Inside The Numbers: A Statistical Analysis Of The Nadal-Djokovic Goat Race

The GOAT, or the greatest of all times debate in the world of tennis, is a never-ending debate. A year back, the position of the greatest tennis player of all time was a close contest between three people, namely Nadal, Djokovic and Federer.

However, with the retirement of the Swiss, only two contenders remain in the battle for the biggest title in the world of tennis. So if you are an ardent fan of tennis, then you too must have a favorite, and if you wish to bet on your favorite player, then you can go to

The Various Components Of The GOAT Debate

1. The World Ranking

The Association Of Tennis Players gives points to players based on their performance at different tournaments. The tournaments are played on three surfaces: hard, clay and grass. And there are tournaments that award two thousand points ( the four grand slams) and those that offer one thousand, five hundred and two fifty points on winning.

However, players get points not only for winning but for progression to different levels of a given tournament.

For instance, if player A wins a tournament that has two thousand points for winning, he gets seven hundred and twenty points for making it to the semi-final match.

So the ranking of the players at the global level gets reshuffled after the end of every tournament.

And the player who has the highest points at the end of every week is regarded as the world’s number one. Both Nadal, the player from Spain, and Djokovic, the Serbian, have been at the top position for quite a few weeks in their long and illustrious career.

However, in terms of being at the highest position for the most number of weeks, the Serbian has clearly outcompeted the Spaniard at this point in time. Very recently, he created a new world record by being the only person in the world to have reigned supreme for three hundred and eighty four weeks, which is way more than any of his male counterparts.

However, things can change very fast in the world of sports, and the thirty-six-year-old Spaniard has always been a superb player when it comes to the clay courts.

So if he can end up winning a major title at France at the end of the present season, he may have two thousand points in his pocket. But even then, he would be far from being world number one.

However, if the thirty-five-year-old Serbian wins a major championship worth two thousand points, then he is sure to reign supreme for some more weeks.

At present, both the players, however, are battling injuries. In the world of sports, one severe injury can end people’s careers for good. And in the present instance, the two players have played for a long time and coming out of an injury, and that, too, in top form, may be quite challenging.

So unless these two stalwarts can become absolutely fit, they may slip in the global rankings.

2. The Number Of Tournaments Won

As has been mentioned in the point above, in the world of tennis, there are several challenges that keep happening from time to time. Players get points for winning these challenges, but the greatest player in the history of the sport should be one who wins the maximum number of tournaments.

In this aspect too the Serbian is ahead of the Spaniard. Djokovic has won thirty-eight such tournaments in his life, which is way more than what the Spaniard has. However, when it comes to clay courts, the Spaniard has been an undisputed champion.

Many people who have competed against him have said that it was impossible to beat him on that surface (clay) when he was in his peak years.

Also, when it comes to winning grand slams, both players are tied at twenty-two.

Sports lovers and enthusiasts all over the world are waiting to know who will win the twenty-third title first. However, at the end of the day, whoever retires with the most titles will be a leading contender to be the biggest sportsman in the history of the sport.

Again it is difficult to predict who will get the next trophy first. It depends on many factors, like the physical status of the individual player and the pace of recovery from their present injuries. It also depends on how the matches are lined up. For instance, if one person has to play all the top contenders before he can reach the semi-final or final, then their chances of losing increase.

On the other hand, if a person has to play easy-to-win matches to reach the finals or the semis of an event, then their chances of winning are comparatively higher.

Apart from this, participation in the tournament also matters. The Spaniard has been absent from the court ever since early January, when he lost after a terrible injury in his muscles. As far as the Serbian is concerned, he has also been absent for almost four weeks due to Covid vaccination-related restrictions that are in force at present in the United States.

It is true that both the players are great competitors, and they have won many games, but being in shape and practicing is essential for winning in any professional competitive sport. So if both these champions do not come back to form anytime soon, the possibility of getting another cup may remain elusive for a while.


The present times are exciting for lovers of tennis because, on the one hand, the greats are playing, and on the other hand, there are several exciting new players who are winning hearts. The debate on who is greatest will probably continue even after the players retire. And most people are now awaiting a match where they can witness the clash of titans.

Darinka Aleksic has been writing for Tennis Tips since its launch and has been an integral part of our team. Her role is to cover topics regarding everything tennis-related around the globe. From expert equipment reviews to exercise tips and tricks, she covers all the fields with a lot of attention to detail.

Her goal is to deliver top-notch tennis content and keep you up to date with everything in the modern tennis era while also reminding you about the game’s roots and history. Sports have always been a fundamental part of her life ever since she started playing tennis at the age of seven.

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