Nadal’s comeback at a very good level: Djokovic’s wish after extending his records
NEW YORK – What more could Novak Djokovic want, if he already has almost everything? The Serb always desires more, and among his wishes for 2024 is one that is out of his hands, but that tennis lovers will most likely appreciate: that Rafael Nadal returns to the tour, and that he does so at a good level to fight a few duels before the Spaniard retires for good.
“We all want him to come back, at least for one last time, so we can have those clashes we had for so many years. Let’s hope his health allows it,” Carlos Gómez Herrera told CLAY. The Spaniard is a close friend of Djokovic and part of his technical team.
“Nadal’s comeback would be great for tennis, I’m motivated, I really hope he comes back,” Goran Ivanisevic, the Serb’s coach, confessed to CLAY.
“What we want is for him to come back healthy, because nobody likes to see a tennis legend come back from injury without the physical fullness he deserves,” another key member of the owner of 24 Grand Slam titles added to CLAY.
Another thing Djokovic is missing: Olympic gold. In 2024 he will have the chance to stand on the top of the podium for the first time after several failed attempts, but it won’t be the last. Ivanisevic revealed that he aims to also play Los Angeles 2028, an event in which he will be 41 years old.
“Retiring in Australia if he wins the 25th? Not at all. He is planning to play the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He thinks 24/7 about achieving goals. His head works like that,” said the Croatian. Soon Djokovic himself confirmed it to the Serbian press.
Like many athletes, but not like so many tennis players, Djokovic likes to plan his career in Olympic cycles. There are five years and 19 Grand Slams in between, so he intends to reach California playing fewer and fewer events, always focusing on the big tournaments.
Father and son.
Novak and Stefan.
Djokovic and Djokovic.
The champion and his heir celebrating the #USOpen title and the 24th milestone in the New York Rain.
— Clay (@_claymagazine) September 11, 2023
In order to be eligible for Paris 2024, every tennis player must register Davis Cup appearances, as required by ITF rules. Therefore, Djokovic will travel to Valencia to represent Serbia in Group C of the group stage of the finals that start on Tuesday. He will not play in the first tie against South Korea, but he will be able to play in Friday’s series against Spain (without Carlos Alcaraz) and Saturday’s tie against Czech Republic.
“His commitment to his country is very strong, he really wants to qualify Serbia to the final in Malaga”, a member of Djokovic’s team commented to CLAY.
The Serb’s year-end will not be overloaded. The tour returns again to China after the health crisis and the Shanghai Masters 1000 is where he is a top champion. But his presence is uncertain. He sees bigger possibilities playing Paris-Bercy as a preparation for the ATP Finals in Turin.
And of course, he will be present in Malaga if Serbia qualifies. The same desire that Nadal has. Nadal’s comeback. This opens the option of seeing one more edition of the duel with more matches of men’s tennis at the end of the year. One of the many motivations of the most successful tennis player of all time.