Roger Federer Rafa Nadal Novak Djokovic

‘It was him’ – Former #4 reveals toughest rival from Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal

A two-time Slam finalist has spoken on which man he found most difficult to face between Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Robin Soderling enjoyed a career that spanned a decade between 2001 and 2011 before he was forced to retire from the sport due to mononucleosis.

During that time, he played the ‘Big Three’ of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic a combined 31 times, including in two Slam finals at Roland Garros in 2009 and 2010 against Federer and Nadal respectively.

With many players having compared what it is like to face each of the Big Three with their different styles of play, Soderling has now weighed in his view.

“I’m not saying he was the best, but the most uncomfortable for my game was Federer,” Soderling told Marca while in Madrid in his capacity as Swedish Davis Cup captain.

“His style didn’t suit my tennis. Others say that the worst was against Nadal or Djokovic.”

The stats back up Soderling’s assessment. He played Federer 17 times during their careers, claiming just one win for a win-loss record of 1-16.

That victory came en route to his second Roland Garros final, in 2010, defeating Federer in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Soderling faced Nadal eight times, winning twice, including famously at Roland Garros in 2009 for the Spaniard’s first ever loss at the Slam.

Finally, Soderling accumulated a 1-6 record against Djokovic, defeatng the Serb in the round robin stage of the 2009 ATP Finals.

Soderling went on to reach the semi-finals of that event before falling to Juan Martin del Potro.

He peaked at world number four in November 2010, just after winning the Paris Masters ahead of that year’s ATP Finals.

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