Thomaz Bellucci picks Novak Djokovic as best of Big Three, recalls bageling Serb
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 5756
Thomaz Bellucci thinks Novak Djokovic is the best from the Big Three group but acknowledged it was Rafael Nadal who was his most difficult opponent. Bellucci, 35, retired from pro tennis after this year's Rio Open. During his career, Bellucci played against Djokovic six times and each time ended on the losing side.
Bellucci also played against Nadal six times but also never recorded a win against the Spaniard. “For me, the best is Djokovic. But the one I always had the most difficulty with was Nadal, because of my style of play,'' Bellucci told ESPN.
Bellucci recalls bageling Djokovic in one set
The sixth and final meeting between Bellucci and Djokovic came at the 2016 Rome Masters. Back then, Bellucci won the first set without a game lost before Djokovic stormed back to win 0-6 6-3 6-2.
''What I remember of my feeling before the match is that when I went to warm up, I warmed up a lot. Sometimes you warm up and say 'I'm playing a lot' And I felt, but I didn't feel to the point of saying: 'I warmed up so much that I'm going to give Djoko 6-0'
I knew exactly how I had to play. But it's one thing to know how you have to play, now, getting there on the court is difficult to apply because the guy doesn't let you play the way you want. So I don't know what happened. I was having a really good day, feeling really good.
And sometimes when you're having a good day, it seems like the other guy starts playing worse, because then he says: 'Damn, this guy is playing well' But then he manages to pull the rabbit out of the hat. He starts doing other things in the match.
That's why these guys are out of line. They start to play better and I couldn't keep it, it's hard," Bellucci explained.