Former world No. 10 Lucas Pouille thinks there is no doubt that Novak Djokovic should be considered the greatest of all time but acknowledged that Roger Federer is probably "the GOAT in people's hearts."
Last year, Djokovic added three Grand Slams to his collection and became the first-ever male player with 24 Majors, surpassing Rafael Nadal (22) and Federer (20). Also, Djokovic has become the only player in tennis history to have spent 400 weeks as the world No. 1.
Now that Djokovic owns the two biggest tennis records, some argue that the 36-year-old has laid the GOAT debate to rest. However, there are still those who are making cases for Federer and Nadal to be considered the GOAT.
However, 2019 Australian Open semifinalist Pouille underlines that success is one thing while love and respect for one player is another thing.
Pouille: Djokovic the GOAT of tennis, Federer the GOAT in people's hearts
“The greatest, for me, is Djokovic. In people's hearts, I think it's Federer, for his aura, what he exudes, the class he has and the character he embodies," Pouille said, via We Love Tennis France.
"But at one point, we talk about the GOAT of tennis, we talk about results, statistics. And for me, today, Djokovic is the greatest player of all time.
"In my heart, so when I was a kid, it was more Federer and Nadal because I grew up more with them at the very beginning. But what Novak is doing today... To continue to evolve at this level at this age is incredible and admirable."
In September, Nadal directly called Djokovic "the best ever." When making that statement, Nadal highlighted that numbers and statistics "indisputably" show that the Serb has better numbers than he has.
While Djokovic has never hidden the fact that he is aiming for the biggest accolades and the GOAT title, he has never directly declared himself as the GOAT, leaving that to others to decide.