In the year Casper Ruud is no different, but like “Rafan” he said that he wants to change the outcome of the game.
Djokovic and Nadal won the longest Grand Slam singles final in history at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park at five hours and 53 minutes, winning 5–7, 6–4, 6–2 for the first time. 6–7 (5–7), 7–5 scoreline.
The match took a lot out of both players and the pair were so tired that they needed chairs to sit on during the trophy ceremony.
While Djokovic won his fifth title, Nadal suffered his third straight Grand Slam final defeat against the Serbian, and the result was hard to swallow not only for the Spaniard but also for his fans.
Rudd was only 13 at the time, but he was already a big Nadal fan and the result of the match made him feel “bad for hours”.
A decade later, Rudd and Nadal will compete in a series of exhibition matches in Latin America, and ahead of their meeting at Parque Roca in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Wednesday, Rudd was asked if there was one result he wanted from Nadal. It can change.
“I think I can say to Rafa, I wish I could change one result in the history of tennis and I don’t know if he will be angry or happy when I say that. It’s not this year’s Roland Garros final because it’s not a close match, but Rafa’s 2012 Australian Open loss to Novak.
He added: “I’m probably more upset than him because he watched that six hours of television and hoped Rafa would win and it was probably one of the best matches ever.”
“I think about it for days, I’m still sad about his loss and I still wish he could win today. It might bring back bad memories for him, but that’s something I hope to change and still believe in.”
Nadal was a 10-time Grand Slam winner at the time but has since added 12 majors to take the men’s record number one on the list, one behind Djokovic and two behind Roger Federer.
Nadal, 36, joked following Rudd’s reply: “You should call Novak to see if he wants the trophy back.”
Read more: Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open comeback sparks GOAT rivalry with Rafael Nadal – former world no.1