Renowned coach identifies areas Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic each excel in

Ewan West
Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic discuss tactics
Big Three of Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic during a match

Coaching legend Rick Macci has declared that Roger Federer “had the best serve”, Rafael Nadal had the “best topspin”, while Novak Djokovic has had the “best career.”

Macci also asserted that Djokovic “not only checks all the boxes” in the tennis ‘GOAT’ debate, but that he has “created a few” categories of his own.

Djokovic defeated third-ranked Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 in the final of the 2023 US Open in September to claim a fourth crown at the New York Major in a record 10th final appearance. The world No 1 has now won a men’s record 24 Grand Slam titles.

The 36-year-old secured three of the four Major tournaments this year, while also losing a thrilling Wimbledon final in five sets to Carlos Alcaraz. This is the fourth season of his career where he has won three Grand Slam titles – a men’s record.

The Serbian holds two more Major titles than Nadal – who sits second on the all-time men’s list with 22. Federer, who retired last year, is in third place on 20 Slams.

Djokovic downed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the Paris Masters on Sunday to claim a record-extending seventh title at the Masters 1000 event. He has now secured a remarkable record tally of 70 ‘big titles’ (Grand Slams, ATP Finals and Masters 1000 events), as well as 97 ATP singles titles overall.

In a post shared on Twitter / X, Macci identified attributes of Federer and Nadal he feels are the best, while placing Djokovic’s career in a class of its own.

“Of the Big 3, Roger Federer had the best serve, Rafael Nadal had the best topspin, Novak Djokovic had the best career,” wrote the American.

The 68-year-old also recently tweeted that Djokovic has met all the criteria required to be considered the greatest player of all time and suggested he has transcended the debate in some areas.

“The GOAT neighbourhood in any sport has many boxes that need to be checked. Novak Djokovic not only checks all the boxes, the ‘Serbian Sniper’ has created a few ones,” posted Macci.

Macci has worked with five players who achieved the world No 1 ranking in their careers: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Jennifer Capriati and Andy Roddick. The American also coached major champions Mary Pierce, Anastasia Myskina and Sofia Kenin.

Djokovic will next compete at the ATP Finals in Turin next week, where he is seeking a record seventh title at the year-end championships. He currently shares the record of six triumphs at the event with Federer, having beaten Casper Ruud in the final at last year’s edition to win the tournament for the first time since 2015.

The world No 1 will also represent Serbia at the Davis Cup Finals knockout stage in Malaga later month as he looks to lead his nation to a second title in the team competition after their 2010 triumph. Serbia will face Great Britain in the quarter-finals, with the Final 8 stage to be played from November 21 to 26.

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