Is Nadal the GOAT and How He Transformed Tennis?

published: May, 03, 2023

by: TC Staff

Tennis fans who lived through the holy trinity of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer were blessed with a level of tennis and three-way rivalry that set dozens of fresh records. However, the trailblazing Spaniard played arguably the most definitive brand of tennis out of the fabulous three. 

Djokovic may surpass Rafa as they’re both on 22 grand slams in total, the magical Serbian currently sits at the top of the world rankings, and even though he is 35 and coming to the end of a glittering career, you’d think he still has more in the tank than Rafa does to end his career on more grand slams than his legendary adversary.

 

Is Nadal Better Than Djokovic?

It’s too much of a loaded question to categorically state who the best is. They all excel in their areas of the game. Federer, in his pomp, was like a ballet dancer mixed with a phoenix, and he could glide toward any area of the court and return anything fired in his direction. You only need to look at a compilation of some of his best shots to see how pinpoint and precise his game was, and the Swiss legend is the only man to have won four grand slam finals without dropping a set. 

The coolness and ability to maintain high levels of performance draw comparisons to many other high-level sports performers who know how to maximize their output at the most crucial opportunities. Novak has the same ability to perform when it matters as top F1 drivers, professional boxing champions, and elite eSports players. Although eSports is a new field of professional expertise, it is starting to attract millions of potential players worldwide, leading to a popular wagering market emerging. 

One of the reasons it continues to gain popularity is that you can use cryptocurrency to place a wager on an outright market or a team or individual to win a specific matchup. Bitcoin eSports betting is a new venture, but it could be one of the most popular ways to gamble a decade from now. A little over a decade ago, wagering with Bitcoin and professional eSports tournaments was a distant pipe dream, so don’t be surprised to see it as one of the largest markets a decade from now.

 

Comparisons With Federer

Djokovic is similar to Federer in that his game has few flaws. Many professionals and fans believe there isn’t any downside to the Serbian legend’s game. If you watch him through the course of a grand slam, he displays fleet-footedness, consistency, mental strength, and one of the most robust returns in the history of the men’s game. His conditioning is yet another potent weapon in his arsenal. 

However, both Novak and Roger are similar players, they are of exceptional quality but similar in their styles, and the reason we believe Rafa transformed the game is down to his style.

 

Ferocious & Gifted

Nadal rose through the ranks with his formidable style packed with ferocity and tenacity. However, what sets him apart from his adversaries is that he has a more powerful game than Novak and Roger. 

With 14 Roland Garros titles, there won’t be a player that will likely break that record for decades. The King of Clay is more dominant on his court than Djokovic is on the hard court or Federer on grass. In 115 games in the French Open, he has lost 3. It is a ridiculous record that makes him clear of Djokovic and Roger.

After winning the French Open in 2005, he won last year’s competition 17 years later, and if he is fit for this year’s French Open, it could be another trophy in a packed cabinet. Despite battling through injury and a worn, torn body, he lifted his 14th title – if you think he doesn’t have another one in him, then you’d be a brave person to wager against the iconic Spanish great.

 

How He Transformed the Sport Forever

The way he excels on clay is sheer dominance in one aspect of the game that will likely never be rivaled. Rafa’s game is unique, even compared with fellow greats, as he uses a potent blend of agility, top spin, incredible footwork, and a mighty muscular frame. This is a rare combination.

For someone so muscular yet agile, he has transformed how people see the game, play it, and prepare their technique for a match on clay. In his later years, he has trimmed down, but the central spine of his game remains in place. 

His knees have started to pay the price for his blistering, decisive ground game filled with thudding, accurate baseline shots, and it feels like the whole tennis community is rooting for him to get out on that Roland Garros main court one last time and continue to add to his already record-breaking antics.

TC Staff

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