Last Sunday, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal battled for the 57th time in the past 16 years at Foro Italico, overpowering all the rivals and playing for the Masters 1000 crown. Nadal toppled Djokovic in three sets to join him on 36 Masters 1000 trophies, setting eyes on the 21st Major title in Paris in June and hoping to pass Roger Federer in the GOAT race.
Three great rivals are separated by only two Majors following Djokovic's 18th crown at the Australian Open in February, still keeping the young guns away from Major glory. Roger Federer claimed two Major titles in 2017 to bring his tally to 20.
Djokovic and Nadal have been working hard in the past couple of years, sharing most Major shields between them and melting the deficit to Federer. Nadal caught the Swiss at the last year's Roland Garros, while Djokovic constantly repeats that he wants to finish his career with more Major trophies than his greatest rivals.
For Barbara Schett, both Nadal and Djokovic should pass Roger Federer and win more Major titles than him, looking good physically and having a couple of more good years in their legs.
Barbara Schett backs Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to pass Roger Federer.
"In my opinion, both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will win more Major titles than Roger Federer.
They both seem physically fine to me, and I think Novak will overcome both Roger and Rafa in the upcoming years. One of the elements in the GOAT race is undoubtedly the number of Major titles; I guess that is how they will be judged.
They have all played simultaneously, and at the end of the day, the numbers count. We have to pay tribute to all three. The three of them, it is unbelievable what they have done for our sport; we will never experience anything like this again.
If they win 21, 22 or 23, it doesn't matter. Maybe Roger believes he can win Wimbledon one more time, but that will be tough at his age and having been away for so long. I would love to see Roger win Wimbledon again. He must believe he can do it, or he wouldn't be playing.
Still, he has been out for so long, and his body is going to hurt when he plays best-of-five encounters," Barbara Schett said.