Fedal Wars: Looking at Who is GOAT from a Different Angle

Dimitri KayCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20:  (L-R) Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain chat in front of a London Bus during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals - Media Day at the County Hall Marriot Hotel on November 20, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The constant bickering is all about who is the GOAT. Nadal or Federer, Federer or Nadal.

How does one measure GOATness? There are many variables to consider. Nevertheless, the main argument points seem to be the number of Grand Slam titles and the consistency that each tennis player has had over the years.

Let’s ignore the No. 1 ranking in this article because becoming No. 1 is the prize for being consistent and winning tournaments.

To add to this, let us take into account only the tournament wins, which are more significant, and also to make our lives a bit easier. With every tournament a player enters s/he accumulates a number of ranking points. The most points go to the winner.

In order to help your cause of deciding who is "greater," I researched all the points taken from their respective tournament wins. These vague statistics may shine some light on the great debate on who is GOAT.

First let us look at the points given to each event:

Grand Slams – 2,000 points

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ATP World Tour Finals – 1,100 points (ATP Points)

ATP World Tour Masters – 1,000 points

ATP World Tour – 500 points

ATP World Tour – 250 points

Now we will take each players legend and add the total points up:

Roger Federer

16 Grand Slams * 2,000 = 32,000 points

Four ATP World Tour Finals * 1,100 = 4,400 points

17 ATP World Tour Masters * 1,000 = 17,000 points

Eight ATP World Tour * 500 = 4,000 points

19 ATP World Tour * 250 = 4,750 points


Rafael Nadal

Nine Grand Slams * 2,000 = 18,000 points

Zero ATP World Tour Finals * 1,100 = 0 points

18 ATP World Tour Masters * 1,000 = 18,000 points

11 ATP World Tour * 500 = 5,500 points (Including Olympic gold)

Five ATP World Tour * 250 = 1,250 points


The difference between the two is 19,400 points. Obviously Nadal is five years younger than Federer, but at the moment Federer has the upper hand to be the GOAT. Nevertheless, GOAT strictly stands for greatest of all time. So in order for us to make a better judgement, we will need other comparisons from recent greats of the game.

Pete Sampras

14 Grand Slams * 2,000 = 28,000 points

Five ATP World Tour Finals * 1,100 = 5,500 points

11 ATP World Tour Masters * 1,000 = 11,000 points

12 ATP World Tour * 500 = 6,000 points

20 ATP World Tour * 250 = 5,000 points


Ivan Lendl

Eight Grand Slams * 2,000 = 16,000 points

Five ATP World Tour Finals * 1,100 = 5,500 points

Zero ATP World Tour Masters * 1,000 = 0 points (There were no Masters Series in those times.)

67 ATP World Tour * 500 = 33,500 points

14 ATP World Tour * 250 = 3,500 points


Federer has already surpassed both of these greats. He has 6,650 more points than Sampras which clearly shows he has accomplished more.

However, even though the Swiss has 3,650 points more than Lendl, can you really say he was better? If you would count at least 14 of Lendl’s tournaments to be considered Masters Event,s he would have a lot more points than Federer. Nevertheless, it is the Grand Slams that people give more emphasis on.

On the other hand, Nadal is not far behind Sampras or Lendl. With five more GS titles and a few other titles he will surely surpass Pistol Pete and most probably The Terminator Lendl.

Therefore assuming that Federer will add about another 10,000 points to his resume, the question is; is it possible for Nadal to amass about 30,000 points from tournament wins in the future? Will that make him the GOAT?

In my personal opinion it is very difficult for there to be a GOAT, since each era is extremely different. Technology has changed the way tennis is being played every decade, while tournaments keep changing also.

However, this point system really does shine a light on how dominant each player was/has been in his era. If we only take this point system into consideration, the GOAT tag is clearly in Nadal’s hands. If he has another two good years like he had in 2010, he may just be considered the greatest tennis player of all time.

No pressure there then!

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