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Novak Djokovic hints at playing Rafael Nadal one last time- “I hope to be able to play at least one more time”

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Novak Djokovic, the current World No. 1, recently expressed his desire to face Rafael Nadal one last time before the Spaniard hangs up his racket. The sentiment, captured in a tweet by The Tennis Letter [@TheTennisLetter], highlights the enduring respect and competitive fire that burns between these two tennis titans.

Novak  Djokovic’s Laureus Tribute

Novak Djokovic hints at playing Rafael Nadal one last time- "I hope to be able to play at least one more time" - THE SPORTS ROOM

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The comments came during Novak Djokovic’s acceptance speech at the 2024 Laureus World Sports Awards in Madrid. Having secured the prestigious Laureus Sportsman of the Year award, Novak Djokovic took the opportunity to acknowledge his long-time rival.

“I have a lot of respect for a legend like him, with whom I hope to be able to play at least one more time before he retires,” Novak Djokovic said. “[Nadal] is a good person and a legend of our sport, he is my most important rival.”

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Djokovic and Nadal’s rivalry is widely considered one of the greatest in tennis history. Their head-to-head record stands at a staggering 59 matches, pushing each other to new heights throughout their careers. While Djokovic holds a slight edge overall (30-29), Nadal dominates on his beloved clay courts (20-8), while Djokovic reigns supreme on hard courts (20-7). Grass courts have seen them tied at 2-2.Their clashes have spanned various surfaces, from clay to grass, and have left an indelible mark on the sport. Both players are considered among the greatest of all time, and their head-to-head battles have shaped tennis history

This competitive balance, coupled with their contrasting playing styles – Nadal’s relentless baseline power against Djokovic’s all-court finesse – has produced some of the most unforgettable matches in recent memory. Their epic 2012 Australian Open final, a five-set marathon lasting nearly six hours, remains etched in tennis folklore.

Nadal hinted at retirement in 2023, suggesting the 2024 season could be his last. This has fueled Novak Djokovic’s desire for one final clash. As Djokovic himself mentioned, “In Australia, I said I hoped to see him in one or two tournaments and I hope to do that.”

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