- Rafael Nadal on being asked whether Roger Federer is more talented than him “Each of us has his own talent”
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been fierce rivals on the court for a long time, but that does not prevent them from expressing their respect and admiration for one another. Among the most well-known opinions from the game is that Roger Federer is a talented player than Rafael Nadal. But when asked about his ideas about that, the Spaniard replied that’talent’ is subjective.
During a recent interview with Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, Nadal reiterated his stance that Federer is one of the greatest players ever. He also spoke about the traits he shares with all the Swiss, and in what aspects the two of them disagree.
“What is talent? Each of us has his own talent. To some, it all comes easy; others know how to last longer on the court. You can have the talent to write a good article in half an hour; but if a colleague of yours can work for six hours straight and come up with an excellent article, he may be a more talented journalist than you,” the 34-year-old said.
Throughout the meeting, Rafael Nadal was also asked if their relations had improved after that the Swiss arrived to inaugurate the Rafa Nadal Academy in October 2016. But the Spaniard responded that they had a fantastic relationship.
“Roger Federer is one of the greatest men in the history of the sport. He is a compañero (comrade). He is my great rival; and this has benefited both of us, and to tennis as well. We have shared a stretch of life. In some things we are similar: we care about peace, family. In others we are different. He’s Swiss. I am Latin. We have different characters, cultures, ways of life,” Rafael Nadal said.
Rafael Nadal lately won his 20th Grand Slam singles title, tying Roger Federer for many Grand Slams in men’s tennis history. Despite their storied rivalry, however, both share a hot relationship off the courtroom.
“Nothing has changed, because relations were already good; otherwise he would never have come. And I went for his charity in Switzerland and South Africa to play for his Foundation,” Nadal added.
Rafael Nadal, who described himself as an emotional and sensitive person, also recalled he cried in the locker room for an hour and a half after his loss to Roger Federer in the 2007 Wimbledon final.
“Desperately. For an hour and a half. Because sometimes disillusionment is terrible; even if it’s just a tennis match. I cried in pain when, in the Australian Open final with Wawrinka in 2014, I injured my back after winning the first set. I lost, but I finished the match because we do not withdraw from a Grand Slam final,” Nadal said.
One of tennis’ greatest rivalries.
— ESPN (@espn) March 28, 2020
Rafael Nadal on how he overcame adversity at a young age with the help of a positive attitude
Injuries have dogged Rafael Nadal throughout his career. In fact, many had speculated that the Spaniard would not play for a long period of time due to the sheer physicality of his game along with also the vulnerability of his entire body.
“At 19, I had just won the first Roland Garros, they told me that I would no longer be able to play, due to a malformation in my left foot. The pain was so great that I trained myself to hit the ball sitting on a chair in the middle of the field. Then I recovered, thanks to an insole that changed the position of the foot, but inflamed my knees,” Rafael Nadal said.
As it turns out, Nadal himself not believed he would still be playing at the age of 34.
The Spaniard added he has learned to conquer his hardships with a favorable mentality built about patience.
“With a positive mentality. By transforming, the fragility of the body into moral strength. Sooner or later, things will fall into place. We must equip ourselves to resist. Because there is no other solution than to resist,” Rafael Nadal continued.