French Open draw is GOAT fodder for Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic wasn’t done any favours by the French Open draw but it has thrown the Serbian a fantastic opportunity to strengthen his claim to being the greatest of all time.

Djokovic faces a potential run of dream/nightmare opponents from the last eight onwards starting with what could be a quarter-final epic against Rafael Nadal.

There is some question regarding the fitness of Nadal and his readiness to mount a serious challenge but you’d have to fancy that should he reach the last eight he won’t want to give an inch to his long-time rival.

If Djokovic beats Nadal in the last eight, his reward might be facing Spain’s new star Carlos Alcaraz or failing that a prospective match against Alexander Zverev.

There are some who believe that the draw is lopsided with the bottom half looking decidedly less spicy than the top section.

Still, that bottom half includes World No 2 Daniil Medvedev and perhaps the favourite to make the final from this section in Stefanos Tsitsipas.

If Djokovic and Tsitsipas get to run back their 2021 final in Paris this June, it could prove to be a match for the ages.

Tsitsipas has been in excellent form throughout the clay swing although he has fallen just short of adding to the Monte Carlo Masters title he won when the tour returned to Europe.

On top of the prospect of facing fellow icons and energetic and in-form youngsters in the latter stages of the tournament, Djokovic is someone everyone wants to beat.

His path to the second week won’t be an easy one starting with Yoshihito Nishioka, who would love to claim a first win over the World No 1, even if the odds are stacked against the Japanese player.

Djokovic could also have a rematch of the Serbian Open final in the second round with Alex Molcan taking on Federico Coria in the adjacent bracket.

Grigor Dimitrov is another dangerous player lurking in Djokovic’s section of the draw and a potential fourth-round opponent for the 20-time Grand Slam winner.

Hypothetically Djokovic could claim the 2022 French Open with a sequence of wins over Dimitrov, Nadal, Alcaraz and Tsitsipas which would do his GOAT claims no harm.