RAFAEL NADAL has compared fellow tennis greats Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in intricate detail.
Nadal is currently sidelined with a knee injury he picked up during his US Open semi-final exit last month.
It means the Spaniard is missing this week’s Shanghai Masters where Federer is trying to defend his crown from Djokovic and the rest of the field.
All three stars are battling it out to end the year as the world No 1 with over 4,000 ATP points still to play for this season.
And Nadal, who leads Federer 23-15 in their head-to-head record but trails Djokovic 27-25, believes the pair are completely different opponents to face.
“There are obvious differences,” Nadal said.
“You know that. Just like me. These two players have totally different styles.
“Playing Federer is totally different to playing Djokovic. In any case, these are totally different matches against Federer. These were far more tactical matches, and more repetitive, as well.
“Against Novak, I think we'll use all our shots. We'll have to be more tactical at some stage.
Roger Federer is hoping to defend his Shanghai Masters crown this week (Image: GETTY)
“Well, anyway, these two players have totally different styles. Very high quality of tennis. Beautiful tennis.”
Real Madrid supporter Nadal also revealed he is a big fan of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, while also hailing golf supremo Tiger Woods.
“I have met (Lionel) Messi in Barcelona but long time ago,” he added.
“I admire a lot of people outside tennis, especially I admire the people who really are helping the others in the right way, taking his time to take the people who really needs and the good people.
Novak Djokovic is desperate to end the year as the world No 1 (Image: GETTY)
“If we are talking about sports, Messi, Cristiano [Ronaldo] are amazing what they are doing.
“This rivalry brings the football to another level in my opinion. Every season they are improving his numbers.
“That's something amazing. I love a lot of Spanish sportsmen. If we talk about golf, well, Sergio Garcia is doing well.
“He is playing fantastically after having some tough times.
For sure, always in golf Tiger Woods, his eyes, mentality when he's playing, when he's competing, it's very, very difficult to say I cannot admire this mentality on a golf course and during competition.
“He really is focused on what he is doing, and he really believes that he is going to make the right shot in important moment.
“That's something. His determination in important moments is something difficult to have, and he has. I admire that a lot.”