I have a big problem with the word "talent" comparing to many people : the natural gifts are not only about the "touch/instinct/vision", they are also about the physical abilities, also about the mental ones by the way.
I don't think any of the players, even working very hard, could have the physical abilities which Nadal has.
You need Nadal's genes to be able to reach that level of physicality. I saw pictures of Nadal's as a young boy : he already looked very strong and dynamic.
Besides why can't anybody play with the same style as him ? You can see players hitting shots like Federer (see Dimitrov), but noone like Nadal ! McEnroe's basic shots were like nobody else, for Nadal it's the same, but Fed hits some shots very nicely but it's "normal" shots, it's very prettily excluded but classical. I remember Castafiore told me that Toni had said that he had not taught his shots to Nadal : he instinctively played this way.
I don't believe that all this mainly comes from "hard work" : the guy says he couldn't practice in december and you saw how he played in the Australian Open ! before Monte-Carlo the same ... The guy eats Nutella chocolate every night before going to bed, we've seen him eat icecreams numerous times. When Djokovic makes unbelievably drastic diets !
No I deny all this is just mainly a matter of "hard work" and not mainly of talent.
He had special genes, special many things including energy, strength, dynamism, instinct, coordination ...
That said physically he's someone special, but he's not the first one like that : Borg also had an exceptional body, maybe even more than Nadal.
As for the "touch" in tennis, I don't know what in that is related to technique and what is related to pure "talent".
I believe more in physical gifts than in "technical" "talent".
No one has ever deny Nadal's gift in physical abilities. He's a freak of nature. But, that is NOT
tennis talent. That's athletic/sports talent. Nadal would be great in almost every sport that promote speed & power. In terms of tennis talent though, a guy like Fed is way, way more talented than him.
You gotta understand, that from a technical point of view, what Fed is able to do on court is simply ridiculous. The balance, timing and precision are impeccable. And please don't mention Dimitrov. That kid is all style with little substance. You know why he can't play as effectively as Fed? Because his balance, timing and precision are nowhere near Fed's level. Not to mention the difference in instinct (Well, that's not exactly technical but mental
). Dimitrov will never be as good as Fed. So, no one plays like Fed also.
Talent is the ability to do something that most find hard, more easily and do it better. There's a talent for "touch", too.