Rafael Nadal: 'One does not have to be fooled'

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Rafael Nadal: 'One does not have to be fooled'

2021 will go to archive with the Big 3 paired at 20 Slams each. Novak Djokovic was the only one to shine this season, having posted three Majors and a Masters 1000. The world number 1 touched the legendary 'Calendar Grand Slam', which would have put an end to any debate related to the GOAT.

His dream was shattered one step away from the finish, having been clearly defeated by Daniil Medvedev in the final of the US Open. Despite the tremendous New York prank, the Serbian is the one who has more chance of increasing the loot than him.

The situation of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is quite complicated, not just because of their age. The Swiss has undergone his third knee operation in the last 18 months and will not be back in action until summer 2022. The Spaniard, for his part, has played the misery of seven official tournaments this year due to a chronic injury to the feet.

Speaking to Eurosport, the 35-year-old from Manacor expressed a series of interesting considerations on the future of the Big 3.

Nadal has picked Novak Djokovic as his favorite

"Novak Djokovic is the best positioned to take this title of being the player with the most Grand Slams," Rafael Nadal was quoted as saying by Eurosport.

"One does not have to be fooled, Federer is where he is and I am where I am. Djokovic, instead, is competing and having a great time. Reality is what it is and one does not have to ignore it. What may happen in nine months will be seen, but he is the favorite right now," he added.

During the interview, Rafael Nadal also weighed in on the progress made by Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Alexander Zverev and said they can no longer be considered the 'Next Gen.' "They are no longer the Next Gen, we do not have to make it eternal.

Players like Medvedev, Zverev or Tsitsipas have already passed that stage of the Next Gen, they are the current generation, of the present," he said. Nadal has even previously called Novak Djokovic the ‘toughest opponent possible’, ahead of their matchup at the 2020 French Open.

After the exceptional 2021 season that Nole had, most tennis fans have accepted that the Serbian would retire with the most Grand Slam titles, a reality which Nadal, too, acknowledged. Novak Djokovic seems healthy and ready to win many more Grand Slam titles in the coming few years.

However, January’s Australian Open might make the list.The Serbian is the defending champion in Melbourne and has won the cup a record nine times. Yet, he might be skipping the first Grand Slam of 2022.