Exclusive – Barbara Schett: The only way to judge who is the greatest is on the Grand Slam count

Kevin Palmer
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal will look to claim his 21st Grand Slam title at the French Open next month, yet Barbara Schett believes Novak Djokovic will end up with the most major titles in tennis history – and will go down in history as the greatest ever.

The debate over which member of the ‘Big Three’ will claim the title of the game’s ultimate legend from the sport’s most golden of eras has endured for many years, with Nadal attempting to overtake Roger Federer at the top of the Grand Slam charts if he wins his 14th French Open title at Ronald-Garros.

In an exclusive interview with Tennis365, Eurosport presenter and former world No.7 Barbara Schett believes the only way to judge greatness is in the Grand Slam wins, as she suspects Djokovic will ultimately reign supreme.

“I think this battle to see who wins the most majors will come down to Novak and Rafa,” Schett told us.

“Maybe Roger believes he can win Wimbledon one more time, but that will be tough at his age and having been away from the game for so long.

“I would love to see Roger to win Wimbledon again. He must believe he can do it or he would not be playing, but he has been out for so long and his body is going to hurt when he plays best of five set matches.

Eurosport analyst Barbara Schett
Photographer: Antoine Couvercelle

“I retired when I was 28 and I thought I was old then. Now Roger is nearly 40 and we are saying he can still win Wimbledon, it’s amazing.

“One part of deciding who is the greatest of these three will be, in the end, the Grand Slam titles they win. I guess that is how they will be judged. They have all played at the same time and at the end of the day, the numbers count.

“Both Novak and Rafa seem fine physcially and for me, I think Djokovic will overtake Nadal and Federer at the end.”

Schett believes the trio are forever assured of their place in tennis folklore, as she believes they have created a legacy that will never be matched.

“We have to pay tribute to all three,” adds Schett. “That era, the three of them, it is unbelievable what they have done for the game.

“We will never experience anything like this again. If they win 21, 22 or 23, it doesn’t matter. It’s outstanding from all three of them. They will always been remembered as the greats of this era, which is just phenomenal.”

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