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Australian Open: ‘You’d have to say it’s Roger Federer’ – Tim Henman on GOAT race with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Eurosport expert Tim Henman has shared his thoughts on the men’s GOAT race as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal continue to vie for the status.

Djokovic could hardly have looked any stronger as he stormed into the semi-finals at the Australian Open with what was an utterly dominant and convincing straight-sets win over fifth seed Andrey Rublev as he took his quest for a 10th Melbourne title to the next stage in style.

Nadal still leads the men’s record tally for Grand Slam singles titles with 22 after his Australian Open and French Open crowns last year, but Djokovic is just one behind him and remains the overwhelming favourite to triumph yet again at the first major of the season.

With Federer already retired, he cannot add further to his incredible tally of 20 Grand Slam singles titles, but that did not stop Henman from siding with the Swiss superstar in his assessment as things currently stand.

Asked on Australian Open commentary who he felt was the most complete player in the men’s GOAT race, Henman said: “You would have to say it’s Federer.

“For me, it will come down to a numbers game, who won the most at the highest level and that is the majors, that is the Slams.

“Nadal has the lead, but I have felt for quite some time that Djokovic will be the one on the men’s side that ends up with the most.

“The opportunities because he is looking so fit and hungry, you feel like he could play for another three or four years.

“You would obviously hope he doesn’t pick up any injuries, which becomes a little bit harder as you get older.”

In a special moment on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, Djokovic lauded fellow tennis legend Federer as he used his post-match interview to say that “tennis misses him” in the wake of his retirement last year.

‘He deserves it!’ – Touching moment Djokovic asks fans to applaud Federer

Asked by Jim Courier if he could remember his first semi-final at a major, having reached his 10th at Melbourne Park, he recalled facing Federer.

“I think it was the US Open back in 2007,” Djokovic said.

“It seems quite a long time ago, actually, now. I was fortunate to win that semi-final, but in the final, I lost to Roger.

At that moment, the crowd erupted in applause, and Djokovic joined in with some clapping of his own before deciding to stop that answer and instead pay tribute to his former rival.

“Let us give him a big round of applause, to Roger, guys,” Djokovic said.

“He deserves it! I had some great battles over the years with Roger, that is for sure. Tennis misses him, for sure.

“I have seen him dressing up very sharply for [Paris] Fashion Week the other day!

“I have seen him skiing. I want to challenge him for a little skiing race in a few years’ time. But, yeah, he is enjoying life, for sure, it is nice to see that.

“Obviously for tennis, he has been one of the most important players ever to play the game. So, big regards to his family.”

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Stream the 2023 Australian Open live on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at eurosport.co.uk

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