Another year in the ATP is in the books. Four majors have been played, 3 separate men have captured those titles. The pros are busy preparing for the year to come. So, who can we crown the GOAT of 2013? Rafa? Nole? Murray? The discussion is on the table!
Rafael Nadal. After receiving the “Legend Award” this week in Spain, Nadal proves to be possibly the GOAT of 2013…and possibly of all time. With his domination on most surfaces he competes on and his all-out physical game, we have seen Rafa take a new approach to tennis this year with taking chunks of time off to properly train and rehab. With the French Open and US Open titles under his belt plus 8 other titles, it’s an impressive feat indeed. But can we really give the GOAT award to a player with an early 1st round exit from Wimbledon?
Novak Djokovic. While Nole and all of his gluten-free eating, pod sleeping ways has found similar dominance starting 2013 off with the Australian Open title and 6 to follow, along with an appearance in the finals of Davis Cup. Finding certain chinks in his armor this year, Nole’s dominance hasn’t been as glaring as in years past, yet we continue to see his level rise. Does his athleticism and discipline give this guy the 2013 GOAT title?
And what about the rest of the top ten?
David Ferrer is sitting stubbornly at number 3, a good 6,000+ points away from Nole, with the rest of the top ten within less than 20 points to catching his lead. But is his performance this year GOAT-worthy? He’s most definitely improved this year, but with just 2 titles and a hold on the number 3 spot in the rankings, can we expect him to make more jumps in 2014, or is this as good as it gets for the Spanish bulldog?
Andy Murray did what some were wondering he might not ever be able to do and went ahead and won Wimbledon. With what can be debated as an easy road, Murray did have to take out Nole in the finals. With 3 other titles under his belt in 2013 and a noticeable absence from the end of the year, can Murray maintain and be a potential future GOAT?
Then we have the not-quite-yet GOAT players like DelPo or Berdych, Gasquet and Wawrinka. What will 2014 hold for them? Will they be able to hold on to the top 10 rankings, and which one will be able to break into the top 3, if any? Will Delpo’s run at being a GOAT run out like his stash of racquets? Will Gasquet’s new coach get him to GOAT status? Or will these guys continue to stay a good distance behind our top two?
And Roger Federer. Love him or hate him (but really, who hates Fed?!), he definitely was a GOAT of years past, but there is nothing to debate here — 2013 was not his year…are we seeing the end of this goat’s career?
And who’s knocking on the door? We saw moments of brilliance from Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Roinic and Jerzy Janowicz this year. Could they have a break through year in 2014? They most certainly are training and to reach GOAT status for the future.
So as you’re sitting at the Thanksgiving table this year with your tennis friends and family, feel free to ask the ever-debatable question — who would you name the GOAT of 2013?