'We have grown up idolizing Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic but...', says ATP ace

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'We have grown up idolizing Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic but...', says ATP ace

With the birth of the social world and the evolution of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, of course, the world of tennis has also undergone a marked change. How to forget that particular video call during the Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal pandemic with both of them quite embarrassed with this new medium for them.

However, social media certainly brings additional sponsors and income to all tennis players. We have analyzed a curious ranking of the tennis players with the most followers on their Instagram accounts. At the top of the ranking in this well-known surprise social network is not Roger Federer who, despite being undoubtedly the most beloved tennis player in the world, does not enjoy this particular record.

In the first place among the tennis players with the most followers on Instagram is the Spanish Rafael Nadal with more than 11 million followers, behind is Novak Djokovic with exactly 9 million and only afterwards is the Swiss champion Roger Federer, standing at the quota of 8, 6 millions.

For the Swiss, the lack of activity in this social network and probably the lack of familiarity weighs heavily. In the Top Ten, tennis players like Zverev and Tsitsipas barely exceed one million while Daniil Medvedev is doing very poorly, with only 545 thousand followers.

Reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem did well too, with up to 1 million and 400 thousand fans and is among the young players with the most fans. A ranking, however, that sees the dominance of the Big Three also in the numbers of Instagram and that points out how important they are for the evolution of this sport.

Opelka on the Big 3

Reilly Opelka recently claimed that Rafael Nadal has been his favorite player since his childhood and that he considers the Spaniard to be the "greatest" Opelka further revealed that Nadal used to be his inspiration when he played dress-up on Halloween in the past.

Even though Reilly Opelka admitted to "idolizing" Rafael Nadal, he stressed that he no longer behaves like a fanboy around the Spaniard. According to Opelka, it is imperative for a player to deal with matches against their favorites professionally - like he believes he did against Nadal during their Italian Open encounter.

"We have grown up idolizing these players (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) but I no longer tell you about asking him for a selfie at the end of the match," Opelka said. "We have to draw a line on these issues.

I have the utmost respect for Rafa, he is the greatest, he was my favorite player and always will be, but the day we played I entered the court and tried to beat him."