Former world number 1 Kim Clijsters underlined that she loves how Rafael Nadal plays but noted that with Novak Djokovic there is “so much physical smoothness” Nadal, 36, and Djokovic, 35, are widely considered among the best players.
However, their playstyles are completely different. “I love how Rafa plays, the intensity, the fight and the drive. But with Novak there is a physical softness, I’ll call it that, when he moves from side to side.
What Rafa did this year in Australia. You know, kind of knowing how he was struggling with his foot and being so close to thinking, ‘Am I really going to get to the level that I want to get back to? And then getting to a level that was, perhaps, some of the best tennis I’ve ever seen him play, I thought was incredible.
Novak is like he just picked up from there, right? He goes to Wimbledon and you can see the focus of him,” Clijsters said on Craig Shapiro’s podcast, according to Sportskeeda. Djokovic, who will turn 36 in May 2023, remains one of the healthiest and fittest athletes on the Tour.
Clijsters is in awe of Djokovic’s form and skill, and she hopes to witness the Serb make more history before he retires. “I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but there’s a picture with a Belgian gymnast at the Olympics that he posted, where she’s in a full split right next to her.
It’s amazing, I love that part of him. I love to see him do well and to see him try to be the greatest with the most Grand Slam trophies,” Clijsters added. Djokovic, a 21-time Grand Slam champion, received good news from Australia as he is allowed to return to the Open in Australia in 2023.
It remains to be seen if Djokovic can win his record 10th Australian Open title in January.
Update on Djokovic’s status
Novak Djokovic might be the epitome of the adage: “It’s not how you start, but how you finish.”
“That kind of performance could not come at a better moment for me, because I was looking really to get at that highest level and try to finish the season in style, and hopefully carry that momentum into the next season,” said Novak Djokovic during the Asics Tennis Summit in Marbella.
“I wasn’t having the full season, so it was kind of always going back and forth: warming up, preparing and then cooling down. I’m really glad that I was able to play the last several months of the year, to play them in a really high quality tennis style, especially the indoor season,” he added.