Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were the symbols of the modern era along with Novak Djokovic. The Big 3 made the history of men's tennis, monopolizing the circuit and breaking all records. The triumph at the Australian Open allowed the Spaniard to conquer his 21st Major and overtake his eternal rivals in the all-time rankings.
The 35-year-old from Manacor has also become the fourth man in history to have won all Grand Slams at least twice (along with Djokovic, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson). Rafa will look to stretch further at Roland Garros where he will once again be the big favorite.
However, the Iberian suffered a fractured rib during the Indian Wells Masters 1000 and will have to be out for a few weeks. Djokovic, who played just three official matches in 2022, will be back in action on the red clay in Monte Carlo.
The Serbian has only played in the ATP 500 in Dubai this year, succumbing to Jiri Vesely in the quarterfinals. The situation of Federer is more complicated, whose return will take place at the end of the summer or at the beginning of the autumn.
A guest in the latest episode of the 'The Functional Tennis' podcast, the well-known coach Carlos Rodriguez addressed the issue of the GOAT.
Rodriguez on Federer and Nadal
"I think Roger Federer for sure, and I cannot pick Roger [as the GOAT] without Rafael Nadal.
I don't agree with people who say it is one or the other," Rodriguez said. "You cannot split those guys because I know exactly where those players started at 13 or 14 [years old]. Today, if I say it is one or the other, then something is missing." Although the Argentinian admitted that tennis has seen a lot of champions in its time, he did not think anyone else could hold a candle to the Swiss and the Spaniard.
"You have Novak [Djokovic], you have a lot of other champions, but these two are so different," Rodriquez said. "They are both such good people, such gentlemen of tennis that I cannot pick one or the other. I have to say both of them." Rafael Nadal is one of the best problem-solvers on the tour.
He deals with success and failures equally with a balanced mind, focusing on the present. Opening up about maintaining balance in life he said., “In the end balance is important. One chooses what they think is going to work best for them or what they are not ready to assume.
Everything life is about balance and measuring your efforts. If one is sleeping the perfect amount of hours, doing the right prevention work, following the right diet, training the right amount but not enjoying life well it is going to affect your performance negatively”.