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Over time, Rafael Nadal found more acceptance from Roger Federer fans: Javier Frana

Rafael Nadal (L) and Roger Federer at Laver Cup 2019
Rafael Nadal (L) and Roger Federer at Laver Cup 2019
Namit Kumar
Modified 28 Aug 2020, 14:24 IST

With 56 Grand Slams over the last 18 years, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have captivated tennis fans and asserted their superiority over the men's tour in a way that has never been seen before.

Recently, former Argentine player turned analyst Javier Frana spoke about the dominance of men's tennis' fabled Big 3 in recent times. He also elaborated on their relationship with each other, and how they have contributed positively to the sport in their race to finish with the most Grand Slam titles.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are very accessible, very normal: Javier Frana

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Javier Frana, a former Wimbledon finalist and Olympics bronze medalist himself, first talked about Roger Federer and how through his immense popularity, he has increased the international relevance of the sport.

"Without a doubt no one can disagree that he has been one of the players who gave something to tennis, like he put a lot of people who maybe did not consume tennis and that I did not see," said the Argentine. "His way of playing and his way of being, with his healthy rivalry with Rafael Nadal made many people love it."

Frana also spoke about how 'normal' Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are despite their place in tennis history, and praised the humility of the two players.

"They (Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) are two examples that have very different things, but have things in common, such as the humility of both people. They are very accessible, very normal, earthly types," said Frana.

Rafael Nadal, who has won 19 Grand Slams so far, can reach Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 according to Frana. But the Argentine claimed the numbers are of little relevance anymore, since the two have already established their legendary status on the tour.

"There is a race between them, but I think they feel that they have already done a lot and it seems to me that they are goals that do not generate additional pressure. What they have achieved is crazy, it is really impressive," said Frana. "Over time, I think Rafa found more acceptance from some Federer fans. Rafa has earned love and appreciation in everything."
"Both (Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) have honored this sport, because they achieved things that were very difficult to overcome and they had a relationship of admiration and respect between them," Frana added.

Novak Djokovic is not as loved by fans as Roger Federer but he is a spectacular competitor: Javier Frana

Novak Djokovic at the 2019 International BNL d
Novak Djokovic at the 2019 International BNL d'Italia

Novak Djokovic, who at 17 Grand Slam titles is next in line, may not be the most popular figure on the tour at the moment.. But Frana believes the Serb's accomplishments and abilities are no less than Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer.

"He is a spectacular competitor, a guy who feels that nothing intimidates him, he feels like he can do anything. Perhaps he is not the most accepted by the public, which annoys and motivates him, but I think he always felt very superior," said the Argentine.
Published 28 Aug 2020, 14:24 IST
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