“The Image Is Not the Best” – Rafael Nadal Advices Novak Djokovic to Avoid Meltdown Like in Tokyo Olympics

Published 08/02/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Rafael Nadal of Spain cross paths during change of ends during the Men’s Singles Final match during day 14 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)


Despite being 20-time Grand Slam champions, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are complete opposites on the tennis court. While the two are obviously more competitive than most on the Tour, their respective reactions to frustration are as far away as the two poles. Recently, the Serbian lost control during the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal match, and the Spaniard has now reacted to it.

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Without any question, Rafa Nadal is one of the most humble tennis players ever. For what’s worth, the 35-year-old has never even banged his racquet head onto the court. But seeing Novak Djokovic do it, he advised that it is best to avoid such things.

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Moreover, the 13-time French Open underlined the influence of such actions on young aspirants watching at home. Also, as his greatest rival ever, Nadal exactly knows why Djokovic does it from time to time.

Rafael Nadal on Novak Djokovic’s behavior at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Notably, the Serbian World No.1 shattered a tennis racquet and threw another into the stands against Pablo Carreno Busta in Tokyo. Expressing his aversion to such behavior, Nadal stated that he was relieved the stadium was empty and no one got hurt.

“Luckily there were no people in the stands, and nothing else happened, but hey, they are things that happen from time to time. You have to try to avoid them. The image is not the best,” Nadal said in the pre-tournament press conference in Washington, D.C. (Translated via Google Translate)

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Furthermore, he reminded Djokovic that his actions might reflect wrongly on young children. However, knowing his competitiveness, he has accepted that the Serb does that.

“It is important to avoid this type of situation,” Nadal continued.

“More if you are a reference for many children. In the end he is number one in the world and one of the best in history. It is strange that someone, being so successful, reacts in this way from time to time, but in the end he is very competitive and react like this.”

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Where is Nadal playing next on the tennis tour?

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After the French Open semifinal loss, Nadal will mark his return to the ATP tour at Citi Open 2021. As the top-seeded player of the tournament, the Spaniard has received a bye for the first round. Thus, he will take on the winner between Jack Sock and Yoshihito Nishioka in the second round.

All in all, Rafa would be preparing rigorously to stop Djokovic’s Calendar Slam at the US Open 2021. Even so, he believes that his rival might win it.

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Who are your favorites for the US Open this year?

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Purav Joshi

1127 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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