HomeSportsTennisNovak Djokovic has the advantage over Roger Federer and me, says Rafael...

Novak Djokovic has the advantage over Roger Federer and me, says Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal says that Novak Djokovic has the momentum going into the 2022 season to get the jump on him and Roger Federer in the race for the most Grand Slam titles between the “Big Three.” The trio are currently tied on 20 men’s singles major titles, and the new season’s first major – The Australian Open – is just a month away.

Federer was the first of the three to get to 20 major titles, and was joined there by Nadal when he won the 2020 French Open title. Djokovic was still three behind when the 2021 season got underway, but a stellar season saw the Serb claim three Grand Slam titles – the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon – to draw level with his two biggest rivals.

Djokovic could have moved ahead had he beaten Daniil Medvedev in the final of the US Open, which would have also seen him complete the Calendar Grand Slam for the first time since 1969. The 34-year-old won his seventh year-end number one trophy at the ATP Finals event in Turin, and Nadal believes he is the favourite to add to his major tally before Federer and himself.

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are on collision course in the French Open

Nadal and Federer have battled injuries in recent seasons, with the Spaniard playing just two matches since his loss to Djokovic in the semifinals at Roland Garros, owing to a recurring foot injury. The Swiss ace, meanwhile, has played just 13 matches since the 2020 Australian Open having undergone three knee surgeries since.

“Of course, Roger, Novak and I are equal on Major titles ahead of the new season,” Nadal said, as quoted on Tennis World USA.

“However, Novak has a high chance to finish above Roger and me. He is healthy and competing, and he is doing well. Let’s see what will happen in the next couple of months. If I’m back at my best again, we can be talking about this topic again later in the season,” the former world number one added.

While Nadal is expected to return to action ahead of the Australian Open in January, Federer is not slated to return until at least mid-2022. Djokovic, on the other hand, remains fit, but could miss the season’s first Grand Slam owing to his reluctance to reveal his vaccination status.

Novak Djokovic
Calendar Grand Slam for Novak Djokovic
Anne-Christine POUJOULAT/AFP
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