Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios compared Roger Federer to Michael Jordan in terms of the stature they are granted in their respective sports, and believes the Swiss is still the ‘Greatest of All Time’ in tennis.
“In my opinion, I think Federer is still (the GOAT),” Kyrgios said on NBA program Courtside Huddle.
“I think he is almost like a (Michael) Jordan status type thing. He was the main guy that was so dominant on every kind of surface. I think the way he plays the game is something special.”
The 25-year-old, who was last seen on a tennis court in Acapulco in February, though was also full of praise for Rafael Nadal, with whom he shares a checkered history.
Earlier this month, the 34-year-old Nadal won the French Open without dropping a set. It was the Spaniard’s 13th French Open title and helped him draw level with Federer for 20 majors.
“I wasn’t surprised when I saw Rafa pretty much easing his way through the draw at the French Open,” said Kyrgios. “That’s his backyard, he loves playing there and he has only lost two matches in his entire career.”
“Honestly, in my opinion I don’t think we are going to see anything like that ever again,” he added.
“Somebody so dominant on a surface he’s right there with the greatest of all time. You can argue that he is the greatest.
“You look at Federer, he’s the most dominant player of all time, but in this era it’s actually Rafa. It’s a debate you can have.”
Kyrgios had once called Nadal his ‘polar opposite’ and said that the Spaniard was ‘super salty’ when he lost. But the outspoken Australian was quick to acknowledge Nadal’s incredible achievements.
“We had our differences when we played each other,” said Kyrgios, who is currently ranked No 44 in the world.
“We’re fiery, we’re competitors and are going to go after each other. But at the same time I am not going to take anything away from him . He’s an absolute champion and 20 Grand Slams is ridiculous and I don’t think we are ever going to see that again.”