In an interview to The Times of India, former Serbia's Davis Cup team captain Bogdan Obradovic commented on why according to him Novak Djokovic is a better player than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Obradovic praised Djokovic's achievements but also his origins, which were tougher than the Swiss and the Spaniard's. "Of the three, he is the one to have won all the Super 9s, all the Grand Slams, the Davis Cup, and an Olympic bronze medal", said Obradovic.
"Novak is the best for me because he also passed a hard junior career. Serbia didn't have the knowledge at that time. I was the only coach from the pro tour. It was huge for me as well as the players. I transferred all my knowledge and experience from the tour."
Reflecting furthermore, Obradovic added: "The year he became the Under-14 European Champion, I stopped working with Nenad Zimonjic and started to work with Novak. At the US Open that year, during an interview with a Serbian TV channel, I said we have a kid back home called Novak Djokovic and in five-six years' time, he is going to win this tournament.
And the guy interviewing me was completely shocked. He asked me 'do you want me to skip this? Because it's a little too much." But Novak convinced me with his powerful mental statement 'I want to be No. 1'
I started to believe him. From there, the rest is just history. Novak for me is the best tennis player ever on this planet. When he was 10, in 1997, when his father brought him to the Red Star club where I was working. I asked him, 'are you ready for practice?" I remember his first practice, it was like watching somebody extremely professional.
He dropped his bag, started to run, do a warm-up, I didn't have to say one word What set him apart from other boys? When he was 13, during one of the daily sessions, I asked him what do you want to do with your tennis, what's your goal.
He said, 'l want to be the No. 1. That was very interesting for me because he was practising with guys four-five years older. He would compete at the same level. It's very tough for a 13-year-old to train With guys l8 or T9.
They are much stronger, they run faster, they hit the ball harder for him to get back, but he never complained." ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title