Rafael Nadal says Novak Djokovic, and not Roger Federer, is his greatest rival on the ATP Tour.
Nadal and Federer are close friends now, although they spent much of their careers locked in a fierce rivalry that must rank among the greatest than any sport has ever seen.
When Federer played the final match of his career this year, a tearful Nadal was his doubles partner, underlying the close relationship they now have.
In more recent years, though, it has been Djokovic who has been challenging Nadal for the biggest titles, and they played out another brilliant contest this year at Roland Garros, which the Spaniard won.
“My greatest rival is Novak Djokovic,” Nadal said in an interview with Globo Esporte.
“After all, he is the one who is closest to the number of Grand Slams, with 21. And for all the times we face each other, for our history.
“Out of all the active players, my most dangerous rival, without a doubt, is Novak.”
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are both set to contest the ATP Finals in Turin next week, although they have been drawn in different round robin groups.
Nadal is in Green Group alongside Casper Ruud, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Taylor Fritz , while Djokovic is in Red Group with Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.