Beating Rafael Nadal Proved That I Could Do It, Says Novak Djokovic

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Wimbledon and the Australian Open are considering introducing final-set tiebreaks in 2019. The issue hit the headlines after the six-hour, 36-minute semi-final between Kevin Anderson and John Isner at Wimbledon this year, which Anderson won 26-24 in the final set.

2018 Wimbledon Men’s champion Novak Djokovic believes his arch-rival Rafael Nadal is the best in the business currently, despite having beaten him in the semi-finals at the All England Club.

Djokovic, who beat Anderson on his way to a fourth title at Wimbledon, has climbed 11 spots in the latest ATP World Rankings and is World Number 10. Nadal, who won the French Open and will soon defend his US Open title holds onto his World Number 1 ranking.

After a couple of seasons of struggle due to an elbow injury and a loss in form which resulted in a lack of motivation, Djokovic beating Nadal was a huge moment in the comeback journey as that helped him secure a first Grand Slam final since the 2016 French Open.

"I was very close to defeat," Djokovic told Serbian public broadcaster PTC. "Nadal is the best, deservedly the best tennis player in the world and dominated throughout the season on the clay.”

"I proved to myself in that match against Nadal that I could do it, because in the last fifteen months, including the six-month period when I was away from tournaments, I wasn't sure whether I could go back to the level that I have been accustomed to and that has characterized me for many years.”

"Professionally, this is definitely one of my greatest successes for the simple reason that I have been through an elbow injury and many other situations that have made my professional career more difficult for the last two years."

The duo of Djokovic and Nadal have shared one of the biggest rivalries in the history of tennis, and have met 52 times, including 14 at Grand Slams, with Djokovic leading the head to head at 27-25.

The Wimbledon semifinal was only the third time that a Djokovic and Nadal match had gone to five sets. The match was played over two days, took 5 hours and 15 minutes.

Talking about the future, Djokovic said he sees himself playing for a while, as long as there is a "spark" in him.