2 Days After Brutal Friendship Remark, Novak Djokovic Makes ‘P***ing’ Rafael Nadal Confession in ‘60 Minutes’ Interview

Published 12/10/2023, 9:47 PM EST

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The Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal rivalry is no less than a super hit film! Their rivalry had thrills and competitiveness, but simultaneously carried a lot of passion for the sport. And now, decades after being a part of the rivalry, the 24-time Grand Slam champion made a huge revelation regarding how the Spaniard created the rivalry bar during his early tennis days.

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The top-ranked tennis player in the world described an instance in which the 37-year-old tennis star irritated him. Furthermore, Nadal not only intimidated him but also didn’t leave any opportunity to keep his rivalry on the toes during their early tennis days.

Rafael Nadal intimated Novak Djokovic 

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Over time, Nadal and Djokovic became one of the most popular men’s rivalries that ruled on the tennis court. However, now, after decades of rivalry, both of them are on the same page. But do you know there was a time when Nadal used to annoy his opponent on and off the tennis court? This came to light, just two days after letting the world know that Djokovic prefers to keep a distance from his rival, and now he stated a reason to provide context to his point.

via Reuters

Recently, in a 60-minute interview with CBSE News, the 36-year-old Serbian tennis player went back in time and shared an incident, recalling how Nadal used to intimate him in the locker room. He said, “I’m playing Nadal in Roland Garros, and I have his locker next to my locker, right? So, we are so close. And we’re tryin’ to give each other space. But then the locker room is also not that big. And, the way you jump around like Nadal does before we go out on the court.” 

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Not only that, he also talked about how Nadal had his own ways to annoy him. Djokovic stated, “In the locker room, he’s doing sprints next to you. I can even hear the music he’s listening to, you know, in his headphones. So, you know, it’s pi**ing me off.” Both the tennis giants faced each other 59 times on the tennis court, which included 28 matches on clay.

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In addition, from Wimbledon 2011 to the French Open 2012, they have competed against each other in all four consecutive major finals, creating history as the only male partnership in Open Era history to do so. Nevertheless, Djokovic has not only watched the Serbian tennis player irritate him but there was a time when he also witnessed a shift of energy in his rivalry.

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When Djokovic witnessed a shift of energy against Nadal 

During the early stages of the rivalry, it was the 22-time Grand Slam champion who dominated the head-to-head count. But with time, things changed, and Djokovic started defeating his rivals on the court, which came out to be quite unsettling for his rival. Earlier this year, in an ESPN interview with John McEnroe, he talked about how he witnessed a change of elements in his relationship.

He mentioned, “Early on in my career, when he was kicking my a** on the tennis court, he was ok with that, but when I started winning a few matches I felt like the energy shifted a bit.” However, a lot of things have changed between the rivals. Not only have they developed a friendship, but they have also stood by each other through hard times as athletes.

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Nevertheless, what is your take on Djokovic’s recent rivalry highlight from the past? Do let us know in the comment section below.

Watch This Story: ‘I Love…’ – Naomi Osaka Points to the Ancient Technique She Relies on for Keeping Calm 2 Years After Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas Vouched for It

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Written by:

Pratishtha Prakash

2,107Articles

One take at a time

Watching the biggest sports events have been a part of my life right from my early childhood. Although I have grown up watching a variety of sports, including tennis, cricket, and esports, I have a special connection to tennis. Thus, when it came to building a career in sports journalism, I focused on the racket sport.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri

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