In a sport that has seen epic clashes between elite players, rivalries that cross boundaries and nationalities, and matches that drain the physical juice out of an athlete’s body, the battles of the ‘Big 3’ have stood out due to their popularity, quality and intensity. In particular, the showdown between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal has often astounded fans with their magnanimity.
However, this season has noticeably witnessed an absence from their contests due to the Spaniard’s injury-related withdrawal. Nevertheless, Rafa has updated fans with big news, and it has gotten the attention of everyone, including an enthusiastic Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic wants one more Rafael Nadal duel
Reveling in the success of having qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals semi-final after beating Hubert Hurkacz, Novak Djokovic was quizzed on his expectations of Nadal’s imminent return to tennis. “One more match would be good for the sport”, Djokovic quipped in an enthusiastic response that vindicated fans’ hopes of seeing a reunion between the last remaining two members of the ‘Big 3’.
“I think it would be good for the sport to have at least one more match between Nadal and me. That is the biggest rivalry in terms of number of games played that this sport has ever had.. I hope it can happen,” Novak Djokovic said at the press conference.
“He is a great warrior. He is someone who never gives up. With all the injuries he had, he keeps going. That’s definitely something you have to respect and admire about him and his spirit.. For the world of tennis, it is undoubtedly incredible news that he is going to be back,” he added.
Rafael Nadal’s injuries were severe enough to not only prevent the 36-year-old from making a swift return but also prohibit him from revealing, with any certainty, a comeback date.
That uncertainty is however set to come to an end as the Spaniard admitted to fans that he will make a return to the tennis circuit by providing exact details on his comeback in the coming days.
Rafael Nadal announces 2024 Season comeback
In a euphoric update to fans and commentators of the sport alike, Rafael Nadal announced that he would make a return to tennis in 2024.
“I confirmed yesterday, I’ll be back 😄 Stay tuned these days when I decide and announce with my team when and where 💪🏻😉💪🏻,” he wrote on social media.
Earlier in the month Nadal spoke to ESPN where he informed that he was making “good progress” in recovering from his psoas muscle injury he had developed during the 2023 Australian Open. It has been over 10 months since he began his hiatus from the sport but offered words of optimism and positivity to fans.
“I’m at a good stage of my life. Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will,” Nadal said. “I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.”
It has been a rollercoaster journey for the Spanish superstar, who progressed from the hospital bed to the gym and then from indoor training to the tennis courts.
His update in the coming days is sure to have his supporters jumping in joy and it will be a treat to fans of the sport to witness a reunion between him and Novak Djokovic.
What are your opinions on Novak Djokovic’s comments on Rafa’s return? Let us know in the comments section below.