“Rafael Nadal will win the 21st Grand Slam first”: Jim Courier

Former World No. 1 Jim Courier predicts who will be the first to win 21 Grand Slam titles among the trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Jim Courier, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic
Jim Courier, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

Former World No. 1 and 4-time Grand Slam champion Jim Courier recently talked about the ongoing battle between the trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, also collectively called the Big-3. Federer was the first to reach the 20-Slam mark when he won the 2018 Australian Open and was followed by Nadal when the Spaniard won the 2020 French Open.

Novak at the start of the 2021 season was having 17 majors to his name but after a fabulous season, he is now on 20 Slams as well, matching the tally of Federer and Nadal by winning the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. The Serbian could have had won 21 titles had it not been for Daniil Medvedev who defeated Novak in the finals of the 2021 US Open.

With Federer on the sidelines till at least the 2nd half of the 2022 season and Nadal set to stage a comeback after ending his 2021 season in August, Courier gave his opinion on who among the Big-3 could win the 21st Slam first. While the next Slam is the 2022 Australian Open, Novak’s stand on not revealing his vaccination status could result in him missing the Slam.

“For Rafa, how will he react? How will his foot be doing after he has spent a good part of the season trying to fix it since he dropped it at Roland Garros? He is still the favourite at Roland Garros, very, very slightly above Novak in my opinion, assuming they are both in good health,” said Courier predicting that the 2022 French Open will be won by Nadal, potentially his 14th title at the Slam.

Rafael Nadal to play in Abu Dhabi in December 2021

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Nadal will now travel to Aby Dhabi to play at the 2021 Mubadala World Tennis Championship, a 3-day exhibition event where he is the most successful player having won the title 5 times. As for Novak, he will now lead Serbia into the 2021 Davis Cup scheduled between 25th November to 5th December in Spain, Austria and Italy.

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