‘Djokovic has been his tougher opponent’: Tennis legend reacts to Nadal calling Federer his ‘biggest rival’

Rafael Nadal latest shared a priceless message for Roger Federer forward of his final 16 conflict within the ongoing Wimbledon 2022 the place he hailed the Swiss maestro as his “biggest rival”. Nadal and Federer share essentially the most cherished and watched rivalry in sports activities historical past with their greatest ever match being on the iconic Centre Courtroom, 14 years again, the place the Spaniard had gained the five-set thriller. Nevertheless, tennis legend Mats Wilander stands in full opposite to the large Federer remark made by Nadal.

Nadal’s remark got here precisely the day earlier than Wimbledon celebrated 100 years of Centre Courtroom for which Federer had returned to the All England Membership, for the primary time in 361 days. His final look on the venue was again in 2021, when he had misplaced his Wimbledon quarterfinal match in opposition to Hubert Hurkacz. It additionally stays his final ever on-court look following which he was sidelined with knee harm.

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“I believe I answered that query, however I’m going to say it once more,” Nadal had mentioned earlier than his straight-set win in opposition to Botic van de Zandschulp within the spherical of 16. “Effectively, it’s a unfavorable factor. However that’s the circle of life, you realize. Time occurs, and the watch, the clock by no means stops. This type of stuff we have to get used to. However in a private method, after all my private relationship with Roger has been nice, and he’s in all probability my biggest rival.

“On the similar time all of the issues that we shared collectively on court docket is one thing troublesome to explain, the feelings, all of the issues. And naturally I personally miss him within the tennis tour, and tennis after all misses him – tournaments, followers, everybody.

“I believe Roger Federer is vital in each single match. Not solely Wimbledon. He’s missed in each single occasion of tennis, undoubtedly.”

Eurosport knowledgeable Wilander, reacting to Nadal’s phrases, admitted the rationale behind his assertion however opined that Novak Djokovic was a much more troublesome opponent to him than the Swiss.

“He was the primary one to actually problem Roger and so they had this superb rivalry for just a few years,” mentioned Wilander.

“Then after all Novak Djokovic got here alongside, however Novak has in all probability been Nadal’s tougher opponent

“And, speaking from private expertise, a rivalry isn’t essentially in opposition to the participant that you simply performed essentially the most typically within the greatest matches. It’s one that you simply get pleasure from taking part in in opposition to

“So I fully perceive what he’s saying; it have to be insanely enjoyable to play in opposition to Roger Federer should you really feel like you could have an opportunity to win.”

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