Kim Clijsters explains playing style difference between Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

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Kim Clijsters explains playing style difference between Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

Former world No 1 Kim Clijsters underlined she loves how Rafael Nadal plays but noted with Novak Djokovic there is "such a physical smoothness." Nadal, 36, and 35-year-old Djokovic are widely considered among the greatest players in tennis history.

However, their playing styles are completely different. "I love how Rafa plays, the intensity, the battle, and the hustle. But with Novak there's such a physical smoothness, I'll call it, when he moves from side to side. What Rafa did this year in Australia.

You know, just knowing a little bit of how he was struggling with his foot and being so close to thinking, 'Am I actually going to get to a level I want to get back to?' And then for him to get to a level that was, maybe, some of the best tennis that I've ever seen him play, I thought was incredible.

Novak is like he just picks up from there, right? He goes to Wimbledon and you can see the focus," Clijsters said on the Craig Shapiro podcast, per Sportskeeda.

Clijsters on Djokovic's flexibility

Djokovic, who will be turning 36 in 2023 May, is still one of the healthiest and fittest athletes on the Tour.

Clijsters is amazed by Djokovic's shape and ability as she is looking forward to hopefully witnessing the Serb making more history before he retires. "I don't know if you saw it, but there's a picture with a Belgian gymnast at the Olympics that he posted, where he's in a full-on split right next to her.

It's amazing, I love that part about him. I love seeing him do well and see him try to be the greatest with the most amount of Grand Slam trophies," Clijsters added.

Djokovic, a 21-time Grand Slam champion, received good news from Australia as he is allowed to return to the Australian Open in 2023. It remains to be seen if Djokovic can win a record 10th Australian Open title in January.