Aussie tennis great's stunning put-down for Roger Federer

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Pat Cash says Roger Federer isn't even second best of al time. Image: Getty

It seems like every man and their dog has an opinion in tennis’ ‘greatest of all time’ debate.

But this one from Aussie great Pat Cash is very controversial.

While most pundits and fans say Roger Federer is the GOAT, Cash doesn’t even think he’s in the top two.

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The former Wimbledon champion says Federer’s poor head-to-head record against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic means he’s not even the second best player of all time.

“Everybody says Federer is the greatest player of all time, but he’s not even the second greatest player of all time,” Cash told UBI Tennis.

“That’s hard to believe. Like, if you are the best of all time, you should at least have a head-to-head record against your number one rival or number two rival.

“Surely, that would be the very first factor, I would say.”

Cash reckons Djokovic will surpass Federer and Nadal and become the greatest ever.

“As a shotmaker I would say [Federer is] the greatest player I have even seen,” Cash added.

“In shotmaking and movement and everything else. But in court surface and in many ways, he has been little old school.

“He has developed a more attacking game. And slow surfaces and heavy balls really don’t suit him.

“It’s phenomenal for that record he has, but Djokovic has the best record of them all and is closing in.”

Federer was won just 16 of 40 career matches against Nadal and 23 of 50 against Djokovic.

Djokovic meanwhile has a 29-26 record against Nadal.

Federer currently holds the record for most grand slams amongst male players with 20, one in front of Nadal’s 19.

However Djokovic has 17 and is widely tipped to overtake both.

At 33, Djokovic is one year younger than Nadal and five years younger than Federer.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer could all make a case to be the GOAT. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

US Open planning in the works

Meanwhile, US Tennis Association chief Stacey Allaster says a decision on whether the US Open takes place in August will be made in the next two to four weeks but for now plans are going ahead.

Those plans include charter flights to ferry US Open tennis players and limited entourages from Europe, South America and the Middle East to New York, and centralised housing for players.

All players will also have to test negative to COVID-19 before travelling and will be subjected to daily temperature checks.

There would be no spectators, fewer on-court officials and no locker-room access on practice days.

All are among the scenarios being considered for the 2020 US Open - if it is held at all amid the coronavirus pandemic - and described to The Associated Press by a high-ranking official at the grand slam tournament.

“All of this is still fluid,” Stacey Allaster, the US Tennis Association's chief executive for professional tennis, said in a telephone interview on Saturday. “We have made no decisions at all.”

With that caveat, Allaster added if the USTA board does decide to go forward with the Open, she expects it to be held at its usual site and in its usual spot on the calendar. The main draw is scheduled to start August 31.

“We continue to be, I would say, 150 per cent focused on staging a safe environment for conducting a US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in New York on our dates,” she added.

“It's all I wake up - our team wakes up - thinking about," Allaster said.

“The idea of an alternative venue, an alternative date ... we've got a responsibility to explore it, but it doesn't have a lot of momentum.”

with AAP