The greatest male tennis player of all time has always been a hot topic for years and for good reason. This is the golden era of male tennis in which there are three best players who ever lived are playing right now ranked #1, #2 and #3 which are Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic. But who is the greatest?
It’s obviously hard to compare given the different equipment, nutrition and physios, etc. Besides, there are many many great players such as Rod Laver who won 2 Grand Slam or Pete Sampras won 14 majors tournaments, although they didn’t really begin playing at the Australian Open until the mid/late 80’s and it is obviously there aren’t as many great players as there used to be in the past.
All those arguments have some merit to consider, it’s still obvious that the three greatest tennis players in history are those playing right now, they are at the top level and that is not debatable.
First let’s look at the figures:
When you look at these hard numbers you have to examine a little closer at them and put some context to it. Roger Federer is about 4 – 5 years older than Nadal and Djokovic when winning his first ATP title in 2001, meanwhile Nadal got his first in 2004 and Djokovic won his in 2006. Federer had his most successful period from 2004-2007 where he got an absurd number of 11 grand slam titles. Roger’s greatest time is and still has been incredibly consistent throughout his career.
While Nadal has always been incredibly consistent in winning the French Open 12 times since 2005; his highest performance time was 2008-2010 where he won 6 majors tournaments and finished the career grand slam.
Novak Djokovic had his top period of dominance during 2011-2016 where he won 11 majors titles and got in 7 other finals. He not only finished the career grand slam to match with Federer and Nadal but he also won all four grand slam titles at the same time. The thing nobody had been able to accomplish since Rod Laver won the grand slam in 1969.