'That's dreadful': American hosts in 'ridiculous' mockery of Australian Open

Two well-known American sports hosts have combined for one of "the most ridiculous arguments" about Novak Djokovic's success and the standing of the Australian Open.

Djokovic's record-extending eighth Australian Open crown renewed the debate about where his sits among the greatest players the sport has seen.

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The GOAT debate is a seemingly never-ending discussion, with the current men's grand slam record holder, Roger Federer, seen by many as sport's greatest.

Rafael Nadal - five years Federer's junior and with only one less title than the Swiss star's 24 - also features heavily in many tennis fans' GOAT discussions.

And then there's Djokovic, Serbia's 17-time grand slam singles champion, who on current career trajectory looks likely to surpass both champions of the sport.

Novak Djokovic's latest major title hasn't convinced PTI host Tony Kornheiser about his standing in tennis. Pic: Getty/ESPN

Djokovic, 32, has age on his side and has won five out of the last nine major tournaments, with nothing to suggest that run of form will end anytime soon.

Following his latest triumph at Melbourne Park, ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon discussed just where Djokovic deserves to sit in the GOAT debate.

After crunching the numbers, Wilbon asked Kornheiser if the Serb's sustained success had forced him to rethink who will go down as the greatest player of all time.

His response was cringeworthy, to say the least.

“No, he’s not forcing me,” Kornheiser insisted.

"He (Djokovic) has 17 majors … Federer has 20, Nadal has 19. As a tennis player yourself, you know the most important majors are Wimbledon and the US Open. The French is third and the Australian is fourth.

"Djokovic has eight at the Australian and eight in combination of Wimbledon and the US Open. Federer has 13 in combination of the US Open and Wimbledon.

“So get out of here on this. Djokovic is padding his record by beating old men like Nadal and Federer, because there’s no young great players. So no, he doesn’t move me.”

Ashleigh Barty in action at the Australian Open. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

There are so many things wrong with Kornheiser's statement that it's difficult to know where to begin.

Firstly, to argue that Federer's combined Wimbledon and US Open titles are in some way more significant than Djokovic's titles is frankly preposterous.

Sure, most tennis purists would concede that Wimbledon - as the world's oldest grand slam - holds a certain prestige above the others.

No grand slam title is worth more than the others

However, when all is said and done it is simply the amount of career grand slam titles that ultimately counts.

To suggest that the US Open is more important than the French Open and Australian Open wreaks of pro-American arrogance and surely holds no credence around the world.

Then we come to the statement that Djokovic is "padding his record by beating old men", an idea that is so laughable and inaccurate that Kornheiser should be ashamed of himself.

To make this claim when the Serb is just one year younger than Nadal and has beaten both the Spaniard and Federer in their absolute primes, shows the absurdity of Kornheiser's statement.

“That’s the most ridiculous argument I’ve ever heard,” Wilbon told Kornheiser, before dropping his own clanger.

“It was a dreadful argument … because how many Wimbledons does Federer have by himself?”

“Wimbledon’s the big one!” Kornheiser argued.

“I thought the US Open was the big one? That’s what I think,” Wilbon claimed, again illustrating a narrow-minded pro-American viewpoint.

“Each one has superiority at a particular event — Nadal at the French,” he concluded. “So if (Djokovic) goes to 22 or 23 and winds up with more than those guys, you are going to be forced to rethink.”