Rafael Nadal appears to slam Novak Djokovic while praising Roger Federer

Nadal really likes Federer but doesn't have much to say about Djokovic.

Part of the issue with the debate about who is best among the Big 3 is that even though fans of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal all feel strongly about their favorite player, the players themselves don't make it easy for us to love them all sometimes. Well, maybe that issue is really just between Nadal and Djokovic. Federer seems like a saint who everyone is OK to love.

Part of the debate is enhanced by Djokovic's admitted drive to be the best and Nadal's often implications that Djokovic is jealous that he will never be as beloved globally as Nadal or Federer. Based on their words in interviews, there is clear line of disconnect between the Spaniard and the Serb. Recent comments by Nadal are not going to help at all, either.

Rafael Nadal recently spoke with El Pais and he was asked why his rivalry with Roger Federer might have more general interest than his rivalry with Novak Djokovic. What Nadal did not say spoke more volumes than what he did. The reason is because he basically refused to talk about Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal speaks volumes about Novak Djokovic by saying nothing

Nadal's answer to the question was, "There are several factors (in why people might talk more about Nadal versus Federer than Nadal versus Djokovic). Some I won’t tell you because it’s difficult for me, it’s not my place to comment on them,"

The "difficult" and "not (my) place" comments speak the loudest. There is clearly a backstory to why Djokovic and Nadal are not as close as Federer and Nadal. But after not speaking about the Djokovic rivalry, Nadal answered at length, and in high praise, about Federer.

Nadal said, "Roger was perfect in terms of aesthetics, elegance and technique. I have very good technique, but technique is not the same as aesthetics. They are two different things. He had incredible technique, doing things beautifully with impressive elegance."

And then, "“Watching Federer play has moved me more than Djokovic, and in the end, tennis is about emotion; it’s the emotion that draws you to it."

What seems obvious is that Nadal doesn't care much for Djokovic. Perhaps the issue between the two is not Djokovic at all. After all, he has mentioned that he likes the idea of having a drink with Nadal once both players are done with their careers. At this point, however, Nadal appears unlikely to accept that offer for a drink.

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