Novak Djokovic Rafa Nadal Wimbledon 2018

Novak Djokovic ‘doesn’t agree’ with Rafael Nadal’s ‘frustrated’ comment

Novak Djokovic has responded to Rafael Nadal’s claim that he ‘feels more intensely’ about leading the Grand Slam race, with the Serb strongly denying this.

Djokovic trailed Nadal at the start of the year, with the Spaniard leading the men’s major records with 22 titles to his name.

However, after triumphing at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open this year, Djokovic has leapfrogged and moved two ahead of his biggest rival.

This is something that Nadal spoke about in a recent interview with Movistar+, implying that Djokovic cared more about the record books than himself.

“I’m not frustrated for a simple reason – within my possibilities, I’ve done all I can to make things happen for me,” Nadal said in September.

He added, “I think Novak feels more intensely [about] this than I do. Had he not achieved it, it may have been a bigger frustration for him. Maybe that is why he did it. I think he has had the ability to take ambition to the maximum. I think I’ve been ambitious too but a bit healthier, which allowed me to see things in a different way.”

And now Djokovic has responded to Nadal’s ‘viral’ comments, revealing that he ‘of course doesn’t agree’ with the former No.1’s suggestions.

“I’ve seen that his comments went viral, that many people spoke about it,” said Djokovic. “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, how he interprets someone else in a certain context etc.”

The world No.1 continued, “That’s all I can say. Rafa is a great champion and I respect and appreciate him as such – as a great champion, my biggest rival and as a player who contributed to shaping my game and to results I’ve accomplished.

“I have no intention of speaking in a negative light about him or Roger Federer – my respect towards them supersedes some negative opinions I might have. Again, that’s Rafa’s opinion and I, of course, don’t agree. I have my opinion, but I won’t share it as I don’t want us to go deeper into that. There is no need for that.”

Nadal has been absent from three of the four majors this year due to a psoas injury, but will look to return at the Australian Open next year.

Inside the baseline…

It is of no surprise that Djokovic does not agree with Nadal’s claims, but his response was conducted in the best way possible to diffuse any potential drama. Nadal’s comments are subjective so it is difficult to give an opinion on how truthful they are, but it is undeniable that Djokovic thrives off making history, something that he has openly admitted himself and has continued to do so this year.

READ MORE – Novak Djokovic Schedule: Where is the 24-time Grand Slam champion playing next?

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal at Grand Slams

With these comments fuelling debate between fans about the ‘GOAT’ debate, we at Tennishead have broken down their respective records at major tournaments:

Australian Open Titles Roland Garros Titles  Wimbledon Titles US Open Titles Total Grand Slam titles
Novak Djokovic  10 (92% matches won) 3 (85% matches won) 7 (89% matches won) 4 (87% matches won) 24 (88% matches won)
Rafael Nadal 2 (83% matches won) 14 (97% matches won) 2 (83% matches won) 4 (85% matches won) 22 (88% matches won)


Overall head-to-head: Djokovic 30-29 Nadal

Grand Slam head-to-head: Djokovic 7-11 Nadal

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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.