Rafael Nadal reveals why he has not congratulated Novak Djokovic on winning his 24th major

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal has revealed he has not yet congratulated Novak Djokovic on winning his 24th Grand Slam title “out of pure ignorance”, but insisted he will do so.

The Spaniard also admitted he does not have “many friends left on the circuit” as he is from “another generation”, but said he still talks to his friend and former rival Roger Federer occasionally.

Nadal has not competed since suffering a hip injury in his second round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open in January.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion underwent surgery on the issue in June, having initially expected to be out for only six to eight weeks. The 37-year-old was forced to postpone his proposed comeback during the clay-court season.

Nadal’s great rival Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev in the final of the 2023 US Open earlier this month to win his third major title of the season.

Speaking in an interview with Movistar+, Nadal confirmed he is yet to congratulate the Serbian on his latest triumph and explained his reasons for this.

“The truth is that I haven’t sent any message to Djokovic yet out of pure ignorance. When you win something so important, from experience I know it’s better to take the time to appreciate that message. I’ll send it but I haven’t done it yet,” said the Mallorcan.

The 14-time French Open winner also divulged that he sends messages of support to compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, while confirming he stays in touch with Federer.

“Of course, I sent messages to [Carlos] Alcaraz when he won or when he was about to win. The others – on the circuit I don’t have many friends left, I’m from another generation. I talk to Federer every now and then,” revealed Nadal.

In a press conference announcing his withdrawal from Roland Garros in May, Nadal outlined that next year would likely be his last on tour.

“My goal and my ambition is to try and stop and give myself an opportunity to enjoy the next year that will probably be my last year in the professional tour,” the Spaniard told reporters.

“That is my idea but I can’t say 100 per cent it will be like this, but my idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me.

“To enjoy being competitive and something that today is not possible. I believe, if I keep going now, I will not be able to make it happen.

“After a couple of years that in terms of results have been positive because I was able to win a couple of grand slams and important tournaments, the real situation is I was not able to enjoy my diary work.

“Since after the pandemic, my body was not able to do the practice or diary work in a good way so I was not able to enjoy the practice and competition because too many problems, too many times having to stop for physical conditions and too many days off not practising because of too much pain.

“I need to stop for a while. My position is to stop and I don’t know when I can come back to the practice court.

“I will stop for a while, maybe one month, maybe two months, maybe three months. I am a guy who doesn’t like to predict too much the future. I am following what I believe is the right thing to do for my body and my personal happiness.

“I don’t want to say one thing and do the other. It is better to hold the options open and see what is the best calendar possible.

“I would like to play the things that are important for me and of course the Olympic Games is an important competition and one I hope to play. Will it be my last or not? I cannot say.”

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal makes pointed comment over Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam record