Nikola Pilic: 'Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will leave Roger Federer behind in..'



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Nikola Pilic: 'Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will leave Roger Federer behind in..'

For Nikola Pilic, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are the only players remaining in the GOAT race, with Roger Federer falling behind! The Croat believes that both Rafa and Novak will finish their careers with more Major titles than the Swiss, especially after Roger's injury that sidelined him from the court for a year.

At the beginning of 2021, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are tied on 20 Majors, three more than Novak Djokovic. The Serb wasted his chances to close the gap at the US Open and Roland Garros a few months ago, something he is willing to fix in the upcoming years.

The 2020 season saw three Major tournaments and three different champions. Djokovic was the favorite to melt the deficit to Federer and Nadal after lifting the 17th Major trophy at the Australian Open, experiencing a default at the US Open and losing the Roland Garros title match to Nadal.

Since 2011, Novak has been the dominant figure in men's tennis, securing six year-end no. 1 honors and winning the most Majors, Masters 1000 and the ATP Finals crowns. The Belgrade native has collected 16 Major shields since the Australian Open 2011, moving closer to his main rivals and ensuring his place among the greatest players of all time.

Novak made a perfect start of the season and won the ATP Cup, the Australian Open, Dubai and Cincinnati, looking good to add the 18th Major trophy to his tally in New York. Instead of that, Novak got defaulted for the first time in a career after a careless mistake against Pablo Carreno Busta, returning to Europe and securing the record-breaking 36th Masters 1000 trophy in Rome, leaving Nadal on 35.

Nikola Pilic ruled Roger Federer out from the GOAT race.

Seeking the second Roland Garros crown, Djokovic lost the title match to Rafa in straight sets, taking only two games in sets one and two and propelling Rafa towards the 20th Major.

The Spaniard made a stellar comeback in 2017 after a couple of tough years due to injuries, clinching six Major titles since the Roland Garros that year and matching Roger Federer at the top of the GOAT race. Roger hasn't competed since the Australian Open last January, struggling with a knee injury and undergoing surgeries in February and May.

The Swiss should return to the court at the end of February, but it will be tough for him to chase Major trophies after such a long break and versus much younger rivals from the top. "It's hard to imagine that Roger Federer could win another Major or two.

I'm not saying it is impossible, but it will be extremely tough for him to achieve that. Besides Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, there are young guns who could challenge him, including Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev. Plus, Roger is 39. In my opinion, only two players have left in the GOAT race," Nikola Pilic said.