Former world No. 1 Jim Courier believes a healthy Rafael Nadal is still a slight favorite over Novak Djokovic for the French Open title. Nadal, a record 13-time French Open champion, lost to Djokovic in this year's semifinal at Roland Garros.
Nadal was hampered by a foot issue and he played only one event after the French Open before calling it a season. Courier noted that Nadal is still the top favorite for the French Open but Djokovic is the favorite over Nadal anywhere else.
"And for Rafa how he is going to respond, how his foot is going to respond after sitting out a lot this season trying to fix that after it went out on him at Roland Garros. He is still the favorite at Roland Garros. Slighlty, slightly over Novak -- assuming they are both healthy.
And Novak is probably the favorite everywhere else -- certainly at Wimbledon," Courier said during his appearance on Tennis Channel.
Nadal praised by Casper Ruud
At the ATP Finals, debutant Ruud showed his respect and admiration for Nadal.
"I think his whole character is inspiring. He's very, very competitive. Doesn't matter if it's tennis, golf, he's a very competiitve guy. Somewhat he has two personalities, one on the court where he is the fiercerul, a tough guy that plays with a lot of intensity.
You will always see him being nice and respectul to his opponents. Then you have him off the court where is a very, very normal, a very nice guy. Always says hi," Ruud said of Nadal. "Whenever he is around Mallorca in the academy, everyone treats him like a normal person because they're kind of used to him there.
I think he enjoys that. I probably would if I was in his position. It's nice to see he's a very, very normal guy at least in the circumstances when he's at home in Mallorca."