Challenging every inch on clay: Novak Djokovic puts his life in Rafael Nadal’s hands to win.

Djokovic-Nadal rivalry was the highlight of the 2010s decade.

“It’s obvious,” Novak Djokovic puts his life in Rafael Nadal’s hands to win a set on clay

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal (Via Imago)

Novak Djokovic has achieved everything in tennis. From title wins to breaking records, the Serbian star is a legend of the game. But, when asked which tennis player he would bet to save his life in a single set, he offered up Rafael Nadal on clay.

For context, Nadal and Djokovic made up the tennis Big Three, which included Roger Federer. The three players became synonymous with fighting for every major title which saw them win an aggregate of 67 Grand Slams. However, it was the Nadal and Djokovic rivalry that became more interesting after 2010. They both faced each other 59 times, 27 of them on hardcourt and 28 on clay court.

Despite Novak Djokovic leading on the hardcourt 20-7, Nadal leads on clay surface 20-8. Nadal, who has been dubbed the King of Clay, winning 14 French Open titles, is undoubtedly the best on the surface. In a short recent interview with ATP Tennis TV, Djokovic was asked who would he bet to save his life on winning a single set, and it didn’t come across as a surprise when he happily chose his rival Rafael Nadal.

Why does Rafael Nadal always beat Novak Djokovic at the French Open? - Quora

The last time Nadal and Djokovic last played against each other was at the 2022 French Open. The Spaniard won the Serbian in four sets 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6. Nadal went on to win the Roland Garros that year.

While Djokovic might be happy asking Nadal to fight for the Serb’s set, these days the Spaniard himself is struggling to show up for his own. Rafael Nadal had earlier announced that he will compete at the Monte Carlo Masters, which starts on April 7. However, the latest rumors suggest the Spaniard may withdraw from the event after getting his doctor’s report.

The Spanish star had missed eleven months of tennis last year after sustaining a hip injury at the Australian Open second round. With a massive comeback in January this year, hopes were high that he would compete in many events this year. But, that was shortlived after exiting Brisbane International and withdrawing from the Australian Open.

He had arrived at Indian Wells for the BNP Paribas Open, but withdrew at the last minute, claiming that he was not at his best fitness level. Last month, he said his priority is to get healthy for the clay season, but that may not be happening.Meanwhile, the clay season looks far from over. With Monte Carlo, Rome, BMW Munich, Barcelona, and Madrid Open, he will probably be back to compete.

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