Carlos Alcaraz weighs in on GOAT debate after Rafael Nadal’s Novak Djokovic claim

Ewan West
Carlos Alcaraz during a match in Rio in 2024
Carlos Alcaraz during a match at the 2024 Rio Open

Carlos Alcaraz has shared his thoughts on the debate over who is the greatest tennis player of all time after Rafael Nadal labelled Novak Djokovic “the best in history.”

The two-time Grand Slam champion agreed that Djokovic stands alone “at the level of numbers” but declared that the Serbian, Nadal and Roger Federer are all “the best.”

Djokovic is the most successful men’s player ever by almost every significant metric, having won the most Grand Slams, Masters 1000 titles and ATP Finals crowns. The 36-year-old has also spent the most weeks as world No 1 and secured the most ATP year-end No 1 finishes.

During a recent interview with El Objetivo, Nadal was asked about Djokovic’s image and praised his greatest rival: “The image he projects is worse than what he really is.

“He’s a good person, with his mistakes… but he’s much better than he looks. To me, when someone with so much success has to project…

“Novak breaks his racket but the next point he’s one hundred per cent, that’s why he’s the most successful player in the history of our sport. The numbers don’t lie, he’s the best in history.”

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic secures astonishing ranking milestone involving Rafael Nadal

Speaking to Marca ahead of his appearance at the Rio Open this week, Alcaraz was asked whether he felt the GOAT debate was over following Nadal’s comments.

“Everyone has their own perception of things. For some it is Djokovic the best, for others it is Rafa, for others it is Federer. Rafa said that it is Djokovic at the level of numbers and I also think so,” the world No 2 said.

“At the level of numbers, Djokovic is the best in history, there is no doubt about that. I think to say who is the best is something that goes beyond the numbers. All three are there and for me, all three are the best.”

The 20-year-old Spaniard, who was forced to retire due to an ankle injury during his opening round match in Rio, also addressed how far he is from finding his best level.

“I don’t think I’m far away, but I still have to reach that level that I have already shown on many occasions, both in tennis and confidence, knowing how to manage certain moments,” Alcaraz assessed.

READ MORE: 13 incredible tennis records Novak Djokovic could break to add to his staggering collection