Rafael Nadal is better than Roger Federer as the model player for aspiring tennis youngsters, according to former pro Yannick Noah. The daring statement was made by the former pro in a recent interview.
Noah, is a former professional tennis player from France and the father of basketball player Joakim Noah of the New York Knicks.
“I remember the TV was black and white. Once Pierre de Coubertin had said that the most important thing was to play. In professional sport, if you want to win you need to not just play,” Noah stated to marca.com.
“In our country kids should look at Nadal and not with the goal of playing like Federer does. There is only one Roger. But in France, it is not like this.”
Noah said that the behind the scenes, Nadal should also be imitated.
“People have to understand in France, Nadal is very respected, not only by the crowd but also by those around him. Ball boys, organizers. All things you do not see on TV but that for me are important,” Noah stated about Nadal, who has been one of the top players in tennis the past decade.
“He is always available to sign an autograph and not only before cameras. For me this is important.”
Noah also said that he admires Nadal’s personality and that he hopes the Spanish pro still gets a chance to win another Grand Slam title.
“Hopefully he can win the title again. Will he triumph in a Slam? It´s tough to say. But every time after an injury I always hear that he would never comeback. And instead he did it, he will be dangerous until when he remains on the Tour,” Noah added.
Both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have suffered from injuries that affected their status in the ATP Tour. They are now ranked behind top player Novak Djokovic and other elite players like Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.
Rafael Nadal (Photo courtesy: Valentina Alemanno/Wikimedia Commons)