Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's stunning longevity has evoked respect and admiration from all corners of the world. And now, Nadal himself has shared his views on what makes the mythical Big 3 of men's tennis so special.
Speaking to ESPN Argentina, the 19-time Grand Slam champion singled out the unbridled passion for the sport within each of the Big 3 as the single biggest reason for their dominance.
"The best thing about each one of them is the love for sports and the passion for sports, because without all that, everything else is not possible," Nadal said.
Ability to adapt is crucial: Rafael Nadal
The legendary trio have revolutionized the game with their ability to win the biggest titles even in their mid-30s, changing the very notion of a career in tennis. Gone are the days when turning 30 would mean bidding adieu to the sport for good.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have shown that age is just a number if you are fully aware of what your body needs. Their iron grip on the sport has earned them a staggering 56 out of the last 67 Slams, which has practically shut the door on the next generation.
According to Rafael Nadal, while passion is important, it is not the only thing needed for such a long reign at the top. The Spaniard stressed on a player's ability to adapt to different surfaces, conditions and the growing demands of the sport as yet another requisite for a long and successful career.
"Everyone meets a condition, each in his own way, everyone meets a special basic condition that is the ability to adapt and improve, I think this is what has led us to be what we are for such a long time," Nadal added.
Having the right team is essential: Rafael Nadal
Having a team that can help in the clarity of your thought process and eliminate all your doubts is essential too, as per the southpaw. Surrounding yourself with the right people who can show you the right direction and can motivate you everyday to reach your desired goal is absolutely crucial.
"We could already talk about many more more technical things, but I think what makes the greats of sport really great is the desire and passion to do what they do and to be better, and with this passion having the right people to do it," Nadal explained.
Improvement has been key to success: Rafael Nadal
Re-iterating what he had said yesterday about never resting on your past laurels, the 12-time French Open winner once again harped on the importance of constant self-improvement as the key to prosperity and longevity. The fact that each of the Big 3 has made continuous efforts to build on their game is what has made them versatile and, in turn, helped them master all surfaces for such a long time.
"One finds the way to improve, in one way or another, each in his style, each in his way of understanding the sport and I think that each one of us has taken it to our territory," Nadal said. "But we have all improved. We have had the capacity to improve during all these years and that is why we are where we are and now we are going to see what happens."