Novak Djokovic, the world’s number one tennis player, doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to addressing his rivals, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. In his interview, Djokovic made it clear that he doesn’t miss the absence of Nadal and Federer from the circuit, as he remains too focused on his own tennis journey. He firmly believes that “verbalizing” his ambitions has always been an integral part of his journey to success.
Reflecting on Nadal’s comments, in which Nadal stated that Djokovic seemed more obsessed with records and achievements than he is, Djokovic offered his response, “I cannot speak on his behalf, I do not know the way he thinks, but it is his right to voice an opinion.” Djokovic went on, “Personally, I do not feel that I am obsessed with anything in life, what I feel is passion and a huge desire.”
Novak Djokovic firmly believes in setting clear objectives. He stated, “Ever since I was a young player, I did not fear voicing my goals.” He concluded by saying, “It is my path, and it is unique, just like Rafa’s.” Nadal, on the other hand, explained his perspective, saying, “Of course, I am ambitious, if not I would never be in the position I am today, but I have probably a different kind of ambition than him.”
Novak said yesterday in the press conference that he doesn’t really miss playing against Federer or Nadal on court. Takes me back to this comment from Nadal! 😂pic.twitter.com/FBUdc9D8zb
— Pavvy G (@pavyg) September 16, 2023
And when the question arose about whether Nadal liked Djokovic’s existence in the tennis world, Nadal couldn’t help but laugh and reply candidly, “No, I like competition but I am not stupid.” Undoubtedly both have been each other’s biggest rivals on the tennis court, with Djokovic currently edging Nadal by a whisker, their head-to-head being 30-29 in their iconic rivalry to date.
Djokovic emphasized that unlike his great rival, Nadal, he has never had a problem openly declaring his goals, whether they pertain to records or any other aspect of his life. He pondered why articulating goals would be a bad thing to do!
Novak Djokovic has profound respect for Rafael Nadal
One thing is evident from Djokovic’s words, he may not miss the absence of Nadal and Federer, but he undoubtedly holds his fellow players in very high regard. Djokovic openly expressed his profound admiration for Rafael Nadal, affirming, “I respect Rafa, probably more than any other player in the world; he is undeniably the most significant rival I have encountered throughout my entire life.”
For Djokovic, Nadal’s unwavering dedication and passion for the sport of tennis, his remarkable list of accomplishments, his never-say-die attitude, his comebacks from major injuries, his relentless commitment to practice, and his work ethic, and his burning desire to keep playing, are attributes that command the highest level of admiration.
Novak Djokovic on Rafa Nadal’s longevity: “A lot of people were debating on how long he’d play bc of his injuries the past 10 years. A lot of people retired him 10 years ago but he kept going, which is something I respect and admire.. he’s really an exemplary for that” pic.twitter.com/xBgbiBeT8m
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) May 27, 2023
It is evident that while Djokovic does not dwell on the absence of his rivals, he continues to hold the utmost level of respect for players like Rafael Nadal. This respect stems from an acknowledgment of their unique journeys, fierce rivalry, and unparalleled achievements, that drive them in the highly competitive world of professional tennis.