"Historic that Novak Djokovic's watching his greatest rival, always a gentleman": Fans delighted by Serb attending Rafael Nadal's French Open 1R clash

Rafael Nadal (L) and Novak Djokovic (R) [Source: Getty Images]
Rafael Nadal (L) and Novak Djokovic (R) [Source: Getty Images]

Tennis fans were thrilled to see Novak Djokovic in attendance at Rafael Nadal's first round match at the 2024 French Open. The Spaniard was defeated by fourth seed Alexander Zverev in straight sets in the opening round, thus marking his worst-ever performance at the tournament, which he won 14 times.

Zverev put him a fine performance to win 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3 in three hours and five minutes to move into the second round.

With speculation swirling that this could be the Spaniard's final appearance at the French Open, a star-studded audience gathered at Philippe-Chatrier to witness him in action. Tennis stars like Novak Djokovic, Iga Swiatek, Carlos Alcaraz, Alize Cornet, and Caroline Garcia also attended the match.

The official French Open social media account even shared a video of the Serb watching Nadal play.

Tennis fans were delighted to see Novak Djokovic attend Rafael Nadal's match and they took to social media to express their delight and admiration for the same .

One fan stated that the World No.1 was a "gentleman" and that the occasion was historic as the Serb was watching the match of his "greatest rival."

"Djokovic is watching something historic, it could be Nadal's last match or Nadal's re-emergence as the Phoenix bird, regardless of the result, it is historic that Djokovic is watching a match of his greatest rival. Djokovic always a Gentleman," the fan posted.

Many praised Djokovic for his "sportsmanship" and respect towards the Spaniard, while another stated that the Serb couldn’t miss the chance to watch the 22-time Grand Slam champion play on his favourite surface.

"Great sportsmanship from Novak, witnessing his tennis arch rival!! Class!!" a fan posted.
"Even Djokovic couldn’t miss the chance to watch the greatest player ever on his favourite surface imao , I don’t blame him," a fan posted.
"Rafael Nada playing what could well be his final ever match at the French Open is an event that everyone in tennis that can make the time to turn up are turning up and I love that," a fan wrote

Another expressed that it was a great gesture of respect from Novak Djokovic towards the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

"Honestly, what a man. He didn’t have to show this respect because fedal never really gave it to him yet he still takes the high ground," a fan posted.
"Mark of respect from Novak. His greatest rival," a fan wrote.
"That is SUCH a sign of respect between them! He didn’t have to be in attendance, he could’ve watched it from anywhere if it was just out of interest! This is out of respect. And I love it," a fan posted.

Novak Djokovic has defeated Rafael Nadal twice at the French Open

French Open 2021
French Open 2021

Rafael Nadal boasts an impressive win-loss record at the French Open, having emerged victorious in 112 matches while only succumbing to defeat on four occasions.

The Spaniard's first defeat came at the hands of Robin Soderling in the fourth round of the French Open in 2009 and his next two defeats were at the hands of Novak Djokovic.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has faced Novak Djokovic 10 times at Roland Garros, winning eight out of their ten encounters on the clay court.

Nadal's first loss to Djokovic occurred in the quarterfinals of the 2015 French Open, where he was the five-time defending champion. The Serb went on to finish as the runner-up after being defeated by Stan Wawrinka in the final.

Novak Djokovic handed the former World No.1 his third defeat at the French Open in the semifinals of the 2021 tournament and then went onto clinch the title by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the championship match.

This season, the Spaniard suffered his fourth loss at Roland Garros at the hands of Alexander Zverev.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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