Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has delivered a resounding endorsement of his long-time rival, Novak Djokovic, declaring Djokovic as the ‘best in history’ on the court.
For years, tennis fans and experts have debated fiercely over who stands as the ultimate tennis legend. Icons like Federer, Sampras, and McEnroe have dominated these discussions.
But now, thanks to one bold statement from Nadal, the spotlight is squarely on Djokovic.
“I believe that numbers are numbers and statistics are statistics. In that sense, I think he (Djokovic) has better numbers than mine and that is indisputable,” Nadal told Spanish media outlet AS.
“This is the truth. The rest are tastes, inspiration, sensations that one or the other may transmit to you, that you may like one or the other more.
“I think that with respect to titles, Djokovic is the best in history and there is nothing to discuss about that.”
Following his recent US Open finals win, Djokovic cemented his place in the halls of tennis history with his 24th Grand Slam title, equalling Margaret Court’s record and smashing Nadal’s Grand Slam record.
Despite conceding his grand slam record to Djokovic, Nadal is content with what he has achieved in his career.
“I said it when I was the one with the most [grand] slams, I said it when we were tied and I say it now that I am behind,” Nadal said.
“I am not going to be the one who tries, through a personal struggle, to want to be what I am not.
“What is, is, and what is not, is not. I say this, I am very satisfied with everything that I have done.”
With his recent win, Djokovic also secured his fourth US Open crown and became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall back in 1970.
That’s a lot of hardware. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/eRPA0vxNMl
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 11, 2023
Following the impressive victory, which commentator Todd Woodbridge described as “extraordinary”, Djokovic told crowds that achieving 24 grand slam titles “means the world” to him.
“I’m really living my childhood dream. To compete at the highest level in the sport that has given me and my family so much coming from very difficult circumstances and adversities during the 90s, a couple of wars in our country and being able to push that through,” he said.
“Especially for my parents, giving a lot of sacrifice to support me and play this very expensive sport at the time, not affordable.
“I fell in love with tennis, it was quite a choice, but incredible resilience, belief from my parents and all the people around me all these years, everyone. This is your trophy as much as is mine. I love you.”