Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023 and Rafael Nadal - Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal ‘did not imagine’ Djokovic winning three majors in 2023

Rafael Nadal has confessed that he ‘did not imagine’ Novak Djokovic would win three Grand Slam titles this year, suggesting that compatriot Carlos Alcaraz missed a ‘great opportunity’ at Roland Garros.

Nadal has only competed at the Australian Open in 2023, which is where he picked up a psoas injury in his second round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald.

The Spaniard had lead the Grand Slam race prior to the first major of the year with 22 titles to his name, but has since been overtaken by rival Djokovic who won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open.

And Nadal has admitted his surprise at this when speaking to EFE, “The truth is that I imagined Djokovic winning Grand Slam this season, but I did not imagine him winning three because I think there is another young generation that is very powerful.”

The only major tournament that Djokovic did not win this year was Wimbledon, with the seven-time champion failing to equal Roger Federer at SW19.

Djokovic was beaten by Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final, and Nadal has suggested that he thought the 20-year-old was more likely to win Roland Garros.

“Alcaraz had a great opportunity at Roland Garros to prevent Djokovic from winning, but what happened physically happened to him, although after he made up for it and achieved something historic at Wimbledon,” explained Nadal.

It is not yet clear as to whether Nadal will return at the Australian Open next year, but fans are sure to want to see him, Djokovic and Alcaraz all go head-to-head in Melbourne.

Inside the baseline…

The biggest surprise from Djokovic’s Grand Slam season was him not taking home the Wimbledon title for a fifth consecutive tournament, however Alcaraz produced an incredible performance to become the first person to beat the Serb on Centre Court in 10 years. Nadal will be disappointed to have seen his record slip away from him this year, especially when he probably feels as though his fitness will does not allow him to recover the deficit from his great rival Djokovic.

READ NEXT: Rafael Nadal reveals his ‘first realistic option to be back on court’

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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.