To be trustworthy, after fixing the title of this proposed article, my thoughts is completely clean.
Barring, after all, stale cliches like:
Time and tide look forward to no man
All good issues should come to an finish
Nobody is larger than the game
Life goes on and so on.
All true, little doubt, however there may be one other truism. Historical past all the time tends to repeat itself.
In 1948, the world’s finest batter (the suitable phrase today), Don Bradman from Australia, was on the crease in his final innings.
He wanted 4 runs to get to an unbelievable common of 100 however was clean-bowled for a duck (zero runs) and thus stranded at 99.9.
Likewise, the world’s finest grass-court tennis participant Roger Federer was taking part in at his final Wimbledon in 2021 (now we all know it was his final) and was bagelled within the third and last set within the Quarterfinals to exit the championships and by no means play one other Grand Slam.
Stranded on 20 Grand Slam titles.
Did this diminish their greatness… By no means.
Did this make their followers adore them much less… No means.
Did this have an effect on their legacy… Not one bit.
However there may be one distinction between the Don and the Roger.
The Don’s taking part in type was not distinctive as there have been others who performed like him with nice success too. Indian batter Sachin Tendulkar as an illustration (an enormous Fed fan himself).
Nonetheless, in my humblest of opinions, there might be many Novak clones and several other Rafa clones (although the possibilities are lesser as there usually are not many lefties in world tennis).
However I can emphatically say that there can by no means be one other participant who will ever be capable of play like Fed. Ever once more.
And that’s true greatness.
And coming to the GOAT debate, my query is who decides the standards, the parameters and so on.
Is it previous gamers, directors or vox populi?
I don’t care about statistics, as I feel the GOAT is the one who makes folks come and watch him/her play again and again.
And as I’ve travelled from Muscat to Dubai many instances to observe Fed play, Fed is the GOAT in my guide. All the time.
In the meantime, I don’t suppose I can watch tennis with the identical ardour once more.
I bear in mind saying this when Stefan Edberg retired in 1996, after which Fed got here alongside in 2001…(for me, that’s)
I doubt whether or not historical past will show me incorrect a second time…