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Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are geniuses, says David Ferrer

  • The motivation of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic stands them apart from other players, says David Ferrer
  • The trio of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic hold a slew of records in the sport of tennis.
ANALYST
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Modified 17 May 2020, 11:35 IST

Novak Djokovic (L), Rafael Nadal (centre) and Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic (L), Rafael Nadal (centre) and Roger Federer

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are two of the greatest players in history, and the recently retired David Ferrer feels they aren't stopping any time soon. Ferrer said the bottomless motivation of Federer and Nadal, along with that of their fellow Big 3 member Novak Djokovic, is what makes them stand out from the rest of the players on tour.

Ferrer, who played Federer, Nadal and Djokovic on a combined 65 occasions, had just 11 wins combined against the three all-time greats. The 2012 Paris Masters champion never beat Federer in 17 meetings, while he went 6-26 against his compatriot Nadal and 5-16 against current World No. 1 Djokovic.

Speaking about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic (as reported by Punto de Break), Ferrer said that the trio are 'tennis geniuses' who have stayed competitive on tour due to their insatiable hunger and smart scheduling.

"That's right, this motivation is what keeps them on top. They are tennis geniuses, and the importance of great physiotherapists and proper nutrition is also not negligible. At the same time, they know how to make the best possible schedules."

Ferrer, a former World No. 3 and the 2013 Roland Garros runner-up, also spoke about the competitiveness on tour, remarking that it is much tougher for teenagers to win titles now than it was a few years ago.

"If we pay attention, we see that even those youngest players are struggling to get into the top 100. It's hard to see a guy at 18 or 19 winning an ATP title like I did."

In that context it is pertinent to note that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all won titles in their teens, much before they turned into the formidable forces they were in their 20s and 30s. While Federer won a lone title as a teenager (2001 Milan), and Djokovic won five, Nadal picked up as many as 16 - a feat only surpassed by Bjorn Borg (17) in the Open Era.

In fact, Nadal became the seventh and latest teenager to win a Grand Slam title when he triumphed at 2005 Roland Garros on his debut. The left-hander won a record six Masters 1000 titles in his teens and is the only teenager to successfully defend Masters 1000 titles (2005-06 Rome).

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Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's standout records

Rafael Nadal (left) and Roger Federer at the 2017 Laver Cup in Prague.
Rafael Nadal (left) and Roger Federer at the 2017 Laver Cup in Prague.

Roger Federer (20), Rafael Nadal (19) and Novak Djokovic (17) have the most Grand Slam titles in the Open Era. Here is a look at the five most significant records that the three hold at the moment:

#1 Novak Djokovic is the only player in the Open Era to win the Career Golden Masters, i.e. triumph at each of the nine Masters events.

#2 Federer and Nadal are the only players to win 10 or more titles at multiple tournaments. (No other player has won 10 titles at even one tournament). Nadal has won 12 titles at Roland Garros, and 11 each in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Federer has won 10 titles at both Halle and Basel.

#3 Federer (31) and Nadal (26) have played the most Grand Slam finals in the Open Era.

#4 After beating Steve Johnson in the first round of the 2020 Australian Open, Federer became the first player to win matches on the ATP Tour in four different decades.

#5 Novak Djokovic is the only player in the Open Era to simultaneously hold all four Majors on three different surfaces.


Published 17 May 2020, 11:35 IST
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