‘Only one person that can stop Rafael Nadal from winning French Open No 14 – and that is Novak Djokovic’
Goran Ivanisevic believes Novak Djokovic is the only man that can stop Rafael Nadal from winning a 14th French Open title this year, but he admits the world No 1 will need “to be 100%”.
Nadal won a record-extending 13th title at Roland Garros last year after brushing aside Djokovic 6–0, 6–2, 7–5 in the final with the win also helping him to draw level with Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slams.
The Spaniard is the bookmakers’ favourite to collect another French Open title come June 13 and Ivanisevic, who is part of Djokovic’s coaching set-up, admits he is the man to beat, but feels the Serbian can stop Nadal if he is at his best.
“In my opinion, Nadal is number one favourite to win the French Open and there’s only one person who can beat him to that number 14 title – and that’s Novak,” he told BBC Sport.
“But he has to be 100%. We saw last year he did not show up for the final. He showed up too late. You cannot give Nadal too much space, otherwise he eats you.”
Djokovic, Nadal and Federer will no doubt go down as the greatest players to have played the sport as they have shared 58 majors between them, but there is always a debate around who is the overall greatest.
For Ivanisevic, Djokovic is the clear winner when you look back over the past 12 years.
The 2001 Wimbledon winner added: “If you take the results from the last 12 years, from 2009, he won by far the most Grand Slams, he broke all the records. I think he’s the best.
“There’s always going to be a debate, but if you really take the results in the last 12 years, by far – not little – by far Novak is the best tennis player in the world.”
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