Skip to main content

'Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are total opposites,' says Grand Slam legend

Despite both being serial winners, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic could not be more different to each other according to John McEnroe, Hard to disagree.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have 'totally different' mindsets and approaches to their careers, says John McEnroe.

Djokovic and Nadal have the greatest rivalry in the history of male tennis. They have already played each other 59 times, with Djokovic shading the head-to-head 30-29.

They are also vying it out to win the most majors in history, with Nadal currently leading that one 22-20.

However, despite both being prolific winners and genuine greats of the game, McEnroe thinks they couldn't actually be more different.

"Well, they [have] totally opposite approaches,” McEnroe told the BBC as part of their Wimbledon coverage.

"Djokovic talks openly about wanting to have the most [Grand Slam titles] and Nadal acts like nothing matters except going out and giving an effort every point and every match.

"It seems to have worked pretty well for both of them if you go by the history and how many Grand Slams they have won, so whatever makes you happy and whatever brings out the best in you is probably what you should do."

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Whilst John McEnroe didn't say which mindset he personally preferred, he did hint that he suspects Rafael Nadal may irritate opponents with the way he talks.

RELATED: ‘Rafael Nadal is most threatening when he says he cannot play,’ says Stefanos Tsitsipas

"Sometimes I suppose it could get tiring to opponents to hear Rafa say ‘I didn’t feel my foot, I couldn’t even feel it!’

"You looked pretty good to me at the French and now all of a sudden he did some other procedure that I don’t even know what it’s called.

"Whatever it was and whatever it is, he seems to feel pretty good and doesn’t have any pain and it’s unbelievable, and also I am glad they are on different sides [of the draw].”

Novak Djokovic is the defending champion at Wimbledon, and has won the previous three additions. However, Rafael Nadal is the form player, having won the last two majors - albeit with Djokovic missing from one of them.

Please follow Tennisbuzz on Twitter and Instagram, and you can like us on Facebook by clicking here.

For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.

Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?