I don't know about Stefan Edberg : )) but yeah Rafa is tennis's best sportsman and those who say he's not? they're just jealous, he's never done anything to offend anyone whether he's a winner or a loser
*He NEVER fails to sign autographs when he loses, I mean imagine the kind of mental state he's in when he was leaving the court, and yet he stops and signs for his fans patiently.
*He always compliments his opponents when he wins no matter how lopsided the match was
*And when he loses he gives credit where it's due, he doesn't make excuse, people make excuses for him actually, he never makes the opponent's win less important or anything.
*And what he did at the AO was just AMAZING, consoling Fed and the hug (oohhh, I can't forget the hug, it was cuuuute)
*In Rome ceremony after his win against Djoker, when Nole was asked to imitate him, he was sooooo cool with it, he laughed at himself, and even encouraged Nole to do the imitation, if he is just pretending to be a good sport like many people claim then he sure is a great actor
*In the nike outfit exhibition this year before the US open, he was the ONLY one to go to the raging crowds and sign autographs for them.the other players just hid behind their body guards.
*He challenges calls that are in his opponents favor (like in Rome final against Djokovic)
*He is well-mannered and polite during interviews
*He NEVER smashes rackets in order not to disrespect the game and the people who have to buy the equipment to play
I agree with everyone here who said he's the most humble player on tour, it's not even debatable.
"The best, In terms of sheer friendliness, and a total absence of that "I'm a hige-star," attitude, is Rafa Nadal, We all really like the guy, from the top tournament organizers, all the way down to the ball kids. No acting for the cameras with him; he is a genuine person." -Cincinnati Staff Insider.
"One number and one match doesn't make me better than Roger. Roger carries on being Roger: a champion who has showed everyone how to be a normal person and have normal relationships with people." After his ascension to the number one ranking and his epic win at Wimbledon over Roger Federer
“I am a little bit more famous now, but I have [some change] in my life. I live in the same place. I have the same friends.”
"Success will not change my life. My room is still the same, my friends are guys I met at school, my girlfriend is a friend of my sister. Holidays in Monaco or St. Barth I’m not interested."
"why should I consider myself better than everyone else??!! because I hit a tennis ball well??
there are a lot more but these are my favourite quotes. : ) the guy is just incredible,to be able to handle wins and loses perfectly and graciously ,to make ur opponents feel good about their game, to make ur fans and ur opponent's fans happy is unbelievable.And the best part is that I can't remember ANYONE (a player, a critic...)who ever complained about sth Rafa said or done.NEVER
A HUGE Rafa fan