Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic’s former coach predicts when the GOAT race will be decided

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have dominated tennis in the 21st century, and Boris Becker has predicted when the GOAT race could be decided. 

Djokovic was coached by the former No.1 between 2013 and 2016, with the Serb winning six Grand Slam titles and 14 Masters 1000 titles in that period.

The Serb has since gone on to win 10 more major titles, to give him a current total of 22, and has surpassed Federer and equalled Nadal.

With Federer now retired, it is up to Djokovic and Nadal to see who can take the crown of having the most Grand Slam titles.

“Whoever likes tennis, we have interesting times where we have arguably the greatest of all time taking all the titles away from everybody else,” said Becker, There was a time where each of these players [Djokovic, Nadal and Federer] had 20 majors, which is unheard of.”

He continued, “To have one is maybe possible, but three impossible. Now Federer has retired, Nadal is possibly on one leg at the moment, Djokovic is also 35.”

Nadal has been out of action since January, with a grade two tear to his iliopsoas muscle, and despite pulling out of the upcoming Monte Carlo Masters is expected to compete at his beloved Roland Garros.

Becker has suggested that the Paris major could see a showdown between the two giants of men’s tennis, “Both have 22 majors, the French Open is coming up… It would be interesting to see a final between Nadal and Djokovic to decide ultimately who has the most Grand Slams of all time, so stay tuned.”

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal head-to-head

Djokovic and Nadal have played each other on 59 occasions, including 28 finals, of which nine were Grand Slam finals.

However, their head-to-head on all surfaces is very different to that on clay:

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal overall head-to-head: 30-29

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal head-to-head on clay: 8-20

Last meeting (2022) – Nadal beat Djokovic, 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6(4) (Roland Garros quarter-final)

However, whether Becker’s prediction of a Roland Garros final between the pair will be possible will depend on the draw, with Nadal falling outside of the top 10 for the first time since 2005.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.