“Something Very, Very Different”: Former Junior World No. 4 Compares Rafael Nadal to Novak Djokovic

Published 09/28/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic with Spain’s Rafael Nadal before their semi final match REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Over the years, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated scenes in the men’s game. Whenever they are up against each other, the rallies get longer than usual and the matches tend to get gruesome. They are looked at as true role models for youngsters.

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Recently, Finland’s No. 1 player, Emil Ruusuvuori, reflected on his interactions with Rafael Nadal. He found the Spaniard to be unique and difficult to return the shots back due to his heavy topspin. He visited Nadal’s academy and had a knock with him. In the past, he has even practiced with Novak Djokovic. 

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The Finnish player spoke about the two legends and stated, “Last two years we went to Mallorca to his Academy to practice. At both times, I was able to practice with him. The first time I was more nervous, it’s something very new.

“He hits the ball so high from the first ball on. I will see there is no one with such an experience. It’s a different kind of way that he approaches practices and of course, how he plays. I would say even Novak is nice, he hits the ball cleaner, it’s not as high in pace in practice, but it’s something very, very different.”

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal played an intense match at Roland Garros 

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Speaking about Nadal, he began competing in Melbourne and lost in the quarterfinal of the Australian Open. In Paris, he lost in the semifinal to Novak Djokovic. After that, he skipped the Wimbledon Championships and the Tokyo Olympics. He then ended his season after a dismal appearance in Washington. 

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Coming onto Djokovic, he won the Australian Open for the ninth time. He continued his winning streak and won the French Open title too. Heading towards London, he won the Wimbledon Championships for the sixth time.

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As all the Grand Slam events have been concluded for the current season, it will be interesting to see how the two players perform in the 2022 season.

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

1173 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and 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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