Rafael Nadal created after beating old rival Novak Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters. The Spaniard prevailed in three sets 7-5,1-6,6-3 hitting 37 winners. This was also his 36th Masters 1000 title which ties him with Djokovic. Nadal has also become the first player to win 4 different tournaments 10 or more times.
Djokovic has always praised the NextGen stars and many times mentioned that the future of tennis is in safe hands. But after his defeat to Nadal, he was asked about the impact the NextGen has had on the Big 3. He made a bold statement: “Me, Roger and Rafa are the new Next Gen!”
The NextGen superstars were winning titles in bulk this year. Hubert Hurkacz won the Miami Open and Stefanos Tsitsipas followed it up with a win in Monte Carlo. Latest, Alexander Zverev won the Madrid Masters for the second time. Now they will have to be wary of the Big 3 after Djokovic’s bold statement.
Nadal ready for Djokovic challenge in at Roland Garros
The level of tennis Djokovic and Nadal produce on court is unreal. They enjoy each other’s challenge and push each other to the absolute limits. During the speech, Nadal addressed his feelings on facing Djokovic. He indirectly also challenged Djokovic at Roland Garros.
Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open earlier this year. Nadal spoke about the same and said that he is hopeful in Paris. He said: “I am honored to face you, Novak. You are playing great, you won in Australia, now let’s see what happens in Paris.”
Nadal defeated Djokovic for the 28th time in his career. He is now just one win away to tie the H2H at 29-29. Their is a good possibility that the two goliaths of the game will meet again at Roland Garros. And only time will tell if Spaniard would win his 14th title in Paris or Djokovic will edge closer to Federer and Nadal.