Rafael Nadal says Novak Djokovic is the best tennis player ‘in history’
In the world of tennis, the debate over the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) is a never-ending discussion. However, for Rafael Nadal, there seems to be no debate at all. According to the Spanish tennis legend, his long-time rival Novak Djokovic is undoubtedly the greatest tennis player of all time.
Nadal’s statement comes after Djokovic clinched his 24th grand slam singles title at the US Open, setting a new record and leaving Nadal two titles behind in second place. Djokovic also boasts an impressive record of 39 Masters 1000 titles, three more than Nadal, and has spent the most weeks at world No. 1, a total of 392 weeks, which is 82 weeks more than Roger Federer, who is in the second position.
Rafael Nadal says Novak Djokovic is the best
When asked about the GOAT debate, Nadal was clear in his response. “I believe that numbers are numbers and statistics are statistics,” he stated in an interview with Spanish outlet Diario AS. “In that sense, I think Djokovic has better numbers than mine, and that is indisputable. It is not beneath me nor do I have an ego big enough to try to disguise a reality that is not. This is the truth.”
Nadal acknowledged that personal preferences and feelings play a role in the GOAT debate, but when it comes to titles and records, Djokovic stands above everyone else in the history of tennis. He expressed his respect for Djokovic’s achievements and acknowledged that injuries might have affected his own journey compared to Djokovic’s, but he accepted it as part of the sport.
Despite Djokovic’s success, Nadal remains focused on his own path. The 37-year-old, often referred to as the ‘King of Clay’, hasn’t played competitive tennis since suffering a hip injury in January’s Australian Open. He announced that the next season would likely be his last on the tour but admitted he couldn’t say it with absolute certainty. Currently, he is diligently undergoing rehab and training twice a day, preparing himself for the upcoming season.
Nadal emphasized that he didn’t want his final year in tennis to be just a farewell tour. His goal is to be competitive on the court, but he also acknowledged the possibility that he might not fully recover and might not play again. Despite the uncertainties, Nadal remains philosophical, accepting the natural course of his career.
In the end, whether or not Nadal’s perspective on the GOAT debate aligns with everyone else’s, his humility and sportsmanship shine through. As he continues his journey in tennis, he does so with grace, accepting both triumphs and challenges with equanimity.