Electric guitar

Novak Djokovic compares Rafael Nadal to an electric guitar or drums, and himself to a saxophone

Combining the worlds of tennis and music is not always a recipe for success, let’s remember Cliff Richard’s Wimbledon Center Court sings with a thrill rather than a smile (opens in a new tab) – so the journalist who asked Novak Djokovic to compare himself and his two biggest rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, to musical instruments yesterday was not on the safest ground.

Speaking after his fourth-round victory at Roland-Garros in Paris, however, the men’s world number one managed to come up with some intriguing answers, first comparing the elegant Federer to a violin – “I think everyone would choose that” – before deciding that Nadal’s instrumental avatar had to be something “energetic”. With this in mind, the Serb opted for “electric guitar or drums”.

It just left his good self, and after initially suggesting he might be a full orchestra – perhaps a hint at the high quality of his all-around playing – Djokovic finally said he would be a saxophone, ” because it goes well with all types of music”.

Whether everyone agrees with this is debatable – we know some people who have a pathological hatred of saxes in rock, for example – but it seems at least half plausible.

Of course, Djokovic could have simply said that the three players would be tennis rackets played like guitars, but maybe that would have been a bit too obvious…