Tennis legend Stan Smith has named Roger Federer as the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T.) in men’s tennis. Australian legend Rod ‘Rocket’ Levar is at the second position for Smith.
The former Wimbledon Champion chose Federer ahead for his fellow ‘Big 3’ counterparts Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Federer and Nadal are now tied at 20 Majors with Djokovic not far behind at 17. Laver, who is the only player to date to win the calendar-year Grand Slam twice, was chosen ahead of Nadal and Djokovic.
Both of them are tied at the third place according to Smith. “Oh yes. In my ranking of all time after Roger Federer, I put Rod Laver, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal on equal merit, Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg,” Stan Smith said.
Federer is the only player who would be equally successful with a wooden racket: Smith
Stan Smith retired from tennis in 1985, before the emergence of the modern-day power tennis. Smith discussed the change in rackets and how they have impacted the game. According to the 73-year-old, Federer is the only player who would have been as successful with a wooden racket as he is with the modern-day rackets.
Smith believes that Federer’s prowess in tennis would have helped him in playing with the wooden rackets, which required the player to hit the ball cleanly from the middle of the racket. “With the wooden racket the game is necessarily different, less powerful and slower. If you didn’t hit the ball in the perfect center of the frame, it meant trouble. I think the only one who would be equally successful with the wooden racket is Roger Federer. He plays as we did. Clean,” Smith said.
Sinner has impressed me: Smith
Italian sensation Jannik Sinner has garnered admiration and praise from all over the tennis world and Stan Smith is also one of them. Smith revealed that he is impressed by Sinner’s exploits on the court. The 19-year-old has had a tremendous 2020 year where he reached the quarterfinals at the French Open and won his first ATP title at Sofia. However, Smith cautioned Sinner for not getting carried away despite his recent successes.
“I’ve also seen Jannik Sinner in action on TV in New York and Paris. He has an all-court game that impressed me and a good attitude. Now that he has won his first ATP title and that Italy is rooting for him, how he manages his success and attention will be decisive. The head is everything in tennis. But it will not be a meteoric (rise),” the American said.