Djokovic: "Tennis has changed and evolved", hits back at Toni Nadal comments

Novak Djokovic has hit back at Toni Nadal for saying that the current top-ranked ATP players are 'less competitive' than previous generations.

Tennis coach Toni Nadal, who is the uncle of 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, recently complained that the top-ranked players of the past were 'better' than those of today.

In an article for the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais, Toni claimed that the best players of ten years ago would have beaten almost all of the current top 10 players.

Toni Nadal roasts players of today

"The top tennis players of a few years ago were better than those of today. I think that it is most likely so. That before the players were noticeably better and much more competitive than those of the present moment.

"The current Djokovic is well below that of five or ten years ago. Without a doubt, Nadal would surpass [Daniil] Medvedev, [Andy] Murray would be better than [Alexander] Zverev, and [Stan] Wawrinka better than [Casper] Ruud. Juan Martin Del Potro would also beat [Andrey] Rublev, and [David] Ferrer the same with [Holger] Rune," he wrote.

"I am surprised by the general lack of consistency and regularity. With the exception of Djokovic and Alcaraz, the level offered by the majority is disappointing," he added.

Djokovic expresses disagreement

While competing at the US Open, where he has reached the semi-finals, 23-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was asked about Toni's comments. In response, he hit back at the comments, saying that the sport had changed.

"I don’t agree with that because each generation has a group of great players who lead," he said, "Now there are [Jannik] Sinner, Rune and Alcaraz. They are dominating most tournaments in the last two years.

"The way Carlos plays, how he defends, how he attacks… It is very complete. Alcaraz would have won the same thing 10 or 15 years ago. Each generation has its own champions. Tennis has changed and evolved."

The Serb was also asked about whether or not the Djokovic of a decade ago would have beaten himself today.

"Of course I had more energy and mobility, but now I have more experience and I am much stronger mentally. With my team, I try to be better every year because it is the only way to face today’s young people to win the Grand Slam," he replied.

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ATP Novak Djokovic Toni Nadal

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