GOAT forecast: where Federer will stay ahead of Nadal and Djokovic


A seventh ATP Finals title would do Federer good. Picture: AP

The big GOAT forecast – Federer will not be able to keep these records

Earlier this year, Roger Federer won his 100th title on the ATP Tour in Dubai. After this milestone he said:

"We live in a time when every record seems to have to be broken. That does not apply to me, I do not have to have every record. "

100? Federer now stands at 103 tournament victories. Picture: EPA

Right. Federer does not have to, but he can. And every record helps to finally have the arguments on his side in the "GOAT" debate about the greatest tennis player of all time. Before the ATP Finals in London we look at the most important tennis records and try to assess whether Federer will be at the top or whether his two great arch rivals Rafael Nadal and / or Novak Djokovic will pass him by.

Weeks as number 1

The current status:

  • Roger Federer: 310 weeks
  • Novak Djokovic: 275 weeks
  • Rafael Nadal: 197 * weeks
    (* = current world number 1)

Nadal is in this section pretty sure out of the race, to clearly the 33-year-old Malloquiner is behind Federer and Djokovic. However, the Serb has the best chances to challenge Federer for the No. 1 record – even though Nadal Djokovic has pushed away from the tennis throne on Monday after almost exactly one calendar year

The current world ranking:

picture: watson

Only 35 weeks is the almost six years younger Djokovic behind Federer. The Swiss is at the age of 38 in the late autumn of his career and adjusts the tournament schedule to his powers. To become world number one again is no longer the highest priority for him and would be extremely difficult to achieve. Federer is currently far behind Nadal and Djokovic in the world rankings.

Djokovic, on the other hand, has the chance to push Nadal back from the top at the ATP Finals in London. 540 points must get "Nole" for more than "Rafa". If Djokovic, who showed his top form in Paris-Bercy last time, will be undefeated in London, for example, he would gain 1,500 points and Nadal would have to go at least unbeaten in the final to stay ahead at the end of the year.

Nadal or Djokovic – who is number 1 at the end of the season?

picture: reddit


  • Djokovic will get the number one record sooner or later.

Weeks as number 1 in series

The current status:

  • Roger Federer: 237 weeks
  • Novak Djokovic: 122 weeks
  • Rafael Nadal: 56 weeks

For four years in a row Djokovic or Nadal would have to remain the world number 1, to derail Federer this record. The two have this season although all the big titles split among themselves, but also not younger and the next generation to Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Daniil Medewdew is slowly but surely pushing for the changing of the guard.

Federer set his fictional record of 237 weeks on the tennis throne between February 2004, when he first became number one after his second Grand Slam title, and August 2008, when power density at the top was significantly smaller than it is today.


  • Djokovic and Nadal will no longer abolish this record for the Maestro.

With his first Australian Open title in February 2004 Federer also took over the number 1 position in the world rankings. Picture: EPA AAP

Grand Slam Title

The current status:

  • Roger Federer: 20
  • Rafael Nadal: 19
  • Novak Djokovic: 16

Federer nearly lost his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon this year, but in the epic final against Djokovic he missed two match points and eventually lost out. The Serbian has won two major titles this season, like Nadal, and so the race in the most important of all statistics is getting more and more exciting. Nadal is only one Grand Slam success behind Federer, Djokovic is in touch with 16.


  • Federer will not be able to keep the Grand Slam record. The Swiss may – if things go well – maybe win one or two major titles, after all he wants to continue playing for another year or even two. The younger Nadal and Djokovic still have much more opportunities to win Grand Slams. The Spaniard will probably overtake Federer next year, in the end he or Djokovic will be ahead of the pack.

Grand Slam finals

The current status:

  • Roger Federer: 31
  • Rafael Nadal: 27
  • Novak Djokovic: 25

A statistic with which you can not buy anything, but the consistency of the "Big 3" shows very nicely. Federer is still ahead, but is besieged by Nadal and Djokovic.

Nadal was in three Grand Slam finals last year, Djokovic in two, Federer in one. Picture: AP


  • Here Federer should stay ahead. It's much easier for the Swiss to win a Grand Slam Final than to win the tournament. For a win against Djokovic or Nadal the "Maestro" is always good. But in the end it has become clear that beating both in the same tournament has become almost impossible. And if he meets one of his arch rivals in the final, he's psychologically at a disadvantage because of the negative head-to-heads.

Title at the ATP Finals

The current status:

  • Roger Federer: 6
  • Novak Djokovic: 5
  • Rafael Nadal: 0

Nadal is here except rank and agenda, he could never triumph at the end of the season. In the hall, the "bull from Manacor" is significantly weaker than its two competitors, also he is at the end of the year because of his exhausting style of play usually not quite fit. Quite different Federer and Djokovic, who are the two dominant players in the hall.

The finalists of the ATP finals since 2003:

picture: screenshot wikipedia


  • Again, it is very close for Federer. Although Djokovic has been waiting for his sixth title at the ATP Finals for three years, he could overtake the Swiss despite a three-year lull. Much will depend on this year's tournament. Federer can extend his lead with the seventh title, it could be enough for him. Otherwise I'm typing on Djokovic.

Masters 1000 Title

The current status:

  • Rafael Nadal: 35
  • Novak Djokovic: 34
  • Roger Federer: 28

For a long time, Federer was able to keep up with his two main rivals in the race for most of the Masters 1000 titles, but in the meantime Nadal and Djokovic have clearly distanced themselves from him. Nadal wins almost all tournaments of the second largest category on sand, Djokovic is always on the hard court and in the hall to the victory candidates. To Federer's regret, there is no Masters 1000 tournament on grass.

Federer won a Masters 1000 title (in Miami) in 2019, Djokovic (Madrid and Paris) and Nadal (Rome and Montreal) two each. Picture: AP


  • Federer will not be able to catch Nadal and Djokovic anymore. The 38-year-old tennis stylist will still grab one or the other 1000 title – in Indian Wells and Cincinnati he has the best chances. Whether Djokovic or Nadal will be at the bottom of the league depends pretty much on who will play for longer.

Tournament Win

The current status:

  • Jimmy Connors: 109
  • Roger Federer: 103
  • Rafael Nadal: 84
  • Novak Djokovic: 77

For a long time, the 109 tournament wins by Jimmy Connors were a record for eternity. But Federer has already moved dangerously close to the Americans, only six titles is the "Maestro" behind Connors. Nadal and Djokovic are still well behind the Swiss, but could also be involved in the record if they play for a long enough time. When Federer was as old as Nadal today, he had exactly 84 titles in his bank account; when he was as old as Djokovic, he held 76 tournament victories.

The crucial question: Does Nadal play as long as Federer? Picture: KEYSTONE


  • Federer will crack Connor's mark if he continues playing for another two years. Six titles in two seasons are easy in it. If he plays only one season, it could be tight. But yes: there are also Nadal and Djokovic. If the two of them, like Federer, continue to play until 38 and without major injuries, they can become dangerous. But first they have to play so long …

Final appearances

The current status:

  • Jimmy Connors: 164
  • Roger Federer: 157
  • Rafael Nadal: 121
  • Novak Djokovic: 111

Even in this – admittedly not too important – category Connors is still close to Federer. Nadal and Djokovic have already cracked the 100 mark.

With finals, you can not buy anything at the end of your career – it's just the title that counts. Picture: AP / AP


  • Federer will overtake Connors at the finals. Nadal and Djokovic will have a hard time catching up with the Swiss, but it's not impossible.

Victories on the ATP Tour

The current status:

  • Jimmy Connors: 1274
  • Roger Federer: 1235
  • Rafael Nadal: 970
  • Novak Djokovic: 889

Another category in which Federer is about to take over the record. With 1235 individual victories on the tour, he is only 39 successful matches behind Leader Connors. Nadal and Djokovic are clearly behind here.

Jimmy Connors would not mind if Federer overtook him. Picture: AP


  • Federer will definitely overtake Connors next year. Federer is likely to reach 40 wins at the US Open or in Shanghai. But even in this sector, Nadal and Djokvic could still be dangerous to the "Maestro" in the future.

Winning percentage:

The current status:

  • Rafael Nadal: 83.2 percent
  • Novak Djokovic: 82.8 percent
  • Bjorn Borg: 82.7 percent
  • Roger Federer: 82.2 percent

Unbelievable how close the "Big 3" are to each other after more than 1000 games on the ATP tour in this category. Nadal currently have the best win rate, followed by Novak Djokovic and BjOrn Borg, who retired at 27 and only played 776 games. Federer lags somewhat behind, also because it took some time at the beginning of his professional career to get into gear.

His fighting spirit is one of Nadal's greatest strengths. Picture: EPA


  • Federer can not overtake Nadal and Djokovic. Almost 100 times in a row, he would have to win to leave the Spaniard behind. Also for the «maestro» an impossibility. Djokovic could still grab Nadal if he continues to be so dominant on hard court.

Oldest world number 1

The current status:

  • Roger Federer: 36 years and 10 months
  • Rafael Nadal: 33 years and 5 months
  • Novak Djokiovic: 32 years and 5 months

With his tournament victory in Rotterdam Federer became in February 2018 after more than five years break again the world number 1 – in an already almost biblical age for a tennis player. With Nadal, he changed in the episode, with 36 years and 10 months, he stood at the end of June 2018 at the top.

Federer receives in 2018 in Rotterdam by Richard Krajicek the trophy for the oldest world number 1. Image: EPA / ANP


  • Quite difficult to make a prediction here. Will Nadal and Djokovic still play in three or four years? And at the same level as today? If so – which is not too far-fetched and both are not mutually exclusive – they could break this Federer record as well.

Oldest Grand Slam winner

The current status:

  • Ken Rosewall: 37 years and 2 months
  • Roger Federer: 36 years and 7 months
  • Rafael Nadal: 33 years and 0 months
  • Novak Djokovic: 32 years and 3 months

At the Australian Open in 1972, Ken Rosewall won his 16th Grand Slam title at the age of 37 and 2 months (the eighth in the Open Academy). Two years later, he stood with almost 40 in Wimbledon and the US Open in the final, but lost both finals against Jimmy Connors clearly in three sets. Federer clinched his 20th Grand Slam title in Melbourne in 2018, when he was 36 years and 7 months old.

Ken Rosewall in 1972 with the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup. picture: twitter


  • Federer will crack Rosewall's record. In Melbourne in January 2020, he is one of the top favorites, if the conditions are sufficient. At Wimbledon, Federer always has a chance to triumph if he's fit. Once again two perfect weeks and Federer is the oldest Grand Slam winner of all time.


The current status:

  • Novak Djokovic: 136,954,944 dollars
  • Roger Federer: 127'504'891 dollars
  • Rafael Nadal: 115'466'561 dollars

Of course, all three have long since taken care of well over $ 100 million in prize money. Djokovic clearly leads the money ranking before Federer, although the Swiss has become a professional five years before the Serb and has won many more tournaments. However, the Serb benefits from the fact that the prize money has increased significantly in its dominant years and that he is just ahead of Federer in the Big Titles (Grand Slams, Masters 1000 and ATP Finals) 55:54.


  • Djokovic will remain in the matter of prize money the Croesus. Thanks to lucrative supplier and sponsor contracts, Federer is one of the world's highest paid athletes every year, in contrast to the "Djoker".

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