Rafa gives Novak a big pat on the shoulder

Henry

Rafael Nadal has confirmed what many tennis fans have secretly suspected for a long time: Novak Djokovic is the best player yet.

According to the Spanish star, the statistics do not turn the tables – with his 24 Grand Slam and a string of ATP titles, Djokovic is the leading player in the game’s history.

Success on the court does not necessarily mean popularity among the spectators – as the 36-year-old Serbian has found out time and time again.

“The image he radiates does not always tell the full story. I think he is a good person,” Nadal said in an interview with a Spanish newspaper.

“There are moments where the pot of frustration threatens to boil over. For example, Novak will smash his racket, but the next moment he is 100% ready for action again. It’s the best I’ve ever seen.”

Djokovic won 30 of his matches against Nadal, while the Spaniard walked off the court victorious 29 times after their duels.

Where Nadal wields the scepter on clay courts (20 wins, 8 losses), Djokovic is again the hard court master (20 wins, 7 losses).

According to Djokovic, he was still persuaded to reap titles.

“The younger men are hungry for success and they want to play their best tennis against me. Well, it also motivates me to be at my best. They definitely gave me new fire and passion,” said the world’s leading player.

He has also previously admitted that he welcomes emotion on the court.

“I may seem focused, but sometimes there is a storm raging inside me. When the emotions come, I simply accept them. I might scream on the court, but once I’ve vented my frustration, I can hit the reset button and fight back.”

Results of the last five matches between the two players:

Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 and 7-6 in the quarter-finals of the French Open (2022).

Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 and 6-2 in the semi-final of the French Open (2021).

Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic 7-5, 1-6 and 6-3 in the final of the ATP tournament in Rome (2021).

Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2 and 7-5 in the final of the French Open (2020).

Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal 6-2 and 7-6 in the final of the ATP Cup (2020).