Former world number 1 Kim Clijsters underlined that she loves how Rafael Nadal plays, but noted that with Novak Djokovic there is «such physical softness». Nadal, 36, and Djokovic, 35, are widely considered among the greatest players in tennis history.
However, their playstyles are completely different. «I love how Rafa plays, the intensity, the battle and the hustle. But with Novak there is such a physical smoothness, I’ll call it, when he moves from one side to the other.
What Rafa did this year in Australia. You know, just kind of knowing how he was struggling with his foot and being so close to thinking, ‘Am I really going to get to the level that I want to get back to?’ And then for him to get to a level that was, perhaps, some of the best tennis I’ve ever seen him play, I thought it was incredible.
Novak is like he just picks up from there, right? He goes to Wimbledon and you can see the approach,» Clijsters said on Craig Shapiro’s podcast, according to Sportskeeda.
Clijsters on Djokovic’s flexibility
Djokovic, who will turn 36 in May 2023, remains one of the fittest and healthiest athletes on Tour.
Clijsters is surprised by Djokovic’s form and ability as she is looking forward to seeing the Serb make more history before he retires. «I don’t know if he saw it, but there’s a picture with a Belgian gymnast at the Olympics that he posted where he’s completely split right next to her.
It’s amazing, I love that part of him. I love to see him do well and to see him try to be the best with the most Grand Slam trophies,» Clijsters added.
Djokovic, a 21-time Grand Slam champion, has received good news from Australia as he is allowed to return to the Australian Open in 2023. It remains to be seen if Djokovic can win a 10th Australian Open title in January.