Maria Sharapova believes that being compared to the likes of Federer and Nadal is highly unfair. The Russian booked her place in the French Open last-16 with a straight-sets victory against Karolina Pliskova.
Immediately after her on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Nadal beat Richard Gasquet in stright sets as well.
The world No 1 is gunning for his 17th Grand Slam title, which would take him to within three of arch-rival Roger Federer.
Sharapova has said that Nadal is the greatest player of all time and should not be judged on statistics alone.
“I don’t know if, when you’re that successful, if it’s even fair to measure them in numbers, because you don’t want to take anything away from somebody else that’s achieved maybe just as much or maybe even more or a little bit less,” Sharapova said.
“I think it’s pretty remarkable what he’s done in his career.
“I think when you get to a certain point, you know, those numbers, I mean, there are a lot of people that can be considered greatest of all time, right?
“Yeah, I have a lot of admiration for him. I have always – I have loved the spirit that he carries on with, you know, the focus.”
Nadal’s ability to spend hours on court practicing is what separates him from the rest, according to Sharapova.
“You know, it goes back to kind of the fire question. I think he only knows how to go at 100 percent,” she added.
“If you look at the practice schedule he’s out there for – he won two events, and in Rome, he’s practicing for three hours a day, he knows that that’s what works for him and he’s going to deliver that no matter his age, no matter the injuries, he shows up.
“That’s incredibly admirable, because the older you get in this sport, the more physical it is, tougher it is on the body. We know that.
“So, yeah, of course I admire not just him but there are many players that I admire on that level.”