Novak Djokovic recently won his first tournament of the season after a horrific start to the year. The Serb was not allowed to participate at the Australian Open to defend his title in January. Moreover, the world no. 1 was deported from the country due to his vaccination status. Nole missed out on a couple of tournaments, including the Indian Wells and Miami Master in the US, due to a vaccination mandate.
Novak finally returned to play his first tournament in months at the Monte Carlo Masters. The 34-year-old faced an embarrassing defeat against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, where he clearly seemed to struggle on the clay court. However, the Serb did not get up and began finding his grip in the following tournaments. Djokovic reached the finals of the Serbian Open and made it to the semi-finals in Madrid Open before finally winning his first title of the year in Rome. It has been a tough year for Novak, but he has proved his critics wrong yet again by lifting the Italian Open title on Sunday.
The next challenge in front of Novak would be to defend his title at the French Open against the likes of 13-time Roland Garros winner Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, who defeated both Rafa and Nole at the Madrid Open to lift his second Masters title. However, Marc Wilander feels that the Serb might have the best chance of winning at the French Open.
Mats Wilander Claims Djokovic Has A Feeling Of Revenge In Him
Talking to Spanish publication Marca, the Eurosport expert preferred Djokovic as the favorite to win the French Open 2022 for several reasons. Nole has just won in Rome, which will give him the confidence to fight harder during the upcoming major tournament.
Moreover, Wallander thinks that Djokovic has a feeling of revenge in him after what transpired in Australia a few months earlier. Mats think that the Serb will draw inspiration from his deportation and his absence at the Australian Open. Further, Wilander added that Novak is the defending champion. Nole has proved in recent times that he is capable of playing long matches despite the loss against Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid.
Meanwhile, Wilander also mentioned that Djokovic looked tired after his Monte Carlo loss. But the Serb has improved significantly and is the favorite to win in Paris.
Wilander Discusses Nadal’s Injury Situation Ahead Of French Open
Nadal is known as the King of Clay. The Spaniard has won 93.4% of games on the clay court with 13 titles at the Roland Garros. The 35-year-old’s chronic foot injury resurfaced during the Italian Open, which could pose a problem for him during the French Open. Talking about Nadal’s future, Wilander compared Rafa to a horse. He will run as fast as he can and fight. His efforts have no boundaries, and the only time he stops is due to his injuries.
Moreover, Mats stated that Rafa would continue until an injury does not allow him to continue anymore. Wilander commended Nadal for his ability to come back stronger from injuries with something different in him. Nadal claimed that he might not be able to return to tennis following his foot injury, which sidelined him for six months last year. However, the Spaniard came stronger and won his 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Hopefully, Nadal will put up a big fight against the favorites to make up for an interesting tournament where Djokovic will look to equalize the Spaniard record for most Grand Slams in the men’s singles category.