Roger Federer has won 19 slams so far, and two of those he won in 2017 at the ripe old age, for a tennis player, of 35. Many would say that he should not even be considered the greatest tennis player of his era as both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have a winning head-to-head record against him. Nadal and Federer have played each other 37 times with Roger winning only 14 of those encounters, and against Djokovic, the head to head record is slightly more competitive with Novak winning 23 of the 45 times that they have played each other.

Federer's Head-To-Head Records

If Roger Federer only played against Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal then his head-to-head disadvantage against them would perhaps be reason enough to disqualify him from being considered for the greatest of all times, "GOAT," crown. However, at Roger's level, tennis is played against the top 250 players, in the world, at any given point in time; therefore, to disqualify Roger on the basis of his negative head to head against three or four players simply doesn't make much sense.

Rod Laver's Claim To Being The GOAT

However, Rod Laver's claim to the GOAT status is quite strong and cannot be ignored. Laver, nicknamed "Rocket" by his coach and the Australian Davis Cup team captain Harry Hopman, is the only player to have won the Grand Slam, which is the equivalent of winning all four slams within a calendar year, twice; once as an amateur in 1962 and then again as a professional in 1969. In the annals of tennis, Rod Laver's stature is perhaps as imposing as Roger Federer's, and rightly so, because winning the grand slam even once in one's lifetime is an amazing feat in itself, let alone accomplishing it twice in one's career.

However, Laver played in an era when three of the four slams - the Australian Open, US Open, and Wimbledon - were played on grass and one on clay as compared to only one on grass, two on hard-courts, and one on clay in Federer's time. The similarity in 75% of the slams' surfaces in Laver's era certainly gave a slight advantage to the Rocket but not enough to exclude him from the GOAT debate.

Can Both Laver And Federer Be The Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)?

Federer has 19 slams as compared to Laver's 11, but Laver did win all four slams, within a calendar year, twice.

Roger continues to wow us with his beautiful brand of tennis at the age of 35 and it seems he has a few more slams left in him yet so it really isn't fair to select one over the other as the "Greatest Of All Time." Can we appoint them both as the GOAT?

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