BLOG | by Liam Randell

Who is the Greatest Ever Male Tennis Player (G.O.A.T)?

Tennis fans for the better part of two decades have been fortunate enough to witness the three best tennis players ever compete in the same generation.

Known as ‘the big 3’ combined they have won 60 of the last 75 grand slam finals (80%), won 278 titles and amassed over $410 million in prize money.

The debate raging for the past few years is who is the G.O.A.T of men’s tennis? and when considering who should have this accolade, are we to base it purely on the most Grand Slam titles? Overall career statistics? Or are there other variables to consider like reputation, impact on tennis, likeability, different surface dominance, or the level of competition during eras?

The below table outlines all the key statistical data on each of their respective playing careers to date. From a Grand Slam titles point of view, they are all equal which seems fitting, total titles have Federer first while across most key reference points Novak Djokovic is edging ahead.

If we consider impact on tennis in general, all three have popularised the sport immensely but one could argue Federer is not only the biggest and most known name in tennis but in world sport. When it comes to likeability and reputation it would be Roger Feder who for 19 straight years has been voted tennis fans favourite player. Does any of this really matter in the debate though?

To achieve a deeper understanding of public perception on this topic, YouGov Sport Australia used one of its key tools YouGov Direct. For those unaware of the tool, it’s an intuitive, user-friendly tool which allows a subscriber to type in a question(s) and send it to a specified target audience. In this case we went to the general Australian population with this question and in less than 5 hours we had data back with robust sample. This tool is widely being adopted across a range of sports bodies for cost-effective and quick data feedback from fans on a range of topical issues which helps drive better strategic decisions internally.

So who do Australians and tennis fans consider to be the greatest ever male tennis player?
The results are in, and Roger Federer is the standout with 56% of the general Australian vote while tennis fans have him at 68%. Based on these results it would seem career statistics alone is the not the defining factor when considering who the men’s G.O.A.T is?

For any further information on this study or on our YouGov Direct tool and how it can help you please contact

Receive monthly topical insights about the sports industry, straight to your inbox. Sign up today.

Discover more sports content here

Want to run your own research? Start building a survey now

BLOG | by Liam Randell

Research Analyst

Liam currently leads client facing and research services for the AFL and all 18 clubs, Tennis Australia, the NBL amongst a host of other key clients. He’s also an avid Triathlete with a love for all things sport.


Like to know more? Complete and submit our contact form to be directed to our team of experts to discuss your needs further.

We’ll be back in contact with you as soon as possible.