Ivanisevic admits Nadal is favourite for Roland Garros if 'he can walk': "But if Novak is mentally up for it, he can beat anyone"

Thursday, 09 March 2023 at 20:00
Photo - Proshots
Goran Ivanisevic, the coach of Novak Djokovic, believes that Rafael Nadal is the favourite for Roland Garros if he's healthy but he is beatable and Novak is ready for the challenge.
Nadal and Djokovic faced off at Roland Garros last year but the match didn't quite deliver the battle that fans thought it would. Nadal won the match relatively comfortably as Djokovic played one of his weaker matches that year. In a new interview, Ivanisevoc talked about that match even though he doesn't know what really happened:
"To be honest, I still don’t know what happened there, I still find that match a bit odd. Novak just wasn’t mentally ready to fight Nadal, who was the better player and deserved to win. So this year, the most important thing is to stay healthy and to prepare really well physically. Of course, our main focus is Roland Garros, he needs to be ready to give it his all there. He can do it. Nadal is the favorite on clay as long as he can walk, but if Novak is mentally up for it, he can beat anyone."
He also touched upon the Australian Open injury controversy laughing off any suggestions of a fake injury:
“We can’t stop people from saying this or that, let everyone think what they want, but I find it hilarious when someone says: ‘Oh, he faked (the injury) during the match’. Sure, the best player in the world needs to fake an injury to win against a player who would maybe take a few games off of him. He would win either way."
Asked who the biggest competition for Roland Garros except Rafa will be, Ivanisevic said:
"Carlos Alcaraz, first and foremost. (Alexander) Zverev played a terrific Roland-Garros last year until the injury. (Stefanos) Tsitsipas is there as well, a former finalist. There are a lot of guys hungry for success, who want it badly and believe that they can do it, only to the point where they see that they can’t (laughing). It’s going to be an interesting clay court season, but for us the most important thing is to peak in Paris. "

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