Nadal says Andy Murray was the only one who came close to rivalling Big 3

The Spaniard says Murray pushed himself, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic the hardest of all

Murray and Nadal BPI / Panoramic

With three Grand Slam titles, including two Wimbledon wins, two Olympic gold medals and 46 titles worldwide, not to mention a Davis Cup winners’ medal and being a former world No 1, Andy Murray‘s place in tennis history is already assured.

And in Rome on Thursday, Rafael Nadal said the Scot was the only man who came close to breaking the stranglehold of the Big 3 of himself, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, who dominated the sport like no other trio in tennis history.

“Andy (has) had an amazing career,” Nadal said of Murray, who has said he is unlikely to play much beyond this summer. “I think in some ways, I mean, I don’t like to say he deserve more or less because at the end, if I say I deserve more if I don’t have injuries, no? No, I don’t, because I had the injuries, no?

“But) he had a lot of finals. He was an amazing player that probably played in a difficult moment of the history of tennis because he share the tour at the prime time of Novak, Roger and myself.”

Nadal: “He was the one who was the same level as us”

While the likes of Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Juan Martin Del Potro all had spells in the top four in the rankings, none of them came close to matching Murray’s overall achievements.

“He was, in my feeling, the one that was at the same level than us, in general terms. In terms of victories, it’s true that he achieved less. In terms of level of tennis, in terms of hold mentally the winning spirit week after week, he was the only one that was very close to be at the same level than us.”

Nadal and Murray have played each other 24 times, with the Spaniard leading 17-7, though Murray does own two wins on clay, both in Madrid.

Murray is due to return to the Tour in Geneva next week, having been away since injuring tendons in his left ankle at the Miami Masters.

The former world No 1 has defied doctors, battling back from a career-threatening hip injury, which saw him have a metal hip inserted in 2019. He’s currently ranked No 77.

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