Boris Becker Reveals Why Rafael Nadal is “Ahead” of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer

Published 05/28/2021, 7:49 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Tennis stalwart Boris Becker has made a huge claim on Rafael Nadal, saying that while he admires Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for their individual skills and qualities, the Spaniard’s indomitable spirit makes him a standout.

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Becker, who had a successful coaching association with Djokovic, said that the Serb is the most fierce competitor he has ever seen on a tennis court. 

On Federer, who is currently tied with Nadal at 20 career Grand Slam titles apiece, the German said he would rate him as the most “talented” he has seen. “I would rate Federer as the most talented I have ever seen, I would rate Djokovic as the most fierce I have ever seen,” Becker said.

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Rafael Nadal in beast mode is ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, says Becker

The seven-time Grand Slam champion said that it is Nadal in beast mode that he would have dreaded facing the most if he was still playing.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland at the net following victory in his Men’s Singles final during Day thirteen of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Becker said that when the Spaniard rolls up his sleeves and “eyebrows”, he becomes even more formidable, literally sending shivers down his opponents’ spines. “Nadal, boy, when he gets going and picks his shorts and the eyebrows, I wouldn’t want to play him on any surface,” the German said.

When it comes to rating the Big 3 against each other, Becker said he would keep the Spaniard slightly ahead of the other two because of the way he raises his animal spirits and pounces on opponents like a wounded lion when cornered.

“Nadal is ahead, in my book, because of the way he plays the game,” the former World No. 1 said.

Nadal raised his animal spirits to turn clay court season around

The beast mode was in evidence in the manner in which Nadal turned around a faltering clay court season into one that promises a fitting consummation with a 14th career title at Roland-Garros this year.

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DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Rafael Nadal Unveils His 3metres Long Statue at French Open 2021

2 months ago

The current World No. 3 got off to the worst possible start on his favorite surface, crashing out in the quarter-finals at Monte-Carlo Masters after losing to eventual runner-up Andrey Rublev.

Though he fought back brilliantly to lift his 12th career title in Barcelona, the Spaniard suffered another slip-up in Madrid when he was dumped out in the last-eight stage by eventual champion Alexander ZverevHowever, Nadal brought his season back on the rails again with a 10th title in Rome.

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With his self-belief restored after returning to winning ways, ‘El Matador’ is ready to unleash himself on his opponents at Roland-Garros again.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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