Novak Djokovic chats with Rafael Nadal off court

‘He is the best’ – Rafael Nadal makes stark admission about rival Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is the best player in the world right now according to Rafael Nadal – at least on hard courts anyway.

Djokovic got the best of Nadal in Australia once again when the pair met in the final of the ATP Cup on Sunday, in a match reminiscent of the thumping he gave the Spaniard in last year’s Australian Open final.

Remarkably, Djokovic’s record on hard courts against Nadal is better than Nadal’s record against him on clay, and the world number one doesn’t seem to have a problem acknowledging the Serbian’s brilliance.

“He (Djokovic) has been the best player in the world on hard the last couple of years,” Nadal told reporters after their ATP Cup singles match on Sunday, “so to play against the best player is always difficult.

“But I think I improved things, probably today was a little bit too early on the season but in general terms I think I improved a couple of things that really give me chances in the near future.

“My serve is working better, serving is an important point to have chances in the near future against the best players.

“I’m happy with the way I served, especially in the second set, was able to change with some serves and volley too. I’m going to keep working.”

Rafael Nadal is the top seed for the Australian Open with Djokovic, the defending champion, seeded second.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.