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Novak Djokovic backed to fall further behind Rafael Nadal as Federer brutally dismissed

Express Sport readers are backing Rafael Nadal to extend his record haul of Grand Slams and leave Novak Djokovic behind, according to the results of a recent survey. Roger Federer, meanwhile, appears to be left behind in the debate after only a tiny minority suggested the Swiss would win the most majors in 2022.

 

 

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Rafael Nadal received the largest support after fans were quizzed on who they think will top the Grand Slam honours list this year, leaving Novak Djokovic to settle for second.

The Spanish legend made the most of Nole’s absence from last month’s Australian Open to win a record-breaking 21st men’s major, one more than both Djokovic and Federer.

And Nadal threatens to break even further ahead of his Serb rival at the French Open in May when he’ll bid for a record-extending 14th title at Roland Garros.

This year’s final in Paris is scheduled to take place two days after Nadal’s 36th birthday, but the tennis public don’t see that as cause to doubt he’ll end 2022 ahead of Djokovic.

Express Sport readers were asked which of the ‘Big Three’ they thought would win the most majors in 2022, and an overwhelming 65 per cent said Nadal would end up on top.

That’s almost double the 33 per cent of voters who said Djokovic would pull it back to win the most Grand Slams this year, while a paltry two per cent said Federer.

The results were taken from a survey of more than 17,500 readers, who were also quizzed more specifically on how the Grand Slam landscape would turn out this year.

Twenty per cent predicted Djokovic will tie it up to finish the year level with Nadal on 21 majors apiece, while 26 per cent backed the current world No. 1 end the year with at least 22 to his name.

On the other side of the divide, an impressive 37 per cent said Nadal would add to his haul this year to end 2022 with at least 22 titles.

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Another 17 per cent touted Djokovic to end 2022 with his current haul of 20 Grand Slams, which would make this just the second year since 2010 in which the Serb had failed to win a major.

That means at least 9,000 of those who took part in the survey believe Djokovic will finish second to Nadal this season, both in Grand Slams won this year and overall.

Nadal has long been the dominant force on clay throughout his career and will be among the favourites to add to his 13 titles at the French Open.

Djokovic’s chances of collecting his 21st Grand Slam have been hit by the fact he’s yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19, which was the reason he missed this year’s Australian Open.

Reports have since emerged suggesting the superstar could be more open to receiving the jab to boost his major prospects, though there’s yet to be any proof of that.

Meanwhile, the player received positive news following the suggestion France could drop their vaccine pass system before Roland Garros.

Nadal endured major injury troubles last year but made up for it with a resurgent display in Melbourne and now looks eager to make up for lost time in 2022.

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