Novak Djokovic has been one of the most dominant players in recent years, but the Serbian misses one person in his rise to the top of tennis. The World No. 2 stated recently that he misses his rivalry with former top pro-Rafael Nadal and called it “something special”.
In a recent interview, Djokovic reminisced his time against Nadal, who is popularly known as the “King of Clay” but was also very dangerous on other surfaces.
“The rivalry with Rafa is really something special. A number of matches we played against each other, the Grand Slam finals, especially the one played at the Australian Open that lasted almost six hours,” as stated by Djokovic to Mundo Deportivo.
Djokovic talks rivalry vs. Nadal
“When I started to be a stronger player, I had to find ways to win, especially against Rafa and [Roger] Federer. Until a few years, I didn’t know if I could dominate because they were there.”
Djokovic is currently playing at the 2017 Qatar Open. The Serbian won his first round matchup against German Jan-Lennard Struff, 7-6 6-3. Djokovic struggled early, but still manage to win the first set via the tie-break and dominated the second set.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal won an exhibition match against David Goffin, 6-4, 7-6 (5). But he is on his way back to 100% health, according to reports.
“I played three matches against three top players, and to win against this kind of players is not possible if you’re not playing well. So these three victories were really positive news. It was also pleasing to see that when I’m able to hit my forehand with confidence, the matches are going the way I want them to,” Nadal stated to Brisbane International.
“I have worked a lot to try to put myself in a position to be competitive again and to try to make the fans enjoy my tennis again, so I will do my best to make that happen.”
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Both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic expects to play and be healthy in time for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, the 2017 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia.
Photo courtesy: Brett Marlow/Wikimedia Commons