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'I have nothing but respect for Rafael Nadal,' says Novak Djokovic

It's the most storied rivalry in tennis history, but Novak Djokovic has 'nothing but respect' for Rafael Nadal.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has spoken of his admiration for his rival Rafael Nadal, saying: 'I have nothing but respect for him.'

Nadal and Djokovic have a storied rivalry. In fact, no two players have played each other more times in ATP history.

They have met on court an astonishing 59 times, with Djokovic shading the head-to-head 30-29.

However, it is Nadal who has pulled two ahead in the Grand Slam race. Djokovic will attempt to half those arrears at Wimbledon, but in the meantime he has put his respect for the Spaniard on record.

"Just in general, overall, things that he is trying to do, to create even more of a successful legacy for himself on the court is something that you just have to respect and admire," Djokovic said.

"Of course, even though we are biggest rivals and we had incredible matches during our careers, I have nothing but respect for him and what he has achieved."

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Rafael Nadal has certainly had an eventful year, with him forced off the ATP last August due to his foot problem.

He has since had surgery and won two majors, and Novak Djokovic says he has to give his rival enormous credit.

"He had surgery, in the second part of last year and coming back after that surgery and winning a Grand Slam right away is something that is really impressive of course.

"Making history as well with Grand Slam wins - in Roland Garros - a tournament where historically he has won the most titles, so hats down."

"I mean what he has achieved and what he keeps on doing on the court, great fighting spirit, amazing champion."

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