Pat Cash: ‘Novak Djokovic is the best of the lot, Roger Federer is not even second greatest in his own era’
Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash believes Novak Djokovic is already ahead of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in terms of who is the greatest player of their generation.
Many believe Djokovic, Federer and Nadal will go down as the greatest tennis players of all time, however there is a lot of debate over who will be the overall GOAT.
Some say it is Federer due to his Grand Slam record as he has 20 majors to his name, others believe it is 19-time Slam winner Nadal because of his relentlessness on clay while some feel Djokovic, who has 17 majors, is already ahead of the other two.
Australian great Cash was asked for his views on the Big Three and he admits he prefers watching Federer.
“I think Federer is the one who could have transcended any generation with any rackets, with any courts, with any equipment. He would have been the No 1 player whenever he picked up a tennis racket, whether it was in the 1920s or now,” Cash told UBITennis.net.
“Rafa and Novak have specialised and created something new, particularly Rafa with the rackets and the strings. The way he can play on the clay is just phenomenal.
“Novak is up there and taken it to a level where he can do that on any surface.
“The way Rafa plays on grass, I don’t think he will ever beat Roger other than on clay.
“Players I’d like to watch the most? I think Federer and Nadal would probably be equal. I think Federer probably edge it for just pure enjoyment because he can come to the net and volley and he is so elegant in the way he moves.”
However, when it comes to who is the best of the Big Three, Cash believes it is Djokovic due to his head-to-head record against the other two as the Serb leads Federer 27-23 while he is 29-26 against Nadal.
He added: “Who is the best player of the lot? It’s Djokovic. It’s clear. This guy is a freak. They had a big head start and he has caught up with them. It’s just hard to go past the reality of head-to-head wins.
“I know everybody says Federer is the greatest player of all time, but he’s not even the second greatest in his own era.
“That’s hard to believe. If you are the best of all time, you should at least have a head-to-head record against your number one rival or number two rival.
“Surely, that would be the very first factor, I would say.
“As a shotmaker I would say [Federer is] the greatest player I have even seen. In shotmaking and movement and everything else. But in court surface and in many ways, he has been little old school.
“He has developed a more attacking game on surfaces and balls that really don’t suit him.
“It’s phenomenal that record he has, but Djokovic has the best record of them all and is closing in [on the majors], other than clay of course.”
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