Since Andy Murray left him in August 2017, the primary is a non-public protect. Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are the one ones licensed to entry it. Three completely different gamers and bitter opponents on the observe, but additionally associated exterior it, as Djokovic's latest confession as soon as once more demonstrates. The Serbian states that they share a WhatsApp group. And when one feedback one thing, the opposite two reply. It's laborious to think about one thing like this occurring, say, between Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé.
However that of the ‘Huge Three’ is a particular rivalry, amongst different issues for lengthy and mutual respect. At 33, Nadal and 32 Djokovic, each proceed to struggle for world primary, in a tug of battle that has its nth chapter this week. They do it greater than 14,000 kilometers away. Those that separate Dubai, the place the Serbian competes, and Acapulco (Mexico), the place it’s going to accomplish that from early Tuesday to Wednesday (not earlier than 03:30, Movistar Sports activities) Rafa. Each tournaments are of the ATP 500 class.
Nole, who has to beat the rooms within the emirate to retain the throne, met within the second spherical with Kohlschreiber after placidly surpassing Malek Jaziri's debut yesterday (36 years, 260 of the ATP) for 6-1 and 6-2. The Tunisian entered the invitation match by and left a humorous second within the draw when his match with Djokovic was revealed: he broke out laughing at his dangerous luck. With the latter, there are already 14 consecutive victories up to now this season for Novak, after six within the ATP Cup and 7 in Australia.
The premise that Nadal should fulfill if the Balkan fails is extra difficult, Effectively, it’s only value elevating his third title on the shores of the Pacific to entry the highest once more. The Balearic may have as a first stumbling block in that firm a compatriot, Pablo Andújar, 34 springs and the 54th on the planet rating. Federer, too distant in that desk and just lately operated on his proper knee (so he won’t go to Roland Garros this yr), doesn’t enter the struggle proper now.
Since I fell in Australian quarters to Thiem, Nadal has performed a huge exhibition with the Swiss in South Africa and has ready at the Academy of Manacor. If he surpasses Andújar, he would possibly run into bones just like the Australian De Miñaur or the Swiss Wawrinka. Zverev and Kyrgios, his executioner final yr on this date, will keep away from even a hypothetical ultimate. “I come as a result of I like being right here. I really like the match and the group. I really feel at dwelling. It's an necessary week for me. Let's see how I really feel. I hope to be ready,” he mentioned earlier than the premiere.