Novak Djokovic admits Rafael Nadal’s presence is pushing him to still keep going and noted the Spaniard is always the top favorite to win titles during the clay season. Djokovic, 35, and 36-year-old Nadal have played against each other 59 times.
Djokovic, who leads the head-to-head against Nadal 30-29, acknowledged that the Spaniard is his biggest rival. “Well, best rival that I ever had, biggest rival that I ever had. We played, what, 59 times against each other, I mean, the most that any two players faced each other in the history of the game.
We still keep going strong. I’m happy that we both are challenging the young guns for the biggest titles. And I think that probably there is also a big reason why we still compete on a high level is because, you know, he goes because I’m still going, or other way round.
I think that’s great about this rivalry. And I feel like many people around the world who follow sports and tennis, they still want us to keep going, until we can’t go anymore!” Djokovic told Tennis TV, per Sportskeeda.
Djokovic on Nadal’s clay-court chances: He is always the favorite there
“He’s always, of course, the main favorite on any clay court event, particularly Paris. Let’s see, we both want to peak there, no doubt about it.
So, let’s see what happens,” Djokovic noted. In January, Djokovic won the Australian Open to tie Nadal on the all-time list with 22 Grand Slams. In late May and early June, Djokovic will try to win his third French Open title and surpass Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam list.
However, Nadal will also be determined to win a record 15th French Open title and again go ahead of Djokovic in the Grand Slam race. Roland Garros is Nadal’s most successful place but Djokovic has had a strong start to 2023 and the Serb will certainly feel well about his chances at this year’s French Open.
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