Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal has an interesting opinion about the rivalry between his generation’s tennis players and the new generation. Nadal, who has been inactive since his Brisbane International performances earlier this year owing to his injuries, made his much-awaited comeback at the Barcelona Open. The ‘King of Clay’ is back for the clay season, and will be hoping to notch up a few more titles before he calls it quits.

As he braces himself for the Madrid Open, Nadal has been very complimentary about the on-court prowess of both Sinner and Alcaraz. However, the ATP Pro is yet to accept that the current generation of tennis players is putting up tough competition compared to the bigwigs of his generation. Dropping an interesting perspective in a press conference ahead of the Mutua Madrid Open, Nadal uniquely complimented Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal sarcastically says “no idea” as he feels things in tennis “haven’t changed that much” 

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The official Instagram profile of the Tennis Channel shared an excerpt from Rafael Nadal’s recent take on the rise of young tennis stars like Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. He was asked whether the current level of professional tennis is higher than what it was in the past. He said- “I don’t know. No idea. Of course, they are amazing players, but at the same time, if we put in perspective that Novak Djokovic won three of four Grand Slams and played the final of another one, I mean he’s from my generation.”

Nadal further added how Djokovic represented the might of his generation’s tennis players by alluding to his success in bagging three Grand Slam titles last year. He added-“So of course they’re doing amazing things. But on the other hand, a player from my generation and similar.. I mean, of course, little bit better numbers, but similar level at the level that we played, for a long time, still having a lot of success. That says that tennis has amazing new champions, but at the same time, things haven’t changed that much.”

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The Tennis Channel shared the clip with a caption that read- “Old guard still standing strong 💂#MMOpen.”

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Nadal’s statement at the Mutua Madrid Open 2024 press conference shows that he is firmly behind his old colleague Novak Djokovic ahead of the current generation of tennis players. Despite complimenting Sinner and Alcaraz’s brilliance, he is not ready to accept that tennis has improved much from his generation to the next. Along with this amazing insight, Nadal shared another heartbreaking news regarding the  Mutua Madrid Open.

Rafael Nadal confirms “playing for the last time” in Madrid

The Spanish legend will be returning to court at the ongoing Mutua Madrid Open tournament this season. While talking about his physical fitness, Nadal mentioned that this year might be his last Madrid Open. In his words– “I can’t wait to play here. The week has been good in some ways and not so good in others. I’m not 100% prepared but I’m ready to get on the court and play my game. That’s the important thing, playing for the last time in Madrid means a lot.” 

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Nadal mentioned that this tour has been very important to him. He further added– “The sensations haven’t been perfect this week. If it wasn’t Madrid, maybe I wouldn’t play. But there are a lot of emotions involved, If not, then not. I’m not going to play in Paris the way I’m feeling today. It it was Paris, I wouldn’t be playing.”

Rafael Nadal’s take on his generation’s tennis players following Djokovic’s achievements last year showcases his pride in his colleagues. At the same time, it reveals the respect they have for each other despite being fierce competitors.



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