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    RADIO ROXI TIMELESS TUNES

Sports News

Novak Djokovic reveals fury over Rafael Nadal antics

today11/12/2023

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Novak Djokovic has revealed he used to be ‘p***ed off’ by Rafael Nadal before big matches.

The duo have faced each other 59 times during the course of their glittering careers, with the Serb winning 30 of those showdowns.


Djokovic has always had a respectful rivalry with Nadal, who is widely expected to retire next year.

Yet he’s now revealed the Spaniard used to enrage him before big matches by the way he behaved in the locker room.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic has claimed Rafael Nadal used to ‘p*** him off’

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“I’m playing Nadal in Roland Garros, and I have his locker next to my locker, right? So, we are so close,” Djokovic told CBS 60 Minutes.

“And we’re tryin’ to give each other space. But then the locker room is also not that big.

“And, the way you jump around like Nadal does before we go out on the court.

“In the locker room, he’s doing sprints next to you. I can even hear the music he’s listening to, you know, in his headphones.

“So, you know, it’s p***ing me off.”

Djokovic is, however, now used to such antics.

And the world No 1 says he’s learned to conquer mind games as he’s grown older and more experienced.

“Early in my career, I didn’t realize how all that’s part of the scenario, right?” he said.

“So, I was getting intimidated by that.

“But it’s also motivating me to do stuff myself and to show that I’m ready, you know?

“I’m ready for a battle, for a war.”

Another player Djokovic frequently faced in previous years was Roger Federer, who quit last year.

One of their biggest matches came in the final of Wimbledon in 2019, with Djokovic winning in five sets.

But the 36-year-old has now graciously said that Federer deserved to win that specific showdown.

“That happened in 2019 when I played finals of Wimbledon that, that marathon match, epic match with Roger,” he said.

“The sets that I won were all won in tie-breaks, seven-six, seven-six, 13-12.

“And overall, if you see the stats, he was the far better player in every aspect.

“But I won the match. And so that actually tells you that you can still win if you pick and choose in which moments of the match you’re peaking, and you’re playing your best when it matters.”

Yet while Djokovic likes to play the role of a pantomime villain, he actually prefers it if the crowd are cheering him on – instead of being against him.

“Most of my career it was hostile environments for me… I kind of learned how to thrive in that environment,” he added.

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Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic says Roger Federer deserved to win the Wimbledon final back in 2019

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“People think it is better if they don’t like me so that kind of gets the best of out of me in terms of tennis.

“But at the same time, I actually enjoy more being in an environment where, you know, I have nice support.”



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