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Toni Nadal: ‘If I wasn’t Rafa’s uncle, I would want Federer to win all the matches’

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From the year of the first Roger Federer’s title (Wimbledon in 2003) to the present day, the Swiss champion and Rafael Nadal have won a total of 39 of the 68 Grand Slam titles, twenty for the Swiss (absolute record), nineteen for the Spanish.

In addition, Federer holds the Wimbledon record (eight), the US Open record (five, tied with Sampras and Connors) and, in the same tournament, the record of consecutive wins (5). Nadal instead holds the record of consecutive wins (five) and absolute (twelve) at Roland Garros.

Their 2008 Wimbledon final was lauded as the greatest match ever by many long-time tennis analysts. Their 2017 Australian Open final was one of the more highly anticipated major finals in tennis history, in part due to the relevance within popular discussions on their placement in greatest of all time listings, coupled with that fact that they were both already in their 30s, which is usually when most male players are on the decline or have already retired.

Other matches considered particularly notable include the 2006 Italian Open final, 2007 Wimbledon final, and 2009 Australian Open final, with each match going to five sets. In an interview with Eurosport’s Players’ Cut, Nadal’s former coach Toni spoke about Roger Federer: “For me, he’s a wonderful player.

I like to watch Roger Federer a lot. If I wasn’t the uncle nor the coach of Rafael, I would want Federer to win all the matches. But in the end, I like how he plays, because he’s very elegant but he’s very effective too.

I know Federer is the best ever with I don’t know who; maybe Rod Laver or maybe Rafael, he’s not too far. But at the moment Federer is the best”.

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“Good Person”: Rafael Nadal Opens up on His Relationship With Rival Novak Djokovic

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Many tennis fans wonder how Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic get along outside the tennis court. Their conduct towards each other on the tennis court is always respectful, and that translates outside the court as well, as admitted by Nadal. The Spaniard spoke about his relationship with Djokovic, whom he called a good person.

“I have a good relationship with him. Is a good person. We must relativize things between us,”  Nadal said, in a recent interview, throwing light on his camaraderie with Djokovic.

There was also speculation among fans as to what Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic spoke about at the end of their French Open 2020 final. Interestingly, it was one of the most one-sided battles they have played over the years. However, Nadal said that Djokovic, with whom he shares a strong relationship, simply congratulated him and nothing more.

Rafael Nadal understands why Novak Djokovic did not say much

I could not talk to him. He congratulated me on the track and that’s it. It is normal,” Nadal said. He said he understands that Djokovic was not in a mood to talk, as no one usually is, after a heartbreaking loss.

When you lose a game like that, you don’t really want to talk. I understand it,” Nadal added.

Nadal avenged his one-sided loss in the 2019 Australian Open final against Djokovic. The two men also shared a respectful exchange during the trophy ceremony post their match. Nadal lauded Djokovic and said he hopes to keep facing him, further adding to their already great rivalry.

What you’re doing in tennis is very very special. Hope to keep facing you [Djokovic] on the court for the next couple of years,” Nadal said to Djokovic.

The mutual respect between the two stars

Despite not having a conversation with Nadal after the match, Djokovic spoke highly of Nadal in his post-match presser. Djokovic highlighted why Nadal is a great champion. He also admitted that it was one of those days where Nadal was simply the better player and there was not much he could do to tame the ‘King of Clay’.

I was also thinking that these conditions are more favorable to me. I was feeling great throughout the tournament playing. […] But, yeah, I mean, Rafa has proven everybody wrong. That’s why he’s a great champion. He just played a fantastic match today,” he said.

The two champions are expected to resume their rivalry at the ATP Finals next month. While they will not face each other in the Round Robin stage, the anticipation of another Nadal-Djokovic final is already running high.

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