Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic ATP

‘I can’t, they’re both sublime’ – Top ATP rival struggles to separate Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini has taken on Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the highest level, finding it a tough task to determine who is the tougher opponent. 

The world number six holds an 0-4 and 0-2 win-loss record against Djokovic and Nadal respectively, with four of those six encounters coming in the past year.

Berrettini has only played the duo on the biggest stages, with five matches in the quarter-finals or later of a Slam and one match against Djokovic in the round robin of the 2019 ATP Finals.

Both Djokovic and Nadal are clearly extremely tricky opponents, and Berrettini admits he cannot give an answer as to who is better.

“I swear, there is no answer,” Berrettini told La Repubblica.

“After all, I have lost many times against both of them.”

In fact, at the last five Slams, Berrettini has only been stopped by injury, Djokovic, or Nadal.

At the 2021 Australian Open, the Italian withdrew due to injury  ahead of his fourth round match, before losing to Djokovic at each of the remaining Slams in 2021.

He went out in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros, the final of Wimbledon and the quarter-finals of the US Open to the world number one.



Berrettini then lost to Nadal in the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open before the GOAT contender claimed his record 21st Major title.

“Nadal is a lefty who moves you wherever he wants, giving you the impression of letting you play more, but in the end he beats you,” Berrettini continued.

“Djokovic just deactivates you, he’s a great counter-attacker.

“The two of them, along with Federer, are the greatest tennis players of all time, sublime athletes.

“This is enough to understand what it means to have them in front of you.”



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