Novak Djokovic says Rafael Nadal’s energy towards him shifted when he began to start beating the Spaniard to major titles. During their early days, Djokovic would often mimick Nadal’s unique habits on the court.
But as their rivalry grew and they began to compete in the latter stages of Grand Slams, Djokovic felt that Nadal was no longer liking his actions. During an extended interview with American legend John McEnroe, the Serbian said: “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.”
Djokovic has established his place as the greatest player of all time after winning his 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open last week. The Serbian moved two Major honours above Nadal and three ahead of Roger Federer.
However, reknown tennis coach Rennae Stubbs claims the 36-year-old will never be loved by fans as much as his biggest rivals.
She said: “Djokovic’s numbers are just incredible and no matter how or what… he’s very polarizing in a lot of ways to a lot of people, but for me, as a former pro and somebody who has watched this game for a really long time… You just have to marvel at his ability to just never quit and he’s relentless.
“I think Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal] definitely personified wanting to win a lot but it’s obsessive to Novak and you can see it. He wants to put the numbers up because he knows he’s not gonna be as popular worldwide as Roger and Rafa.
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“I think I’m right in saying that, it’s just a fact. I think he wants to put the numbers up so much that ‘Yes they may be more popular than me but I’ll always be the greatest and I’ll always have the numbers over them’ and he doesn’t care and I admire him for that.”
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