Nadia Petrova, the former World No. 3 in women's tennis, recently declared that Roger Federer is her favorite among the Big 3 of men's tennis. She did, however, admit that rival Rafael Nadal may eventually overtake Federer in the race for most Grand Slams.
The Russian, who last competed on the professional circuit in 2014 and announced her retirement in January 2017, was speaking to the GoTennis website in Russia. While sharing her thoughts on the race between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for most Slams, Petrova pointed out that Federer still has more title wins overall and a higher tally of weeks at No. 1.
"For me, Roger Federer is still number one. In terms of style, ability to play well on any surface. If I'm not mistaken, he has the most tournament victories - apart from the Majors (among the Big 3). And how many years Roger Federer was the World No. 1," Petrova said.
"At the same time, the achievement of Nadal - 13 titles at Roland Garros - hardly anyone ever will repeat that. This, of course, is incomprehensible to the mind. In addition, he is younger than Roger Federer and can overtake him in the number of final titles at the Grand Slam tournaments. But that will be a separate conversation. Roger Federer is perfect for me," she added.
Rafael Nadal had crazy concentration during the French Open final: Nadia Petrova
Like everyone else, the Russian had expected a five-set battle between the two, and was surprised by the lacklustre performance put up by Djokovic in the final.
"It is completely unclear what happened to him. Maybe he "burnt out". Perhaps, it was the tough match against Tsitsipas (in the semi-finals) and neck problems which made themselves felt," Petrova said.
Petrova also complimented the exemplary ability of Rafael Nadal to concentrate on every point in the final and remain calm under pressure, even after his early exit from his previous tournament in Rome.
"After his performance in Rome, Rafael Nadal was not considered a favorite at Roland Garros. But he calmly did his job. It seemed that Djokovic made many mistakes and could not impose a fight on the Spaniard. And Rafa had a crazy concentration, he did not relax for a second," the 38-year-old said.Published 14 Oct 2020, 14:26 IST