Playing against Roger Federer is an honour, but Novak Djokovic is the tougest opponent i have ever faced says the Spaniard Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal spoke open hearted to GQ magazine, about his career and what have been some of the greatest rivalries ever witnessed in tennis history. The main highlight in Nadal’s career is his rivalry with the Swiss great Roger Federer. However, the Spaniard has got the better of the Swiss on more number of occasions. But these two constitute a special rivalry which makes the fans throng along to catch a glimpse of these two taking on each other on a Tennis court.
Later the Serbian Novak Djokovic came into picture and he was the real tormentor for Nadal as he was the only player who hurts Nadal with his game style. However, Djokovic reaped more success against Nadal after 2011 and from there on the rivalry was very competitive and engaging.
Rafael Nadal won his first major title exactly 10 years ago, at the French Open, a tournament he would end up winning a record 9 times, exiting beaten just twice in a decade. How did Rafael manage the pressure of that first success?
“I was mentally ready. I have been a calm young man. People around me showed me the right path to follow” said the 14-time Grand Slam champion.
Then Rafael spoke of his rivalry with Roger Federer first.
“To me, playing against Roger Federer has been a honour. There has always been a lot of respect between us. We lived together some of the most important moments in our careers. Our rivalry made us grow up and improve” revealed the Spaniard.
But Roger hasn’t been Rafael’s toughest opponent…
Asked if Federer has been the toughest player Rafael has ever met on the tour, the Spaniard responded honestly.
“To be honest, the toughest opponent I ever had on a tennis court has to be Novak Djokovic. Against Novak there has always been a lot of balance in terms of results, a strong equilibrium. We played some very close matches in our careers. At the same time I don’t forget the battles played against Andy Murray or David Ferrer. There are a lot of tough players on the tour” confessed the Spaniard.