Tennis fans — you need to calm down.
In a reminder that no one wins in a GOAT debate, skiing icon Lindsay Vonn has ignited backlash after calling the Swiss maestro “the GOAT no matter what the numbers say” in a now-edited Instagram post.
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Vonn caught up for a ski with Federer and his family when she took to Instagram to post what seemed like an innocuous message.
But after Federer was the first to retire in tennis’ Big Three era on 20 grand slam titles, Rafael Nadal (22 grand slams) and Novak Djokovic (24 grand slams) have moved past the Swiss star.
However, it hasn’t stopped the debate with fans all having their own favourites for a variety of reasons.
Whether it’s about Djokovic’s controversies despite his statistical dominance, or Nadal’s French Open dominance overshadowing his other achievements, or any other reasons anyone can come up with, the GOAT debate continues to rage and will likely never end.
So when Vonn declared Federer as her own personal GOAT, there was always going to be pushback.
One fan replied: “You two are legends of sports and heroes of the modern world, but the only GOATs are @mikaelashiffrin and @djokernole in skiing and tennis.”
Vonn replied: “Yes they are for sure and full respect to both. But I don’t classify goats only on statistics alone. Rog will away be the goat to me.”
She also added: “also, there can be more than one goat. I consider Rog, Djoko and Rafa to be goats.”
Other fans said Vonn “knew what you were doing”, while another said it was “a PR stunt to boost RF and diminish Djokovic”.
Other fans called Vonn “completely disrespectful” to Djokovic for calling Federer the GOAT.
This is despite Djokovic himself has downplaying the GOAT crown placed on his head by so many in the past.
Speaking after winning his 23rd title at the 2023 French Open, he said: “It’s disrespectful towards great champions in other eras. Each great champion of his generation has left a huge mark and paved the way.”
Tennis reported Jose Morgado said Vonn was “forced to delete her initial tweet after receiving hate”, adding: “Kinda crazy what this website is becoming.”
Vonn replied on X: “I wasn’t forced, I just didn’t want the negative comments ruining my memory. And the post wasn’t a comparison, it was a tribute to my friend who has made a big impact in my life. Everyone just freaks out when the term goat is used. He can be my goat no matter what other people think.”
She also added: “GOAT or greatest of all time is a subjective title. What makes someone great? Is it statistics? Is it records? Is it impact? Is it character? Is it all of the above? People have differences of opinion and that’s OK. My goat might not be your goat and there will always be a debate but opinions are just that, opinions, and everyone is entitled to them.”
Vonn is a two-time world champion downhill skier and was the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics gold medallist in downhill skiing.
She won three medals overall, claiming bronze in the Super-G in Vancouver and another bronze in the downhill at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.
She is also one of six women in history to win World Cup races in all five alpine skiing disciplines — downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and super combined.
Vonn also held the record for most World Cup victories at 82, until Shiffrin overtook her in January 2023.