATP ranking. Right now, all Big 3 members have managed to finish 5 years as number 1; Novak has in his hand to unbalance the balance in his favor.