EXCLUSIVE: Mats Wilander makes bold Novak Djokovic prediction ahead of Australian Open final
Tennis legend Mats Wilander believes Novak Djokovic could be unbeatable in the Grand Slam tournaments in 2019, as the Serb looks to start his year with victory against Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s Australian Open final.
Djokovic is aiming to win a third successive Grand Slam title after his triumphs at Wimbledon and the US Open last year, with seven-time Grand Slam champion and Eurosport expert Wilander suggesting the world No.1 is unstoppable force in best of five set matches.
“I believe he has the game and the mindset in slams that he can win literally all four this year, I really do. And I don’t say that about anyone else,” Wilander told Tennis365.com.
“He has that game and when he’s playing majors he’s a different guy and his game is suited to all conditions: night time, daytime, slow, fast – it doesn’t matter.
“So, he’s going to dominate the slams I believe, but even now Rafa has thrown something else in the mix, changing his serve.
“It’s like Roger in 2017, when he came here with a hugely improved backhand. We always base it on the last season and then the players show up here and they are better than ever before. The only one that hasn’t changed anything is Novak but he’s more relaxed and more determined than ever. It’s so interesting for me how much it changed in the last couple of years.
“While I think Djokovic is tough to beat in a five set match, I don’t think he is as invincible to the locker room as we think he is. They’ve seen him lose to Karen Kachanov, Alex Zverev, Roberto Bautista Agut recently and it shows he is beatable.”
Wilander believes Djokovic’s sensational performance to dismantle Lucas Pouille in his semi-final at the Australian Open was one of his best displays, but he is still excepting Nadal to challenge him in what could be an epic final.
“I was out there on the side of the court and you cannot get a ball past him, he moves so well on this court,” he added. “I can’t even explain how good that is, I don’t know how you play tennis to beat someone like that.
“When he serves that well as well you don’t have a chance to attack the second serve. For Lucas Pouille he would have had to serve an 80-85% first serve and he still gets beaten. Novak Djokovic, he said it himself, that’s the best match he’s ever played one the Road Laver arena so what can you do.
“Nadal probably the only man capable of beating Novak in the draw and we have known that from the start. We have seen some epic battles between these two guys down the years and hopefully we will have another one on Sunday.”
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