Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2021

‘Rafa Nadal was one of my idols. He is a great person’, says brother of Novak Djokovic

Djordje Djokovic said Rafael Nadal was one of his idols and that he “used to wear sleeveless shirts and long shorts just like him”.

The 25-year-old Serbian – younger brother of 18-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic – is the tournament director of the Serbia Open ATP 250 event.

“I have got some really nice memories of Nadal. Novak introduced me to him in Monte Carlo in 2006,” Djokovic told the Wish & Go podcast.

“Once, I was sitting in the players lounge when Nadal entered the room. Bear in mind that he was one of my idols. I used to wear sleeveless shirts and long shorts just like him.

“There was a pinball machine around: both of us were not very good with English at that time, but he asked me to play. And we did, my heart was full! I beat him, so he kicked the machine (laughing) but he hugged me afterwards.

“From that point on, we chat every time we run into each other. It is a wonderful trait to have, to behave like he does, Rafa really is a great person“.

Djokovic last played competitively at an ITF event in November 2017.

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.