Tim Henman gives seven-word verdict on GOAT debate as Nadal snubbed
Novak Djokovic jokes about his age at the Australian Open
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Tim Henman has brutally snubbed Rafael Nadal while weighing up tennis’ greatest of all time, aiming the spotlight on Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer instead. The Spaniard has won 22 Grand Slams, more than any other player in history, but he has been overlooked for his two biggest rivals.
Djokovic is storming toward a record-levelling 22nd Major at the Australian Open, cruising into the semi-finals with a straight-sets win over fifth seed Andrey Rublev on Wednesday.
Nadal and Djokovic started 2022 level with Federer on 20, but the former marched ahead with his Slam tally by lifting the Australian Open and French Open. Djokovic won Wimbledon later in the year.
The Swiss icon won’t be able to add to his impressive tally after ending his 24-year stint on the ATP Tour, retiring in September after partnering Nadal at the Laver Cup.
But although Federer has fallen third in the Grand Slam standings with no reply, he remains Henman’s GOAT.
Despite Nadal’s current position on the Grand Slam perch, Henman ignored him and told Eurosport: “You would have to say it’s Federer.”
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And the 48-year-old dealt Nadal a further snub by claiming Djokovic will likely take the GOAT mantle from Federer by ending his career with the most Grand Slam titles.
“For me, it will come down to a numbers game, who won the most at the highest level, and that is the majors, that is the Slams,” Henman explained.
“Nadal has the lead, but I have felt for quite some time that Djokovic will be the one on the men’s side that ends up with the most.
“The opportunities because he is looking so fit and hungry, you feel like he could play for another three or four years.
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“You would obviously hope he doesn’t pick up any injuries, which becomes a little bit harder as you get older.”
Nadal was hampered by injury issues in Melbourne this month, contributing to his second-round exit to American Mackenzie McDonald.
But he will want to be fighting fit for the French Open, which could be set up perfectly for the 36-year-old to battle with Djokovic on the Roland Garros clay again.
If the Serb lifts his 10th Australian Open this weekend, both will have triumphed in 22 Grand Slam tournaments heading into the next.
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