Novak Djokovic has acknowledged that Rafael Nadal is his biggest rival and has expressed his hope to play the Spaniard many more times on the biggest stage. Djokovic, 35, and Nadal, 36, have met 59 times throughout their careers.
Their matchups couldn't be closer, as Djokovic holds a narrow 30-29 lead in his matchup records. So far this season, Djokovic and Nadal have met only once, when the Spaniard beat the Serb to win his 14th French Open title. "Everyone is my rival, whoever walks out on the court.
But when it comes to who my biggest rival is, then it's Nadal without a doubt. He's still there. We've played more matches against each other than any other rivalry in the history of tennis. And I hope we play many more times, it's exciting for us and for tennis," Djokovic said, according to Tennis365.
Djokovic, a 21-time Grand Slam champion, is second on the list of all-time Grand Slam records. In addition, he holds the record for the most weeks in the first position. In general, Djokovic is considered one of the best players in the history of tennis.
But for Djokovic, being a great champion requires much more than having a talent for the game. "There is no secret or key that solves all problems. It's a combination of things that are part of your character: who you are, how you train, what your lifestyle is," Djokovic said.
"All this creates the image of success. That formula has worked for me."
Nole is known for his extraordinary mental strength
Novak Djokovic is known for his extraordinary mental strength, something that has helped establish him as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
"I think it has a lot to do with the environment I grew up in. As I have told before, I grew up in the 90's in Serbia, with wars, sanctions and difficult times to live. My parents suffered a lot just to be able to eat. I have been lucky to belong to this sport, which is not cheap.
I fell in love with tennis and my parents helped me, even though it was extremely difficult for them," Djokovic was quoted as saying by Punto de Break. "It comes from appreciating life and these kinds of circumstances, knowing what it feels like to have nothing and then have so much in life.
That gives you perspective to respect everything that comes with a more positive and humble attitude. It's not always something that helps me, but it makes it prevail when I use it," he added.
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