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Todd Woodbridge: Why Rafael Nadal spoiled Roger Federer’s GOAT title

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Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge says he fears the sport won’t be able to reach the “heights” left by the big three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic once the trio walks away from the court.

The end of the infamous big three era appears to be nearing after tennis fans were rocked this week with the news that Federer’s career could be in doubt.

The Swiss maestro, who this year had two surgeries on his right knee, indicated he might be forced to miss the upcoming February Australian Open tournament as he struggles to reach his full fitness in time.

Discussing the legacy of the 20-time Grand Slam winner, Woodbridge conceded he couldn’t give Federer the nod in the greatest of all-time debate.

Woodbridge said Federer’s losing record against both Nadal (24-16), who’s also a 20-time Grand Slam winner, and Djokovic (27-23), a 17-time Grand Slam winner, would rule a line through any GOAT title being put on the Swiss legend’s name.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal (Getty)
“He’s (Federer) the greatest all-court player,” Woodbridge told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports Radio.

“I find it hard to suggest he is the greatest [of all-time] when he doesn’t have a winning record over Rafa and Novak.”

However, had Federer taken at least three of Nadal’s French Open titles, Woodbridge admitted the greatest of all-time conversation could look a whole lot different.

“But his (Federer) game style, the way he’s carried himself – Rafa spoiled it by dominating the French Open with 13 Grand Slam titles,” Woodbridge said.

“If Roger could’ve won three of them and Rafa just 10 – well then yes, he would’ve been (the greatest of all-time).

“I finished at Wimbledon because that was the mecca for me, that’s where it all began, that’s the home of tennis.

“I really feel that’s where Federer would like to leave, and it could then be on his own terms. I think it’s such a shame that if this is what happens to Roger, COVID has taken away from it being on his terms.”

Woodbridge said the era of the big three in tennis, who have dominated as a trio for nearly 15 years, has been one of the greatest he’s seen all sports.

But the 16-time doubles Grand Slam winner feared the sport would fail to reach the same excitement it’s seen once Federer, Nadal and Djokovic depart the game.

“It’s a great story, it’s great drama. It’s been one of the greatest eras of any sport that we could’ve ever watched,” he added.

“You’ve got to think we will struggle to get back to those heights any time soon because they were phenomenal players to have all come through at once.”

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WATCH : Andre Agassi revealed a shocking information on what makes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal special

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WATCH : Andre Agassi speaks on what makes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal so special

Andre Agassi the former World No. 1 from USA was part of one of the most fiercest rivalry in tennis which he had with fellow countryman Pete Sampras.

Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras met each other 34 times on the court in which Pete emerged victorious 20 times and Agassi 14 times. Both the Americans were always in battle for the top rankings and dominated the entire tennis of 90s. While Sampras won 14 Grand Slams, Agassi won 8 but won all the 4 Grand Slams which Pete couldn’t do as his best run at French Open was till the semis.

Tennis fans were lucky as they did not have to wait for much long post the conclusion of the Agassi-Sampras rivalry as a new rivalry had already started which produced matches of highest level. Swiss Maestro Roger Federer and King of Clay Rafael Nadal had started showing colours of what they were going to do in the coming years on the tour.

Andre Agassi recently appeared as a guest on ‘The Ranveer Show’ an interview hosted by Ranveer Allahbadia on YouTube in which Agassi talked about his auto-biography ‘Open’, The Big 3 of tennis, his learnings from his wife Steffi Graf, Federer-Nadal rivalry and various other things.

Answering a question on what makes Federer and Nadal so special, Agassi explained how every top player brings something special to the game that nobody has ever seen before giving the examples of Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, himself and others,

“When you saw Pete come in, nobody had a serve like him before. It was just remarkable. Everybody had to deal with it. Mine was ball striking, taking the ball early on both sides. Nobody played that way when I came in the game so.” said Agassi.

“When you look at Fed for example, I played him in the finals of the 2005 US Open and there was no safe place on the court. He probably had the best forehand in the world. When he played (Andy) Roddick, he aced Roddick more than Roddick aced him.”

“Then Rafa comes along and brings such enormous spin to the game that it actually changes the rules of engagement.

“Great players always do something that nobody else does” says Andre Agassi

Talking about the things Federer and Nadal changed, Andre Agassi said, “His (Federer) movement was a joke, his hands at net were a joke, his versatility was a joke. He might have had 5 things individually better than everybody on the tour. It’s hard to beat that guy.”

“You have two things with Rafa that clearly stand out to me, because he can hit the ball and it does not inward bounces, that changes position in the court where you can play and off-sets a lot of others. His power of movement, his strength and endurance and physicality is kind of unmatched.

“When you look at all these great players they always do something that nobody else does and that’s what gives them the chance to sit at No. 1 for a period of time.”

Agassi was part of some of the biggest rivalries during his 2-decade long career and like all other tennis fans considers himself lucky enough to witness the great Federer-Nadal rivalry.

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Rafael Nadal reveals what he did after wedding with longtime girlfriend

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In a press conference in Paris on Sunday Rafael Nadal was asked what he did after his wedding with his longtime girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello on Saturday October 19. The Spaniard said: “I played a charity exhibition in Kazakhstan for my foundation.

Novak came to Kazakhstan to play for my foundation. So that was — I can’t thank him enough. So have been great feelings. But obviously after the wedding I have the Sunday off. And then Monday, Tuesday, practice; Wednesday, flying to Kazakhstan; and Thursday late night here.

I take my weeks off during the season, and we decided that well. And in the world of tennis, you have to find your priorities, and we decided the way that we wanted to do. We take our time off before the wedding, and now is the moment to be back on the tour.”

On his schedule looking to the next weeks, Nadal concluded: “My program, everybody knows, is here, London, and Madrid. But as always, depends on how I feel.” Meanwhile the defending champion Karen Khachanov said: “It’s great to be back in this place, everything has started at a top level.

It was like a turning point when you beat four top ten players winning my maiden Masters 1000. It’s been one year, it looks like yesterday, it goes fast, a lot of things happen, it’s a long journey and this year at the beginning it was not so great but overall it was a good and positive season. You always expect something bigger than yourself but it could be worse and it’s about improvement.”

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Roger Federer: ‘I was wearing scarf, hat in order not to get recognized’

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Roger Federer rarely shows up in Swiss public streets in Zurich where he lives. Last month the Swiss player had a photoshoot with Mercedes-Benz on the street and fans were watching him around taking also photos with Federer, who appreciates their support a lot.

‘Here almost everyone knows who I am but they are always calm’, the Swiss said in a recent press conference. ‘There was a time of my life when I tried not to make myself get recognized from other people. I went to the supermarket wearing sunglasses, hat, scarf.

Almost like it happens in movies! It was a short time to be honest because I was not that comfortable with it.’ The writer David Foster Wallace described seeing Federer as a “religious experience”. Can it be stressful? ‘Obviously.

Especially because I am aware that it will last until I am able to win. One day even my figure will not be so much at the centre of attention.’ Is he worried by it? ‘No. I worked with Stefan Edberg and he was my idol since I was a kid.

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