Federer Nadal Roland Garros 2019

‘Nadal overtaking Federer in Grand Slam titles would settle GOAT debate’, says ATP star

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga believes “there would definitely be no more debate about the greatest player of all time” if Rafael Nadal surpassed Roger Federer in major titles won.

The 2008 Australian Open runner-up also described Nadal as the “inevitable favourite” to win his 14th French Open title at this year’s event.

Victory at Roland Garros would see the Spaniard reach 21 Grand Slam titles and eclipse Federer’s tally of 20.

“Today, there is no one who doubts that he is the inevitable favourite,” the 36-year-old Frenchman said in a press conference at the Lyon Open this week.

“You ask all the players, even those who are able to beat him today, they think he is the favourite. There is no doubt, he has won thirteen times in fifteen years, it’s just out of the ordinary. If there is one favourite, it’s Rafael Nadal.

“Both, whether Novak and Rafael, on the tournament in Rome, still put the church a bit back in the middle of the village and showed that there was still a bit of margin and that they were still the favourites for the Grand Slams.

“Considering that he (Nadal) is five years younger than Federer, what he has done is exceptional. Today we cannot question that he was the one who won the most.

“If he were to overtake Roger with the number of Grand Slam titles, there would definitely be no more debate about the greatest player of all time.”

Tsonga – current world No. 72 and a former world No. 5 – was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by Tommy Paul in the first round in Lyon on Tuesday.

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.