This year, Djokovic surpassed Nadal as the all-time Grand Slam leader.
Rafael Nadal revealed he expected Novak Djokovic to win some Grand Slams this year but not three Majors. Djokovic, 36, made all four Grand Slam finals this year. Only at Wimbledon, Djokovic didn’t win the title after losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the final.
When the 2023 season started, Nadal was holding the all-time Grand Slam record with 22 Majors. Following his three Grand Slam wins in 2023, Djokovic became the first-ever male player to clinch 24 Majors. “In the end, we all know that Djokovic is what he is and that he has achieved something historic, something that had never been achieved before and we can only congratulate him.
I imagined Djokovic winning Grand Slams this season, but I didn’t imagine that he could win three because the younger generation is very powerful. Alcaraz had a great opportunity to avoid that at Roland Garros, but what happened to him happened to him, unfortunately.
But he later made up for it at Wimbledon and achieved something historic for our sport,” Nadal told EFE.
While Nadal was out, Djokovic made Grand Slam history
At the start of the 2023 season, Nadal came to the Australian Open as the defending champion.
But Nadal’s hopes of defending his Australian Open title quickly came to an end after the Spaniard sustained an injury to his psoas muscle and ended up suffering a shock defeat to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round at Melbourne Park.
After Nadal’s loss, Djokovic went on to win his 10th Australian Open title and also tie Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slams. Then in May, Nadal pulled out of the French Open, and after Djokovic won the title at Roland Garros, he became the new all-time Grand Slam leader.
Djokovic then fell just short of winning Wimbledon but bounced back by winning the US Open. With Nadal likely retiring in 2024, many believe it’s safe to say that Djokovic has won their Grand Slam battle.