Rafa Nadal Roger Federer Rod Laver

“Federer is the best, at the moment” Rafa Nadal family member includes Laver but not Djokovic in G.O.A.T debate

He’s the uncle/ex-coach to Rafa Nadal and now Toni Nadal thinks he’s knows who the best ever male tennis player, but it could be more than one!


According to Uncle Toni, Rafa Nadal’s ex-coach, Roger Federer is the best ever (right now) but the list of G.O.A.T.’s (Greatest Of All Time) could also include Rod Laver and maybe Rafa himself, but he left Novak Djokovic off his list.

Toni Nadal was speaking to Eurosport as part of its Players’ Cut series which this week features Rafa Nadal, when he was asked for his thoughts on Roger Federer, “For me, he’s a wonderful player. I like to watch Roger Federer a lot. If I wasn’t the uncle nor the coach of Rafael, I would want Federer to win all the matches.

“But at the end, I like how he plays, because he’s very elegant but he’s very effective too. I know Federer is the best ever with I don’t know who; maybe Rod Laver or maybe Rafael, he’s not too far. But at the moment Federer is the best.”

In terms of Grand Slam singles trophies, which is often used as the measure of who is the greatest male tennis player of all time, Roger Federer has 20 wins, Nadal has 19 and Djokovic has 17, with Rod Laver on 11. Laver managed twice to win the Grand Slam of all four major’s in the same year in 1962 and then again in 1969. None of the current ‘Big 3’ has managed this, yet.

Players’ Cut airs from 6pm each evening this week on Eurosport 1.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.