Novak Djokovic has highlighted that Rafael Nadal will forever remain his biggest rival. Djokovic, 35, and 36-year-old Nadal created one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history. Djokovic and Nadal have had numerous meetings on the Grand Slam and Masters level as the Serb leads the head-to-head against the Spaniard 30-29.
In recent years, the game has seen some new faces make a name for themselves such as Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev. However, no one will ever replace Nadal as Djokovic’s biggest rival.
Djokovic says Nadal is his ‘biggest rival’
“I can’t take anybody else but Nadal as my biggest rival.
As long as Nadal is playing, as long as I am playing, Nadal is always my biggest rival. Regardless of the rankings or what’s going on, on the tour. Just because of the history of our rivalry. I have tons of respect for Carlos Alcaraz and some great matchups with Daniil Medvedev, but Nadal and myself, we go back a long time.
So definitely, he comes in the front,” Djokovic told Tennis TV.
“As long as Nadal is playing, he is always my biggest rival”
â¤ï¸ â¤ï¸ @DjokerNole @RafaelNadal #IBI23 pic.twitter.com/sypMSpNN66 — Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 12, 2023
Djokovic and Nadal haven’t played against each other since the Spaniard beat the Serb at the 2022 French Open.
With Nadal’s participation at the 2023 French Open in doubt, Djokovic said he does not want to see the Spaniard miss the second Grand Slam of the year. “It won’t change anything in relation to my preparation. I’m looking to be performing the best that I can perform myself.
Of course, the world of tennis and the Roland Garros tournament will be affected by his (Nadal’s) absence from the tournament because of his history in that tournament and generally what he has achieved in his career.
I would like to see him play because I think for the competition, it is the best if you can have the best players in the world so the challenge is as big as it can be,” Djokovic said.