Rafael Nadal admits he may be a bit tardy in congratulating Novak Djokovic for winning another US Open.

The 37-year-old injured Spaniard who has not competed since January but hopes to make a return at the 2024 Australian Open, allowed that he might be a little late in offering up his best wishes to his rival.

“The truth is that I still haven’t sent any message to Djokovic. When you gain something so important, from experience,” he told Spanish media.

” I know that it is better to spend time to (think through) this message. I’ll send it, but I haven’t done it yet.”

The veteran whose nearly two-decade rivalry with now-retired Roger Federer set the template for those to follow, does not feel the connection with Nadal that he had with the Swiss, winner of 20 Grand Slam singles titles to the 22 of Nadal and 24 of Djokovic.

“Of course, I sent messages to (fellow Spaniard Carlos) Alcaraz when he won or when he was about to win. 

“The others… I don’t have many friends left on the circuit, I’m already from another generation. I’ll talk to Federer from time to time.”

Main photo:- Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal faced off in the 2022 French Open quarter final by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd