In an interview to El Confidencial, Rafael Nadal's uncle, Toni, commented on who between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic was the toughest rival for his nephew. The Spaniard leads the head to head meetings 23-15 over Federer, while he is down 28-25 with Djokovic.
"The most complicated was Djokovic", said Toni. "At least to me. I always felt that, if Djokovic played well, he would have been very tough to beat, more than Federer. He was doing everything well, he was able to attack and defend at a very high level.
He was always very competitive. I wanted the maximum from Rafael." But in 2017, Federer lost all the four matches against Rafael. "For a long time, Federer's game was comfortable to Rafael. But Federer changed tactics.
He turned more aggressive and he made the game being quicker, not allowing Rafa to play his tennis. Rafael needs time to win points. Federer goes at a very high rhythm, accepting that he can make mistakes. But he makes less unforced errors than the rest and so it depends on him."
Toni believes Rafael always did his best to stay fit: "I do not think Rafael had many injuries. It's easy to make thoughts. Andy Murray had a lot of physical issues lately and his game was not too tiring. Sometimes people get used just to speak."