Published On: Sat, Sep 16th, 2023
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Novak Djokovic ‘doesn’t miss Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’ as Serb brutally honest | Tennis | Sport

Novak Djokovic hinted that he is glad Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been missing from action this year. Nadal has been absent for the majority of the season through injury and is targeting a return at the Australian Open in January.

Meanwhile, Federer retired at the Laver Cup in emotional scenes last year. That has allowed Djokovic to win three of the four Grand Slam titles in 2023.

The Serbian didn’t even take a rest after claiming the US Open as he joined up with his Serbian team-mates for the Davis Cup. Djokovic’s first tie was against Spain, who were without Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

The 36-year-old was asked if he was missing his closest rivals and he was brutally honest in his response. Djokovic said: “Personally, I don’t know how much I miss them, but at the sports level, I’m sure tennis misses them a lot. We are talking about two players who are tennis legends, two athletes who have left an immense legacy for the sport in general. I don’t know how much I miss them, to be honest, at least on the court.”

Djokovic was left in a flood of tears when he made a pit stop in Serbia before heading out to the Davis Cup. And he explained why he headed straight to meet up with his fellow countrymen.

“Leaving my family is never easy but coming to another family, my Serbian squad is always giving me the greatest of joy and really beautiful sensation to be able to be playing for my country,” he added.

“So, you know at the beginning of the season I said Grand Slams and playing for my country are my greatest priority, I really want to contribute as much as I can and here we are and the goal is to reach the top eight and hopefully we can keep going in the right direction.”

Djokovic has won 24 Grand Slam titles, two more than Nadal and three greater than Federer. And former world No 1 Andy Roddick holds the Serb in higher regard than his rivals.

He said: “The dominance of Novak and the way that he’s able to win this consistently is just absurd. He’s probably the most reliable player that we’ve ever had in the game. I wouldn’t bet against him on any given day, on any surface, in any format. It’s an impossibility to make a statistical argument against him being the best ever. It’s like proving gravity at this point.”

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