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It is difficult to conceive for some that Rafael Nadal could be better than Roger Federer: Gilles Simon

2020 French Open Winner Rafael Nadal
2020 French Open Winner Rafael Nadal
ANALYST
Modified 21 Oct 2020, 16:15 IST
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Gilles Simon has recently penned a book on his experiences in the world of tennis, and there have been many excerpts from it doing the rounds of social media. The Frenchman has written chapters on the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, with some pretty interesting views on them.

The book is expected to hit the shelves next week, and now a segment from it has emerged where Gilles Simon voices his admiration towards Rafael Nadal. The Frenchman also expressed his annoyance at the doping rumors that are at times associated with the Spaniard.

Simon used the counter-example of Roger Federer to defend Rafael Nadal and also dispel the doping allegations. The 35-year-old feels that some people find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that the Spaniard could be superior to the Swiss.

“It is difficult to conceive (for some) that, in terms of game, Rafa could be better than Roger,” Simon wrote.

Rafael Nadal does not fit into the doping framework: Gilles Simon

2019 French Open - Day Fifteen
2019 French Open - Day Fifteen

Rafael Nadal has one of the cleanest images in the world of sport. But there have been certain instances in the past where the Spaniard has been at the receiving end of doping allegations.

Gilles Simon, however, strongly believes that Rafael Nadal does not fit into the ‘framework’ of the ugly world of doping at all. The Frenchman seemed to imply that the allegations arose just because some people are determined to bring Nadal down.

"We even spread rumors of doping on his account,” Simon wrote. “Nadal does not fit into the framework.”
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Rafael Nadal celebrates a point
Rafael Nadal celebrates a point

Rafael Nadal's ability to run endlessly on the court has made many claim he is the fittest player that tennis has ever seen. But on the flip side, Nadal's physicality is so unreal that a small section of people wrongly assume he must have benefitted from the effect of performance-enhancing drugs.

Back in 2006, Rafael Nadal's links with the infamous Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes made some question his integrity. The Spanish doctor was accused of being part of a major doping ring in Spain, and since he was associated with Nadal during the Mallorcan’s early years on tour, the spotlight naturally turned on to the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

But as of today, Fuentes has been cleared of all charges - thus destroying any insinuations of wrongdoing on Nadal's part.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer during the Laver Cup
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer during the Laver Cup
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Gilles Simon further suggested that Roger Federer's supreme fitness at his age has never been questioned the way Nadal’s has been. The Frenchman particularly mentioned Federer's Australian Open win in 2017, which he accomplished despite being 35 years old.

"Moreover, I emphasize here that we never talk about the physique of Federer, who has little to envy that of Nadal," Simon explained. "That he goes five sets at 35 like what he did in Australia in 2017, it's extraordinary. But no one noted this point."
Published 21 Oct 2020, 16:15 IST
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