Novak Djokovic has message for Rafael Nadal, Emma Raducanu & Naomi Osaka

Djokovic reacts to the returns of Nadal, Raducanu, and Osaka.

by Dzevad Mesic
Novak Djokovic has message for Rafael Nadal, Emma Raducanu & Naomi Osaka
© Getty Images Sport - Paul Kane

Novak Djokovic has welcomed back Rafael Nadal, Emma Raducanu, and Naomi Osaka.

On Tuesday, Djokovic's biggest rival Nadal officially made his comeback from hip surgery at the Brisbane International. In the Brisbane first round, Nadal saw off former world No. Dominic Thiem 7-5 6-1 to make a triumphant return. 

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Novak Djokovic - Instagram

In Auckland, 2021 US Open champion Raducanu made her return after undergoing surgeries on both wrists and right ankle in June. Playing in her first match in eight month, Raducanu edged out Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 4-6 7-5. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Novak Djokovic - Instagram

Meanwhile, four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka started her post-pregnancy comeback on Monday. Just like Nadal and Raducanu, Osaka also enjoyed a triumphant return after beating Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 7-6 (9).

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Novak Djokovic - Instagram

Djokovic happy to see Nadal, Raducanu, and Osaka returning

Men's tennis suffered a major blow when Nadal sustained an injury to his psoas muscle during the 2023 Australian Open and then ended up missing the remainder of the season. 

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Bradley Kanaris

When it comes to women's tennis, not having Osaka for the entire 2023 season wasn't ideal either. However, Osaka was out of action due to pregnancy and not because she was injured or anything like that. On the other side, Raducanu - who has one of the largest fanbases - was limited to just five tournaments last year before having multiple surgeries in May. 

Without any doubt, the returns of Nadal, Raducanu, and Osaka are a great thing for men's and women's tennis. 

When Nadal confirmed his comeback to tennis in late 2023, Djokovic sounded pretty happy and excited about his rival's return. At the time, Djokovic also said he would like to play Nadal at least one more time. Specifically, Djokovic mentioned the French Open as the place where he would like to square off against Nadal once again. 

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Ryan Pierse

At the start of his comeback in Brisbane, Nadal refused to fully commit to retiring in 2024. Instead, Nadal said he will "probably" retire in 2024 but added that there is "a small chance" he still returns next year.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal Naomi Osaka