‘Rafael Nadal knows that his career is already coming to…’, says expert

The Big 3 have dominated the men’s circuit for the past decade and a half, extending their hegemony far beyond expectations. The 2021 season has gone into the archive with the three sacred monsters paired at 20 Slams each. Novak Djokovic has been the great protagonist of the last twelve months, in which he has won three majors by touching the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’. The situation of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both struggling with a series of physical problems, is much more complicated. The Swiss underwent knee surgery for the third time in the past year and a half, while the Spaniard returned to the pitch during the Abu Dhabi performance. The 35-year-old Majorcan will compete in the Melbourne ATP 250 in January, hoping to reach 100% form in time for the start of the Australian Open. Rafa has only won the Happy Slam once (back in 2009), but a possible forfeit by Djokovic would increase his chances. At Eurosport, Alex Corretja analyzed the prospects of the Big 3 with great clarity.

Corretja on the Big 3

“Rafael Nadal knows that Roger was at some point the best in history. When he matched him, he felt that he too deserved that recognition. But he is not a fool, he sees that Novak is coming from behind, that he is younger and that he has more chances to win on other surfaces, and that makes him the most dangerous, the one with the best chance of becoming the best in history. It seems to me that on Rafa’s part, this is an exercise of humility and accepting that there will be another player who will improve his numbers, and at the same time he must accept that he should not compete with Novak or Roger, but with himself,” the analyst claimed. “That’s what has made them the best in history: [they] wanted to be the best version of themselves, the three greatest players of all time competing against each other. Rafa is already 35 years old, he already knows that his career is already coming to an end. You can’t waste time or energy on others. For him to openly say that Novak is going to be the best, I think that relaxes him. He has already reached the top. We are not going to judge Rafa or Roger if they have one more Grand Slam or not. Rafa Nadal is a legend, and that is what he is going to leave in tennis.”

Leave a Reply