'One day I asked Roger Federer why...', says top coach

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'One day I asked Roger Federer why...', says top coach

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have given birth to one of the most legendary rivalries in the history of sport. Despite having played games that warmed the hearts of fans and competed for the most important trophies, the Swiss and the Spaniard have always shown immense respect for each other.

The Majorcan phenomenon has decided to give up defending his title at the US Open to focus on Roland Garros, which will be staged at the end of September due to the pandemic. If successful in Paris, the former World number 1 would equal Federer's all-time record.

Recently, Nadal's uncle and former coach, Toni, recounted a particular interaction with Roger, where the 20-time Grand Slam champion credited his success with leadership as a child.

Toni Nadal on Roger Federer

"I've always listened to learn from the best," said Toni Nadal.

"So one day I asked Roger Federer why he was so good. He told me that he was lucky to have a great coach when he was little. I had the opportunity to ask Johan Cruyff the same thing, and he told me that he had always been very good, but that the key was to have a good coach who taught him a type of game with players older than him, and that when he played with those of his age, he had to apply it," he added.

Toni Nadal, who is now the head of Rafael Nadal's academy in the Spaniard's hometown of Mallorca, also asserted he couldn't imagine telling a young player that he won't make it at the professional level. "I will never tell parents something like that.

You never quite know if it will be very good or not. Being realistic is important, but having dreams is what differentiates us," concluded Rafael Nadal's uncle. Nadal boasts a record of 24 wins and 16 losses against Federer, also thanks to his exceptional dominance on clay.

Meanwhile, the ATP has released the most positive tennis news in months, reshaping the official calendar with 13 post-coronavirus tournaments. From November 15, eight best players of the season will compete at the ATP Finals for the 12th and last time at the O2 Arena in London, with the premium ATP event moving to Turin from 2021.

The ATP has confirmed three players who have qualified for London, announcing Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem as the earliest stars in London. The 19-time Major champion Nadal has punched the ATP Finals ticket for the incredible 16th straight year, extending his own record that will take some beating in the future.