The GOAT debate is a favorite pastime for tennis fans. No fans insist on Roger Federer's nomination as the best ever, claiming that the Swiss is still the holder of the Slam record at 20. Eternal rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are now getting closer and closer to reaching him.
The Spanish phenomenon will only need to win for the 13th time in Paris to equal King Roger, while a success at the US Open would allow the Serbian to hoist himself to 18 Majors. Daniil Medvedev's former coach Jean-Rene Lisnard is among those who point to Nadal as the strongest player of all time.
The former World number 1 defeated Medvedev in the final of the 2019 US Open, at the end of one of the most exciting matches of the entire season.
Lisnard on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
“I am a fan of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both," Jean-Rene Lisnard said.
"So it depends on each case. For my example (as a trainer) it’s Nadal for me. Because his uncle is the greatest tennis trainer! For me the strongest tennis, the Michael Jordan of tennis is this totally utopian truth," said Medvedev's former coach.
"You put Nadal’s mindset on the body of Federer even if he’s 45 years old. I can’t tell the difference! It is absolutely exceptional" - he added. For Lisnard, the work that Nadal puts into his academy reinforces his status as a great champion.
“I think to have a 5 star place to work it's great. Rafael Nadal for me is the best example of a champion," said Lisnard. "He has the best school to train at his place and they made a business out of it. With Toni Nadal they got their hands dirty and made a tennis legend.
They will be happy and proud of it”. Nadal will not be among the stars of the US Open, which kicks off in New York at the end of this month. The Iberian has decided not to fly to the US to focus all his energies on Roland Garros.
At the age of 39, Federer is sitting out the rest of the 2020 season after knee surgery but looks set to return in 2021, even if tennis continues to be played behind closed doors. The 20-time Grand Slam winner may elect to depart after one of his favourite tournaments and Edberg says the Swiss should make a sharp exit, rather than repeat his own mistake.
Many believe Federer wants to an add an elusive singles gold medal to his overflowing trophy cabinet and will prolong his career until the Tokyo Olympics - now in 2021. The Swiss Maestro won gold in doubles at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but hasn’t been able to capture one in singles.