Vajda explains how nervous Novak Djokovic was before conquering French Open

By beating Murray in the final, the Serbian became just the fifth player in the Open Era to win the Career Grand Slam

by Simone Brugnoli
Vajda explains how nervous Novak Djokovic was before conquering French Open

Novak Djokovic has always wanted to win Roland Garros, who for many years has been the only Slam still out of his wall. The World number 1 had to deal with Rafael Nadal's domination in Paris and in 2015 - after beating the Spaniard himself - he surrendered in the final to a truly irrepressible Stan Wawrinka.

The Serbian champion would redeem itself the following year, beating Andy Murray and becoming the fifth player in the Open Age to complete the 'Career Grand Slam' (and the first to hold all four majors at the same time by Rod Laver in 1969).

In the second part of his chat with David Law, Catherine Whitaker and Matt Roberts for the 'Tennis Podcast', his historic coach Marian Vajda admitted that he wasn't always convinced of Nole's chances in Paris.

Vajda on how nervous Djokovic was before conquering French Open

"To come back and win the title only showed how much mentally strong and focused he was to win the French Open," Marian Vajda said.

"Roland Garros is the most difficult and toughest tournament to win. You need to play seven best-of-five set matches on clay. Andy Murray played the best tennis on clay that year. I always hoped that Novak would win Paris, but I had some doubts.

Novak had a big aim to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a calendar year. Of course in 2015-16 he won four in a row." Going into the final, Vajda admitted that Novak Djokovic was a bundle of nerves. "He was really really nervous.

He was all over the place. There was incredible tension. I had hope that the match could change because it was long. Luckily he was able to change the course of the match. Novak started to impart more spin on the ball. He was more patient and had great stamina.

In the second set, he felt he could win (the match). There were celebrations that night in Paris. We went out and celebrated as a team together. We had a nice dinner and enjoyed the evening. It will stay in the memory forever, as Novak accomplished something big." Tennis, like most sports, has been on hold since March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A decision about the U.S. Open is expected within weeks; the tournament's main draw is slated to begin in New York on Aug. 31. The 17-time Grand Slam champion also said the restrictions that players would have to endure in order to compete in the U.S. Open would be "extreme" and "impossible."

Novak Djokovic French Open