The Big 3 dominated the men's circuit for a decade and a half, making history and rewriting the record book. Rafael Nadal is ahead of everyone in the all-time rankings of the Majors, thanks to the extraordinary feat achieved at the Australian Open 2022.
Against all odds, the Spanish champion has beaten the competition at Melbourne Park and hoisted himself to 21 Grand Slams. The 35-year-old from Manacor has also become the fourth man in history to have won all majors at least twice.
2022 did not start well for Novak Djokovic, who paid a heavy price for his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. In addition to not being able to defend the title in Australia, the world number 1 also suffered serious damage to his image.
Nole, who came close to the 'Calendar Grand Slam' last year, will try to make up for Roland Garros. The speech relating to Roger Federer is more complicated, struggling with rehabilitation after yet another knee surgery.
Given his age and physical condition, the Swiss is the one who has the least chance of increasing his showcase. Guest in the latest edition of the podcast 'The Functional Tennis', the well-known coach Claudio Pistolesi addressed the issue of the GOAT.
Claudio Pistolesi on the GOAT debate
"My GOAT is - this period of time 99-2000 when Roger Federer stepped into picture, many think he is the GOAT," Pistolesi said. "But then came Rafa Nadal, that beat him and he starts to win 13 French Open - I get crazy only when I think about that - 13 French Open!
We have players that won - for me Guga Kuerten won three times French Open, was incredible already - and this guy won 13, so then he won two Wimbledon. And then is coming Djokovic, ridiculous number of weeks at No. 1 at the world, the one with most times No.
1 in the world in ranking (Year-End No. 1), winning another 20 Majors," he continued. "So is impossible to say one of these three." The tennis coach firmly believes that a single member of the Big 3 does not stand out more than the other.
As such, Pistolesi feels all three combined are the greatest to grace the game. "I think my GOAT is the combination of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic - not to be diplomatic but this is the truth," he said. "You know, if you say Nadal, there is a but - yes, maybe Nadal because he won most Major but Djokovic is the one with most No. 1 (weeks and year-end) and Roger, he has for sure records that is even difficult to keep track."