“Rafael Nadal is like LeBron James of tennis, Federer is Michael Jordan, and Novak reminds me of Bryant”: Matteo Berrettini explains how the “Big Three” of tennis and NBA are alike in their own way

Advait Jajodia
|Published January 25, 2022

Matteo Berrettini called Rafael Nadal the LeBron James of tennis. The Italian further compared Roger Federer to Michael Jordan and Novak Djokovic to Kobe Bryant.

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James are widely considered as the three greatest and most influential players the world of basketball has seen. Each unique in their own way has left their mark on the sport over the course of their illustrious careers.

Similarly, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic are the most distinguished tennis stars of all time and are regarded as the “Big Three” of the sport. With 20 Grand Slams each, the three racquet sports icons are the most accomplished players the sport has ever seen.

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Several sports enthusiasts around the world have given their opinions comparing the “Big Three” of both sports. Recently, Italian tennis star Matteo Berrettini gave a unique comparison between the set of sporting legends.

Matteo Berrettini compares Rafael Nadal to LeBron James for their physicality, Federer to Jordan, and Novak to Kobe Bryant

A few days before the commencement of the 2022 Australian Open, Berrettini was asked to name the LeBron James of tennis. While speaking about their physicality and how they gained success pretty early in their career, the world number 10 compared the Clay Court GOAT to the Lakers megastar.

“Rafael Nadal is the LeBron of tennis, in terms of physicality and because they both exploded (on the scene) very young.” Berrettini said.

The 25-year-old then went on to give comparisons for Federer and Djokovic too. Matteo said:

“Roger Federer, I would compare him to Michael Jordan. Novak Djokovic reminds me of Kobe Bryant for how he remains cold (stoic) in difficult situations.”

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If all goes well, Berrettini could potentially be playing against “the LeBron James of tennis” in the semifinals of the ongoing “Happy Slam”. If the two manage to win their respective quarterfinals, the Nadal-Berrettini clash will be a stunning contest no sporting enthusiast will want to miss.

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About the author

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia

A 20-year-old with a BBA degree specializing in marketing, Advait Jajodia is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush and a passionate basketball enthusiast. Advait has been immersed in the world of basketball since picking up a basketball at the age of 9. Excelling as a two-time national-level player, specifically as a point guard during the Golden State Warriors' dominant era, he draws inspiration from the electrifying style of Stephen Curry. Beyond the NBA, Advait finds joy in playing various sports, exploring intriguing conspiracy theories, and boosting his 2K rating to 99. He also holds admiration for athletes like Rafael Nadal, Virat Kohli, and Phil Foden, recognizing their exceptional skills.

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