Younes El Aynaoui suggests there should be more criteria other than records and titles when determining the greatest player of all time as the former Moroccan tennis player thinks Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer handle defeats much better than Novak Djokovic.
In 2023, Djokovic became the first-ever man with 24 Grand Slams and he also set a record for the most weeks spent at the world No 1 spot by a man or woman. Now, Djokovic is two Slams ahead of Nadal and he is guaranteed to finish with at least four more Majors than Federer.
Following Djokovic's Grand Slam success in 2023, some think the GOAT debate is finished. "On paper, Novak is making an increasing difference, he continues to add and add titles. Then we would also have to evaluate the behavior and the person, in that sense, for me Rafa and Roger are above.
It's a personal opinion," El Aynaoui told Punto de Break.
El Aynaoui: Nadal, Federer handle defeats better than Djokovic
Djokovic may be now the most successful Big Three but it is not a secret that Nadal and Federer have enjoyed a bigger popularity and been received much better by crowds all around the world.
When asked directly if he is trying to say that records and titles shouldn't be the only thing considered in the GOAT debate, former world No 14 Aynaoui agreed and explained why he feels that way. "For me it's not all about tennis and numbers, you also have to look at what the person is like or how they handle defeats.
In that sense, Rafa is number one, we never saw him do anything strange on the court, and I'm not saying this because he is in Spain. He never broke a racket, nor did we see him complain about anything or throw a match, he has always shown a good attitude, he is an example for everyone who plays tennis.
Fortunately we were able to enjoy the era of these three players, Djokovic is still playing and expanding his legend, we will see next year how far the new generation goes," El Aynaoui said.