One of the strongest footballers on the planet, a permanent candidate for the Golden Ball, spoke about two of the strongest, most successful and influential players in the history of tennis. French world champion Kylian Mbappe recently praised the longevity and consistency of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in an interview with Paris Match magazine: "Do I still have idols? I no longer have idols, but I still admire those who have marked the history of sport, also in other disciplines.
I know what their deeds represent in terms of sacrifice, of effort " Mbappe mentioned instances where he ran into Federer and Nadal at Roland Garros before explaining why he admires such champions. "I watch basketball and tennis a lot," added Mbappe.
"At Roland Garros, where I love to go, I had the opportunity to chat with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. I admire these champions who have been able to stay on top for many years. Not everyone has such consistency."
Two crossed destinies, those of Federer and Nadal, from their dominant beginnings respectively on grass and clay, but later able to shape their game and be successful on the other surface as well. Despite growing up on clay, Roger couldn't find the pace on the slower surface in his early years on the Tour, he improved it in 2001 and became a Roland Garros contender starting in 2005, only to be able to lift the trophy cup.
Musketeers back in 2009. Rafael Nadal showed serious gaps in his early approaches on grass, but managed to reach the final twice early at Wimbledon, before beating Federer in one of the most iconic matches in tennis history in 2008.
Becker on Roger Federer
In a recent interview with Eurosport, tennis legend Boris Becker claimed that if the Big 3 retire today, for him, Novak Djokovic would be at "No. 1" He argued that "numbers just don't lie" and highlighted that Djokovic is "way ahead" of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in terms of the number of weeks spent in the top spot.
"Numbers just don't lie. As a tennis player, the number of weeks at No 1 is very important. Novak is simply way ahead there. If all three of them stopped playing tennis today, I would see Novak at No. 1," said Becker.
In the same interview, Becker also revealed that he "wouldn't rule out" an astounding comeback from Roger Federer. "Roger has already managed a lot of things where we said that is not possible at all. That's why I wouldn't rule it out. It won't be easy, tennis is changing and getting faster. At some point it will no longer be easy," said Becker.