Without a doubt, the Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal stole the spotlight this season by winning the Australian Open, breaking the record for the 21-grand slam wins ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Ilie Nastase, former world no. 1, recently commented on who will become this era’s GOAT. Nadal, who was trailing well behind, has returned with a punch to the race.
The GOAT, Greatest of All Time tag, is a very subjective matter and for years now, the GOAT race is between three superstars of the game- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Till the trio doesn’t retire, it will be very difficult to pinpoint who is the GOAT.
Ilie Nastase on the big three’s chances
Ilie Nastase is a former Romanian player who was once at the top of the world with two grand slam titles under his name. He ruled the tennis world during his era in the 1970s. “It is clear that if the question is who has the most major titles,” Nastase stated. Just looking at the stats, it’s evident that the Spaniard has the highest number of major wins at 21 grand slam titles, with both Djokovic and Federer just behind with 20 major titles.
“If we talk about the best ever there are other factors. Roger Federer has impressive talent…But there is no doubt that Rafa has 21 Grand Slams and Federer and Djokovic have not,” he said.
“He is playing very little lately, but he will always have a chance if he continues to play and reaches a final,” says the Romanian about the Swiss star Roger Federer. The 40-year old lastly competed in the 2021 Wimbleton.
“From the moment that everyone has been vaccinated except him, he has a problem,” says Ilie Nastase about the Serbian no. 1 who, due to his decision to not vaccinate, got detained and then deported, causing his chances to win a big four go down the drain.
New champions coming up – Ilie Nastase
Nastase further added, “Although I am not going to be the one to judge him because he does not compete with me. We have no chance of winning because Spain, even without Nadal, has many players to choose from.“
The first one that comes to mind is the 18-year old Carlos Alcaraz, World No. 19. Having already won two titles at this age, Alcaraz can represent Spain even if Nadal couldn’t.