Novak Djokovic says Rafael Nadal had no issues with his impersonations of the Spaniard until he started ending up on the winning side more frequently in their matches. In 2007, Djokovic imitated Nadal's lengthy service routine at the US Open and the crowd absolutely loved it.
Two years later, Djokovic imitated Nadal following their Rome Masters final. During a discussion with John McEnroe on ESPN+, Djokovic reflected on those moments. "Early on in my career, when he was kicking my a** on the tennis court, he was okay with that, but when I started winning a few matches I felt like the energy shifted a bit," Djokovic said on ESPN+'s "McEnroe's Places."
Djokovic on if he misses Nadal
This week, Djokovic came to Valencia to represent Serbia in the Davis Cup Finals grouš stage.
In his return to Spain, Djokovic was asked if he misses Nadal and Roger Federer. Nadal hasn't played since the Australian Open, while Federer has been retired since last year. Djokovic jokingly said he doesn't really miss them but added tennis definitely does.
"I don't miss them, but I'm sure tennis misses them. These two are legends of our sport. They left a very great legacy both in tennis and in sports in general," Djokovic said in Valencia. Earlier this year, Djokovic said he was "disappointed" when Nadal announced his French Open withdrawal.
“I think that in a way, you're disappointed maybe more than anything that you don't get to play Rafa somewhere. And I would think for Novak Djokovic, he’s most probably the most disappointed player in the whole tournament.
Because surely he would like to win his 23rd - his third French Open - by beating Rafa Nadal along the way," Djokovic of Nadal's French Open absence in May. In Nadal's absence, Djokovic won his third French Open title this year.