There is no doubt that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will have made their mark in tennis history for good. Thanks to their charisma and their talent on the court, the two champions, along with Novak Djokovic, dominated the ATP circuit for many years.
The Swiss and the Spaniard have also maintained a close rivalry. But that doesn't prevent them from showing great mutual respect. The eight-time Wimbledon winner has also paid tribute to Rafael Nadal. Racket technology has evolved and improved considerably over the years.
And that has often prompted fans to ponder whether Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic would have still ruled the sport if they had to play with the wooden rackets used by players prior to the 80s.
Roger Federer talks about Rafael Nadal
"Many think that Rafael Nadal could not have played with wooden rackets, I do not agree," Roger Federer said.
"His forehand could have been less impressive. But he would have adapted his lasso movement and found a way to exploit his talent by hitting more flat. It's the same for Rod Laver," Federer added. "He was playing flat because that was the style at the time.
But he would have hit topspin easily with today's rackets. The best hands and the best eyes adapt to everything; they learn, they evolve." World No.3 Rafael Nadal stunned everyone last year when he won the French Open 2020 title, despite the conditions not favoring him.
What was even more surprising was that he didn’t drop a single set in the whole tournament. No one can match Rafa on the clay surface. Surprisingly, the Spaniard has won 60 titles on clay and leads the second-placed Novak Djokovic by 45 titles.
Djoker currently has won 15 titles on clay, while Roger Federer has 11 titles on the surface so far. Former World No.5 Tommy Robredo is tied with Federer on the list with 11 titles. Looking at his form, Rafa can surely defend his French Open title yet again this year.
Players still haven’t figured out a way to beat him on clay, and although he is 34, he still has got some really nice and quick reflexes. The 20-time Grand Slam winner will surely begin as the favorite at the Roland Garros 2021 and will look forward to extending his own record. Fans have really high expectations from him and want him to surpass Federer in the Grand Slam tally in Paris this year.