Eurosport tennis expert Barbara Schett believes that Novak Djokovic still has a few good years left and therefore sees the Serbs at an advantage over Rafael Nadal in the race for the GOAT. Djokovic, 35, is second on the list of all-time Grand Slam records with 21 Majors.
Rafael Nadal, 36, holds the record for 22 Grand Slams. But Djokovic is physically better than Nadal, who is often injured. If nothing changes in the next few days, Djokovic will not be able to compete at the US Open, giving Nadal a chance to win a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.
“I think he’s training now like he’s going to the US Open. If there’s a last-minute change, he’ll be there and if not, his life goes on,” Schett told Eurosport. “I think Novak will play for many more years it seems.
His body is fine, he doesn’t have too many injuries and I think he will give everything to go down in the history books with most Grand Slam titles. It is clear that he is not far away. He only has one left and then he will take on Rafa Nadal.
If you look at Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic now, I would say that Novak has another two or three years or even more to play. And Rafa Nadal, I think the clock is definitely ticking.” Djokovic is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and therefore cannot enter the United States.
Djokovic has already missed a Grand Slam this season due to his vaccination status. Schett explained that Djokovic would be the top seed if he were allowed to compete at the US Open. Schett also noted that Djokovic is aware of the consequences of his decision to get vaccinated.
The US Open starts on August 29 and it remains to be seen if Djokovic will be there.
Nadal is already in New York
Former world No. 7 Barbara Schett has shed light on the careers of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Speaking to Eurosport, Schett said: “We all know the way Rafa plays is very physical and the way he moves, the way he chases the ball like no one else.
And I think his willpower and his way of getting over injuries and his pain threshold is so high that I never, I never thought his career would be that long. But yeah, I mean he proved me wrong once again and I think a lot of people did too.
If you look at Roger Federer’s playing style versus Rafa Nadal’s playing style, we always thought Roger would have a much longer career than Rafa Nadal, but that’s not the case. And that’s the beauty of tennis, you can’t predict anything,” she added.