Novak Djokovic happy to see ‘healthy’ Rafael Nadal back on court

The Serbian and the Spaniard formed one of the greatest rivalries in tennis

By Web Desk
May 13, 2024
Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal are two of the greatest players of all time. 

Serbian tennis icon Novak Djokovic is happy to see his longtime rival Rafael Nadal back on the tennis court as both tennis icons are nearing the end of their legendary careers.

It has been a while since the two last faced one another as their last encounter was in the quarter-final of Roland Garros 2022 where Nadal emerged victorious.

Nadal had his fair share of injuries as he missed the entire 2023 season with multiple setbacks but returned to the court this year and competed in the Madrid and Barcelona Open recently where he looked good in shape.

Everyone wants to see one last face-off between Djokovic and Nadal before both, or at least one, call time on their career. Similarly, the Serb is of the same mind and would love to face the Spaniard once again.

"It's mostly business as usual. We haven't seen each other in person here. We have obviously different training schedules and everything else. There is that element of something special in the air because we haven't played the same tournament in quite a while,” Djokovic told Star Sports.

"I guess in this stage of our careers it is quite special. The crowd and the fans appreciate and value that, so that's why there is a great buzz. We want to see Rafa healthy and playing his best.

"Roland Garros is around the corner, that's where he played his best tennis so it's great to see him training well and pain-free."

Nadal and Djokovic have been competing at the highest level since their first encounter at Roland Garros in 2006 where the Spaniard emerged victorious.

That was the start of a legendary rivalry that would share 59 matches — a record in men's tennis — between them with some of the greatest encounters including the 2012 Australian Open final, which was the longest major final match by duration that lasted 5 hours, 53 minutes with the Serbian beating the Spaniard.