Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has had an incredible year thus far. He won three of the four Grand Slams, with his latest being the US Open. Djokovic’s victory at the Flushing Meadows saw his major tally go up to 24, equaling Margaret Court’s record. Despite his achievements, the recent remarks by his rival, Rafael Nadal, have been surprising, to say the least.
Nadal recently appeared for an interview with Moviestar, where he spoke on a lot of different topics. But the Spaniard courted controversy with his remarks on Djokovic.
Nadal stated that Djokovic lives it with more intensity. He further added that he felt that Novak would be frustrated if he did not achieve these numbers in the title race.
🇪🇸 Rafael Nadal speaking tonight, on Novak Djokovic and Major events in general [in Spanish]:
“I think Djokovic lives it in a more intense way. For him, it would have been a greater frustration not to achieve it [the Major Tally]”
Source: Movistar+ 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/ezPjsn7nB5
— Olly 🎾🇬🇧 (@Olly_Tennis_) September 18, 2023
While Nadal shared this opinion on Novak recently, the Serbian had actually answered this question years ago. In 2021, Nadal had suggested that Djokovic was “more obsessed” with Grand Slams. The Serb had refuted Nadal’s comments but added that he was not afraid to voice his goals.
“Maybe someone cannot say something and then stick to it, but I never found it hard to say: ‘I want to break that record or reach a certain goal’. I do not know why that would be a bad thing,” said Novak (via Eurosport).
Fans have noticed Nadal’s hypocrisy in his comments. He always reiterated he was not obsessed with the Grand Slam record but did everything in his power to win.
Nadal not obsessed with GS record:
Febr 20: I don’t want Djokovic to win more.
Apr 21: Djokovic is obsessed. My ambition is healthy.
Febr 22: I want to keep the GS record. June 22: plays RG with no feeling in his foot.
22 USO: leaves pregnant wife in hospital to play
Nov 22: I… pic.twitter.com/8QifgSJaev
— Anca (@anca_m_anca) September 19, 2023
Nadal came under fire for not congratulating Novak Djokovic when he won his 24th title. Regardless of the controversy, both players are legends in their own right.
Novak Djokovic gives a level-headed answer
The 24-time Grand Slam champion is one of the most level-headed players. He is as capable of dissecting his actions and thoughts, as he is with his skills on the tennis court.
In an interview during the Dubai Championship, Djokovic wondered how much is enough to be satisfied with his own performance. “When that moment arrives when I have to draw the line, and I look back on the history of my career, even if I stop here and he (his biggest rival) wins another 10 slams, I have to be satisfied. How much is enough? It’s a kind of balancing act as a professional athlete,” he said.
Novak Djokovic has achieved a great many things in his career, that others can only dream of. His records are a testament to his hard work and dedication, which translated into his performances. If he can keep going the way he has, a few more Grand Slams might end up in his cabinet of trophies.