The fight between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will continue for some time. The two eternal rivals are currently tied for the top of the all-time Grand Slam rankings, after the Serb won his 22nd Major at the Australian Open.
Despite a left hamstring injury, the 35-year-old Belgrade native gritted his teeth and lifted his tenth title at Melbourne Park. On the other hand, it is not a good moment for the Spaniard, who left the stage in the second round of Australia and was the victim of an ileus-psoas injury.
The former world number 1 will surely miss the tournaments in Doha and Dubai, while his presence in Indian Wells and Miami remains uncertain. It cannot be ruled out that we will see the Mallorcan directly on the red clay of Monte Carlo again.
His big goal is Roland Garros, where he will look for his 15th seal. During a long interview with L’Equipe, Petar Popovich – Corentin Moutet’s new coach – highlighted how Nadal and Djokovic are willing to do anything to win other Grand Slams.
Popovich talks about Rafael Nadal
Five days after Novak Djokovic’s 10th Australian Open crown, the way he achieved this success is still being talked about. Tournament director Craig Tiley revealed that the Serb played through a three-centimeter tear, slightly less than in 2021 when he too triumphed in Melbourne despite an abdominal injury.
Corentin Moutet’s new coach, Petar Popovic, weighed in on the matter for L’Equipe. “If it hadn’t been a Grand Slam, Novak wouldn’t have played. But since he’s chasing records in the race to be the greatest of all time, he took a chance and did something incredible.
The stakes are high to become the «GOAT», you have to make this sacrifice. Novak knows that Australia is the Major where he plays the best. It is the same for Rafael Nadal in Roland, his garden. He won’t do that (put his foot to sleep) at Wimbledon.
It’s normal I think. But they are not the only ones who do this. At least 50% of the guys have trouble getting to a Grand Slam. Many play with ‘analgesics’ (painkillers, editor’s note).» Rafael Nadal’s uncle Toni recently spoke about how the Spaniard has been dealing with fatherhood.
“My relationship with the child is the same as it would be with any family member. He is my nephew’s son, and I’m delighted because he, for now, is the youngest of the family. We are all very happy and with the satisfaction of seeing another child in the family,» she said.