'Novak Djokovic is right there with Rafael Nadal on clay', says legend

by   |  VIEW 7466

'Novak Djokovic is right there with Rafael Nadal on clay', says legend

In just under a week Roland Garros 2021 will start, which promises to be more uncertain than in previous editions. The number one candidate for the win is still Rafael Nadal, who will go on the hunt for his 14th title in the French capital (the fifth in a row).

In the event of a triumph in Paris, the Spanish phenomenon would overtake Roger Federer in the all-time ranking for the first time, climbing to 21 Majors. The 34-year-old from Manacor, winner in Barcelona and Rome this year, will be the third seed in the Ville Lumiere, behind Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.

This means that we could see a clash between Nadal and Djokovic already in the semifinals, an aspect that should not be underestimated also in relation to the Russian's difficulties on clay. In a long interview on 'Tennis Majors', former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli analyzed the possible outcome of the draw in detail.

We recall that Roger Federer will also be in Paris, in his first ever Slam since the Australian Open 2020.

Bartoli on the 2021 French Open

"Of course it (a potential Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal final) depends on the draw and I think that Novak will really hope massively that he doesn't draw obviously, Rafa," Marion Bartoli said.

Bartoli believes that the Rome match would have given Djokovic a good idea of where his level is currently - and that it is not too far from Nadal's. "But I think the final in Rome was very interesting because even though Djokovic had two matches to play the day before he was still right there and competing a lot better than what he did in the final at Roland Garros a few months back," Bartoli said.

"I think that was a big signal for him just to see that he has the level and if he goes to a five-setter he is right there with Rafa on clay. And I think that was for him the main point because obviously skipping Madrid and not arriving with a lot of confidence on clay, not doing well in Monte Carlo and Belgrade was really for him a big question mark whether this year he would still be able to play well on clay," Bartoli continued.

"So I think that tournament (Rome) for him was crucial for his confidence to go to Roland Garros and knowing he can do it." One of the most prestigious tournaments on the tennis calendar is soon about to begin. The French Open 2021 is expected to be an action-packed event, where all the top players will push each other to the fullest.

It also happens to be the only Grand Slam event that is played on the clay courts. As the qualifying rounds at French Open 2021 have begun, the top players have started assembling in the French capital, Paris. This is the season’s second Grand Slam event and all the players are excited to compete for this honor. The main draw will begin on Sunday, May 30.