The idea that Roger Federer is the greatest player of all time has been dismissed by retired Argentine tennis player Jose Luis Clerc, who doesn't believe the 20-time Grand Slam champion will be adding to that figure before he retires.
Federer, 40, has been out of action since August last year after undergoing a third bout of knee surgery. The operation ruled him out of last season's US Open, as well as the Australian Open at the start of 2022. He's now targeting a return at Wimbledon, a tournament he has won eight times.
But serious doubts remain as to whether he can get back to challenging in major tournaments again. Having once led the table of all-time Slam winners with 20, in recent times he's seen that figure matched by Novak Djokovic and surpassed by Nadal in Melbourne this year.
2022 Roland Garros Entry List with Djokovic, Nadal, Zverev, Tsitsipas (Last Update - 19-05)
Indeed, Federer's last Slam success came back in 2018, when he beat Marin Cilic at the Australian Open. And now Luis Clerc has argued that the battle for the status of the best ever is between Djokovic and Nadal, and not fan favorite Federer.
"If Rafael Nadal wins Roland Garros, he will be the greatest ever," said Luis Clerc, in an interview with Ole magazine. "As for Roger Federer, I don't think he can win any more Grand Slams. We tennis fans would like him to play forever, but that is not possible.
"Many say that Roger is a GOAT, but for me the best is the one who has the most titles at the majors. He has been absent for too long and certainly, the years are not on his side. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have a much better chance of continuing to win titles, but we will have to watch out for Carlos Alcaraz who is coming."