Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2022

Novak Djokovic accused of making ‘fatal mistake’ for his GOAT race hopes

Novak Djokovic has been accused of making a ‘fatal mistake’ as he competes with Rafael Nadal to be remembered as the greatest tennis player of all time.

Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer have been locked in competition for a decade and a half now, winning a stunning 62 majors between them.

However, former French Open doubles champion and Madrid Masters owner Ion Tiriac says what you do is only part of it, with how you do it just as important – and in that regard Djokovic has caused his image lasting damage with his vaccination stance.

“I think that Djokovic has made a fatal mistake, fatal with the issue of the vaccine,” Tiriac told claytennis.

“[It was] fatal for his image which is a pity, because he is a sensational player.

“He wants to be a personality, but he doesn’t have the charisma of Ilie Nastase, of John McEnroe. So it’s a little more difficult.

“But without a doubt he is a great player and a hard worker. But he is not Nadal!”

Rafael Nadal following Novak Djokovic match at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic looked a lot more like his old self at Roland Garros after a tough start to the year.

He lost out to Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, though, and Tiriac believes the Spaniard will always be considered the greater player no matter what Djokovic achieves.

“In the match against Djokovic, Nadal played very, very well. Beating Djokovic, number one in the world, in that way.

“No, Nadal is going to be number one in the world forever. [Djokovic] cannot be compared for me, and nor can he be with Federer.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.