Former world No. 1 absolutely believes that Novak Djokovic , Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are some of the greatest players to have ever played the game but he has acknowledged that Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras can't be overlooked.
Djokovic, Nadal and Federer hold a Grand Slam record as each have 20 Majors in their collection. The fourth on the all-time Grand Slam list is Sampras, who captured 14 Majors during his career. "I think there are six that are the best in history.
Sampras, Laver, Borg and the Big 3,” Stan Smith said while speaking on La Nacional, as quoted on Tennishead. “Fortunately these three continue to play. Tennis fans around the world had the opportunity to see three of the best at the same time.
It is a special era, which will end in a few years”.
Smith believes Federer would have had success with a wooden racket
The era of players playing with a wooden racket is far behind us but Smith believes Federer is the only modern day player that would have had success with a wooden racket.
"I think the only one who would have had great achievements is Roger Federer, because he has a very fair, precise style of play,” Smith said. “In fact, for many years he played with a small hoop racket”.
Smith also wondered what would have happened had Laver played at more Grand Slams. Australian tennis legend Laver appeared in 17 Grand Slam finals and captured 11 titles. "Yes (it is surreal), but one of the questions I ask myself about a guy like Laver, who played 17 Grand Slam finals and won eleven, and who did not play the Majors for almost six years, is how many more he could have had,” Smith said.
“He could well have won ten more titles in those 24 tournaments that he did not play, because he dominated before and after”.