Nick Kyrgios picks his GOAT from Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and reveals which player ‘made him feel s**t’

Shahida Jacobs
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at the Laver Cup

Nick Kyrgios has named Novak Djokovic as the greatest tennis player of all time (GOAT) although he admits another member of the Big Three made him “feel really s**t” and “was the hardest to play”.

Although Kyrgios declared himself a big Roger Federer fan in the past, the Australian maverick’s decision to label Djokovic as the GOAT won’t come as too big a surprise as the Serbian leads his two great rivals Rafael Nadal and Federer in most categories.

Djokovic has won the most Grand Slams (24) with Nadal on 22 and the retired Federer on 20, he has spent a record 393 weeks at No 1 in the ATP Rankings and also leads the head-to-head records against his nemeses, among other things.

Kyrgios appeared on boxing great Mike Tyson’s podcast “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson” recently and when asked who is the greatest he replied: “I matched up really well against Nadal all the time [as] I had the most success against him, but Federer could make you feel really s**t.

“No matter where you played him in the world, he was the fan favourite. Play him in Europe, America, Australia… everyone wanted Federer to win all the time so I think Federer was probably the hardest to play.

“I think Novak is the greatest of all time, but for me, Federer was the hardest to play. Something about him… he was really aggressive and didn’t give you much room to breathe.

“Nadal, my style – aggressive baseliner – matched up well against Nadal. He still beat me like a lot of times.”

When prompted by Tyson to nail his colours to the mast and declare Djokovic the best ever, he said: “I think he is the best ever. Like [24] Grand Slams and I think he’s got a couple more in him as well, it’s crazy.

“I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves enough. He’s almost been on tour for like 20 years as well, like the longevity.”

Kyrgios has a 2-1 head-to-head record against Djokovic while Nadal leads their H2H 3-6. Federer, meanwhile, retired with a 6-1 record against the Australian.

The 27-year-old discussed various things on the podcast, including his often controversial moments on court.

Asked how it feels to be labelled the Dennis Rodman of tennis, he answered: “I reckon it is cool. I kind of feel that the athletes that I like are Allen Iverson, and Dennis Rodman guys like that who kind of did it their way.

“You have tennis players like Federer, Djokovic, Nadal who are super professional. They have done it the really professional way, but the way I did it, I just had fun with it and I didn’t really listen to anyone and I have beaten all of these guys.”

READ MORE: Elite coach reveals why Novak Djokovic was always destined to win the GOAT race