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Rafael Nadal settles GOAT debate with ‘best in history’ remark on Novak Djokovic | Tennis News

Hoping to cap off an iconic career in the 2024 season, former world no.1 Rafael Nadal has settled the long-standing Greatest of All Time (GOAT) debate in men’s singles tennis. With Nadal likely to end his career after the 2024 season and legendary player Roger Federer already retired from tennis, Novak Djokovic has moved on from the ‘Big Three’ club to emerge as an overwhelming favourite in Grand Slam events.

Nadal has settled the long-standing 'GOAT' debate(AFP-AP)
Nadal has settled the long-standing ‘GOAT’ debate(AFP-AP)

While the King of Clay last won a Grand Slam in 2022 at the French Open, his arch-rival Djokovic is two major titles ahead of Nadal’s impressive tally. Djokovic has extended his Grand Slam tally to 24 majors at the US Open with a win over Russia’s Daniil Medvedev at the Arthur Ashe Stadium earlier this month. With the record-time Grand Slam winner showing no signs of slowing down, Nadal has admitted that the Serbian icon is the best player in the history of tennis.

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‘Djokovic has better numbers than mine’

“I believe that numbers are numbers and statistics are statistics. In that sense, I think he (Djokovic) has better numbers than mine and that is indisputable. This is the truth. The rest are tastes, inspiration, sensations that one or the other may transmit to you, that you may like one or the other more. I think that with respect to titles, Djokovic is the best in history and there is nothing to discuss about that,” Nadal said in an interview with AS.

Nadal on Alcaraz’s only rival

Though Nadal revealed that 2024 will be his last year, the 22-time Grand Slam winner is not “100 percent” about calling it quits next year. The 37-year-old had to take a break from professional tennis after a hip injury that he suffered at the Australian Open in January. Multiple injuries (foot, rib, abdomen) had cut short Nadal’s season in 2022. The Spaniard had a foot problem which ruled him out from the US Open in 2021. The former world no.1 feels 2023 US Open winner Djokovic is Carlos Alcaraz’s only rival in the men’s singles division. “He has been the world number one until recently. Although he’s very young right now, practically the only rival I see for him is Djokovic,” Nadal added.

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