Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal & Novak Djokovic would win even on a bathroom rug: Gasquet
- Richard Gasquet believes that Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal can play on any surface and still win.
- Gasquet also claimed that the Big 3 are the best players in tennis history.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have captivated the tennis world for more than a decade now. The famed 'Big 3' have produced some of the highest quality tennis ever seen, and between the three of them have won 56 of the last 67 Grand Slam titles.
The stranglehold of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic on the sport should have ordinarily invited resentment from their contemporaries, but most of them are full of admiration for the triplet. Richard Gasquet is one such player, despite having spent all his time on the ATP tour in the shadow of the Big 3.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are perhaps the best players in tennis history: Gasquet
Speaking to Eurosport recently, Gasquet revealed how superior the three of them are to the rest of the players on the tour - not just in terms of mentality but also in terms of technique. The Frenchman said:
"There are supporters of the mental aspect who tell you 'it is played in the mind' and all that is good and I want to hear it, but it is mostly played at the tennis level.
"When you see Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic playing, they are the best players in the history of tennis and they have no flaws. However you apply your mentality, they play tennis better than the others. Djoko's return is better than ours, Federer's forehand is extraordinary ..."
Gasquet was full of praise for all three players, having known them for a very long time and played a vast number of matches against all three. Gasquet has gone head to head with Roger Federer 20 times, Novak Djokovic 14 times and Rafael Nadal 16 times, and has an abysmal record against each of them.
The Frenchman has only triumphed thrice over Roger Federer, once over Novak Djokovic, and is yet to beat Rafael Nadal in an ATP tour level match. Speaking about their incredible abilities, the Frenchman said:
"It's always reductive to hear these things about the mind. It is good to remember that everyone can progress on this but that the main quality of a tennis player is his technique. The level of the catch of the ball, technique, the return, the service ... The surface? Even on a bathroom rug, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal would still win. You can put what you want, the best will remain the best."
Gasquet further revealed that the secret to their consistent success is the ability to constantly improve. The Frenchman went on to say:
"I remember the 90s where there were only services, only flocks ... but they are the strongest by far and even perhaps the three best players of the history.
"The real mental strength is to continue to progress. Djokovic's forehand from 10 years ago is not at all the same as today, for example. Year after year they are getting stronger."Published 18 Jun 2020, 02:08 IST