The race to become the Greatest Of All Time has been on for a while, and its contenders ‘The Big 3’ are showing no signs of slowing down. Former World No.6, Gilles Simon weighs in on the GOAT debate and provides his insights on the way all the three players approach the game. Simon is amongst that rare breed of players who have managed to defeat Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at least once.
Simon recently opened up about his view regarding the ‘Big 3’. He describes Rafael Nadal as ‘hardest to beat’, Novak Djokovic as the ‘strongest amongst them’ and Roger Federer as a ‘tough opponent’.
Djokovic has more answers in front of everyone: Simon
Former French player spoke in an interview with Paris Match and expressed his opinion on playing against the modern-day legends. For Simon, Rafael Nadal is the hardest player to beat in comparison to Djokovic and Federer.
“For me, the hardest thing to beat is Nadal. Novak, I like his style of play and I have often given him a lot of problems. Federer, I beat him 2 times and brought him 2 times in 5 sets,” Simon said.
However, for Simon, Djokovic is the strongest player amongst the three. Simon said, “But the strongest? I have the impression that it is Novak Djokovic. He has more answers in front of everyone.”
The Serb’s ability to dominate his opponent and his composure under the pressure makes him the strongest players.
Whereas with Roger, things go so fast: Simon
Roger Federer is an easier player to beat, according to Simon. However, he believes that the Swiss’s elegance and his style of playing are enough to keep his opponent on the back foot.
Simon said, “The most impressive remains Federer when you feel what he imposes on a pitch. Even if he’s the one I’m most likely to beat on the pitch, he’s the one I feel bad about right away, because he immediately puts a lot of pressure on you.”
The Frenchmen went on the describe, what differentiates Federer from his fellow ‘Big 3’ competitors.
Simon believes that Federer likes to play fast and gets involved in fewer rallies. Unlike Djokovic and Nadal, who like to exhaust their opponents with extensive rallies, which may not be successful.
“Whereas with Novak or Rafa, I know that we will have done 75 rallies after 2 games but it is not “stressful”. The match settles down. Whereas with Roger, things go so fast, it’s impressive because it immediately puts a lot of pressure on you,” Simon concluded.