Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are currently paired at 20 Grand Slams each, after the Spanish champion completed the engagement by winning his umpteenth Roland Garros last year. The 39-year-old Swiss has been almost completely absent in the last 15 months, having played just three matches in all of 2021.
Rafa will therefore have a great chance to overtake the next Roland Garros, which will start a week late due to the complex French health situation. King Roger, for his part, will try to fire one last shot at Wimbledon, where in 2019 he collected one of the most atrocious insults of his long career.
Federer and Nadal still have to watch their backs from Novak Djokovic, the youngest of the three, who pocketed the ninth Australian Open at the start of the season and is now only two points behind his eternal rivals in the all-time ranking.
After losing 6-3 to Tommy Paul in Lyon with a double 6-3, former Top 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gave his opinion on the fight for the GOAT title.
Tsonga reflects on the GOAT debate
"Considering that Rafael Nadal is five years younger than Roger Federer, what he has done is exceptional," Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said.
"Today we cannot question that he was the one who won the most. If he were to overtake Roger with the number of Grand Slam titles, there would definitely be no more debate about the greatest player of all time." The former Australian Open champion also believes Nadal would be the favorite in the eyes of everyone - including those who have a chance of beating him, like Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem.
"Today there is no one who doubts that he is the inevitable favorite, you ask all the players, even those who are able to beat him today, they think he is the favorite," Tsonga said. "There is no doubt, he has won 13 times in 15 years, it's just out of the ordinary.
If there is one favorite, it's Rafael Nadal." 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer didn’t enjoy a great comeback at the Geneva Open 2021. The Swiss maestro was playing his first clay-court match since the French Open 2019, but he was still expected not to lose.
Playing against Spain’s Pablo Andujar, he lost the match in three straights, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6. “Little mistakes like the ones that happened down the stretch of the match today have a better chance of not happening than happening, and for that, you just sometimes need to put yourself out there.
Sometimes it’s not fun when you know how your limitations are, and for me, it’s always difficult,” said Federer in the interview.