There is nothing sports fan like doing more than comparing generations. We compare the 1985 Bears to the 2013 Seahawks. Golf fans talk about Tiger Woods versus Jack Nicklaus as much as they talk about who is leading the current golf tournament, and in tennis, the debate rests with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Federer has 17 career Grand Slam titles, the most ever, while Nadal sits with 13 Slams which includes eight French Open titles. That is enough for Andre Agassi, who has eight career Slams himself, and told Singapore's Straits Times just that this week.
Agassi was asked to rank the best in the world, and he had Nadal as his top pick, with Federer coming in second, and his reasoning is pretty sound.
"I'd put Nadal number one, Federer number two," Agassi said in an interview with Straits Times. "Federer separated himself from the field for four years. He separated himself from (Andy) Roddick and (Lleyton) Hewitt,"
"Nadal had to deal with Federer, (Novak) Djokovic, (Andy) Murray in the golden age of tennis. He has done what he has done and he's not done yet."
Obviously this is a topic that people will definitely pick sides on. Federer has won three of the four Grand Slams at least four times, while Nadal has only won the Australian Open once and both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open twice.
But, the glaring stat that people forget is how Nadal has owned Federer over the course of his career. Nadal is 23-10 in his career versus Federer, and 6-2 against him in Grand Slam finals. Nadal has always seemed to know just how to approach his matches with Federer, and while he hasn't been perfect, he has won the last five meetings between these two, including a semifinal matchup at the 2014 Australian Open.
So, let the debate begin. Nadal or Federer? Are either of these guys, or someone else, the best ever? With Pete Sampras snagging 14 Grand Slams himself and names like Roy Emerson and Rod Laver on the accomplished list, it should make for a solid debate.