Nadal best ever, says McEnroe

2013-06-26 17:30
Rafael Nadal (AFP)
Cape Town - He used to think Roger Federer was the greatest ever tennis player, but American John McEnroe now believes Rafael Nadal has claims to that honour.

Federer has won 17 major titles compared to Nadal's 12 and debate has long raged as to who is the greatest of all time.

Rod Laver, who achieved the calendar Grand Slam twice in his career, is another who often features in the discussion as is fellow greats Roy Emerson, Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras.

And despite his stunning first round exit at Wimbledon on Monday, McEnroe - himself a seven-time major winner - believes Nadal now holds the honour, pointing to his record across all surfaces against his arch rivals.

“This guy is to me, I think you can make an argument right here and now, the greatest player that ever lived,” McEnroe was quoted as saying on the Sport360° website.

“If you look at his record against (Andy) Murray, Federer, and (Novak) Djokovic, it’s way better than that.

"He won the Olympics. He’s got Davis Cups, which Roger doesn’t have. I have always said Roger Federer to me was the greatest player that ever lived, certainly the most beautiful player.

"But I’m going to tell you right here and now there’s a definite argument, I’m starting to lean toward Rafa.”

Nadal has always shrugged off talks of him being better than Federer, despite holding a 20-10 advantage in their head-to-head meetings.

He recently compared the Swiss great to English soccer champions Manchester United, who have won the English league 13 times in the last 21 years.

“At the end, if you play a league and, for example, I don’t know, Chelsea beat Manchester United in both matches during the season, but Manchester United won the Premier League, the better team is Manchester United. That’s an example," said Nadal.


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Novak Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, while Rafael Nadal boasts 15. Roger Federer is currently out in front with 18. When all is said and done, who wins more?

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