Home Sport Rafael Nadal's unusual edge over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer shared by...

Rafael Nadal's unusual edge over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer shared by rival

One of the Big Three’s old rivals has made an unusual claim, stating that Rafael Nadal commands more respect than Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Although the 37-year-old is currently injured and it’s Djokovic who holds all the records, Diego Schwartzman believes Nadal has an aura that the others can’t replicate.

The Big Three debates have lost some significance in recent years, with Federer retiring and Nadal barely playing due to injuries while Djokovic has made history with his Grand Slam trophies and weeks as the world No. 1. But former top 10 player Schwartzman has made a new argument for Nadal as he explained why he was the hardest player to face.

Nadal is the only member of the Big Three that Schwartzman has been able to beat, with his lone win coming at the 2020 Rome Masters. He has a 1-11 record against the Spaniard while is 0-7 against Djokovic and 0-4 against Federer. But the four-time title winner still found it more difficult to face Nadal.

“I think Rafa, of the three, is the one who commands the most respect when you enter the court. It’s like you enter the court a little more defeated,” Schwartzman told ESPN’s Generation F. According to the former world No. 8, part of that intimidation factor is down to Nadal’s approach towards every point he plays.

The Argentine continued: “With the others, if you catch Djokovic angry one day or if he grabs a couple of balls and has moments of frustration, and Federer, being so relaxed, sometimes gives you options to get into the match. But Nadal, from the moment you start playing with him, from the beginning to the end, it seems like it is the last point of his career. It’s hard.”

Although Schwartzman managed to win their Rome quarter-final 6-2 7-5, he explained that the 22-time Major winner scared his rivals because he left them feeling helpless in every match. “He commands so much respect in you that sometimes you say, ‘How do I do it?’” he added.

“And he handles that perfectly, because it makes him take fewer shots than Federer or Djokovic and he keeps winning. It is very difficult to sustain what he does from the first minute.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here