Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic ‘undoubtedly most complete’ claims Rafael Nadal’s uncle

Novak Djokovic has been labelled as ‘an ever evolving wonder’ by Toni Nadal after winning a record 10th Australian Open title on Sunday.

Toni Nadal is the uncle, and former coach, of Rafael Nadal and has been praising his nephew’s great rival, Djokovic, on both Instagram and in his column for a Spanish newspaper.

Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

Toni coached Rafael for 27 years, winning 16 Grand Slam titles together before ending their professional relationship in 2017. He is now working with another top 10 player in Felix Auger-Aliassime, who had his best season in 2022 reaching the ATP Finals in Turin.

Djokovic returned to the top of the rankings with his latest triumph as he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the Australian Open final on Rod Laver Arena, pulling level with Rafael Nadal on 22 Grand Slam titles.

Despite catching up with his nephew, Toni was full of praise for the Serb in his column, “His game is undoubtedly the most complete on the circuit, which allows him to play both attacking and defending.”

“He is decisive and a fighter to the point of exhaustion, and he responds with astonishing serenity in moments of maximum tension. He also has the ambition and the consequent desire to continue improving. Proof of this is his service, highly perfected in recent times.”

Toni Nadal also suggested that only Roger Federer had the possibility of beating Djokovic when he is playing at this level, “In the first set, the player from Athens [Tsitsipas] wanted to play Novak precisely, one on one, with fast and aggressive shots, constantly changing the directions of his shots. So it still seems almost impossible to beat him, unless you are Roger Federer.”

He added, “As much as we are already used to it, what the Serbian player has achieved is as amazing as it is admirable.That 15 years after that 2008 [edition of the Australian Open], in which he lifted his first major in Melbourne, he has done it again for the 10th time there, and with such an impressive tennis level, should astonish the people of the world of tennis.”

Rafael Nadal also sent his well wishes to Djokovic, posting on Instragram, “Amazing achievment Nole. Many congratulations to you and your team! Well deserved. Enjoy Nole!”

Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023
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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.