Wilander: 'Rafael Nadal will pass Roger Federer and become GOAT in 2020'


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Wilander: 'Rafael Nadal will pass Roger Federer and become GOAT in 2020'

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had claimed all four Major crowns in 2019, moving closer to Roger Federer and making the GOAT race as attractive as it ever was. Roger Federer wasted a chance to improve his tally at Wimbledon, squandering two match points against Djokovic in the final and staying on 20 Major crowns, just one more than Nadal who is in a stable position to catch or even pass the Swiss in 2020.

Three legends will have the first test at the Australian Open where Novak Djokovic looks like the player to beat, chasing the eighth title in Melbourne and to remain in touch with Federer and Nadal. The seven-time Major champion Mats Wilander gives Novak the advantage over the rest of the field in Melbourne and he also thinks Rafael Nadal will become the greatest player of all time in the current season, winning a Major or two to find himself in front of Roger Federer.

The Swiss had a massive 16-6 advantage in Major crowns after the Australian Open 2010 before losing ground to Novak and Rafa in the rest of the decade, keeping himself in front after claiming titles at the Australian Open in 2017 and 2018 but not being able to add more trophies to his tally in the last seven tournaments that all went to his arch-rivals.

"Rafael Nadal will become the best tennis player of all time in 2020," Wilander said. "I don't think he fights for the ranking but to win a Grand Slam; if it works, then, yes, he would want to be no. 1. I think he wants to add another Grand Slam or two to his record and he will succeed, for sure.

He should move ahead of Roger Federer this year. I can't imagine Nadal playing if he can't win a Grand Slam, although, for that, you must also have some fortune and avoid injuries. Rafa is very smart and is too good to play a tournament without believing he can win it."