Novak Djokovic refuses French Open favourite tag: ‘If it’s Roland Garros, you bet on Rafael Nadal’
Novak Djokovic is unwilling to accept the tag of favourite when he starts his Roland Garros campaign, saying Rafael Nadal is who he would bet on.
Djokovic is enjoying a stunning year on the ATP Tour, with his unlucky defaulting at the US Open the only match he has lost in 2020 so far.
He continued that fine form winning the Rome Masters last week, but he doesn’t see himself as the man to beat in Paris.
“He’s the player who has the highest chance of being in the final,” Djokovic said. “If it’s Roland Garros it’s Rafa you bet on.”
After the Rome Masters, Djokovic suggested the different environmentally conditions at the French Open this year may at least lesson Nadal’s usual advantage.
With the tournament taking place later in the year during a cooler month and some matches being played indoors for the first time, the Roland Garros clay may not be as responsive to the topspin Nadal generates.
That view is also shared by Djokovic’s former coach Boris Becker, who thinks the Spaniard’s relative lack of match practice may also be a big equalising factor.
“Even a Rafael Nadal needs match practice, and that’s missing this year,” Becker told Eurosport.
“He remains my number one for the title, but I think the others’ chances are much better this year. This year is different.”
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