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Tennis Frenemies – Rafa Roundup: Djokovic targeting Nadal revenge

Nadal’s stellar start to the 2022 season has put him in a new position at Wimbledon. For the first time, the Spaniard enters London half-way to the Grand Slam — winning all four majors in the same season. Nadal brings a 30-3 season record into the event, with four tour-level titles in tow.

Like Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz — both first-round winners on Monday — Nadal did not play any grass-court events in the build-up to Wimbledon. But he is no stranger to the surface — the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion is making his 15th appearance at the major.

“At the Australian Open, when he was coming back from injury, none of us gave Nadal a chance there. At Roland-Garros, with everything that happened at Rome, none of us gave him a chance there. I do not want to write him off because he is definitely going to surprise us,” Bartoli said.

“You can never, absolutely never, write him off. He has a tougher draw. Novak Djokovic looks to have a slightly easier draw, and again it’s only on paper. As long as Rafa steps on to the court, he goes there because he thinks and he knows he has a chance to win the title.”

Nicole Pratt: “You can never, ever count Nadal out. And he’s in a moment in time, that, it’s phenomenal – he’d be going for his third Slam of the year, at the age that he is. He’s a champion, who finds a way. That match between him and Djokovic at the French was extraordinary; toe to toe, and obviously Nadal owns Roland Garros, that is what probably got him across the line… that’s a little bit different at Wimbledon.”

Novak Djokovic: “Of course, you have to put him as one of the favorites even though he hasn’t played in Wimbledon for I think last three years. But still, you know, he is Nadal, he has achieved what he has achieved throughout his career. And also this year, which gives you a lot of confidence you know, in his case. If we get to face each other, that means that we’re both in the finals, which I think we both want. I’d love to face him in the finals and get revenge for Paris.”

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