'Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic are more vulnerable than before,' warns Mats Wilander



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'Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic are more vulnerable than before,' warns Mats Wilander

Former world no. 1 and a multiple Major champion Mats Wilander is open to see surprises at this year's Roland Garros. The Swede recently said that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are more vulnerable than in the previous years, not because of their recent losses but the young guns on their trail.

Praising the upcoming stars, Wilander stated that they can stay in touch and overpower Rafa and Novak, although they are yet to confirm that in the best-of-five matches at Majors. The youngsters from the top are all great servers, and they can hit big from both wings and push Nadal and Djokovic from their comfort zone, hoping to repeat that in Paris and steal the title from a dominant due that has claimed 12 of the previous 15 Major crowns!

This spring, Novak Djokovic lost before the final in Monte Carlo and Belgrade before fighting for the title in Rome, losing to Nadal in three sets. The king of clay made a slow start of his beloved season, losing in the quarter-final in Monte Carlo and saving a match point in the Barcelona Open final against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Alexander Zverev toppled Nadal in Madrid before the Spaniard bounced back at Foro Italico, fending off match points versus Denis Shapovalov and beating Novak for the 36th Masters 1000 crown ahead of Roland Garros.

Mats Wilander is ready for surprises at this year's Roland Garros.

"I actually think Jannik Sinner can win it.

The weird thing is I don't believe Musetti can, but they're from the same country. I feel there is a chance because Novak and Rafa are more vulnerable every year, not in terms of losing necessarily but because the younger guys are hitting the ball so hard, most of them on both sides.

They have big serves, and I think they are taking a bit of Rafa's and Novak's confidence away from them, leaving Roger, Rafa and Novak with the only ammunition left, which is the experience of playing five sets. There's a chance that some of them will confront Nadal in the opening round and take the confidence away from him, especially if Rafa has to play a couple of challenging encounters in a row.

I think that's Nadal's considerable strength; to play well in the opening matches and build confidence for the latter stages from the quarter-final. Rafa had to save a match point in both Barcelona and Rome. How he did that? Because he is Rafael Nadal!

Still, the youngsters know they can beat him, and that can open the door for someone like Jannik Sinner. The chances are not big; they weren't either when I won my first Roland Garros in 1982," Mats Wilander said.