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'Roger Federer is the only one who would have succeeded with a wooden racket as we did,' says legend

Roger Federer backhand AO

Roger Federer is the true GOAT and it is not reliant upon statistics, says former Wimbledon and US Open champion Stan Smith. 

Debate rages in tennis over who will ultimately be regarded as the greatest player of all time.

Due to their dominance of the modern era, Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic are generally considered to be fighting it out, with Grand Slam titles and other records used to make the respective arguments.

Smith, though, believes there is another key argument that should be the most important factor, and Federer leads it.

"In my all-time rankings, I put Roger Federer ahead of Rod Laver, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg.

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"The game was different in the past with a wooden racquet, less powerful and slower; if you didn't hit a ball in the perfect centre of the head, you would miss.

"I believe that the only one who would be equally successful with a wooden racquet is Roger Federer; he plays clean and flat, as we did."

Federer is due to make his comeback from a year out with a knee injury at the Australian Open in January.

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