Novak Djokovic admits Rafael Nadal ‘is not really a friend’
Novak Djokovic has revealed that he doesn’t really have a personal relationship with rival Rafael Nadal, but would like to ‘have a drink on the beach’ with him following retirement.
World No.1 🤝 World No. 2
Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz training 𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 ahead of the Paris Masters! 😍 pic.twitter.com/kwXS8E2quS
— Eurosport (@eurosport) October 29, 2023
And he has spoken to French TV show ‘C a vous’ about his relationship with rival Nadal, “Rafael Nadal is a very special player for me. He’s not really my friend but we have respect for each other. I hope that after our career we can have a drink on the beach, talk about life.”
The Serb has consistently claimed that Nadal will be always be his biggest rival until he retires, but the Spaniard has not really been a feature in the 2023 tennis season.
After suffering a psoas tear in his second round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open, Nadal has been unable to return and has since fallen outside the top 200 for the first time since 2002.
Nadal had arthroscopic surgery back in July and has began practicing on court, with the 37-year-old aiming to return at the Melbourne major at the beginning of next year.
Inside the baseline…
Fans main hope will be to see Nadal back feeling pain free, as he gears up to play what is potentially going to be his final season in 2024. However, the wider tennis audience will be praying for more Djokovic-Nadal matches, especially with the Paris Olympics taking place at Roland Garros next year.
Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal
The age old debate in men’s tennis has been about who is the GOAT, and we at Tennishead wanted to compare the numbers between Djokovic and Nadal:
Career-high: No.1 (397 weeks*)
ATP titles: 96
Grand Slam titles: 24
ATP Masters 1000 titles: 39
Olympic medals: 1 (Singles Bronze – 2008)
ATP Finals titles: 6 (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2022)
Davis Cup titles: 1 (2010)
*Currently the ATP No.1
Career-high: No.1 (209 weeks)
ATP titles: 92
Grand Slam titles: 22
ATP Masters 1000 titles: 36
Olympic medals: 2 (Singles Gold – 2008, Doubles Gold – 2016)
ATP Finals titles: 0 (Best result: Final – 2010 & 2013)
Davis Cup titles: 5 (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 & 2019)
Djokovic vs Nadal: 30-29
Most recent meeting: Nadal beat Djokovic, 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6(4) (Roland Garros 2022 Quarter-final)
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