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Djoker predicts long rivalry with Nadal

sports Updated: Jun 13, 2012 01:27 IST
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World number one Novak Djokovic is looking forward to a new rivalry at the summit of men’s tennis after losing a hard-fought French Open final against Spanish claycourt king Rafael Nadal. The 25-year-old Serb insisted the sport’s biggest matchup was still between 30-year-old Roger Federer, holder of a record 16 Grand Slam titles, and Nadal, who at 26, already has 11 majors topped by a record seven at the French Open.

But he clearly singled out Nadal as his main foe. “We are very young, and we played over 30 times against each other, and hopefully we can have many more battles in the next years,” Djokovic said.

"I think the sport is experiencing some really good times now," said Djokovic.

Happily married Federer believes he has a few more years of top-level competition left in him, including playing at the 2016 Olympics, even though he turns 31 in August and is busy looking after twin girls when not on court. “Obviously Federer and Nadal have still, I think, the biggest rivalry in the sport,” Djokovic said.

“It’s beautiful. These matches make you feel like all the work that you put into it is worth (it), you’re living for this moment to play finals of any Grand Slam, and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose,” he said.

“I lost this time. But I believe that there are still many years to come, and hopefully I can come back stronger.”