Novak Djokovic takes high road at Rafael Nadal disrespect

(Photo by Mine Kasapoglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mine Kasapoglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

The greatest rivalry ever? Maybe. Novak Djokovic versus Rafael Nadal could be better than Nadal versus Roger Federer or Federer versus Djokovic. The truth is, Djokovic started a bit after Nadal and Federer did and yet over time Djokovic has eclipsed any other player to ever play tennis.

Whether Nadal meant to disrespect Novak Djokovic or not, it’s easy to misread Nadal’s recent statement, “For him, it would have been a bigger frustration not to get (the Grand Slam record). And maybe that’s why he achieved it, he has taken his ambitiousness to the maximum.

“I have been ambitious, but with a healthy ambition that allowed me to see things from a different perspective, not to be frustrated, not to get more angry than necessary on the court when things weren’t going well.”

Novak Djokovic shows to be the bigger person in response to Rafael Nadal’s diss

But was Novak Djokovic truly angry on the court, in the few times he was, because he didn’t think he was going to have more majors than any other player? That seems unfair to the Serb. In fact, that almost makes Djokovic seem like a fascist when his only goal was self-achievement. Yes, Djokovic wanted to be the best player ever, but he worked hard to get there and he likely wasn’t unhappy in life when maybe it appeared he wasn’t going to be what he has become: The greatest tennis player ever.

But Djokovic responded recently to Nadal’s comments that appear to disrespect Djokovic by taking the proverbial high road. Novak Djokovic said, “I don’t agree with what Nadal has said about me. But I’m not going to speak badly about him or Federer. The respect I have for them overcomes any negative opinions I may have of them.”

Fantastically excellent response for Novak Djokovic! He managed to disagree with what Nadal might have meant while also giving some respect to the Spaniard. Mind you, Nadal doesn’t seem like the kind of person to outwardly have angst against another person, but he also did say some passive-aggressive shade.

Instead of augmenting the drama, however, Djokovic decided he would be the bigger person and not give respect to the disrespect. Again, maybe Nadal didn’t mean to throw shade, but his words could be interpreted that way. Novak Djokovic, though, swatted away Nadal’s words the same way he might have batted away a poor forehand by an opponent.

Carlos Alcaraz drops a bit of disrespect on Novak Djokovic too. dark. Next