Coach Carlos Moya has confirmed that his team is not discussing Rafael Nadal’s matchup between Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the all-time Grand Slam record. The 36-year-old Nadal holds a record 22 Grand Slam titles, having won both the Australian Open and the French Open this year.
Djokovic won his 21st Grand Slam at Wimbledon after being disqualified from the Australian Open and losing to Nadal in the French Open quarterfinals. By winning Wimbledon, Djokovic moved past Roger Federer for the all-time Grand Slam record and stayed alive with Nadal for most majors.
Djokovic was denied a place at the US Open and Nadal suffered a shock loss in the last 16 to Frances Tiafoe. “The team does not talk about this, he wants to be good, competitive. Obviously, there are opinions, but no importance is placed on him.
There’s enough pressure every day,” Moya told the ATP Tour website.
Career: Nadal had to evolve
Nadal and Djokovic are still the dominant forces in the game and heavy favorites for the Grand Slam. When a 35-year-old player like Djokovic, 36 like Rafa, or 37 like Federer comes back in 2017, they must evolve to still win Grand Slams.
For all these years they won the new generation. Everyone knows them better, but no one can stop them, they can’t find a way. If Rafa hadn’t evolved, he would have retired. Without that evolution, all three would have retired,” Moya explained.
The general belief is that the battle for the all-time Grand Slam record has come down to Nadal and Djokovic. Roger Federer, 41, has not played since last year’s Wimbledon. Federer is expected to return to action at the Laver Cup later this month, but it is unclear how long he intends to play.
Nadal is often hampered by injury, while Djokovic’s vaccination status has kept him out of two Grand Slams this season.