Who is the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)? Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have battled for supremacy over the last few years, but Nadal moved ahead of his rivals at the Australian Open with his 21st Grand Slam title. Nick Kyrgios, who has been hitting with Naomi Osaka ahead of Indian Wells, thinks Nadal and Djokovic are now clear of Federer.
Nick Kyrgios says Roger Federer is no longer “in the GOAT talk” for him.
Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are widely regarded as three of the greatest men’s players of all time due to their incredible success over the last 15 years.
Until the 2022 Australian Open they were all tied on 20 Grand Slam titles, but Nadal’s victory in Melbourne has moved him one clear.
With Federer’s future uncertain – he said last week he may not return from knee surgery until later this year – Kyrgios does not believe he is still in the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) conversation.
“Roger is done for me in the GOAT talks guys, he is done,” Kyrgios told the No Boundaries Podcast.
“He’s got a losing record against both of them [Nadal and Djokovic], a really bad record. I don’t even think Roger beats some of the other guys on the grass.”
Nadal leads his head-to-head record against Federer 24-16 while Djokovic is 27-23 ahead.
Federer has not played since losing in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon last year and is currently recovering from knee surgery. Nadal, meanwhile, has won all 15 matches he has played this year and could move even further ahead in the all-time Grand Slam standings if he wins the French Open, his most successful major.
“If he wins the French he is unquestionably the GOAT,” said Kyrgios.
“If he gets to 22 and the others are on 20 he has the GOAT crown.”
Nadal’s victory at the Australian Open was one of the most memorable of his career.
He missed the last six months of 2021 with a foot injury and also tested positive for Covid-19 before flying to Australia. He was also two sets down in the final to Daniil Medvedev before staging a stunning comeback.
Reflecting on the final, Kyrgios said: “Before the match I was asked who’s going to win and I said match-up wise I thought it was a horrible match-up for Rafa, the court’s not playing the way Rafa wants it play to win and he wasn’t going to get enough free points on serve, Medvedev can still serve through the court.
“When he won the first set and the second I thought it was very tough for Rafa to come back. At 3-2 and 0-40 I turned off and then I turned on like two-and-a-half hours later and my initial thoughts were no way has this guy clawed this back. I refreshed it and thought this has got to be wrong.”
Kyrgios is set to play at Indian Wells, which starts on March 10, after getting a wild card for the Masters 1000 event. He will also be playing the Miami Open.
Kyrgios has been warming up for the events by hitting with four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka in Los Angeles.