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Why Rafael Nadal is better than Roger Federer and Djokovic



Why Rafael Nadal is better than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. The Big Three in comparison: in this first article we will try to understand if and why the Spaniard is better than his two great rivals, while In the next articles we will see if Roger or Nole are the bests.

Rafa the Giant

Rafael Nadal is considered one of the greatest tennis players ever, the best in clay-courts history, thanks to his extraordinary success on this surface. There are reasons to believe that Rafa is the best ever, even than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

His detractors would say: “Federer has won more Slams, Djokovic is ahead in head-to-head and of the 19 Majors won 12 were at the Roland Garros.” This is true on the one hand, but there are reasons to believe that he is the best ever.

Let’s start with the Slams. Nadal is the only tennis player in history (both men’s and women’s singles) to have won a Major at least 12 times. He achieved this record at the Roland Garros. He is the second tennis player in history by number of Slams won (19) and with many possibilities to match and exceed Federer’s record.

Rafa is the only tennis player in history to have won three Slams on three different surfaces (clay-courts, grass-courts and hard-courts) in the same calendar year (2010). Rafa won at least one Slam in 13 different seasons, ahead of Roger Federer (11), Pete Sampras and Novak Dokovic (10).

At Roland Garros he has a balance of 93 wins and 2 losses, with a success percentage of 97.89, the highest in the history of the four Slams. Also in Paris he reached five times the final without losing a set and he achieved a maximum of 39 consecutive successes.

Nadal is the only tennis player in the Open era who has never lost his service until the quarterfinals (62 consecutive turn of serves won at the 2010 US Open) and the only Spaniard who has won Wimbledon twice. Together with Mats Wilander, he is one of two tennis players to have won at least two Slams on grass-courts, hard-courts and clay-courts and, always together with the Swedish, he is the only player in history to have won the Roland Garros at the first participation (in 2005).

Rafa in action

Rafael Nadal and the Super Career Golden Slam
As for the ATP Masters 1000, Nadal holds the record of titles won, 35, ahead of Dokovic (34) and Federer (28). In total he played 51 finals, ahead of Federer and Dokovic (50) and 72 semifinals, better than Dokovic (67) and Federer (66).

He won a total of 384 challenges, better than Federer (381) and Dokovic (355) with the highest winning percentage ever (82.9%). After Don Budge he is the second youngest ever to complete the Career Grand Slam and the youngest tennis player ever (24 years old) to complete the Career Golden Slam.

Nadal is also the youngest tennis player ever to have won the 19th Slam title. Rafa holds the record of titles won on clay-courts (59), with 91.8% of the matches played won and 98.33% of the matches won at the best of the five sets (118-2).

Nadal is the only tennis player in history to have won the four Slams, the Davis Cup and the Olympic gold medal in both singles and doubles, the only one to have won at least 430 matches on two different surfaces (on clay and hard-courts) and the only one to have won at least one ATP tournament per year for 17 consecutive years (from 2004 to 2020), ahead of Federer (15, from 2001 to 2015) and Djokovic (15, from 2006 to 2020).

This may be the answer: with these data we can say that Rafael Nadal is better than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, but in the next articles we will find out if this is true or not.

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Djokovic Earns Tricky Opening Win In Vienna



In his first appearance at the Erste Bank Open since his 2007 title run, Novak Djokovic passed an early test to defeat countryman Filip Krajinovic 7-6(6), 6-3 on Tuesday.

Djokovic dropped serve twice in the first set and was forced to save set point at 5/6, before coming back to earn his place in the second round. The World No. 1, who struck 39 winners against Krajinovic, has now won 38 of his 40 matches this year.

“I was lucky in the first set… We are good friends, we train a lot [together] and it is never easy to play someone that you are very close to,” said Djokovic in an on-court interview. “He is a very nice guy and I have known him since he was very young. I followed him, I tried to be there as a friend, as a mentor. We go back a long way.

”We practised a few times [together] before coming to Vienna. The draw was tough for us to face each other, but there is always extra pressure and importance to a match when you play someone that you know very well.”

Djokovic added 45 FedEx ATP Rankings points to his tally with his second ATP Head2Head victory in three matches against Krajinovic. The Serbian is attempting to tie Pete Sampras’ record of six year-end World No. 1 finishes this year.

Djokovic was competing for the first time since his runner-up finish at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal). The 33-year-old will next face Borna Coric for a place in the quarter-finals.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion owns a 3-0 ATP Head2Head record against Coric. The pair most recently met in the 2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters final, which Djokovic won 6-3, 6-4. Coric earned his place in the second round with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Taylor Fritz on Monday.

In a first set that featured four service breaks, Djokovic and Krajinovic entertained the crowd in Vienna with their all-court skills and attacking tennis. Krajinovic took the initiative and hit his targets to earn set point at 6/5 in the tie-break, but Djokovic held firm with consistency from the baseline to extract crucial errors and earn a one-set lead.

Djokovic raised his game in the second set and earned an early break to take control of the match. The 2007 champion returned with depth and attacked with his forehand to close the match in just under two hours.

“[In the] first set, I think he was the better player. He was serving for the first set and I was lucky. He missed a smash at 6/6 in the tie-break,” said Djokovic. “A few points here and there can change the momentum of the match. In the second set, I stepped it up, I played better and I am just pleased with the way I finished the match.”

Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the second round in Vienna for the second straight year with a 7-6(6), 6-3 victory against Karen Khachanov. The Bulgarian converted three of four break points against the two-time Vienna quarter-finalist to improve to 17-10 in 2020.

“Karen is such an excellent player, such a heavy hitter,” said Dimitrov in an on-court interview. “In conditions like that, the court favours him quite a bit but I was able to just play a very solid game and take the right decisions at the right time.”

Hubert Hurkacz broke serve on four occasions to beat Attila Balazs of Hungary 6-3, 7-5. The 23-year-old will face Dusan Lajovic or Lorenzo Sonego for a place in the quarter-finals.

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