Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2022

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal ‘not typical humans’ claims rivals coach

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been praised by the coach of Stan Wawrinka, Magnus Norman, who described the two 22-time Grand Slam champion’s as ‘something special’.

Djokovic and Nadal have won 44 of the last 71 majors, with only eight other men including Wawrinka winning a Grand Slam title in that 18-year-period.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal vs Wawrinka in Grand Slam finals

All of Wawrinka’s Grand Slam finals have been against either Djokovic or Nadal, with Norman as the coach of the Swiss.

2014 – Wawrinka beat Nadal, 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 (Australian Open)

2015 – Wawrinka beat Djokovic, 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 (Roland Garros)

2016 – Wawrinka beat Djokovic, 6(1)-7 6-4 7-5 6-3 (US Open)

2017 – Nadal beat Wawrinka, 6-2 6-3 6-1 (Roland Garros)

The Swede returned to the Wawrinka camp at the end of last year, and has had his say on the longevity of the two tennis greats, “They [Djokovic and Nadal] are professionals 365 days a year. They have something in their brain that is not typical of humans.”

Norman continued, “They are hungry to be better all the time, they can handle the pressure like nobody else. I am very impressed by how they are doing over all these years. It’s hard to imagine.”

“They have something special that puts them in the top three or four of all time.”

Nadal has been struggling in 2023 with injury, and his return date is still unknown, but Norman is refusing to rule the 36-year-old out of winning a 15th Roland Garros crown.

“It will be difficult [for him to show his usual form], but if he is healthy, he is a champion and I hope he plays well. You never have to rule out Nadal, [Andy] Murray or Djokovic. Nadal has won many Grand Slams.”

Norman added, “It’s not going to be easy, because the competition is tougher, but he’s going to find a way to play well and win big tournaments this year too.”

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.