Nadal or Djokovic: Who will be the first to win their 21st Grand Slam?

Prior to the emergence of Roger Federer, the very first person in the rich history of tennis’s Open era to achieve 20 Grand Slam wins was Pete Sampras. He was arguably the best player with the most prolific Grand Slam stats. 

However, with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, the duo makes up the three musketeers of the Open era, dominating the game since they all came to the fore in the mid/early 2000s.

However, with the aging Roger Federer’s inconsistencies in the past two years, there is a chance that the Swiss won’t be able to cope with his other duo’s intensity and competitive hunger. 

The Australian Open is now fast approaching and Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will be looking to once again claim the bragging rights as the best in history. It is also a race for being the first to claim 21 Grand Slams in the open era. 

Novak Djokovic. Credits:

Most online betting sites are touting the legendary Serb as the leading favorite to scoop the next major title at the Australian Open in Melbourne Park. With Nadal’s tenacity and impressive attributes, he certainly has a good chance of winning the title he last won in 2009.

However, whoever is crowned champion at the end of the event, it will certainly be an impressive tournament for many bettors to fancy their chances of predicting the likely outcome Australian Open, as the emerging stars are there to lay claim to the glory of winning a major in men’s tennis.

The likes of Alexandre Zverev are hitting top gear, while Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas are moving their way back to the top once more, but the presence of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic is a threat to all of the emerging powerhouses of tennis as the two legends are sure to be in and around the final, when playing at their very best.

Novak Djokovic 

The nine-time Australian Open champion will be going to the first Grand Slam of the season and if things go as planned, the Serb could be crowned the champion of the Australian Open for the 10th time. The certainty of his appearance is hugely unpredictable so there is no guarantee he will even play at this point.

In fact, the Serb’s participation in the 2022 Australian Open is currently hanging in the balance as Craig Tiley confirmed that the unvaccinated players won’t be allowed to participate in the first grand slam of the year – while Djokovic remains silent over his vaccination status.

However, if the World Number one happened to miss the tournament due to this reason, Rafael Nadal will be delighted to seize the advantage while trying to leapfrog his compatriot to claim his 21st major title, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest of all time.

Either way, it’s certain that Djokovic will participate in the Australian Open, which will serve as a huge advantage for the Serb to go ahead of Nadal and Federer who are the first to reach the 20 major titles and potentially be considered one of the greatest ever. 

But if the Serb wins or not, there is no guarantee that Nadal or Federer will become the Australian Open Champion, and going by Wimbledon, Roland Garros, and Flushing Meadow down the years, Djokovic is bound to win one of the Majors unless he suffers an injury crisis.

Rafael Nadal 

The Spanish legend will be going to the Australian Open as the sixth-seeded player, provided the top five players participate in the competition and while it looks absurd seeing one of the greatest tennis players of all time tanking, he is still considered as one of the players to define an era.

Rafa Nadal. Credits:

Nadal withdrew from the Masters tournament in National Bank Open due to the foot injury he’s been nursing since his participation in Roland Garros but there is no doubt that the 20-time grand slam winner will be going to the Australian Open fully fit.

However, despite his participation, there is not a good chance that the Spanish international will be the champion as he only managed to win the tournament just once in his rich career, but the Spaniard will be hoping to make the 2022 Open for the second time in Melbourne

Even if Nadal misses out on the chance of winning a major once again after failed attempts in all of his 2021 tournaments, he will be hoping to better his achievement in 2022 in Wimbledon, French, and US Open.


The Australian Open provides the basis for the year and the duo will be longing to get one over on each other with the tournament as it provides a base of the greatest player argument for both players.

Having the likes Alexandre Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Daniil Medvedev all consistently turning up it’s becoming a serious threat to displace the two great players in the coming major competitions.

Nadal will be hoping to hit the ground running in order to become known as the greatest tennis player of all time but, like Medvedev ousting the number one Djokovic in the last major of 2021, there is a chance that both Nadal and Djokovic won’t be crowned the Australian Open champion in early February when the tournament comes to an end.

In fact, the nine-time champion, Novak Djokovic, and the 2009 champion, Rafael Nadal might be easily ousted as the age barrier is gradually taking its toll on the duo, but nothing can be taken away from the duo who have matched Federer in terms of achievements over the years. 

Their ego and hunger will surely drive their intentions of getting ahead of Federer who is considered by many as the greatest of all time – but only time will tell who will earn the chance win their first 21st Grand Slam in 2022. 

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