‘It’s difficult to judge’ – Andy Murray gives definitive answer on GOAT debate to Novak Djokovic

ATP Tour
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray believes all three of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer have legitimate claims to the title of greatest of all time – since each of them specialise on a different surface.

The trio have amassed nearly 60 Grand Slam titles between them after competing against each other – and Murray – for best part of 15 years on the ATP Tour.

It is a question that often divides tennis fans, and Murray made sure to have his say when discussing it with Djokovic himself on a live webchat last week.

“The thing that’s special now is you have three guys who are playing at the same time, so you can compare them because – I wrote it down – you played 55 times against Rafa and 50 times against Roger, and Roger and Rafa played 40 times,” Murray told Djokovic.

“So you have that many matches between the best players in the biggest tournaments – so you actually don’t have to compare the generations, and I think the best three players are playing now.

“It’s difficult to judge it. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, so we don’t know what everyone is going to finish on slam-wise and how many matches everyone will have played and won against each other.”

Murray, however, believes that the question is complicated by the variation in surfaces in tennis, and that also gives a legitimate cause to claim Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer share the title of best ever.

“Also in this conversation, which is maybe different to other sports because we have the different surfaces, is that to me right now you have Rafa’s record on clay nobody competes with, Roger’s current record at Wimbledon is the best, and your (Djokovic’s) record on hard courts is the best.

“So because we have these different surfaces, it’s difficult, and when people ask me what’s the toughest match in your career, who are the hardest guys to play against, I’d be like… I feel like I’m competing against the best hard-court player ever, I’ve competed against the best clay-court player ever and the best grass-court player ever, so for me it depends on the surface.”

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