Novak Djokovic has dismissed Rafael Nadal’s claim that he is ‘obsessed’ about breaking records.
In March, Djokovic overtook Federer’s record of most weeks at World No 1. While the Swiss had been in the No 1 position for 310 weeks, Djokovic has now held the top ranking for 317 weeks.
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The Big 3 in men’s tennis are also in a race to who finishes with the most number of Grand Slam titles. While Nadal and Federer are tied on 20, Djokovic is currently at 18.
“Novak is more obsessed about this, more focused. Not in a negative way,” Nadal said during a virtual media interaction during the Monte Carlo Masters last week.
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“No, he’s more focused on just these things and it means a lot to him all of this stuff. Like he’s always saying and talking about these records and well done for him… but it’s not my approach to my tennis career.”
Djokovic, who is competing at the Serbia Open this week, disagreed with Nadal’s statement.
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“I cannot speak on his behalf, I do not know the way he thinks, but it is his right to voice an opinion: how he sees me in regards to records,” the 33-year-old said.
“Personally, I do not feel that I am obsessed with anything in life; what I feel are passion and huge desire. I am going towards achieving my goals and I have never had a problem verbalizing it.”
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Nadal v Djokovic has been the most contested match on the men’s tour. Djokovic has a narrow 29-27 lead in their rivalry.
Their last match-up however didn’t quite live up to the titanic expectations. In the final of the 2020 French Open, Nadal stormed past Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.
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“I respect Rafa, probably more than any other player in the world; he is the biggest rival I had in my life,” the Serb added.