Roger federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

John McEnroe settles GOAT debate saying it is ‘unbelievable’ what the Big Three have achieved

John McEnroe has found a simple solution to the GOAT debate in tennis by splitting the discussion into the different surfaces.

Fans of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have argued for years, often heatedly, about who should be considered the greatest player of all time.

McEnroe, though, simply says that it is all three of them.

“The greatest grass court player of all time is Roger [Federer], the greatest hard court player is Novak [Djokovic] and the greatest clay court player is Rafa [Nadal],” McEnroe said.

McEnroe made the comments at the Laver Cup in discussion with former rival Bjorn Borg, who will once again be captaining Team Europe.

“It is nice to see the ‘Big Four’ – including Andy Murray – [playing] together [again],” Borg said. “But what they did in tennis and history, it’s unbelievable.

John McEnroe agreed, although he warned against believing that the achievements of the Big Three could not be matched, or even surpassed, by someone else.

“Yes, it is unbelievable – we can lose sight of how unbelievable it is,” McEnroe said. I think in 10 years, 20 years when you look back, you’re like, ‘wow’.

“I don’t think the next guy is going to win 20. Although, I didn’t think any of these three would win this many.”

? Free >> Join our legendary newsletter

Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

? Social >> Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube

? Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

? Watch >> How to enjoy ATP/WTA/Slam tennis on TV

? Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.