Rafael Nadal’s Worst Rival Has Always Been Novak Djokovic, Says Uncle Toni

Published 04/20/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after winning the match point during their final singles match daring day 10 of the ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)


Carlos Alcaraz is just 17-year-old but has impressed everyone with his clinical performances so far. The Spaniard managed to reach the semis of the Andalucia Open 2021 but couldn’t get past Jaume Munar there. In a recent interview, the young prodigy revealed who he considers the best out of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.

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Even though the question was just a simple one, the interviewer asked it by citing an anecdote to Alcaraz. He said that Toni Nadal once told him that the worst rival his nephew, Rafael Nadal, ever faced was Novak Djokovic. The uncle-nephew duo often went crazy just trying to figure out how to defeat the Serbian legend. After this, the interviewer asked who the best of the Big Three was according to Alcaraz.

“Each one has his style and his method… But each one should be better or worse off the other’s style, don’t you think?” said Alcaraz in response to the question.

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(Quotes translated by Google Translate)

The Spaniard clearly believes that a fair comparison can’t be done between the three players. He highlighted that each player has his own style and method, and all are legends of the sport.

Interestingly, the interview also brought to light that for a long time, Rafa struggled to find answers for Djokovic’s shots.

“He is galactic”- Carlos Alcaraz on Novak Djokovic

Although Alcaraz praised every member of the ‘Big Three,’ he specifically emphasized that when Novak Djokovic is in form, he is simply unstoppable. He even called him ‘galactic.’

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his second-round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

“When Djokovic is fine, he is galactic,” added the 17-year-old player.

Alcaraz will begin his Barcelona Open 2021 campaign soon. He will be up against Frances Tiafoe in the first round of the tournament. Interestingly, Rafael Nadal is also playing there, and Alcaraz will surely try to reach the higher stages and face Rafa there. Will the 17-year-old be able to win the Barcelona Open 2021?

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Anshul Singh

818 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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