Coach Ivan Lendl says he wants Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to have a “fair fight” for the GOAT title, saying it is a little disappointing to see the greatest debate of all time being affected by politics. Nadal, 36, holds the record for 22 Grand Slams, while Djokovic is second with 21 Grand Slams.
40-year-old Roger Federer is a 20-time Grand Slam champion, and Lendl suggests that it is unrealistic to expect the Swiss to win the Grand Slam again. Djokovic missed out on the Australian Open earlier this year and may now miss out on the US Open as well.
Djokovic has not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and cannot enter the US as an unvaccinated foreign national. “That story is not over yet,” Lendl told Nova TV, according to Eurosport. “It ends when all three say goodbye.
At the moment it looks like Roger is out because he hasn’t played in a long time and is the oldest. It is fascinating to watch and follow, not only for the people of the tennis world, but for everyone else, spectators, fans.
What saddens me is that because of the vaccine issue, the fight is somewhat politicized at the moment. I hope that 20 years from now we don’t see it through that prism, that we’re not sure who was the greatest because of politics.
Although, if Novak wins Grand Slam number one, I think we’ll have an answer.
Rafa Nadal will pass the Canadian Open
Rafael Nadal had to manage his studies along with playing in tournaments. In his autobiography, ‘Rafa: My Story’, the former world number 1 revealed how he juggled education with playing tennis.
He said, “My mother gave her energy and encouragement in areas where I was less strong, such as my schooling. It was for this reason that my parents sent me away from Barcelona when I was fifteen, as my father and Tony did, and decided that I should attend boarding school in Palma.
He continued, “Called the Balearic Sports School, it catered to my needs—regular school lessons, but lots of tennis in-house—and it was only an hour’s drive from home. But I was miserable there. My parents – my mother especially – were worried that all this tennis was killing my studies.
My fear was that the studies were going to kill my tennis. They also killed my chances of playing at Wimbledon Juniors and Roland Garros.