‘I was a bit too ambitious when I said Rafael Nadal does not have a chance’ in Paris, admits Goran Ivanisevic

Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic

Goran Ivanisevic insists he does not regret his prediction that Rafael Nadal did not stand a chance against Novak Djokovic in the French Open final, but concedes he “was a bit too ambitious”.

Ahead of Sunday’s final between the two greats at Roland Garros, Ivanisevic declared that “Nadal has no chance under these conditions” against world No 1 Djokovic.

However, Nadal dominated proceedings on Court Philipe Chartrier, winning 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 to secure a 13th French Open and draw level with Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slams.

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Ivanisevic, who is part of the Djokovic coaching set-up, was asked about his prediction by Tennis Majors and replied: “I was really certain of Novak’s victory in Paris. I have been sending those type of texts to Miljan (Amanovic, Djokovic’s physio) for some time.

“I was a bit too ambitious when I said that Nadal does not have a chance, but I sincerely felt that Novak was the favourite. I know that Chatrier is Rafa’s living room and that he can win there even when he is playing badly, but again, I was convinced that this was Novak’s year in Paris.

“But Novak did not play up to his usual standards and Rafa played perfectly. Unfortunately, Novak managed to find his shots at 2-0 and a break down and by that point it was too late.”

Asked if he regrets his comments, the 2001 Wimbledon winner insists he will “always state my opinions directly”.

“No, no, no. I have honestly meant what I said, my right is to say what I think and to believe in my player, I thought this was Novak’s year in Paris,” he said.

“Again, I was a bit too ambitious saying that Nadal did not stand a chance, but I favored Novak at that moment. I always state my opinions directly, however it did not turn out that way – fu.. it, it is what it is.

“Before the finals in Melbourne I stated that the odds were 50-50 and Novak ended up destroying Rafa. It is always easy just to play it safe and say ‘we will see’ or ‘the winner is going to be the better player on a given day’, but I said it the way I felt it. Nadal has shown me that I was wrong, obviously – that is it, we move on.”

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