In an interview to Diario AS, a Spanish daily sports newspaper, Toni Nadal commented on the dominance of ‘Big Three’ on the tour with Roger Federer being the best ever. He also recalled his nephew defeating Roger Federer in Wimbledon 2008 finals.
Toni Nadal is the uncle and ex-coach of Rafael Nadal. He is the most successful coach in tennis, winning 16 grand slam with his nephew, Rafael Nadal. But the Spaniard coach feels that Roger Federer is the greatest ever with Nadal closer to him. He said: “Probably Roger Federer is the best in history and Rafael is closer to him. I like looking at numbers. There were different eras. Connors, Borg, McEnroe won 26 Grand Slams combined and between Roger Federer, 20, Rafael Nadal, 17, you get 37 Majors. Numbers show they are special people. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are two very committed players with their sport.”
Remembering the Serb Novak Djokovic, Toni added: “I never cut off Djokovic who I think is very close to them.”
The ‘Big Three’ are irreplaceable. It is difficult and implausible to achieve what they have achieved in one era. The new generation has certainly failed to replace these legends. The key to success of the ‘Big Three’ is their consistency which the next-gen players lack.
Toni commented: “You had a lack of replacement. The generation that had to replace them was not consistent enough to replace them. This made their dominance last longer.”
The 58-year-old also recalled the Wimbledon 2008 finals. The epic final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is considered to be one of the best matches in the sport. But Toni is unsure about Wimbledon 2008 finals being the greatest match ever.
The 2008 final at the Centre Court of the All England Club lasted for four hours and 46 minutes. Roger Federer lost the match with Nadal winning in the 5th set 9-7 after losing two sets in a row.
“It’s difficult to pick what was the best match in tennis history. I remember a very good US Open match between Djokovic and Rafael and Roger Federer against Djokovic and many other matches. In that occasion, a lot of circumstances made that match a special one,” said Toni Nadal.
He added: “The first one is that it was similar to McEnroe-Borg one, he was the No. 2 who broke through over the No. 1. It was two different game concepts, which always attracts people. Also how the match developed, when Rafael seemed to have won it and then it turned complicated rain delays. You had all the things to make it a special match, and it was at Wimbledon, the tennis cathedral.”