Speaking at his recent press conference at the 2022 Tel Aviv Open, Novak Djokovic remarked that Rafael Nadal is his biggest rival and that the two have played more matches than any other rivalry in tennis history.
“Everyone is my rival, whoever I step out on court against. But when it comes to who is my biggest rival, then it’s Nadal without a doubt. He is still there. We played more matches against each other than any other rivalry in the history of tennis. And I hope that we will play many more times, it’s exciting for us and for tennis," Djokovic was quoted as saying by tennis365.
Djokovic and Nadal have forged the most prolific rivalry in men's tennis in the Open Era without question, locking horns on 59 occasions so far. However, there has been a rivalry or two that have had more matches, with Chris Evert vs Martina Navratilova being one. The two legends played 80 matches from 1973 to 1988, out of which Navratilova won 43.
One fan pointed out the fact on social media, tagging both Evert and Navratilova in their post to let them know about the Serb's mistake. Evert responded to Djokovic's comments by simply tweeting the word "Oops."
Novak Djokovic will compete in the World Tennis League in Dubai
Novak Djokovic is among the many big names who will compete in the World Tennis League in Dubai, which will take place from December 19-24.
“This new event is exciting, there’s no doubt about it. I’ve had a lot of success there over the years and really enjoy the fans. This is something different, and it’s going to be great being a part of it," Novak Djokovic was quoted as saying by Gulf News,
Other top players taking part in the event include Alexander Zverev, Iga Swiatek, Nick Kyrgios, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa, to name a few.
Djokovic is currently competing in the Tel Aviv Open as the top seed and reached the semifinals. The 35-year-old started the tournament by thrashing Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-3. He then beat Vasek Pospisil 7-6(5), 6-3 to seal his place in the semifinals.
Here, he will be up against Roman Safiullin in what will be the first meeting between the two. The winner of the match will play either Marin Cilic or Constant Lestienne in the final of the Tel Aviv Open.
After this, Novak Djokovic will compete at the Astana Open as the fourth seed. He will face Cristian Garin in the first round, with the winner facing either Botic van de Zandschulp or Beibit Zhukayev in the round of 16.