How ‘Blogger’ Rafael Nadal Made Incredible Novak Djokovic Prediction Ahead of First-Ever Clash at French Open 2006

How ‘Blogger’ Rafael Nadal Made Incredible Novak Djokovic Prediction Ahead of First-Ever Clash at French Open 2006

By 2006, Rafael Nadal emerged as one of the most dominant players on the ATP Tour. Apart from winning titles on a weekly basis, Nadal would also entertain tennis fans with the blogs back in the day that he would religiously maintain. 18 years later, social media users have unearthed these blogs and learned how Nadal spoke highly of 19-year-old Novak Djokovic ahead of their first-ever head-to-head encounter at the French Open.

Rafael Nadal arrived in Paris for the Roland Garros 2006 during the last week of May. Collaborating with the ATP Tour, Nadal wrote blogs in a journal style throughout the course of the Grand Slam. According to the Spaniard, these blogs were a great medium for him to communicate with the fans and explain what goes on behind the scenes in terms of preparation.

On May 6, Rafael Nadal wrote about his fourth-round battle against Lleyton Hewitt and explained how he was tired after the four-set encounter. Later, Rafa also briefly wrote about his upcoming quarter-final matchup against a “dangerous” Novak Djokovic. While not many were aware of the teenager, in his blog, the southpaw explained how the Serbian was going to give him a “difficult” time on the court.

“That has been about it today. I am feeling a little tired, but that is normal. I’ve played a lot of matches and it’s been a week and a half in Paris as I arrived here the Thursday before the tournament. But I will be ready to play tomorrow and I know it will be a difficult match against Djokovic. Unless you follow tennis you may not have heard a lot about him but he is a very dangerous player with a big game and he will have nothing to lose. He’s only 19, so it’s a rare time that I will be playing someone younger than me,” Nadal wrote.

Nadal didn’t have a tough time defeating Djokovic. After trailing a double 4-6 in the first two sets, the Serb was dealing with injuries and had to retire. However, the King of Clay was spot-on with his prediction regarding the teenager having a “big game” and being ‘dangeroud’.

Little did Rafa know that his quarter-final opponent in the French Open 2006 would go on to become one of his two biggest rivals. Over the next 18 years, the two played each other a total of 59 times, with Djoker leading 30-29.

As soon as the details of the blogs went viral on social media, fans seemed to be in awe of the then-20-year-old. Apart from the respect he showed to his opponents, fans also commended the Raging Bull for having the same humble personality even after witnessing immense success.

Rafael Nadal impressed in the 2006 French Open despite challenges

Rafael Nadal put up one of his most impressive Grand Slam performances during the French Open 2006. Up until the finals, Nadal only dropped two sets, blowing past the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, Novak Djokovic, and Ivan Ljubicic to reach his fifth tournament final of the season.

The in-form Roger Federer stunned Nadal in the first set of the finals, winning 6-1. However, after dropping the opening set, the youngster had quite an incredible response, winning the next three sets 6-1, 6-4, 7-6. With the victory over the Swiss legend, Nadal successfully defended his Roland Garros title.

Related Articles