Novak Djokovic says ‘part of me will leave’ when Rafael Nadal quits | Tennis News

PARIS: Novak Djokovic admitted Saturday that when career-long rival Rafael Nadal retires subsequent yr “a part of me can be leaving too”.
Djokovic shares the all-time males’s report of twenty-two Grand Slam titles with Nadal however can break that tie by successful the French Open for a 3rd time.
Nadal, the 14-time champion in Paris, is sitting out Roland Garros with a hip damage. Together with his thirty seventh birthday quick approaching, the Spaniard has admitted that 2024 will probably be his ultimate yr on tour.
“When he introduced that he’ll have his final season of his profession, I felt a part of me is leaving with him too,” stated Djokovic.
“It made me take into consideration my profession and the way lengthy I’ll play.
“I am not going to make any announcement immediately, however simply reflecting on it. I felt additionally a bit bit emotional about what he was saying.”
Djokovic holds a 30-29 profession edge over Nadal however the Spanish star has been the superior pressure at Roland Garros with eight wins within the pair’s 10 conferences.
“I do not like seeing him within the draw of Roland Garros, to be sincere,” added Djokovic.
“I’ve had not a lot success in opposition to him in our head-to-head. I’ve managed to beat him twice, however I needed to go away my coronary heart and my guts out on the courtroom to realize that.”
Ought to Djokovic add the 2023 French Open title to his wins in 2016 and 2021, he won’t solely break the Grand Slam tie with Nadal within the males’s report books.
He would additionally go stage with Serena Williams’s 23 and be only one wanting the general report for women and men within the sport — the 24 Grand Slams held by Margaret Court docket.
“It is no secret that one of many predominant causes I play immediately and compete in skilled tennis is to attempt to break extra data and make extra historical past in tennis,” stated Djokovic.
“That is extraordinarily motivating and provoking for me. Historical past being on the road is one thing that may be very flattering.”
Regardless of his two titles at Roland Garros, Djokovic insists present world primary Carlos Alcaraz is favorite so as to add a maiden Paris crown to his US Open triumph.
The 20-year-old Spaniard, 16 years Djokovic’s junior, has titles on clay in Buenos Aires, Madrid and Barcelona this spring.
By comparability, Djokovic did not get past the final eight in any of his clay tournaments along with his progress hampered by the recurrence of an elbow damage.
“He is No. 1 on this planet, and he is a participant that received massive titles on clay this season. So proper now he’s the largest favorite no matter the truth that he has one Grand Slam and I’ve 22.”
Djokovic and Alcaraz are seeded to fulfill within the semi-finals of the French Open which begins Sunday.
Alcaraz will begin his marketing campaign in opposition to Italy’s world quantity 159 Flavio Cobolli.
Djokovic, in the meantime, will tackle 114th-ranked Aleksandar Kovacevic of america who can be making his predominant draw bow on the main.

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