Novak Djokovic Backs Rafael Nadal to Come Back Strong

World No.1 Novak Djokovic said he thinks Nadal's go-for-broke game takes an inevitable physical toll but he has always found a way to come back.

Updated: August 24, 2014 09:13 IST
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Djokovic Nadal File
File photo: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal pose together at Key Biscane in 2014 before their men's singles final match.

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New York: Rafael Nadal casts a long shadow at Flushing Meadows, even though the Spaniard won't be defending his title when the US Open begins on Monday.

Although the oft-injured Nadal is now sidelined by a troublesome right wrist, current world number one Novak Djokovic has no doubt the 14-time Grand Slam champion will be back with a vengeance, just as he has been before.

Djokovic thinks Nadal's go-for-broke game takes an inevitable physical toll.

"He slides a lot and spends a lot of energy on each shot. His joints, his body suffers a lot, and it's not easy," Djokovic said.

"But again, he has found a way always to come back," added Djokovic, pointing do Nadal's stunning 2013 season in which he returned from a seven-month absence to win 10 titles in a career-high 14 finals and finish world number one for third time.

"So I expect no less," Djokovic said. "When he comes back to the tour than to see him strong, to see him motivated.

"He's a great competitor, a great fighter. I'm sure that if he had a small percentage of coming here and playing he would do that, because he just loves the game. I have a lot of respect for him."

Roger Federer, seeded second behind Djokovic in his quest for a record sixth US Open title, admits that Nadal's absence opens up the men's singles draw.

Overall, however, it's a loss for the game.

"It's not necessarily dependent, an event like this, on the one player, but it's more exciting with him," Federer said.

"For us, the players, I mean, we hope he gets well and he feels better quickly and all these things and he's back on tour soon.

"But at the same time, I think what stands out is the opportunity to try to take advantage of the fact that he's not here. It's one less really difficult player to beat maybe."

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