Coach Goran Ivanisevic claims Rafael Nadal is the one who should be considered as the top favorite, not Novak Djokovic. Nadal didn't have a perfect preparation for the French Open as he was forced to skip Monte Carlo and Barcelona due to a rib stress fracture.
In Madrid, Nadal kicked off his clay season and he reached the quarterfinal before he was beaten by Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinal. Nadal was visibly hampered by a foot pain during his Rome round-of-16 match and he ended up suffering a shock defeat versus Denis Shapovalov.
On the other side, Djokovic didn't make a promising start to his clay season but he won Rome without a dropped set. Djokovic and Nadal could potentially face in the French Open quarterfinal. "When I saw the draw, to be honest, I said: ‘OK, Nadal is going to get to the final.
And so Novak was out. For me, there is only one favourite at Roland Garros and that is Nadal," Ivanisevic said, per Tennis Up To Dare.
Ivanisevic: Nadal is always the favorite at Roland Garros
"Even with what has happened with his foot in Rome, I always think that.
Injured, not injured, he is always the favourite here. It is his home, his court. He knows all the good bounces, all the bad bounces, every nook and cranny. Whether he plays well or badly, under the sun or not, it changes nothing," Ivanisevic added.
Nadal is a record 13-time French Open champion, while Djokovic is aiming to defend his Roland Garros crown and lift his third title at the tournament. “Rafa is incredible. I have enormous respect for him. In the final, Medvedev could not close the match and you must never do that against Rafa!
Anyway, I said seven or eight years ago that Rafa and Novak would have more than 20 Grand Slam titles, and we are there with Nadal," Ivanisevic added. Last year, Djokovic defeated Nadal en route to winning the French Open. It remains to be seen if we will see another Djokovic and Nadal match at Roland Garros this fortnight.