“My generation has been dominant in tennis,” Rafael Nadal tells DPA

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News agency DPA recently conducted an interview with Rafael Nadal, who talked about a variety of things, from Federer to the future of Spanish tennis. Read his original interview in Spanish here. Read a summary of the interview, also released by the DPA, courtesy of The Hindu below. 

Spain’s Rafael Nadal thinks tennis will remain the same once its “Big Four” retire, but he knows his generation has ruled over the sport for an impressive number of years.

“The current generation has been dominant, consistent and at a very high level,” the world number two told DPA in an interview.

Nadal will not express an opinion as to whether Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and himself is one of the best groups of players in history, because doing so would show “pretty major arrogance.” “But the other day I saw some statistics: of the 34 most recent majors, there has been just one winner outside the rankings’ top four (Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open), the rest went to Federer, Djokovic, Murray or me,” he said.

“Over the 34 previous majors there had been 18 different winners.” Over the course of his career, Nadal, 27, has had historic rivalries with former world number one Federer of Switzerland, and the currently top-ranked Serb Djokovic. However, he refuses to choose between his two top rivals.

“They are completely different matches, that you approach differently. They are special matches. With Federer, I have shared and continue to share a rivalry since I started out. We have lived very beautiful moments in our careers. But with Novak too,” he said.

“I feel happy to have been part of such rivalries, and to have played matches like the ones I have played against them both,” he said.

Nadal does not think that Federer is showing signs of weakness, for example in his recent temporary change of racket. Instead, the Spaniard sees such moves as proof that a player “wants to evolve, wants to look for something else.” “Even if things are going well, it does not mean that they cannot go better,” he noted.

Federer has won a record 17 grand slam tournaments but only one major in the past three years. Nadal thinks that means only that his priorities have changed.

“I don’t think his main goal is to return to the world number one spot. That is my feeling. His goal is to stay competitive to win tournaments that he really wants to win, more than being world number one,” Nadal said of his historic rival.

Nadal thinks his sport will survive the retirement of its dominant “Big Four,” however.

“Tennis without Federer will still be tennis,” he said.

“It will have lost one of the most important ambassadors it has ever had in its history, but the same will happen when Djokovic retires, when Murray retires, when I retire…”


  1. I was a Roger fan and I suffered when Rafa beat him, but this picture is when I turned to be a Rafa Fan. You don’t see this in any sport. This guy is special. Roger and Rafa, thank you for giving us the best years in tennis history!! I am 69 years old and I don’t think I will see something like this again!! Thank you both!!!!

  2. Federer is a living legend and will remain for years to come, but Rafa is not far behind, looking at statistics and the rivalry he had not only with Roger but also with some of the best players in history like Djo and Murray especially at such a young age and actually topping all of them is something that’s far more than a legend. In my opinion once the shadow of Roger wanes over tennis, Rafa will be the man to beat both on and off the court.

  3. Dear Rafa, Federer has taken tennis to a new level different than Sampras and his rivals. He pushed other players to change to be compete him. When you came you added much more to the game court strategy. After you two we will wait some time to bring back joy we feel now when we see you playing. After sampras. I quit tennis untill I saw your first game against Federer. Rafa. After you how much we have to wait to find your liking.

  4. Totally agree very down to earth and also very humble and champion, that’s why so many people admire him so much, would never be the same without Rafa and Roger Federer, both outstanding champions of this generation, in the true sense of the word Champions.

  5. I agree -what a wonderful interview as ever. Such a lovely man and humble like the other chap said. Long may he continue!

  6. there is a big difference to think about if Federer or Nadal retire than if Djoker or Murray retire. Nadal and Federer are historic players, the other two are only great players.

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