‘He’s going because I’m still going’ – Novak Djokovic on his ‘best’ and ‘biggest’ rival Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic believes his biggest rival, Rafael Nadal, is always going strong because he himself is going strong and vice versa. The Serb believes they are both pushing each other to fight for the biggest titles.

Both legends are locked on 22 Grand Slam titles each in a race to win the most singles titles in men’s tennis history.

Novak Djokovic joined Nadal with 22 Grand Slam titles by winning the 2023 Australian Open in January. The entire tennis world is eagerly waiting to see which of the two titans will finish at the top of the rankings.

Speaking in an interview with Tennis TV ahead of the 2023 Dubai Tennis Championships, Djokovic called Nadal his “best” and “biggest” rival in the sport. The two giants have faced each other 59 times, the most times two players have faced each other in the history of the sport.

“Well, the best rival I’ve ever had, the biggest rival I’ve ever had,” said the Serb when asked about his rivalry with Nadal. “We played, what, 59 times against each other, I mean, the most that two players have faced each other in the history of the game.”

Novak Djokovic has also expressed his joy that they are both still good and challenging the youngsters for the biggest title. He also felt that the two 22-time Grand Slam winners were still going for each other.

“We continue to be strong,” he said. “I’m happy that we’re both challenging young talent for the biggest titles. And I think there’s probably also a big reason why we’re still competing at the top level, it’s because, you know, he goes there because I always go there, or vice versa.

“I think it’s great in this rivalry,” he continued. “And I feel like a lot of people around the world who follow the sport and tennis still want us to keep going, until we can’t anymore!” he’s laughing.

Speaking of Roland Garros 2023, he felt the Spaniard was a natural favorite on clay.

“He is always, of course, the big favorite at any clay-court event, especially in Paris. Let’s see, we both want to peak there, there’s no doubt. So let’s see what happens.

Novak Djokovic stacks another record to his name by passing Steffi Graf most weeks at No. 1

Novak Djokovic surpasses Steffi Graf’s record

Novak Djokovic continues to cement his place in the history books. On February 27, 2023, the 35-year-old surpassed Steffi Graf’s record of 377 weeks as world number one.

He has now spent 378 weeks at the top of the world rankings, the highest of any player, male or female. He already holds the record for most weeks as No. 1 in the men’s rankings after surpassing Roger Federer’s 310 weeks in March 2021.

“Of course, with your love and the great strength you have given me over the years, I have managed to achieve many fantastic achievements throughout my career,” he said in a video for the fans. ” Most recent [is] break the record [with] 378 weeks on #1 [in the] ranking, surpassing one of the greatest and most legendary tennis players – male and female – who has ever played, Steffi Graf. I am therefore flattered, obviously extremely, extremely proud and happy of this achievement.

The world No. 1 returns to action at the 2023 Dubai Tennis Championships, an ATP 500 event, where he is aiming for a sixth title.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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