Rafael Nadal is not playing at the 2023 French Open due to a hip injury he sustained during the 2023 Australian Open in January. The tournament starts on May 28. As Nadal pulled out of his favorite tournament, World No.3 Novak Djokovic jokingly admitted that he didn’t miss seeing Nadal in the tournament due to how he had to exert all his energy while facing the Spaniard.
Nadal is a 14-time winner at Roland Garros and against him, Djokovic has won just twice in the tournament. While announcing his withdrawal from the French Open this year, he ended up disclosing that 2024 could mark the end of his professional career. As Nadal won’t feature in the tournament, it will be a great opportunity for the Serb to lift a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam. He shares 22 Grand Slams with the Spaniard.
“Honestly, I don’t want him being in the draw. I don’t like seeing him in the draw of Roland Garros,” Djokovic said in a press conference. “I have had not so much success against him in our head-to-head record in Roland Garros.
“I’ve managed to beat him twice, but I had to leave my heart and my guts out on the court to achieve that. A lot of people retired already 10 years ago, but he kept going, which is something I respect and admire. I know how hard it is to maintain that level and keep going even after having a tough injury.” Also Read: Breaking: Andy Murray Withdraws From French Open 2023
Novak Djokovic says Rafael Nadal is his biggest rival
In the past, the duo’s encounters were some of the most exhilarating tennis matches. And on the clay courts of Roland Garros, Djokovic managed just two victories over the Spaniard in their 10 meetings. Nadal’s announcement of 2024 can be his last year made Djokovic emotional.
“I have to say that he’s my biggest rival. When he announced that he’s going to have his last season of (his) career, I felt part of me is leaving with him too,” Djokovic added. “I feel that he was one of the most impactful people that I have ever had in my career, the growth of my career, and me as a player.”
Thank you for reading it. Leave us a comment if you liked it.
Have a good day ahead 🙂