Rafael Nadal is ‘completely against’ Novak Djokovic in Grand Slam stance

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic share opposing views on how men’s Grand Slam tennis should be going forward. The world’s top two tennis players remain on course to face each other in the ATP Finals this week in what would be their 57th meeting.

Their last meeting at the season-ending tournament came in 2015 when Djokovic beat Nadal in straight sets to reach the final.

The ATP Finals adopt a best-of-three format, much like other events on the tour.

Grand Slams in men’s tennis have always been best-of-five, but there have been some calls for that to change.

Djokovic is a strong supporter of the big tournaments going down to three sets and reiterated his stance at the ATP Finals.

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“I am more a proponent of two-out-of-three everywhere, even though of course slams have always been best-of-five,” he said.

“It’s historically been that way, so I don’t know whether there is a chance at all for it to change.

“I just feel like the attention span, as well as the fans, especially the younger generation, is shorter.

“So in order for us to really improve the product, so to say, of tennis I think commercially and marketing-wise I feel like we have to adapt to that younger generation.

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“Obviously we have been one of those sports that has stuck with the tradition a lot, which I respect, and I feel like this is something we have to keep, but at the same time we haven’t been really exploring some changes,” he said.

“Whether it’s score or less sets or whatever. We have not really looked into that.

“Every time someone mentions that, I feel like there is not much of a support, not much of a willingness to really address that and strategically think about the things that could attract a younger audience as well to our tour, to our sport.”

But Nadal shares a different view entirely, insisting the best-of-five format should remain at Grand Slams.

“I am completely against change in the Grand Slams,” Nadal said. “We have a day off.

“I think best-of-five makes a difference in these tournaments, on the slams and at the same time is part of the history of our sport.”

Nadal is back in action this afternoon when he takes on Dominic Thiem having beaten Andrey Dublev in his opening match.

Djokovic meanwhile will face Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday for his second group match.

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