Nadal says Djokovic 'best player in history'

Djokovic has 24 Grand Slam titles having surpassed Nadal's 22 when he captured last year's French Open.

17 Feb 2024 08:06pm
Spain's Rafael Nadal attends a training session ahead of the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane on Dec 28, 2023. - Photo by AFP
Spain's Rafael Nadal attends a training session ahead of the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane on Dec 28, 2023. - Photo by AFP
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MADRID - Rafael Nadal on Wednesday hailed longtime rival Novak Djokovic as the best player in the history of the sport.

"The numbers say yes, for me yes (he is the best in history)," Nadal said in an interview with El Objective de La Sexta when asked "who is the best?"

Djokovic has 24 Grand Slam titles having surpassed Nadal's 22 when he captured last year's French Open.

Despite that success, the controversial world number one from Serbia still struggles to translate his on-court triumphs into off-court popularity.

"The image he projects is worse than he really is; I think he's a good person," added Nadal.

"There are moments of frustration. Novak breaks his racquet, but the next point he is ready to play at 100 per cent again and it is the best I have ever seen."

Nadal, 37, has been battling injury and missed virtually all of 2023. He was hurt again last month before sitting out the Australian Open.

With his career winding down, Nadal hailed compatriot and heir Carlos Alcaraz who is already a two-time major winner at the age of 20.

"Carlos has an incredible level of tennis, he is a super complete player in every sense," said Nadal.

"I don't see weaknesses in him like the ones I had at his age. He has all the ingredients to have an incredible career." - AFP