Jonas Bjorkman says Federer is 'much, much better' than Nadal

Chris Chase

Jonas Bjorkman once hit No. 4 in the ATP singles rankings, advanced to two Grand Slam semifinals and won nine Grand Slam doubles titles during his career. So it would stand to reason that he'd know a thing or two about tennis.

Recent statements made by Bjorkman would suggest otherwise.

The 38-year-old Swede was recently asked what he thought about the ongoing debate about who's better: Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. His comments were interesting, to say the least:

"There's a difference in class and Federer is a much, much better player than (world number one Rafael) Nadal at this point in time. Nadal has to come up to the same level when it comes to Grand Slam titles before [the who's the greatest question] can even be discussed.

"It's a question of injuries and motivation and how long [Nadal] can continue, but the big difference is that Federer is such a great ambassador. He does so much to market tennis. [...]

"Nadal will need to stay healthy for a long time and break all of Federers records before it's even worth discussing.

Federer's career has been greater up until this point, and I agree that it's silly to evaluate the two until the final chapter is written, but "much, much better?" Seriously? Sure, 16 is greater than nine, and I guess that's "much, much better" but Bjorkman is making it sound like we're comparing Federer and Michael Chang here.

Bjorkman is currently the marketing director of the Stockholm Open, which begins next week in Sweden. Guess which top-ranked player will be in attendance and guess which one won't? Bjorkman might want to get used to that, because his words may make Nadal's decision not to play next year even easier than it was this time around.