Young American recalls his experience of training with Rafael Nadal



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Young American recalls his experience of training with Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are the strongest players in this tennis era, perhaps the best ever, thanks to the records they have achieved throughout their careers. There is a strong sporting rivalry among the Big Three; Federer is the tennis player who has won the most Grand Slam titles so far (20), followed by Nadal with 19 and Djokovic with 17 Majors.

Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Matteo Berrettini: the rising stars of world tennis are preparing to take the legacy of the greatest ever, after the “cannibals" literally took out the middle generation.

In a recent interview with Ubitennis, young American Brandon Nakashima talked about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Nakashima on the Big 3

"I've always liked to see Roger Federer play, but I think my game is more like Novak Djokovic's," Brandon Nakashima said.

"A couple of years ago I was playing Wimbledon juniors, and I met Rafael Nadal while he warmed up for one of his matches. It was a great experience; he was obviously focused on meeting, but he was really nice and respectful towards me.

Before then I had never played with anyone who had shots so coiled both on the forehand and on the backhand!" On the next Grand Slam champion, he added: “Among the current Top 10, I believe that Medvedev and Tsitsipas have the best chance of winning Slams.

Among us young people, however, the NextGen, I find that Shapovalov has a good game, and Auger-Aliassime also has a good chance of doing well." The Big Three have played each other in 145 matches, including 69 finals.

Of all the matches, 46 have been played at Grand Slam tournaments, including 22 finals. The first match between two players of the Big Three occurred in March 2004 at the Miami Masters, where Nadal defeated Federer. Federer and Djokovic first met in April 2006 at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Nadal and Djokovic first faced each other a month later at the 2006 French Open. They are the only three male players in history to win eight or more singles titles at the same Grand Slam: Nadal with 12 French Open titles, Federer with eight Wimbledon titles, and Djokovic with eight Australian Open titles.

(On the women's side, Martina Navratilova won nine times at Wimbledon, while Molla Mallory won eight US Championships, a predecessor of the US Open).