'I would pick him ahead of Rafael Nadal on the mental part', says former No. 1

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'I would pick him ahead of Rafael Nadal on the mental part', says former No. 1

Novak Djokovic closes 2020 as number one in the world. The world top ten does not change even after the ATP Finals, which therefore define the face of an 'end year' ranking, at least as regards the top of the circuit.

For the 33-year-old Serbian this is the 296th overall week as number one: leaving Pete Sampras behind in the special all-time ranking, his declared goal is the record of Roger Federer, leader with 310 weeks at the top. Nole is now 2180 points clear of Rafael Nadal, in turn followed by 725 points by Austrian Dominic Thiem.

On the fourth seat (best ranking equaled) there is the Russian Daniil Medvedev, who with the triumph at the Masters puts the podium in his sights (655 points away) and distances Roger Federer by almost two thousand points (expected to return in 2021 after the double intervention right knee).

Confirmations for the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in sixth place, then in the order for the German Alexander Zverev, the Russian Andrey Rublev, the only winner of five titles this year, and the Argentine Diego Schwartzman. Matteo Berrettini closes the top ten where he entered twelve months ago (215 points ahead of the 24-year-old from Rome over Frenchman Gael Monfils).

Andy Murray believes Rafael Nadal doesn't suffer mental lapses the way Novak Djokovic does from time to time. The Brit also thinks that Nadal isn't adversely affected by the lack of crowd at events.

Murray on Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

"I actually had this conversation with Novak Djokovic, I did an Instagram live with him during the first sort of lockdown that we had due to the coronavirus and I said to him that for me like there’s been times during his career when I would pick him ahead of Rafael Nadal on the mental part,” Andy Murray said.

According to Murray, Rafael Nadal has never had problems motivating himself the way Djokovic has, which makes him mentally superior overall. “If I look at a career as a whole of every single match in every single tournament in their career then I would say you know like this week we were talking about where Novak was mentally (affected), how he was feeling, that wasn’t something we were concerned about with Rafa,” Murray explained.

"And that’s something that I’ve never really been concerned about with him like I never think that’s gonna be a problem for him like motivation or mental side of things. So that’s why just as a whole for his career, I’ve got to take Rafa I think (as the mentally stronger player).

For someone like Rafael Nadal, I don’t think that crowd affects him that much,” Murray said. “Because I think he has got such a great mentality, his energy, and his stuff on the court is always really really good.

He has got a great attitude. As we saw in this year at the French Open this year, there was no crowd but he still dominated”.