Toni Nadal, the former coach and uncle of 19 time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, spoke about the rivalry between Nadal and Roger Federer during an interview with Super Deportivo Radio. While the two have fought many battles on the court over the years and are in contention for the record of most number of Grand Slam singles titles in history, they have a healthy mutual respect for one another and have also managed to remain friends off the court.
Toni Nadal says, "I think that both of them did a good thing for the sport. I do not conceive rivalries beyond the field. I do not conceive hatred of the rival. I believe that Rafa and Federer put into practice the essence of the sport that it is about having the maximum rivalry on the court, but when the game is over, everything is over.
How do you want to see your best rival? The normal thing is that you want to beat him, but not see him broken." Toni Nadal also called Lionel Messi the best athlete he has ever seen and says the current generation does lack a little commitment.
"Before, the young people outdid you, but today I think they end up lacking a little commitment. Young people are very good people on the day they play well, because the day they play badly they usually say "see you next week ."
Instead, Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, on playing well, logically win and when they play badly, also win. That's the difference in a big tournament.. (Lionel) Messi, what he does, I have not seen anyone do. My children are fans of him and all day they are showing me videos. He is the best athlete in history."