Mats Wilander endorses fresher Novak Djokovic for French Open, if he makes the second week

Sunday, 26 May 2024 at 22:30
Mats Wilander has endorsed Novak Djokovic as the top favorite to win the French Open if he reaches the second week. The Swedish tennis legend commented that he is not concerned about Djokovic arriving with few prior events, as this could help him stay "more fresh."
The Serbian tennis player has had a disappointing 2024 season, with a record of 14-6 and no titles, far below Djokovic's standards. He arrives at Roland Garros without titles in the season for the first time since 2006.

Wilander Supports Djokovic

The clay season has not yielded the best results for Djokovic, who exited in the semifinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters against Casper Ruud. A few days later, he withdrew from the Madrid Open and had Rome as his last destination before the French Open, but suffered a surprising defeat in the Round of 32 against Alejandro Tabilo. Consequently, he added a new tournament to his schedule at the ATP 250 Geneva Open the week before Roland Garros.
The Serbian hoped to arrive with more matches under his belt but faced another unexpected defeat, this time in the semifinals against Tomas Machac. "Well, it’s a difficult preparation for Novak Djokovic because he hasn’t played that many matches," Mats Wilander said to Eurosport.
"But remember when he wasn’t allowed to come to the Australian Open because of the COVID vaccinations, it gave him three or four months off the tour," the three-time French Open champion added. "So he was rested once he started playing again. He had a great year and I think this year hasn’t been great, but with someone as good as he is, as experienced as he is, he knows how to play three out of five sets."
Djokovic will make his debut against Pierre-Hugues Herbert (No. 142). The Serbian has a record 93-16 (85%) at the French Open.
Djokovic will make his debut against Pierre-Hugues Herbert (No. 142). The Serbian has a record 93-16 (85%) at the French Open.
"He knows that he can win Roland Garros every single time he plays. And now he is more fresh than if he would have played well in the three lead-up tournaments to Roland Garros."
"So I wouldn’t be worried at all. The first round and second round could be tricky for Novak because he hasn’t played that much. Once he’s through, if he makes the second week, then, wow, he becomes the big, big favorite to me."

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