The 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal is the latest in a string of prominent tennis players to comment on the disqualification of Novak Djokovic from the US Open 2020. Speaking to reporters ahead of his second-round match with compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta in Rome, Nadal took a dig at the World No.1. He was reported as saying that it is important to have the right self-control while on the court.
Rafael Nadal will be seen playing at the Rome Masters after an extended break of over five and a half months. Choosing to sit out the hardcourt season over Coronavirus fears, Rafa last played at the Mexican Open, where he won the title on March 1 2020. He was now returned to the court to start out the clay season, no doubt, his favourite surface. Nadal will mount his title defence at the Rome Masters ATP 1000 event on September 15. At present, he has a record nine titles at this event. Ranked No.2, Rafa has received a bye in the first round of the tournament, along with No. 1 Novak Djokovic, and a few other players ranked within the top 10. With arch-rival Roger Federer sitting out this tournament as well, all predictions point to another massive Rafa-Djokovic final. As of now, Djokovic leads the h2h 29-26, though the figures tilt substantially in favour of Nadal while on clay 17-7.
Though Nadal has questioned Novak Djokovic's temperament at the US Open, he did admit that the World No. 1 was unlucky. Djokovic was booted out of the US Open 2020 after he accidentally hit a line judge with a ball. The Spaniard also said that the consequences for physically harming a line-judge or any other official or audience member in the course of a match, have always been always the same. "Nothing new on that" he commented. "Novak was unlucky. The rules clearly say that's a default. Sorry for him. He had an opportunity there. But in some ways, you should not be doing this." added the 19-time Grand Slam winner. Nadal's uncle and ex-coach Toni Nadal had also expressed similar sentiments towards Djokovic in a recent interview. Djokovic had been the favourite to win the US Open 2020 in the absence of his greatest rivals, Nadal and Federer. After his default, Austria's Dominic Thiem claimed the title - his first-ever Grand Slam.