Cedric Pioline issues statement on Novak Djokovic's position in GOAT debate


Cedric Pioline issues statement on Novak Djokovic's position in GOAT debate
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

French tennis legend and Paris Masters tournament director Cedric Pioline suggests the numbers show that Novak Djokovic is the greatest of all time in tennis history. Djokovic, the first-ever male player with 24 Grand Slams, also owns the record for the most weeks spent at the world No 1 spot by male or female.

Djokovic's biggest rivals, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, are behind him on the Grand Slam list as the Spaniard has 22 Majors in his collection while Federer finished his career with 20 Slams. Since Nadal is likely to retire in 2024, many consider the Grand Slam race finished.

"I understand that this debate exists. It interests me but I'm not obsessed with it. Afterward, it all depends on how we define the GOAT. Personally, I think it is very subjective to include anything other than the sporting result.

If we start talking about popularity ratings, we're getting sidetracked. What is indisputable is the overall record, especially in Grand Slams where Djokovic stands out from the rest," Pioline told sports.fr.

Pioline suggests the numbers show Djokovic is the GOAT

Recently, Nadal himself acknowledged that numbers-wise, Djokovic is the best in tennis history.

When Djokovic was asked about Nadal's comments in Paris, he admitted he felt proud to hear something like that from his big rival. But when Djokovic was asked if he personally was willing to declare himself the GOAT, he refused to go that route.

"No, I'm not going to say I am the greatest player of all times. It's not up to me to say things like that. I leave it up to others. Obviously I'm very proud that my greatest rival could say such things, but I leave this discussion to other people.

I'm honored to be a tennis player who's writing my own name in the history of tennis, and I'm glad to be at the top right now. That's the most important thing for me. Then we can discuss at length about the whole history of tennis, but once my career is over we can do it," Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic Paris Masters