“Best in History”: Toni Nadal Hails Rafael Nadal’s Qualities That Differentiate Him From Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic

Published 10/06/2021, 3:14 PM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


Over the past two decades, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have transformed the game and taken it to a whole new dimension. They all have such different styles of play, but somehow manage to consistently execute some of the best tennis ever played. 

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Recently, Toni Nadal, Rafa’s former coach and uncle, spoke about the qualities possessed by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. He revealed details about his nephew and the manner in which he desired to groom him on the basis of past legends of the sport. He also mentioned how Rafa managed to earn a lot of success prior to his other two rivals. 

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Uncle Toni spoke on this subject and stated, “The truth is that when Rafa emerged, you could see that Roger was going to be one of the best in history. As soon as we saw Novak, we realised that he was special. As for Rafa, it was when he completed the Grand Slam, with 24 years, when I knew that he would fight to be the best in history.”

(Quotes translated using Google translate)

Rafael Nadal edged past his rivals in a Grand Slam record

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When Rafa completed the Grand Slam trail by winning all four Majors, he was just 24 years of age. However, he struggled with injuries right throughout his career. At the moment, he is suffering from a foot injury that forced him to end his season early. Rafa has always bounced back throughout his career and uncle Toni feels he will do the same once the 2022 season begins. 

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a forehand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The 60-year-old further added, “His progression has always been highly conditioned by the congenital foot injury, which he now suffers, for that reason everything he has achieved has a lot of merit. In any case, he is encouraged and I think he will get over this once again. I am optimistic and my feeling is that 2022 may be a good season for him and that he has 2 or 3 good years left, but as time progresses, everything is more complicated.”

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Once the French Open was over for the Spaniard, he barely competed in any events. He went to Washington but since he wasn’t fully fit; he ended up losing in the initial rounds. He flew back home for further treatment and eventually decided to end his season. We hope to see him back soon on the courts once again. 

Watch this story: Top Seeds Naomi Osaka, John Isner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Others Who Faced Huge Upsets at US Open

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Rohan Kollare

1190 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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