Tag Archives: Nadal

Djokovic credits Federer and Nadal for shaping him

The world No 1 secured his 20th Grand Slam title after victory over Matteo Berrettini in the men’s Wimbledon final; all three players are now level on 20 singles Grand Slam titles and Novak Djokovic could achieve 21 – and the calendar grand slam – at the US Open

Last Updated: 12/07/21 9:16am




Novak Djokovic is focused and in form as he now looks towards the US Open

Novak Djokovic has credited Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for making him the player he is today and vows to “have a shot” at securing a calendar grand slam.

After winning a sixth Wimbledon title, and the 20th Grand Slam of his career at the All England Club, the world No 1 has the ability to add the US Open to his collection later this year and win all four Grand Slam titles in a single calendar year.

Djokovic was asked what it meant to draw level with Federer and Nadal on the same number of Grand Slam titles following his victory on Centre Court.

“It means that none of us three will stop [on 20]! That’s what it means,” Djokovic said with a smile on his face.

“I’ve mentioned this before, many times, I have to pay a great tribute to Rafa and Roger. They are legends of our sport and they are the two most important players that I ever faced in my career.

“They are, I think, the reason that I am where I am today. They’ve helped me realise what I need to do in order to improve to get stronger mentally and physically, tactically.

“When I broke into the top 10 for the first time, for three or four years I lost most of the big matches that I played against these two guys. Then, something shifted at the end of 2010/beginning of 2011, and the last 10 years have been an incredible journey that’s not stopping here.”

Djokovic said he started to believe he could equal Federer and Nadal’s all-time record some time ago.

“I probably started thinking about trying to reach the record of most Grand Slams won, most weeks at No 1 historically, probably about, two to three years ago. Before that, it seemed a little bit out of reach,” the 34-year-old said.

“I’ve always kind of believed that I could play my best tennis in Grand Slams and give myself a good chance to win any Slam really, on any surface, because I know what I’m capable of.

“I know I have a very complete game that has proven to be successful on all surfaces in the past.

“But only the last two-and-a-half, three years I started to realize that actually I can reach the most weeks of No 1, which was my primary goal actually in the last two years, and also Grand Slams.

“I feel like in the last couple of years for me age is just a number. I’ve said that before. I don’t feel that I’m old or anything like that.

“I feel like I’m probably the most complete that I’ve been as a player right now in my entire career.”

It’s really fortunate for me and incredible that it’s all coming together in the same year. That’s something that I didn’t expect, but I always dream of achieving the biggest things in sport.

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic’s final victory over Berrettini means a Calendar Grand Slam is now firmly on the cards. The only player in the Open Era to have achieved that feat was Rod Laver back in 1969.

“I could definitely envision that happening,” Djokovic said, about winning the forthcoming US Open and emulating Laver.

“I’m hoping and I’m going to definitely give it a shot. I’m in great form and obviously playing well.

“For me, playing my best tennis at Grand Slams is my highest priority at this stage of my career so let’s keep it going.”

This year’s US Open will welcome fans back into the stands after last year’s tournament was unable to have supporters present.

Nadal has already accepted a wild card into the Citi Open in Washington to start his preparations for the Grand Slam, while Federer’s plans have yet to be revealed.

Djokovic will arrive at the US Open highly motivated and ready to make new memories at the Grand Slam

Djokovic has yet to decide if he is going to play in the Tokyo Olympics and said he was disappointed to hear the news spectators would not be present at the Games.

“That’s not great news,” he said about the competition being played in front of empty stands. “I received that news yesterday or two days ago. That was really disappointing to hear.

“I also hear that there’s going to be a lot of restrictions within the village. Possibly you would not be able to see other athletes perform live. I can’t even have my stringer that is very important part of my team. I can’t have a stringer. I’m limited with the amount of people I can take in my team as well.

“I’ll have to think about it. Right now, as I said, my plan was always to go to Olympic Games. But right now, I’m a little bit divided. It’s kind of 50/50 because of what I heard in the last couple days.”

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Novak Djokovic argues against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal ‘bad guy’ question

Speaking after his quarter-final win over Marton Fucsovics, Djokovic was asked how it felt to be seen as the “bad guy” in chasing Nadal and Federer.

Djokovic took acception to that remark though, insisting he is only concentrating on his “own history”.

“I don’t consider myself a bad guy. I mean, that’s your opinion,” he said.

“I’m not chasing anybody. I’m making my own path and my own journey, my own history.

Author: Stuart Ballard
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Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon after Rafael Nadal also pulls out of Grand Slam

The Spaniard missed out on his chance to win Grand Slam No 21 at the French Open, losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

But, while Osaka is planning to be back in action at the Tokyo Olympics, Nadal insists he needs more time to look after his body.

“Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Nadal tweeted.

“It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.

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Rafael Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics

The Spaniard says he made the decision after “listening” to his body.

MADRID, Spain — Rafael Nadal will not play at Wimbledon or at the Tokyo Olympics, saying Thursday he has decided to skip the two tournaments after “listening” to his body.

Nadal, who reached the French Open semifinals last week but lost to Novak Djokovic, has won the title at Wimbledon twice, in 2008 and 2010. He also won the Olympic gold medal in singles at the 2008 Beijing Games and in doubles at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

“The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition,” Nadal said.

The 35-year-old Spaniard said the fact that there are only two weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon “didn’t make it easier” on his body to recover from “the always demanding” clay-court season.

“Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles,” Nadal wrote on Twitter.

Nadal is a 20-time Grand Slam champion with a record 13 titles at the French Open.

His loss at Roland Garros last Friday was only his third in 108 matches at a tournament he won each of the last four years, including by beating Djokovic in the 2020 final.

Nadal sent a “special message” to fans in Britain and Japan in particular.

“The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a Sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live,” he wrote. “I personally had the chance to live 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country.”

Nadal hadn’t played much amid the coronavirus pandemic and had a slow start to his season. He won two titles, in Barcelona and in Rome, and had a 23-4 record so far this year.

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Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon and Olympic Games

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon and the upcoming Olympic Games, the Spaniard has announced.

The 35-year-old posted a long Twitter thread to announce that he would not play at the two events, explaining that he has made the decision in order to prolong his career following talks with his team. 

He has not explicitly suggested that there is an existing injury.

“Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Nadal tweeted.

“It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.

“The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at he maximum level of competition.

“The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season.

“They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term.

“Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles.

Nadal recently relinquished his French Open title to Novak Djokovic. 

He had won the previous four editions at Roland Garros but suffered a shock semi-final exit after being beaten by Djokovic 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-2. 

Nadal was trying to win his 14th French Open title and will likely try again next year following his break. 

Djokovic proceeded to defeat 22-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas in a sensational final. 

The 34-year-old came back from two sets down to beat the Greek  6–7 2–6 6–3 6–2 6–4. 

Djokovic will attempt to win his 20th Grand Slam at Wimbledon, which would put him level with Nadal and fellow member of the big three Roger Federer. 

The Tokyo Olympics have been rearranged for this summer after they were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Games start on July 4 and end on August 1. 

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Novak Djokovic closes in on Federer and Nadal record with French Open title win

Novak Djokovic fought back to win a dramatic 19th Grand Slam title as Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a Greek tragedy in the French Open final. And the world No 1 can now equal the male Major record held by Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon in their GOAT race.

Tsitsipas had seemed destined to become the first Greek to ever win a Grand Slam as he won the first two sets in his maiden final. Djokovic, who knocked out 13-time champion Nadal in the semi-final, struggled with the heat, his contact lenses and the relentless groundstrokes of the 22-year-old.

But it was the younger man’s challenge which melted in the Parisian sun as the super Serb, 34, wore him down to win the generation game and his 29th Grand Slam final and the generation game 6-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 in four hours and 11 minutes.

He becomes the first man in the Open era to win each Major twice after outlasting and out-classing the world No 5.

And in the seventeen Majors since Stan Wawrinka won the 2016 US Open, Dominic Thiem is the only winner from outside the Big Three after Djokovic got disqualified in New York last year.

The Australian Open champion has won seven out of 11 Majors – a run of dominance similar to Tiger Woods at the turn of the century.

And he will be favourite to retain the title he won at Wimbledon in 2019 when the grass-court Grand Slam starts on June 28.

Djokovic fell to the red clay chasing a drop shot in the seventh game of the match and needed to save a set point at 4-5 before the tiebreak. He battled back from 0-4 down and Tsitsipas saved a set point with a spectacular forehand winner in the corner before taking the opening set in 72 minutes.

The second was littered with Djokovic errors – he won only five points on the Tsitsipas serve and was broken twice.

But a Djokovic toilet break then changed the match – and he fought back from two sets down to win for the sixth time in his career.

After the match Djokovic said: “It was once again an electric atmosphere. To play nine hours of tennis in less than 48 hours against two great champions was not easy.

“Physically it was very, very difficult for me in two, three days. It is a dream once more.”

Djokovic said: “It is really a dream to be here. To have a big battle for one of the biggest trophies in our sport.

“Four Slams are the biggest tournament and they give me a lot of inspiration and a lot of motivation every day to go to the court and to training and give 100%.

“I am not young like Stefanos. I have to look for new motivations every day.

“Unforgettable matches, unforgettable moments for me and my career. I will definitely remember these last 48 hours for the rest of my life.

“I am very happy. I am not going to stop here. I am going to carry on this year and also at Roland Garros at least one or two times.”

Tsitsipas said: “It was a big fight out there.Novak has shown us over the last couple of years what a great champion he is

“I would say I am inspired by the things he has achieved so far and I hope one day I can maybe do half of what he has done so far.”

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Rafael Nadal casts doubt over Wimbledon appearance after Novak Djokovic defeat

Asked if his appearance at Wimbledon was now in danger, the champion in 2008 and 2010 said: “I don’t know what I’ll do in my future.

“After two intense months in a positive gravel season without having achieved the final goal, I have managed to achieve two titles.

“The body after so much struggle usually suffers a slump. Wimbledon this year is in two weeks. It’s different from when I was 25 years old. I am 35 and you have to see how I recover in every way.

“I need to digest it all, be calm, take a few days off and go home. We have been locked up in Paris for two and a half weeks and I need to breathe a little, enjoy the good weather in Mallorca and what is going to happen is of little importance ”.

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