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"Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal are incredible players, but they’re not superheroes" - David Nalbandian

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic
ANALYST
Modified 26 Feb 2021
News

David Nalbandian recently gave his thoughts about Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer, showering rich praise on their longevity. But at the same time Nalbandian claimed that the Big 3 are not as infallible as many believe them to be, adding that the Next Gen should have more faith in themselves when facing the legendary trio.

David Nalbandian is a former World No. 3 and Wimbledon runner-up. During his playing years, the Argnentine faced Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic a total of 31 times, defeating them 11 times in the process.

David Nalbandian was probably drawing from his own experience while asserting in a recent interview that the Big 3 are not invincible. Nalbandian thinks that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic can be beaten if you have the right mix of skill and self-belief.

"Good players can beat them, it is not impossible work," Nalbandian said. "Sometimes it’s good for new players to start believing in themselves. They're incredible players, but they're not superheroes. The new generation has to start believing in themselves."
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Nalbandian reckons that most of the younger players are simply biding their time, waiting for Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to retire before attempting to assert themselves. The Argentine pointed out that there was a time when he too eagerly awaited such a moment, but to no avail.

"Most of the players think that they’re waiting for the Big 3 to retire," Nalbandian said. "I say, 'I was already waiting in my time and they’re still around!' Let’s stop waiting and beat them."
David Nalbandian
David Nalbandian

Moving on to the topic of longevity, Nalbandian highlighted the Big 3's unique ability to keep improving and adapting. The Argentine believes that Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal always find a way to overcome the odds and scale new heights, which makes them a cut above your average Joe.

"It’s incredible the way that they adapt to the new players and their age, because they’re getting older," Nalbandian said. "They’re still on, they’re still focussed, they’re still inspired to keep going. That’s amazing. That’s why there are only three players who can do that. It’s Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The others can’t do that. Nobody."
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Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal will never lose, you have to beat them: David Nalbandian

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

According to David Nalbandian, you have to do your homework before facing Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, because hoping for them to have a bad day is futile.

"They (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) are never going to lose the match, you have to beat them," Nalbandian said.

Nalbandian then went on to stress on the importance of tactical acumen. The Argentine believes that to beat the Big 3, you have to come up with the perfect strategy and then also implement it on the day.

"You have to be perfect on the tactics and then the execution of the tactics," he said. "Maybe you know how to play, but they are good players. They are not going to allow you to play the way you want to. It’s a combination of both things."

David Nalbandian also claimed that Novak Djokovic will likely end up with most Majors because he is 'too complete'.

"I think Nole could win the most Grand Slams, I believe so," Nalbandian said, referring to Novak Djokovic. "He’s too complete."
Published 26 Feb 2021, 14:45 IST
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