‘We Have a Problem’ – The Day Rafael Nadal’s Uncle Worryingly Foresaw Novak Djokovic’s Surefooted Gallop to Greatness

Novak Djokovic has proved his worth in the tennis realm by adding yet another major title to his profile. Despite the 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz posing a threat, Djokovic persevered and eventually won three out of the four major titles this year. However, in the dominant era of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, no one except Nadal’s uncle, Toni Nadal was concerned about 18-year-old Djokovic becoming a threat to the two most sensational players of that time.



Toni Nadal’s prophecy came true and now Djokovic holds the most Grand Slam titles in the men’s circuit. But the sheer coincidence of coming across Djokovic 18 years ago, and Toni Nadal’s worry about him, is worth marveling at.

The Spanish tennis star was fresh off his Roland Garros victory and was at Wimbledon, looking to add one more title to his name in 2005. At that point, the only major threat he had on court was Roger Federer.



However, it was Toni Nadal, his uncle and coach, who saw a third imposing talent brewing up. Nadal’s coach decided to take a glimpse of the first-round matches that were taking place in Court 18 at Wimbledon. Juan Monaco was playing his match. He was Rafa’s common hitting partner. However, it was not Monaco that caught his attention.

It was his opponent – who was none other than Novak Djokovic. The Serbian player had just made his Wimbledon debut and was ranked 128 at that time. However, he was outplaying Monaco with his rigorous gameplay. Inquisitive about the kid, he asked a spectator, “Who’s that kid? What’s his name?”


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