Holger Rune says which tennis great won the most titles or was ranked number one for the longest doesn’t matter, the fact they have set the bar for younger players is what counts.
The GOAT (Greatest of all time) debate in tennis has rumbled for many years, with fans of the various ‘big three’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic all giving valid evidence for why their favourite should have the title.
Roger Federer was the first to reach 20 Grand Slam titles and arguably brought tennis to a different level and to a bigger audience through his career. Rafael Nadal is the current Grand Slam record holder with 22 titles and has the record number of crowns at one major.
Meanwhile Novak Djokovic has 21 Grand Slam titles, holds the record for staying at number one for the most number of weeks and is currently still the dominant force on the ATP Tour over grass and hard court tennis.
However, 19-year-old Rune says there is no reason to separate them when collectively they have left a legacy for all future players.
“I think nothing about this to be honest, I hate the GOAT discussion,” Rune told Express Sport.
“Because who won the most titles, who won the most Grand Slams, who was No 1 for the longest time. I mean all these guys are incredible. They achieved something that is history making. It pushes also the younger generations to what’s possible.”
The young Dane has had a very successful season, breaking into the top ten for the first time and winning his maiden masters event in Paris. In doing so, he beat five top ten players in a week, including Novak Djokovic in the final.
Rune says that young players such as himself and current world number one Carlos Alcaraz thrive on having such standards and records to aspire to and that it can only mean good things for the sport.
“Records are there to be broken. And now the guys made us work even harder to break records. That’s good for the future of tennis. The level will increase even more,” Rune said.
“I think players like Federer, Novak, Nadal, Murray showed us the extreme high level of tennis and this is what makes the young generation so good today.
“I hope we can continue like that in tennis, raising the level even more. I think it is possible.”
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