Roger Federer's telling response to question about Nadal and Djokovic

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Roger Federer (pictured right) posing with the Australian Open trophy with runner-up Rafa Nadal (pictured left).
Roger Federer (pictured right) has praised his rivals in the GOAT debate and said he was lucky to play with such players as Rafa Nadal (pictured left) and Novak Djokovic. (Getty Images)

Roger Federer has attempted to quell the constant comparisons between himself, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic over who is the greatest tennis player of all time.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have been relentlessly compared throughout their careers as tennis fans have enjoyed historic rivalries that have contributed to the greatest era of the sport.

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The grand slam debate has often become a referencing point with Nadal (22) leading Djokovic (21) and Federer (20) in the race.

However, Federer said he doesn't worry about where he sits in the GOAT race and rather looks back fondly on his battles.

"People always like to compare. I see it every day with my twins," Federer, a father of four, said on Wednesday at the arena that will host the 20-time grand slam champion's final competition, the Laver Cup.

"Without wanting, you compare them. You shouldn't - ever.

"Naturally, we do the same in tennis. I am my own career, my own player, that needed those challenges. They needed a challenger like myself.

"We made each other better. So at the end of the day, we'll all shake hands and be like, 'That was awesome'."

Federer went on to claim it was hard to decide what makes a player the best.

Novak Djokovic (pictured left), Rafael Nadal (pictured middle) and Roger Federer (pictured right) share a laugh.
Novak Djokovic (pictured left), Rafael Nadal (pictured middle) and Roger Federer (pictured right) have been consistently compared during their careers.. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

"It's wonderful to be part of that selective group," he told The Associated Press about the so-called big three.

"(But) how can you compare? What's better? To win when you're old or when you're young?

"Is it better to win on clay or grass? Don't know. Is it better to have super dominant years or come back from injury? I don't know.

"It really is impossible to grasp."

Federer's Michael Jordan and LeBron James comparison

Federer said comparing the 'Big Three' was similar to the endless debate in basketball.

Growing up a basketball fan, Federer used the example of NBA legends Michael Jordan and LeBron James to show how hard it is to compare players.

"Who is the greatest? Probably MJ. But is it LeBron? Some stats say he is," Federer said.

"It's a phenomenon of (social) media. Everybody calling each other 'GOAT'. 'GOAT'. 'GOAT'. 'GOAT'. 'GOAT'. 'GOAT'.

"I'm like, Come on, OK? There cannot be possibly that many 'GOATs,'" Federer said, then cracked himself up with a Dad joke: "In Switzerland, we have a lot of them, but they're in the fields."

Unlike some legendary sport stars, Federer has confirmed he won't be making a comeback to tennis after the Laver Cup.

"I am definitely done," Federer said to US TV Show Today.

with AAP

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