Rafael Nadal believes Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and he improved each other by giving each other tough competition. Federer was the first one to arrive on the stage, followed by Nadal and then Djokovic. The Swiss Maestro won a total of 20 Grand Slams in his glorious career and he retired from the game in 2022 after the Laver Cup.
Meanwhile, Nadal and Djokovic are still going strong in their respective careers. Nadal has the most Grand Slam titles with 22 crowns whereas Djokovic has won 20 titles in his career.
The trio, renownedly known as the Big 3, have revolutionized the sport with the way they played the game.
Nadal said as quoted by Tennis World, “I’m not bored, but I’m not great. Let’s see, I understand and I think it’s good for the promotion of our sport. Also, the press has to write, but my understanding of this debate hasn’t changed over the years. There will be one who will be the best, which I don’t think is easy to define because everyone has their arguments to defend one player or another beyond objective data.
“Also, two of those three players are still active today. In the end, what matters is that Federer, Djokovic and I have done much more than we ever dreamed of. I don’t like to talk about these things because they are part of the equation, but by the numbers we have achieved results never achieved before in our sport, so all three of us will go down in tennis history.”
Nadal added he got better after playing against Roger Federer. Federer and Nadal played each other 40 times, with Nadal leading 24–16 overall, including 14–10 in finals.
On the other hand, Nadal and Djokovic have faced each other 59 times, including in all four major finals, with Djokovic leading 30–29 overall. Djokovic leads 15–13 in finals of all levels, while Nadal leads 11–7 at the majors.
Nadal explained: “It’s true that I’m Federer’s first great rival, so I understand that he sees it that way.
“Then, when Novak arrives, it is true that Roger is even better than me, but in the following years I have won more than him and therefore I have also coincided several times with Djokovic on the pitch. In other words, I was more of a rival to him than to Roger.”
“In the end, I see it as something positive, because it’s true that the three of us have grown apart a lot, but I don’t think any of us would have made it to 35 or older to be as competitive without the other two. Federer, Djokovic and I pushed ourselves to the limit, to improve, to always be eager and want more.”