Rafael Nadal's sensational ride to Roland Garros, where he won his 13th Roland Garros (fourth without losing a single set) equaling Roger Federer's 20 Grand Slam record, suddenly reignited the GOAT debate. Nadal and Federer are paired at the top of the standings, while Novak Djokovic remains at 17 Majors, however, having the greedy chance of overtaking the Swiss in the ranking of the weeks at the top of the ATP ranking.
In his book 'This Sport that Makes You Crazy', veteran French veteran Gilles Simon praised Federer's inimitable class, but stressed that Nadal and Djokovic are equally entitled to be included in the speech relating to the greatest ever.
The Spaniard and the Serbian have indeed shown that there is more than one way to excel in this sport.
Simon on the GOAT debate
"If Roger Federer keeps his records, that will allow us to say that, of course, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are good players too, but above all that they are less strong," Gilles Simon wrote.
"That's why this GOAT story has been gaining such proportions for years, because there are many who believe that Federer's records will never fall. But if Novak Djokovic overtakes him when he hardly makes any volleys, it will break the thought patterns of a lot of people.
Because we just don't like him as much as Roger Federer. If Federer's records fall, then we will no longer be able to pretend, we will no longer be able to limit tennis to one player," Simon said. "We agree that the game proposed by Federer is without doubt the most pleasant to watch, but it is not necessarily the most effective.
Novak Djokovic, it may be less dreamy, but it is no less effective. And if he exceeds him in terms of Grand Slam victories (because ultimately that's what counts), then we will no longer be able to hide our face. Federer, who keeps his records, means that for generations to come, they will put him in all the sauce.
And I don't want that. I would like a kid who is forced to play like Federer (to be able to) answer: 'Yes but Novak and Rafa have won 21 titles by playing differently'," Simon added. A push to rename Basel’s main sports arena after local tennis superstar Roger Federer fell through on Monday after it failed to garner enough signatures.
Hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, Federer fans fell 1,800 signatures short of the 3,000 required to trigger a local public vote on the proposal. But hopes that the St. Jakobshalle will be renamed he Roger Federer Arena are still burning despite the setback, Swiss news agency ATS reported.