Former doubles world No. 3 Marc Lopez has joined Rafael Nadal's coaching staff ahead of the 2022 season, per Marca. Lopez has a close relationship with Nadal, having won five doubles titles with the former world No. 1. Most notably, Lopey and Nadal won the men's doubles event at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Five years later, Lopez joins Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig in coaching Nadal. Nadal, who is tied with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the all-time Grand Slam record list with 20 Majors, admitted Djokovic is the best positioned to win the most Grand Slams.
“Right now the best placed player to finish with the most Grand Slam titles is Novak Djokovic. You just have to see where Roger is and where I am, while he is competing and in great shape. This is the reality from now on.
We’ll see what happens in a few months, but right now if there is clearly a favorite, it’s him,” Nadal stated, as quoted on Essentially Sports.
Nadal confirmed for the Australian Open
Djokovic has signed up to play the Australian Open but that doesn't neccessarily mean that he will play.
"This new wrinke where Rafa comes in and the route to the Australian Open title doesn't have to go through Novak... Listen I don't think Rafa is the favorite regardless if Novak is there or not," former world No.
1 Andy Roddick recently said during his appearance on Tennis Channel. Fprmer world No. 1 Jim Courier said a healthy Nadal would still be a slight favorite over Djokovic at the French Open. "And for Rafa how he is going to respond, how his foot is going to respond after sitting out a lot this season trying to fix that after it went out on him at Roland Garros.
He is still the favorite at Roland Garros. Slighlty, slightly over Novak -- assuming they are both healthy. And Novak is probably the favorite everywhere else -- certainly at Wimbledon," Courier said during his appearance on Tennis Channel.