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The greatest? Djokovic has time and momentum on his side

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Uniqlo signed a 10 year $300m advertising contract with a tennis player in his late thirties?

It's a pity there is so much focus on the singles game. Egos, tantrums, prima donnas, aces, love games, rowdy fans, too much money and matches that are often foregone conclusions.

I watched the finals of the women's doubles and much of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon and they were excellent tennis matches. There are more variables in doubles games, longer rallies and better behaved crowds.

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By no stretch of the imagination is Djokovic, the greatest anything. As regards tennis, he is accumulating grand slams, purely because the top players are well beyond their prime and almost into dotage. The younger players are exactly that, though next year will provide a reckoning for Djokovic, as they develop court savvy and become accustomed to playing in the glare of center court in a final.

What he has: numbers. When Federer was younger and close to his prime Djokovic was not a problem. To consider Djokovic the equal of the King of Clay, Nadal is utterly boorish. He is in the top ten.

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contract with a tennis player in his late thirties?

Yes, but it’s Federer.

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By no stretch of the imagination is Djokovic, the greatest anything. As regards tennis, he is accumulating grand slams, purely because the top players are well beyond their prime and almost into dotage. The younger players are exactly that, though next year will provide a reckoning for Djokovic, as they develop court savvy and become accustomed to playing in the glare of center court in a final.

What he has: numbers. When Federer was younger and close to his prime Djokovic was not a problem. To consider Djokovic the equal of the King of Clay, Nadal is utterly boorish. He is in the top ten.

You are really giving yourself away as a disgruntled Federer worshipper who can’t stand the fact that another player (two, in fact) are in a position to overtake Federer in one of the most important metrics in tennis, viz. grand slams.

For a long time my favorite player was Pete Sampras. When Federer eclipsed Sampras’ record of slams, I acknowledged this as an inevitability in sports: someone will always come along and break records. Now it’s Nadal (possibly) and Djokovic (more likely) who are going to set the records.

I know that Federer’s fans are a special kind of obsessive, but try and have a little dignity in losing.

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As Some Dude said.

When the great three have only words of praise for the others' achievements and acknowledge that their rivalry pushed them to those heights, why do their fans talk so much trash?? As I said it a few days ago: instead of meaningless debates, why can't fans just thank the big three for the great tennis and feel lucky to witness their great rivalry?

And by the way, I was an Agassi fan, and as I junior I modeled my style of play after him; it hurt when Federer beat him, but a new great era started at that point.

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Richard Gallagher: As regards tennis, he is accumulating grand slams, purely because the top players are well beyond their prime

Federer was accumulating Grand Slams before Nadal and Djokovic had developed into top players, so should we disregard all those titles as well, according to your logic?

timeon: And by the way, I was an Agassi fan, and as I junior I modeled my style of play after him; it hurt when Federer beat him

Exactly the same here. I spent many, many afternoons working on that 2-handed backhand up the line.

Novak Djokovic has time and winning momentum on his side in the race to be crowned the greatest player of all time.

I think he's already there. I'm not a believer that Grand Slam titles should be the only determinant on who the greatest is, but Novak's accomplishments across the board cannot be denied. Winning the US Open this year isn't necessary for him to be the best, but it would surely be an exclamation point on all the other evidence. And as the article said, he's still got plenty of time and opportunities to build his resume even further.

That said, Federer's 2006 season was still the most dominant 1-year span of tennis I've ever seen from a player. He wasn't just winning, he was blowing people out in style. I recommend looking up David Foster Wallace's article titled "Roger Federer as Religious Experience" on the New York Times website - it gives a perfect description of what it was like watching Roger in that era. Really good read for tennis fans.

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That said, Federer's 2006 season was still the most dominant 1-year span of tennis I've ever seen from a player. He wasn't just winning, he was blowing people out in style. 

That season is referenced in this excellent article:

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1708407-ranking-the-10-most-dominant-seasons-in-tennis-history

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Richard GallagherToday 12:59 pm JST

By no stretch of the imagination is Djokovic, the greatest anything. As regards tennis, he is accumulating grand slams, purely because the top players are well beyond their prime and almost into dotage. The younger players are exactly that, though next year will provide a reckoning for Djokovic, as they develop court savvy and become accustomed to playing in the glare of center court in a final.

What he has: numbers. When Federer was younger and close to his prime Djokovic was not a problem. To consider Djokovic the equal of the King of Clay, Nadal is utterly boorish. He is in the top ten.

This is a good example of the old law school quote: "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and facts are against you, bang on the desk and yell like hell."

Nadal isn't finished yet. Very doubtful he'll equal Djokovic head to head and he won't equal Djokovic in time spent ranked #1 but he may get another slam win before he is done and they hold the record for equal most Masters Series victories.

Federer has a solid losing record against both, fewer Masters Series victories and will probably end with fewer GS victories. He's not even in the argument. A distant third.

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That season is referenced in this excellent article: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1708407-ranking-the-10-most-dominant-seasons-in-tennis-history

Nice one, Some dude. Thanks for the link. The other seasons on the list are before my time, but it was enjoyable reading about them. Fed's '06 remains the standard for seasons I've been alive and following tennis during.

The David Foster Wallace NYT article I mentioned above is here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/sports/playmagazine/20federer.html

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The David Foster Wallace NYT article I mentioned above is here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/sports/playmagazine/20federer.html

I’m out of free NYT articles, but I’ll try again later with that.

The single greatest display of tennis I’ve personally seen was Sampras in the 1999 Wimbledon final. Superhuman is the only word I can think of.

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The difficulty in comparisons is we can’t compare peak Djokovic with peak Federer because they peaked at different decades.

Nadal for me is great, obviously undisputed best on clay, but if one discounts clay then it’s surely Federer and Djokovic.

But it’s seriously hard to imagine another golden era of tennis again after these 3 are completely gone. But then one never knows…

The era wouldn’t be the same without the others, so they are all greats.

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Anyone who knows and plays tennis would say Federer, without a doubt.

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I enjoy watching all three superstars and will be telling my grandchildren about this golden era in tennis where all three were playing at the same time. Of course, Novak may still be playing when I get some grandchildren...

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I was a collegiate tennis player and my basic view is; Djokovic is the greatest right now. Go back 11-20 years, it was Federer. Then for all-time greats certainly Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, snd Pancho Gonzales are all legit top 5 all timers, with John McEnroe and Nadal on the perimeter.

Rod Laver is consistently rated the greatest all time by tennis commentators, but I would put Borg into the number one spot since for a 3 year period he dominated the grand slams he entered like none of the others, including Federer, Sampras, Nadal, and Djokovic.

No argument though that Djokovic will end up with the most grand slams, but unfortunately we will never see how he would have done against Rod Laver.

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