Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic ATP Masters 1000

Top analyst feels Rafa Nadal is ready to accept Novak Djokovic as favourite to be the ‘best in history’

Alex Corretja feels Rafa Nadal submitting to Novak Djokovic’s likelihood of achieving the most Grand Slams is “an exercise in humility and acceptance.”

All three of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer boast a phenomenal 20 Grand Slam titles apiece as the trio continue their battle to become the most successful male player of all time.

After enduring an injury-riddled 2021, Nadal is making a return at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition in preparation for the Australian Open. The Spaniard will play three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, Corretja’s preferred opponent.

Spaniard Nadal recently conceded that he believes current World number one Djokovic will surpass both himself and Federer in the Grand Slam total tally, saying “you don’t have to fool yourself, that is the reality.”

Compatriot Corretja echoed Nadal’s thoughts and told Eurosport that “I think that Rafa is very intelligent and is very aware of the reality, and has always had his feet on the ground.

“He knows that Roger was at some point the best in history. When he matched him, he felt that he too deserved that recognition.

“But he is not a fool, he sees that Novak is coming from behind, that he is younger and that he has more chances to win on other surfaces, and that makes him the most dangerous, the one with the best chance of becoming the best in history.

“It seems to me that on Rafa’s part, this is an exercise of humility and accepting that there will be another player who will improve his numbers, and at the same time he must accept that he should not compete with Novak or Roger, but with himself,” the analyst claimed.

“That’s what has made them the best in history: [they] wanted to be the best version of themselves, the three greatest players of all time competing against each other.

“Rafa is already 35 years old, he already knows that his career is already coming to an end. You can’t waste time or energy on others. For him to openly say that Novak is going to be the best, I think that relaxes him. He has already reached the top.

“We are not going to judge Rafa or Roger if they have one more Grand Slam or not. Rafa Nadal is a legend, and that is what he is going to leave in tennis.”

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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.