Andrey Rublev has shared his take on the Nadal – Djokovic rivalry and what the 2024 season can mean for them. He believes that Novak will keep on competing at the highest level as long as Nadal is there.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are arguably the top two tennis men’s tennis players of all time. The arch-rivals have competed against each other for over a decade now.
They continue to be among the favorites to win a tournament or Grand Slam to this day. The winner of 6 of the last 8 Grand Slams has been between them. Novak won 4, and Nadal won the other two.
Although Novak Djokovic had one of the best seasons of his career in 2023, the same couldn’t be said about his Spanish rival. Rafael Nadal was sidelined for most of the 2023 season and could not win any major titles. Having undergone a successful surgery and rehab, Nadal looks to make a strong push in the upcoming season.
While the entire tennis world looks forward to the upcoming season, tennis stars themselves are voicing their opinions and expectations from these arch-rivals. In a recent interview, Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev commented on this legendary rivalry.
Rublev believes that Djokovic ‘will keep playing’ to win Grand Slams if the Spaniard continues to win after making his comeback. Commenting on the Spanish legend’s return and his rivalry with Djokovic, World No. 5 Andrey Rublev had this to say :
“I’m not surprised because I think he and Novak, those kind of players who are playing to leave a mark in the history of tennis; while Novak is still playing I think Rafa will try until the end to play and try to win slams. And the same goes for Novak. If Rafael Nadal keeps playing and winning when he comes back, Novak Djokovic will keep playing until the end. They are playing for different things.”
“Realism is needed,” says Andrey Rublev on the difference between him and the other members of the current Top 5
Andrey Rublev in an interview spoke about his excellent 2023, which ended in him being the fifth-ranked player in the ATP ranking. However, he also mentioned that the gap between him and the No. 1 position is considerable and expectations have to be managed accordingly.
Rublev discusses his vulnerabilities, and expectations and how he has to have a realistic mindset ahead of the 2024 season.
“It’s tough to do if you have nine chances, not to make not and it made me feel a bit more loose or better inside, that at least one out of 10 I should make it. So probably the next quarter-final should be the good one. I’m not relaxed about it but in this case I see it in a positive way.”
Rublev also holds a forgettable 1-7 win-loss record against fellow top-five opponents which he had in the 2023 season. He made interesting comments on it as well.
“I need to be realistic and I need to understand that in many aspects they are better than me, And this is not a fairytale that, okay if I just think about it, tomorrow I go and I beat them.”
“The reality is that if I want to be able to win more matches or to be able to play like I played in Paris-Bercy against Novak or against Sinner in Vienna, where the difference was just a little details, then I need to improve the rest of the things that those players are better than me.”