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'To get a glimpse of atmosphere': - Novak Djokovic on why he attended Rafael Nadal's match

Published at :May 29, 2024 at 3:00 PM
Modified at :May 29, 2024 at 3:01 PM
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(Courtesy : X/@LaureusSport)

Shashank Tripathi


Novak Djokovic faced Rafael Nadal 10 times at the French Open, winning twice.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has stated that he went to watch Rafael Nadal‘s match against Alexander Zverev because he wanted to be a part of the Spaniard’s last possible match. However, Nadal will be playing at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics, as he has not stated that he will retire at the end of the season.

On May 27, Rafael Nadal faced Germany’s Alexander Zverev in his opening round match at the 2024 Roland-Garros. Zverev easily won the first set; however, Nadal gave a tough fight to the World No. 4 in the second set. The Spaniard also broke Zverev’s serve in the second set, but it was eventually forced into a tiebreak.

The “King of Clay” lost the match in straight sets, but he gave tough competition to the 27-year-old, who won the 2024 Italian Open earlier this month. Court Philippe-Chatrier was full of spectators, as there was not a single seat that seemed vacant.

Interestingly, the likes of Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek were also seen witnessing the match. Djokovic and Swiatek reportedly left the court after the second set, but Alcaraz kept sitting until Nadal left the court after his emotional speech.

Following his presence during Nadal’s match, the Serb talked about why he attended the Spaniard’s match. Djokovic said he can’t remember the last time he saw a match from the stands, apart from the Davis Cup. However, he attended the opening round fixture because he wanted to be a part of the atmosphere.

Also Read: ‘He is not the same Rafa’ – Novak Djokovic on Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev opening round clash at French Open 2024

He said, “I don’t recall last time I actually watched a set of any match live on that level, other than Davis Cup matches. It was great. I saw, you know, Iga was there, Alcaraz was there and we all wanted to get a glimpse of the atmosphere, of that possibly unique moment, you know, that could be his last. But, it doesn’t appear like that.”

Top seed Novak Djokovic recorded a comfortable 6-4, 7-6, 6-4 win over Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Tuesday. In the second round, he will face Spain’s Roberto Carballés Baena on May 30. Baena took down Constant Lestienne in the opening round match, 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.

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