Former doubles world No. 1 Leander Paes suggested a tight French Open semifinal drained physically Novak Djokovic and that affected the Serb's performance in the final against world No. 2 Rafael Nadal. Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, was aiming to lift his second title at Roland Garros but that didn't happen as Nadal claimed a dominant 6-0 6-2 7-5 win to win a record 13th French Open title.
Still, it has been an extremely successful year for Djokovic, who has claimed five titles in 2020. "You look at a younger Novak Djokovic what an unusual year he’s had in 2020. With the exhibition matches back at home where he did get clearance to play and unfortunately, some of the players contracted COVID and then overcoming that and then to get to the US Open with what happened there and then to get to the French Open and then to play such a tough fifth set match against (Stefanos) Tsitsipas which he really didn’t recover for in the final but yet he’s at number one in the world,” Paes told India Ahead News, as quoted on Essentially Sports.
Paes compares Djokovic and football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo
Djokovic, 33, is still exceptionally prepared and that's one of the main reasons why he is still able to perform at an extremely high level. "On the planet, today, CR7 and Novak Djokovic are the two athletes who invest in themselves the most whether it comes to entourages of different expertise that travel with them when it comes to modern technology that enhances sporting progress, to enhance themselves when it comes to checking out their own DNA where we found Novak is gluten intolerant and then now he makes sure his diet is completely gluten-free and he’s a vegan and hence the results come about," Paes said.
Djokovic played below his level against Nadal in the French Open and it was disappointing for him to lose in such a fashion. Djokovic's long-time coach Marian Vajda gave credit to Nadal for his performance in the final but noted the Serb is still the world No.
1. "Kudos to Nadal, he managed to use it to the end," Vajda told Novosti days after the final. "But Novak still remains the champion and is the first in the world. Our team is proud of his great results this year and is happy to work with him, because he still has the motivation to improve in all areas and to be the best player in history!"