Rafael Nadal explains not congratulating Novak Djokovic on US Open triumph

Novak Djokovic says he will 'keep going' after US Open win

Rafa Nadal has opened up on why he is yet to congratulate Novak Djokovic after the Serb won this year’s US Open. Djokovic, who took his Grand Slam record wins record to 24 after defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final in New York, broke Nadal’s Majors record this season and is yet to receive a message of congratulations.

The Spaniard, who is recovering from injury, did speak with his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz after his Wimbledon triumph in the summer. But Djokovic has received no such message, though Nadal has since explained that the snub is not because of any negativity towards the Serb – instead it was due to his “ignorance”.

“The truth is that I haven’t sent any message to Djokovic yet out of pure ignorance,” Nadal told Movistar+. “When you win something so important, from experience I know it’s better to take the time to appreciate that message. I’ll send it but I haven’t done it yet.

“Of course, I sent messages to Alcaraz when he won or when he was about to win. The others – on the circuit I don’t have many friends left, I’m from another generation. I talk to [Roger] Federer every now and then.”

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At 37, Nadal’s bleak admission that he has few friends left in tennis will only prompt fans’ fears that he will decide to retire sooner rather than later. He has not played professionally since the Australian Open in January and has admitted that the chances of him returning to top form for next year’s first two Grand Slams are slim.

“I want to be back on the court and compete, but I’m not expecting to come back and win Roland-Garros and Australia,” Nadal added. “That looks like very far away, even if not impossible. Things in sport change very quickly.

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“Since Indian Wells last year, it has been a hard year and a half, with no peace of mind at all. There was no way to recover without surgery. I was not going to recover by stopping for a long time. I made the decision, and it turned out well.

“I’m not sure what I’m going to do in 2024. My hope is in two months to know how and where I am. Yes, I can play, but I am not in a position to win at Roland-Garros. Maybe I would like a farewell tour. I live every day with the hope of giving myself the opportunity to have the option of deciding. My physique and my head will tell me.”

One of Nadal’s few remaining friends in tennis, Federer, had an emotional farewell tour last year, while Djokovic is showing no signs of slowing down despite being snubbed by his Spanish rival.

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