Rafa Nadal's uncle says Roger Federer is a better tennis player than his nephew -- and is even 'the best of all time'

Getty ImagesToni Nadal (left) says his nephew Rafa Nadal (right) is inferior to the all-time best tennis player Roger Federer.
  • Rafa Nadal’s uncle and former coach Toni Nadal says Roger Federer is better.
  • Federer, the 2018 Australian Open champion, reclaimed the world number one spot from Nadal earlier this month.
  • And Toni Nadal marveled at the Swiss maestro, calling him “the best of all time.”

Rafa Nadal is a highly-decorated tennis champion but he is second-best to 36-year-old court king Roger Federer, according to Nadal’s uncle Toni Nadal.

Toni Nadal coached Rafa Nadal for the majority of his career, guided his nephew to 16 major tennis championship titles, but left Rafa Nadal’s coaching team last year.

Regardless of Rafa Nadal’s talent and titles, Toni Nadal told Tennisnet.com that it is Roger Federer who is the superior tennis player. Federer, in fact, is the greatest of all time, according to Toni Nadal.

“Right now, Roger is the best of all time,” he said. “Nobody did what he achieved. Rod Laver was also very good, but no one has won 20 Grand Slam titles, a Davis Cup victory, and many other victories.

“Rafael has also won 16 majors, triumphed four times in the Davis Cup – but Federer is better, he’s the best!”

Roger FedererGetty Images2018 Australian Open winner Federer reclaimed the world number one spot from Rafa Nadal earlier this month.

Roger Federer reclaimed his world number one ranking earlier this month, becoming the oldest singles player in the sport’s history to top the tennis charts when he shoved Nadal into second place.

Toni Nadal said: “Of course I want my nephew to be at the top of the list – not Federer. But of course Roger is an exceptional player, it’s unbelievable what he has achieved in his old age. He is a special tennis player, has a great serve, a great forehand. I think he can play at this level for a while longer.”

Toni Nadal refused to comment on whether his 31-year-old nephew can replicate the 36-year-old’s form when he reaches the same age. “I can not say that yet,” he said. “But if his body is involved, I do not exclude anything. On the other hand, there are many young professionals moving up.

“But if Rafael sees the opportunity to win big tournaments, it is possible that he will play for a few more years.”

Rafa Nadal was due to play in the Mexico Open but withdrew because of a hip injury. It is unclear whether he will be fit in time for his next scheduled tournament, the Indian Wells Masters in California on March 8.

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