Rod Laver backing Djokovic to hold all four Grand Slams with win at Roland Garros
The European summer is edging ever closer and with only two weeks to go before the clocks go forward, attention is now beginning to turn to the year’s second Grand Slam. For Novak Djokovic, this year’s French Open holds special significance and presents a unique opportunity to the Serb, as winning it will enable him to complete the rare feat of holding all four Grand Slam titles at once.
Rod Laver has joined the conversation surrounding the 31-year-old Serb and told the media “he’s got a good chance to do it”. The 80-year-old Australian legend was blown away by his performance at the Australian Open where he beat Rafa Nadal to claim his third Grand Slam in a row.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2019
Laver added: “He played so incredibly well against Nadal, I’m thinking, ‘how can anybody do that?’”
It’s a good question that Laver asks and one that many a fan and pundit would have asked themselves about Djokovic. To call Djokovic’s form a purple patch would be grossly understating it because really, what we are currently seeing, is the Serb making a last-ditch effort to become the greatest male tennis player of all time.
What a way we’ve come for that to be the case as teenage phenomenons used to be the ones to watch but now it’s those in the supposed twilight of their careers, that are making all the headlines. Laver was also asked about the new trend we are seeing where tennis’ older players are dominating the tour like never before, on this, the 80-year-old said, “maybe they don’t play as much”.
It’s quite a simple take on a phenomenon that actually has quite a complex answer but in Laver’s short and to the point manner, he makes a valid point worth considering, especially when you see the latest tennis odds and realise both favourites for Roland Garros are over 30. Indeed, Nadal is at 10/11 to win and Djokovic is at 9/4 which suggests this theme, whereby the elder statesmen continue to dominate, is here to stay.
For Djokovic, he will arrive at the French Open in a vastly different frame of mind from when he arrived to play in the event in 2018. Plagued by injury and a lack of self-belief, the Serb suffered a shock exit in the quarterfinals and questioned whether he would play again. Even in Djokovic’s wildest dreams, he would have never believed that he would arrive at Roland Garros in 2019, holding all three Grand Slams and being backed by Rod Laver to win a fourth in a row.
When life gives you lemons.. don’t wait for the lemonade 🍋🤤😃😂 pic.twitter.com/g3Mv7iaMUj
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) March 1, 2019
This could be the most exciting chapter yet between the battle of the big three and if Federer and Nadal are to stop Djokovic from potentially becoming the greatest of all time, they will need to pull out all the stops.
The general feeling, however, is that Djokovic will go on to win the French Open. Whether it be Rod Laver or the man in the street, few can see how the 31-year-old will be stopped this year seeing as neither his age or opponents are unable to hinder his progress.
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