The return of Novak Djokovic is getting closer and closer. The number 1 in the world has only played three games at the start of the season, thanks to his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. In addition to not having been able to defend the title at the Australian Open, the Serbian champion also had to give up the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami.
His only appearance of him in 2022 was in Dubai, where he surrendered in the quarterfinals to a wild Jiri Vesely. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will take part in the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Serbia Open, which will serve as a test before the Masters 1000 in Madrid and Rome.
His big goal is Roland Garros, where he will be called upon to defend the title he won last year. Nole had to watch helplessly as his eternal rival Rafael Nadal's triumph at Melbourne Park, which earned the Spaniard overtaking in the all-time rankings of the Majors.
To Eurosport microphones, Mats Wilander took stock of Novak and Rafa's conditions.
Mats Wilander opens up on Nadal
"[Novak Djokovic] is going to be well rested in his mind, in his heart. Physically, he has been able to set up his training schedule perfectly, at least in the way that he would want to," Wilander said.
"Of course, he would have liked to play more matches, but if he gets to three tournaments and maybe [plays] 10 to 15 matches, he goes into Roland Garros as maybe the favorite to win the tournament”. With Rafael Nadal out for the next 4-6 weeks with a rib fracture, the former World No.
1 posited that the Spaniard might not have the "perfect" preparation he would have wanted. “Now that Rafael Nadal is maybe not going to have the perfect preparation, Djokovic suddenly becomes the favorite" Wilander said.
"But he most probably needs a little bit of confidence in some of the tournaments that lead up to the French Open." Current world no.6, Paula Badosa is having a great North-American spring hardcourt swing. After reaching the semi-final in Indian Wells, the Spaniard had a great start at the Miami Open as well.
After winning her first match against Marie Bouzkova in Miami, Badosa spoke to the media and talked about her fellow Spaniard, Rafael Nadal. Notably, the Spaniard is sidelined for at least four to six weeks due to a rib stress fracture that he sustained during the closing stages of the recently concluded Indian Wells Masters.