Mats Wilander is one of the most authoritative voices within "white sport". The Swedish tennis legend and multiple Grand Slam winner once again touched on one of the most exciting topics of recent times: Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal? For years that was the focus of the GOAT conversation, until Novak Djokovic came along.
The romantics have chosen to maintain this conversation with only those two names, leaving aside the player who not only caught up with them, but is gradually leaving them behind. Well, the now television commentator, chose to opt for one with a definition that will undoubtedly remain controversial.
"Nadal has won all the Grand Slams twice or more, while Federer only won the French Open once. This is what makes Rafa different from Roger. He knows how to win in all the different places," Wilander said on Eurosport. And while no one can deny that it's a reality, that feat has also been accomplished by Novak Djokovic.
It should be noted that of the 20 Grand Slam titles that Federer won throughout his career, eight were from Wimbledon, six from the Australia Open, five from the US Open and one from Roland Garros. For his part, Nadal currently has 22 “big ones” spread over 14 Roland Garros, four US Open, and a couple from both the Australia Open and Wimbledon.
The truth is that each one left a legacy that will be impossible to erase. Do you agree with the assessment made by Mats Wilander regarding Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal?
John McEnroe praises Nadal
In a recent interview, John McEnroe mentioned that despite his constant injury setbacks, Rafael Nadal still has the hunger to succeed in the sport.
"The greatest single quality an athlete can have is that hunger, and no matter how successful you are, just being willing to do the hard yards and the work it requires to even give yourself a chance, and Rafa does that better than anyone.
He keeps a humbleness and a cockiness at the same time, which is a tricky thing to maneuver, and he does an incredible job of that. You do believe with him that he’ll do anything and everything to get back and give himself that chance, and there are very few players you can say that about, that’s why there's so much respect for Rafa," he added.
"With the players and anyone that watches the sport, you look at the guy and go, ‘oh god, how can that guy want it so much still, it looks like he's never won a major’."