Rafael Nadal - US Open 2022, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic - Wimbledon 2023

Andy Murray reveals he ‘would like opportunity’ to play Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic again

Andy Murray has been practicing with Rafael Nadal ahead of the Spaniard’s return to the matchcourt in Brisbane, and the Brit has revealed that he would like to play his former rivals in the latter stages of tournaments once again.

Murray was entered into both the singles and doubles draws in Brisbane, like Nadal, with the three-time Grand Slam champion teaming up with singles world No.8 Holger Rune.

However, both players are now only involved in the singles tournaments, after suffering first round defeats in doubles earlier today.

After his practice with Nadal, Murray commented on what it is like to have the former No.1 back after such a lengthy absence, “It’s great to have him back playing. He’s obviously working extremely hard, like always. Always very intense practices with him and yeah physically he looked good, he was playing well.”

It has been nearly eight years since Murray last faced Nadal, and almost seven years since his last match against world No.1 Novak Djokovic.

And the now ranked world No.42 has commented on the potential of facing his former rivals once again, “Yeah. I mean, obviously I would like the opportunity to play against them [Nadal and Djokovic] again, ideally in the latter stages of big tournaments.”

He continued, “That’s something that, you know, obviously I’ve missed that feeling and not had that opportunity really. I can’t remember the last time I played them, to be honest.

“So yeah, it’s been a really long time. So yeah, if I get the opportunity to practise with them, I still really, really enjoy that. It does bring back some good memories. But yeah, ideally I would want to be doing that in the tournaments, you know, and not in the first rounds. I’d like to be doing it in the latter stages if I can.”

Murray will begin his season on the singles court against second seed Grigor Dimitrov, in a rematch of the 2013 Brisbane International final.

If he is to face Nadal in the Queensland capital, both players would have to go against the odds and reach the semi-finals.

Inside the baseline…

With Rafael Nadal openly confessing that 2024 is likely to be his last year and Andy Murray winding down in his career, it does feel like the ATP Tour is approaching the end of an era. This makes the want for a final match between Murray, Nadal and Novak Djokovic even greater, with time running out to appreciate what was once a ‘big four’.

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Andy Murray vs Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Despite it being nearly seven years since Murray last played either Nadal or Djokovic, the Brit has played the pair a combined 60 times over the years.

Here is the head-to-head from those meetings:

Murray vs Nadal: 7-17

Last meeting: Murray beat Nadal, 7-5 6-4 (Madrid Semi-final 2016)

Murray vs Djokovic: 11-25

Last meeting: Djokovic beat Murray, 6-3 5-7 6-4 (Doha Final 2017)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.