The debate about who is the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T.) in tennis is set to go on for another year as the best in the business Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set their sights on 2021. Australian tennis coach Roger Rasheed recently weighed in on the debate and provided his views on the Swiss maestro’s place amongst the ‘Big 3’ and his impact on the sport.
Rasheed was himself a former player, but he made his name in the sport during his coaching days. The Australian has previously coached the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Grigor Dimitrov.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will surpass Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam tally: Roger Rasheed
In a recent podcast appearance, Rasheed opened up about his views on Roger Federer’s place in tennis and his status in the G.O.A.T. debate.
“The GOAT, if you want to live on those stats you can but if it’s the impact to the sport and the game holistically, there’s a couple that sit up there very high and he (Federer) is one of them,” Rasheed said.
Rasheed also believes that Federer might win another Open title or a Wimbledon, but his main aim will be that elusive gold medal at Olympics.
“If he snags another Major, probably Wimbledon’s the one. French Open is tough physically, and demanding. So yeah, so if he snags another one, that’d be outstanding. Is he hunting it down aggressively? Probably not. Would he want to win an Olympic Gold? Yes, that would sort of close his book on everything,” he explained.
Roger Federer will get opportunities to add to his Grand Slam tally in 2021, but one place where he will not play this year is at the Australian Open. Rasheed believes that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will surpass Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam tally owing to their young age.
“You gotta be well aware and understand that Novak’s a lot younger in age so you feel that the 3 Grand Slams are going to be chased down,” Rasheed said.
He continues, “Novak’s definitely put it on his agenda. Rafa’s gonna be around a little bit longer as well. Five years ago people were writing him off, saying his body is finished, well he looks just as strong now.”
I don’t think you have seen the last of Federer at the Australian Open: Rasheed
While Federer has withdrawn from this year’s Australian Open, Rasheed doesn’t think that the Swiss will never take the court in Melbourne again. “No I don’t think so (that we have seen the last of Federer at the Australian Open),” Rasheed said.
“I don’t think that would be running through Roger’s mind at all. Roger’s still very young at heart as far as his love for the game, his authenticity and why he plays. He just loves the actual competition and what it provides and the environment and giving to the fans,” the 51-year old concluded.