“Helped Me Raise My Awareness”: Rafael Nadal Reveals the Privilege of Playing Against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic

Published 10/16/2021, 8:16 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 21: (L-R) Andy Murray of Great Britain, Novak Djokovic of Siberia, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain attend a ceremony for Carlos Moya’s retirement during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Over the past two decades, tennis has been dominated by players such as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. Together they have played some of the most memorable matches on the men’s Tour. The Spaniard feels honored to be competing in the same era as these amazing players. 

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Some of the matches played between Rafael Nadal against Swiss maestro Roger Federer have gone down in history. There are many who have considered this to be one of the best rivalries in the history of the game. Moreover, the Spaniard’s rivalry against Novak Djokovic has been one of the most brutal and hard-hitting ones. 

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Rafa has played some thrilling encounters against Andy Murray. They have created some intense moments in some of the most noteworthy matches in the Grand Slam events.

Speaking on these amazing rivals, Nadal stated, “If you play against a champion like Roger many times, you will naturally feel that you want to grow. I had the opportunity to meet top players in my career. Roger, Novak, and Andy Murray.” (Translated via Google Translate)

Rafael Nadal credits rivals for enhancing his game 

Over the years, playing against these three rivals has only made Rafa a better player. To be a great player, one must be consistent and produce some of the best tennis to achieve success. He feels privileged to share rivalries with players who will go down in history as some of the best to have ever played this sport. 

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 29: Rafael Nadal of Spain and his coach Carlos Moya during practice ahead of the French Open 2021, Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland-Garros stadium on May 29, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

The 35-year-old added, “Looking back on the history of tennis, it is difficult to find an era in which the winner of the Grand Slam was occupied by such a limited number of players. Being in the same era as the special players helped me raise my awareness and go for tough training.

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“A good player is not the one who won the Grand Slam once, but the one who pursues success every year and competes at the top level every year.”

Coming to tennis, Nadal decided to skip the US Open and end his season due to the foot injury that was troubling him since his French Open exit. He intends to come back stronger next season and wants to compete for the biggest honors in the game. We wish him a speedy recovery. 

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Rohan Kollare

1363 articles

Rohan Kollare is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Rohan has studied Sports Management and has a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering Tennis and Formula One.

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