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Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal

‘It’s incoherent’ – Four-time Slam champion on comparing Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to other eras

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Comparing Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to greats of past eras is a futile question believes this multiple Slam champion.

The ‘Big Three’ have between them 60 Slam singles titles over the last 18 years.

It is often tempting to compare their achievements to those of greats from the past like Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras to name just a few.

However, another multiple Slam champion in Guillermo Vilas thinks it makes no sense to compare players from different eras of the game.

“If they put me against Federer from 2004 with my best tools from 1977, I would have no options,” Vilas admitted over Twitter. “I would lose 6-1, 6-2 if I were lucky.

“The same [would be true] against Nadal or Djokovic. If someone wants to compare, let them do it among the ‘Big Three’ of each era.”

Vilas specifically refers to 1977, his most prolific season. He reached the Australian Open final before winning Roland Garros and the US Open later on.

That season, he registered the highest ever tally for wins in a single ATP season, a record that still stands 44 years later. Vilas won 136 matches in 1977 to 14 losses.

He won 16 titles that season. Only Laver claimed more in one season, boasting 18 in 1969.

“Comparing a tennis player from 1900 against one from 2000 is incoherent,” Vilas went on. “There is 100 years of evolution.”

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Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal
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