“Highly Unusual”: Doubles Legend Surprised by Rafael Nadal’s Comments on Novak Djokovic’s Behaviour at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/04/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
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


Ahead of the 2021 Citi Open, Rafael Nadal criticized his arch-rival Novak Djokovic’s erratic behavior during his defeat in the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics. Playing against Pablo Carreno Busta, Djokovic angrily hurled his racquet in the stands before smashing another against the net post.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Nadal, known for holding his composure in the toughest of circumstances, rebuked Djokovic’s meltdown and advised him to avoid reacting hotheadedly since he wields an immense influence on aspiring tennis players.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after winning the final REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Doubles Legend’s take on Rafael Nadal’s comments

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

After reading a DailyMail article on Nadal chiding Djokovic’s outburst at the Olympics, the four-time doubles Grand Slam champion Paul McNamee, in a tweet, mentioned he found it strange that one tennis great gave unsolicited advice to a fellow great.

“Highly unusual, and raised my eyebrows, for one great to give free advice to a fellow great. It creates news copy but not ideal,” said McNamee.

However, McNamee followed up with another tweet a day later, to state he has a deep admiration for Nadal, and regretted referring to the misleading headline of the article.

Nevertheless, the Australian sports administrator reiterated his stance of still being surprised by Nadal choosing to respond to questions on Djokovic’s behavior.

“For the record, I have enormous respect for Rafa & his warrior spirit…King of clay, the surface I love. I regret referring to Daily Mail article, given its misleading headline, but I’m still surprised he, or any player, answers questions on peers’ behaviour.. call me old school,” said McNamee.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Serbian’s unruly behavior has divided opinion across the spectrum, with some condemning it while the others terming it as a reaction in the ‘heat of the moment’.

Having skipped the Wimbledon Championships and Olympics, the Spaniard makes a comeback at the Citi Open, a tournament he’s never played before. Seeded No.1, Nadal faces the American, Jack Sock, in the second round after receiving a first-round bye.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

As for Djokovic, who suffered a shoulder injury during the Olympics, uncertainty looms around his participation at the upcoming Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Open, which are the two Masters 1000 events leading up to the US Open.

With the Big-3 tied at 20 Grand Slams each, the US Open would decide which player races ahead of the pack.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Kshitij Tayal

466 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT