LONDON—Despite owning an 22-10 head-to-head record against Roger Federer, 13-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal says that he does not belong in the discussion for being the greatest player ever, saying that the accolade should either go to Federer or Rod Laver, who won the calendar-year Grand Slam both in 1962 and 1969.
“I believe is 100 percent fair that people say [Federer is still the best ever] because he is today, and will be very difficult to any player to improve his numbers,” Nadal said. “Always say the same: Is not fair to analyze the history of any player only for the Grand Slams. Everyone who is around this world knows that the tennis is not only the Grand Slams. There are a lot of things outside the Grand Slams. Roger has an unbelievable record outside of Grand Slams. For sure, in Grand Slams, he the player who win more.
“But I never saw play Rod Laver, but I know his history. He was able to win all four [majors as an amateur] and all four [as a professional]. So today the question is not about me or Roger, will be more about Rod Laver or Roger. But I never had the chance to see Rod Laver play. And talking about my career, I am 27. I did more than what I ever dreamed. I hope to keep having chances to keep winning. I gonna work for that. And hopefully when I finish my career, we’ll see where I am in the history of tennis.”