Rafael Nadal has been through a lot of intense battle with his Serbian rival Novak Djokovic, yet he can’t deny the fact the no.1 player in the world is currently playing in a level higher than Roger Federer reached at his prime.
Nadal, after receiving a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing at the hands of Djokovic in the finals of Qatar Open, told reporters that his rival is simply at his very peak right now.
“I played against a player who did everything perfect. I know nobody playing tennis like this ever. Since I know this sport, I never saw somebody playing at this level.” Nadal said of Djokovic via USA Today. “When I say perfect, it’s not one thing in particular. It’s everything. If not, it’s not perfect.”
After winning three of the four Grand Slams last year, the Serbian star opened the new season with a flourishing start as he demolished his opponents on his way to claiming his first title of the year in Qatar. His excellent form was punctuated by virtuoso performance in the finals, in which he won 79 percent of his first serves and 73 percent of his second serves.
Nadal’s remark on Djokovic’s top-notch form drew mixed reactions from tennis pundits, including Tennis writer Chris Chase of USA Today. Chase believed comparing Djokovic’s current run to Federer’s historic run in 2006 is like ‘apples and oranges,’ though he agreed that the Serbian has the numbers to back up his claim.
“Overall, he’s [Djokovic] 97 for his last 103. Federer’s best run saw him winning 136 of 142 and he’s had others similar to Djokovic’s 97-6 mark,” Chase opined.
Djokovic, Nadal and Federer will likely cross paths down the road in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. The Australian Open 2016 will start on January 18 through 30 at Melbourne Park.