Jimmy Connors says he is not disputing the fact that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are all-time greats after previously stating that those two “aren’t even the greatest of all time in their own era.” When discussing the GOAT debate on his Advantage Connors podcast last month, Connors named Novak Djokovic as the one who he feels deserves to be considered the GOAT.
“Look at all the people that were on the Federer bandwagon and the Nadal bandwagon as the greatest of all time. They’re not even the greatest of all time in their own era,” Connors said on the Advantage Connors podcast last week.Expectedly, Connors’ comments drew ire among Federer and Nadal fans. On the latest episode of his podcast, Connors acknowledged that Federer and Djokovic are two all-time greats. But also, Connors suggested that it’s Federer and Nadal fans who pushed the idea that the number of Grand Slams should be used as the ultimate metric in the GOAT debate.
Currently, Djokovic owns a record 23 Grand Slams, while Nadal has 22 and Federer 20.
Connors addresses criticism after the previous comments on Federer, Nadal
“They’ve made the rules that the Grand Slams have become the important thing. You know, ‘He’s won this many Grand Slams and that’s why he’s the best.’ For me, I go back to every day, every match, every tournament, every year, it seems that that changed in the past 15-20 years, where it’s all about Grand Slams and how many you win.
I’m not saying and I never said that Federer and Nadal aren’t the great players that they are, I just said that there’s a new guy on the top of the heap, that’s all. And he’s won the most Grand Slams at the moment. I was not saying that they are not great players and I’m not in the kiss-ass business anyway. I’m not going to say they are or if they’re not. They are and they’ve proven that and they’ve proven it for 15, 16, 17, whatever amount of years that they’ve been playing, with the amount of Grand Slams that they’ve won.
I’m just saying that the rules were set on the importance of the Grand Slams. That’s all I’m saying,” Connors explained on the latest edition of his podcast, via Sportskeeda.