Federer Nadal Roland Garros 2019

Rafael Nadal shares better relationship with Roger Federer than with Novak Djokovic, PR head claims

Rafael Nadal’s communications manager has revealed Nadal and Roger Federer text each other regularly and advised Novak Djokovic to “keep his rivalry with Nadal on the court.”

Benito Perez-Barbadillo coordinates all of newly-crowned Australian Open champion Nadal’s forms of communication from media interviews to organising his social media networks.

He also currently manages Dominic Thiem, but has previously worked for Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Angelique Kerber, Kristina Mladenovic and Victoria Azarenka.

With the ‘Big Three’ competing with each other to be the most successful male player of all time for just over a decade, their off-court relationships have also been heavily scrutinised.

Despite such competition, all three have always said they respect each other greatly and share good relationships despite being fierce rivals.

However, in a phone interview with Spanish news outlet Diario de Cadiz Benito Perez-Barbadillo revealed Nadal shares a more amicable relationship with Federer than Djokovic, but still respects the Serbian.

When asked about Nadal’s relationships and whether he feels the Spanish value Federer more than Djokovic, Perez-Barbadillo said “yes, I think so, but I don’t why either.

“It is true that Rafa and Federer get along very well and that they are regularly in contact through mobile messages.

“Could it be that Rafa and Roger get along better, period. Because I can assure you that all three are very good people.

“When I stopped working with Djokovic in 2011, the only advice I gave him was to keep his rivalry with Nadal on the court, not to face him outside of competition.

“And I think he listened to me because outside the two also get along. I hope the situation hasn’t changed after the last episode in Australia.”

? Free >> Receive our legendary newsletter

Join >> Tennishead CLUB, the world’s only virtual tennis club

? Social >>Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube

? Order >> World’s best tennis magazine

? Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted retail partner

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.