Novak Djokovic openly admits to 'last dance’ with Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic has admitted he would rather not have a final clash with Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.
Djokovic and Nadal have played more games than any other two players in the history of men’s tennis.
They have faced each other 59 times across the net, with Djokovic leading 30-29.
Matches between the two are becoming rarer as Nadal struggles with injury this year and announces he will be his last on the ATP Tour in 2024, but Djokovic says he would like one more match with the Spaniard.
Asked where he would like to play his final against Rafael Nadal, Djokovic told Marka: “I think a lot of people would love to be at Roland Garros. Why not?
„If you give me a choice I’ll say somewhere else. Roland Garros wouldn’t be bad, but Nadal is the most successful player in the history of the tournament.
„I think everywhere will be amazing for us and the tennis world. It will be like the last dance.
“I don’t know how many more times we’ll play each other or if we’re going to play each other. I hope we do, because that’s what everyone wants, and so do I.
Novak Djokovic, at this point, has broken every record in tennis, but he has to accept that the number of Nadal Roland Garros titles is beyond him.
The Serbian has three titles, which is exceptional, but that leaves him 11 behind Nadal, meaning he will have to play well to have a chance in his late 40s.
However, Djokovic is fine, explaining: „I’m very satisfied with everything I’ve achieved. I don’t have to look at Rafa’s record in Paris. I have a lot to be proud of and be part of history.
„If I retire now, I can only be happy and proud of what I’ve done.”
Novak Djokovic: 'Rafael Nadal is a warrior’
Djokovic and Nadal had a tough rivalry, but it was also a very respectable one. And, like almost all great sporing matches, the players are left with a lot of reflection when it’s over.
Although the likes of Djokovic and Nadal admit, there is no real friendship behind it all.
🇪🇸 Rafael Nadal continues to improve and play practice points
📸 abel.b.horvath IG pic.twitter.com/hl9PInxRdw
– Olly 🎾🇬🇧 (@Olly_Tennis_) November 27, 2023
„I think at least one more match between Nadal and me would be good for the game,” Djokovic said after his ATP Finals win over Hubert Hurcox.
„This is one of the biggest matches this game has ever played. I hope it can happen. He’s a great fighter.
„He’s someone who really never gives up. With all the injuries he’s had, he keeps going. That’s definitely something you have to respect and admire about him and his spirit.
Read next: Rafael Nadal slips in rankings ahead of comeback bid
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