Novak Djokovic: Rafael Nadal Is The Favorite To Win The French Open!
by Tom Gainey | May 26th, 2012, 1:17 am

No surprise, faced with the biggest tournament of his life with a “Djoker Slam” at stake, Novak Djokovic said Friday that rival Rafael Nadal is the clear favorite at the French Open.

“Rafa is always favourite for this tournament,” Djokovic said. “He even was last year. Always No. 1 favourite because he’s just what he is on clay courts. He’s most successful tennis player ever to play on this surface. He played well in the Rome final. Even though it was straight set win I thought we played a close match, but he was playing better. That’s what you expect from him.

“You can always expect him to be at his top, especially at the later stages of Grand Slams and tournaments.”

Djokovic then talked about winning four straight Grand Slams, saying it “would definitely mean the world to me from that perspective, but I haven’t thought about that too much because I do not want to put too much pressure on myself.

“This is an opportunity that very few tennis players have in their lives. I’m aware of that, but I accept it as a challenge.

“It makes me even more motivated. It makes me feel good about it, rather than feeling pressured and worried if something bad is going to happen. So I’m looking forward to that.”

Djokovic is the World No. 1 but the Serb hasn’t played 2012 with the results of 2011, but he still feels he’s playing in peak form.

“My mindset is always positive and always expecting from myself a lot,” Djokovic said. “So I had the best year and a half of my career. I believe that I’m at the peak of my career at this moment. I definitely want to use this confidence that I have and try to make a good result here in Roland Garros.”

Djokovic, who has never been the French Open final, opens against Potito Starache in his first round match.

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14 Comments for Novak Djokovic: Rafael Nadal Is The Favorite To Win The French Open!

Rafalicious Says:


jane Says:

“My mindset is always positive and always expecting from myself a lot,” – good attitude. Good luck Nole!!!!!

Wog boy Says:

Could it be that Nole was affected with ongoing problems with ST, not paying him what they had too, that were probably going on for a while so they had to speed up new deel with Uniqlo in order for Nole to have a peace of mind for the rest of the season, Particulary FO? I guess this problem was going on for some time and probably was on Nole’s mind and could be distracting him? I don’t want this to sound as an exuse, Nadal won because he was better player on the day, but if we put ST problem and losing his grandfather at the same time ……
I would like to hear the other posters opinion ? Fair posters, please :)

skeezer Says:

Wog boy,

He said some time ago after AO his eye is on the prize this year, that being FO. He is focused and healthy. He knows that this tourney could be a history maker for him. I am not buying his performance dip after AO. There were some honest distractions going on. He has the game that can beat Rafa, and he is in Rafa’s head, no doubt.
But he has to have the patience he had last year. Imo he is primed and is going to take it. Problem is, he has to play the Fedster first, who is playing really well. If he gets by Fed, he’ll win it. My 2 cents.

Wog boy Says:


Thanks, I agree about “patience” I said that after Rome, too. I agree about Federer too, lot of people were talking about pressure On Nole last year but I said it before and I am saying it again, it was Federer at his best that beat Nole last year, and if he is going to play again like that this year than Nole will have to dig deep, very deep to beat Federer, of course they first have to make it to SF:)

jane Says:

Good point about patience skeeze. Borg said something similar in that article Brando posted a while back.

Wog Boy, I think if you add in the fact that Nole’s family are probably losing the tournament in Belgrade, plus ST problems, plus the passing of his grandfather, no doubt there is a lot playing on Nole’s mind.

Even if he doesn’t win this FO, I believe he can win it in a future year and complete his career slam, just like Fed and Rafa have done. I sure hope so. :)

Wog boy Says:


Thanks, I read something about losing the tournament in Belgrade but I was pretty busy and didn’t have time to find out more. What is the story about that? When I think about timing of the new contract, waiting until after Serbia Open, now that does make a sence.

nadalista Says:

Of course…………Rafa’s incapable of taking care of business by his lonesome self. He needs Fed to do it for him, oh hail the ITF for rigging the draw and putting Fed in Nole’s half…….

Now, all we have to do is hope Fed got the memo, dispatches Nole for his buddy Rafa. I mean, can’t do much else about that water-tight, long term lease agreement Rafa signed for Nole’s tenancy in Rafa’s head, can he?

Ahhh, the crosses one has to bear………

Djokowins Says:

Wog Boy,
I have a lot of respect for you as a Nole fan.
But its really shocking to see you linking Nole’s recent lapses with the issues with his sponsorship deals. Its simply not fair to Nole, he has grown much beyond that.

Michael Says:

If Novak can make that grand slam it would be wonderful and he would be equated with the likes of Roger and Nadal. No modern player has been able to do that feat. But it is going to a big struggle for Novak especially on this court against Nadal. I hope he turns this around and make this possible for himself and his fans.

Wog boy Says:


First, thanks for respecting me as a Nole fan.

I think word shocking is little bit to harsh. I think it is only human, because his contract with ST was never only about him but the whole family, his decision of terminate contract would affect everybody close to him and you cannot grow beyond that, meaninig that your decision can harm people you love. His uncle had ST rights for Eastern Europe as a part of contract, Serbia Open was and still is in danger, and much more, we don’t know for how long that was going on so as I said it is only human to presume that he could have been affected not that he was. I said after MC and Rome that Nadal won because he was better player. I don’t know what is your background but as Nole fan I guess you know how tight knit family Djokovics are.
At the end we might agree to disagree on this topic but that will not stop us to cheer Nole-Nolito-No1e in the future:)

Brando Says:

FACT is he’s ONLY won 2 tourny’s post USO 11- that’s 9 WHOLE months! Let’s be honest, his SF and F in AO were a very close call for him. At Miami he faced a Murray with 2 w/ o matches and not in the best of form ( early loss in IW). IMHO, the likes of nadal, federer have IMPROVED during this time whilst novak has dipped. Time will tell, BUT I think the others have UPPED their game this year, hence novak’s relative struggles. It’s NOT endorsement deals, tournies that effect him on court- SINCE that would be RIDICOLOUS if it did. The ONLY change I have noticed in him/ his game is that he has LOST the calm he displayed last year- the zen like state he had.

Djokowins Says:

Wog Boy,
Sorry, No hard feelings.
I understand that Nole’s grandfather passing played a role at MC.
But as Brando says above endorsement deals and money related issues should not play a role in his performance on the field. Nole is there to win and win big against big players.
I sense that he did not go full throttle in other tourneys. He will step it up big time in the slams, especially with FO.

But I just dont want to come across as a sore fan linking all his losses to meaningless issues. Let us leave that to the fed fans who even link Fed’s losses to Rafa’s press statements.

marron Says:

LOL, Djokowins! Good point about the press statements. Unbelievable, no?

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