Mark Petchey believes the GOAT debate has diminished the greatness of the Big Three

Saturday, 16 July 2022 at 07:00
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Tennis pundit Mark Petchey says he feels the constant debates regarding the greatest tennis player of all time are stripping tennis fans the joy of simply enjoying the greatness of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
The Big Three started the 2022 season tied at 20 Grand Slams each but now Nadal owns a record 22 Grand Slams, while Djokovic has 21 Grand Slams in his collection.
Federer, who hasn't played this year as he is still recovering from a knee surgery, is the third on the list with 20 Grand Slams. The general belief is that whoever finishes with the most Grand Slams is the one that should be considered as the greatest player of all time.
"I think so and I’ve said it for a while now I kind of like the inter-rivalry of the fans actually in some ways detracts a little bit from what we’ve seen from the players over the years," said Petchey on The AO Show. "I mean obviously incredible to think that Novak’s overtaken Roger in terms of Major wins.
"It’s just been part of the story between the rivalries. I do think that you know comparison is the thief of joy as it says and I think that the comparison that have constantly been coming up between everybody about who’s better, who’s greatest, have really kind of taken away, a little bit at times, from just how great a tennis player they are."
Furthermore, Petchey added he feels Djokovic should be given more respect for the way he entered the greatest player of all time debate.
"I kind of feel like we should be giving more respect to Novak [Djokovic] in particular for the ability to have elbowed his way in to what was just a couple of champions just going about their business, just collecting Grand Slams for fun and he kinda muscled in for a little bit and then Novak has obviously kind of just come in to that argument and stamped his authority on it for the last decade really in many ways," added Petchey.

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