Nadal says Grand Slam record makes Novak Djokovic the best in history

ESPN News ServicesSeptember 20, 2023 at 07:04 AM ET2 min read

Rafael Nadal’s last Grand Slam win came at the French Open in 2022, and with Novak Djokovic crossing his mark on most major titles in men’s tennis, the Spaniard acknowledged that his rival is the best player in history.

With Djokovic’s recent victory at the US Open, his third Grand Slam title this year, he raised his tally to 24 titles, two more than Nadal’s total.

“I think numbers are numbers and statistics are statistics. In that sense, I think it is [Djokovic] Nadal said in an interview with AS newspaper published on Wednesday: “He has better numbers than mine, and that is indisputable.”

He added, “This is the truth. The rest are tastes, inspirations, and feelings that one or the other may convey to you, and you may like one of them more.” He added: “I think that in terms of titles, Djokovic is the best in history and there is nothing to discuss about this matter.”

Nadal has suffered from injury problems in recent years, and missed the past three major tournaments due to a hip problem, and missed Wimbledon and the US Open in 2021.

He has not played in any tournament since his loss in the second round of the Australian Open last January, and he said last May that he expects 2024 to be the last season of his tennis career.

However, he told AS that he did not want to use his injury history as an excuse.

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He said: “As always, everyone can see the story as they like, saying that I had a lot of injuries. Bad luck for me or bad luck that my body was this way.” “He’s got another one, and in some ways that’s also part of the sport. I congratulate him on everything he achieves, and it doesn’t cause me any disappointment.”

Nadal (37 years old) also spoke about his Spanish teammate and new kid Carlos Alcaraz, the 20-year-old winner of this year’s Wimbledon Championship.

“He was world number one until recently. Even though he is very young now, the only competitor I see for him is Djokovic,” Nadal said.

Despite losing his Grand Slam record to current world number one Djokovic, Nadal is very happy with what he has achieved in his career.

“I said it when I was the most Grand Slam champion, I said it when we were tied, and I say it now when I am behind: I will not be the person who, through a personal struggle, tries to want to be what I am not,” Nadal said. “What is” said Nadal. And what is not there, is not. “I’ll say this: I’m very satisfied with everything I’ve done.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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