Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal

Djokovic “desperate” to separate himself from Nadal and Federer, says former top 10 pro

A former ATP top 10 player believes that Novak Djokovic will compete at the Australian Open so he has the chance to distance himself from Federer and Nadal.

With the ongoing confusion regarding the Australian Open’s vaccine regulations, there are still concerns as to whether unvaccinated players will be able to compete.

This uncertainty comes after a leaked email suggested that unvaccinated players will be able to compete if they quarantine, but then Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews refused to back down and stated that players will be required to be double vaccinated.

Amongst those entangled at the heart of the controversy is World number one and reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, who will be hoping to defend his Slam title should he be permitted to play.

Olympic finalist Tim Mayotte has weighed in on the situation, stating that Djokovic will want to separate himself from his two main rivals, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Djokovic, Federer and Nadal all boast an incredible 20 Grand Slam titles so far in their illustrious careers.

Both Federer and Nadal have been absent for the latter half of the 2021 season due to their respective injuries. Federer underwent knee surgery in 2020 but suffered a setback earlier in the year, which saw him withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.

Similarly, Rafael Nadal has also been out of action since the Citi Open after a foot injury resurfaced. Nadal has consequently been side-lined since the first week of August.

Seemingly, Nadal and Federer are both reluctant to rush their returns to tennis but both will be hoping to play again as soon as possible in 2022.

Djokovic, however, will be competing in the final tournaments of the 2021 season, the Rolex Paris Masters and the ATP Finals and will be looking ahead to the 2022 season.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.