Poll: Will Novak Djokovic Ever Win The French Open And The Career Grand Slam?
by Staff | June 8th, 2014, 3:00 pm

Did the window just close on Novak Djokovic’s chance to win the French Open and career Grand Slam. A year from now the Serb will be 28 years old, likely married and with more important responsibilities in life, namely a newborn on the way.

With things other than tennis potentially taking up his time (family!), how will he be maintain his dedication to the sport enough to reverse an 0-6 lifetime record against Nadal in Paris?

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal shows now signs of slowing down. The Spaniard just won his ninth French Open and 14th Slam. And without playing his best tennis he only lost a total of TWO sets the entire event, beating three Top 10 players to finish the event.

A year ago Djokovic took Nadal to the brink in a 5-set semifinal thriller at the French. This year with Boris Becker in tow he only managed the first set before physically succumbing to Nadal. And he’s now lost his last three Grand Slam finals and four of his last five.

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27 Comments for Poll: Will Novak Djokovic Ever Win The French Open And The Career Grand Slam?

andrea Says:

novak has a chance to win it one day as long as he stays healthy and has the desire to play. no one thought roger would win it and one year he did.

it’s clear novak wasn’t feeling well which is unfortunate.

congrats to rafa for another title.

Eric W. Says:

Nole has twice as much talent as Nadal and about a quarter of the mental strength. With the imminent birth of his child, and being a soft and sentimental type, I doubt he’ll make another GS final — let alone the French where Nadal will be lurking for several more years…

Steve 27 Says:

No, he is the Lendl of this generation.
Twice? Please, he doesnt know serve and volley and his smashes are horrific.
Besides, I think Del Potro is the man who will dethrone Rafa next year, after all, neither Borg and Federer won a same major 6 times in a row. I think, Rafa will follow the same path.

Steve 27 Says:

About Wimbledon, I hope Rafa can reach the second week, perhaps qf, will be a good result for him. I dont expect much else.
My favorities are Andy and the serbia, perhaps a big hiiter can give some damage

Josh Says:

Nole will def win at least one FO. Nadal will always be the favorite on this surface. Novak’s best hope is for Nadal to get injured, other than that he’ll have to wait.

roy Says:

novak has no injury problems and will play for another 5 years at least. i’d expect him to have a longer career than nadal and maybe play to mid 30s.
i’d be surprised if he never won this title.

metan Says:

Yessss Nole. You can and you will win .
I am feel sorry for him. Just wanted to hug him on the court yesterday. He is one of the great tennis player I ever seen.

Commis to all Nole fans especially COURBON! That was the super tense match I ever watched so far. Sad he couldn’t deliver it. He has suffered from semi actually and honestly from my point of view.

Giles Says:

As long as Rafa wants the FO title he will keep winning, health permitting of course.

Giles Says:

Am sure joker will keep trying and perhaps win it one day. The big question is when. Andy Murray has a great shot at winning the FO as well one day IMO.

WTF Says:

I think people are overrating the impact of fatherhood. In Football (or Soccer as some call it) it is quite common for players to be married with children in their early to mid 20s, younger men than Djokovic. They have no problems juggling practice and family life.

Didn’t Federer win about 5 slam titles after the birth of his first set of twins?

RZ Says:

I don’t think we can write Nole off. Even though it seems like Rafa will win RG forever, he won’t – either because he’ll stop winning, or he’ll retire. Nole is clearly the next in line, and my guess is would play for a few more years than Rafa. But it will be interesting to see how things pan out the next few years and how all the X factors will play out: Will “Generation Next” (Dmitrov, Raonic, Nishikori) make their move at the grand slams? Will Andy Murray improve his clay game? Will Gulbis live up to his potential? All these could affect Djoker’s chances, but I still think he’ll get one in there somehow.

SG1 Says:

Yup. I also think he gets one somewhere in the next few years (unless injury or lack of motivation kick in). There was some key mistakes at big moments that really killed Novak yesterday. I like the mind set of coming forward and vollyeing that he has developed with Becker….trying to keep the points shorter and less physical. The only issue was execution. He missed some easy shots (by Novak’s standards) that really put him up against the wall. In particular, I remember him missing a high backhand volley on what i think was a break point. He was in perfect position and just blew the volley. Against Rafa, on red clay, those mistakes can’t happen. Nadal leaves you with absolutely no room for error mentally. Novak made too many mental errors and the result was a loss.

TennisVagabond.com Says:

WTF, I respectfully disagree. Federer is the exception that proves the rule: find another successful male player after fatherhood.

Tennis requires unbelievable dedication. This is why Safins and Gulbises and Nalbandians can beat anyone, but still have (relatively) unfulfilling careers: they didn’t work as hard as their peers.

I am pessimistic for Novak because he had three years to kick at this can from a really great position and couldn’t do it. After fatherhood, he will not be as dominant as he was. And neither has Federer been, by the way. He went from winning 3 slams a year to grabbing one here and there and he seems done as a champion now even though he has no health issues and seems quite fit and quick.

I’ll be super impressed if we see Novak in Slam finals after his baby comes, but I would not bet on his owning a French Open when he retires.

SG1 Says:

I think Del Potro is the man who will dethrone Rafa next year


It would be a nice story if this were true but given the injury bugs that have plagued DelPo, it’s hard to believe. On paper, DelPo does have the game and the height to irritate Rafa. Being healthy enough to do it for long enough is another matter.

contador Says:

As to Djokovic or anyone other than Rafa winning FO….I am wondering. Weakest clay competition era ever, this. At this rate, I could easily imagine Nadal winning another 2 or 3, maybe 4 FO’s – which would rule out anyone presently in the top ten winning an FO title in their careers. Feeling like Nole has been Rafa’s only real competition on clay. And I don’t see anyone coming up the ranks looking like they can change the hierarchy.

It’s too bad Nishikori’s health is as fragile as it is. Delpo? Too many questions about his health too. Djokovic? This really was the year I’d hoped he would get the FO title: the last year before he and Jelena start the family.

RZ Says:

I think DelPo has a better shot at Wimbledon. He made the semis last year, and got the bronze at the London Olympics. If none of the Big 4 are going to keep their stranglehold on Wimbledon, I think a healthy DelPo is next in line.

gonzalowski Says:

Contador: so for you Federer, Nole, Ferrer are (historically comparising) weak on clay??
never thought of that, but…

contador Says:

In a word, @ gonzalowski, yes – weak clay competition. It is arguable. Just like weak era Federer. Especially, if indeed, Federer ruled the ATP during a weak era, it would follow that Nadal, a clay court specialist to begin with, got the same field of weaklings and has dominated a weak era of clay.

Luck, has got to have something to do with the dominance of both players, plus a weak, intimidated, unmotivated bunch of opponents for Fedal. Not Fedal’s fault; nothing to be done about it but…

Or I am just really cranky with the same two names dominating Men’s tennis. And I am a Federer tennis fan but more of a general tennis fan than a fan of one player. There has been a distinct lack of competition the past decade that I have watched tennis. I don’t consider this a golden age…just my opinion. A golden Age to me would have many more names as winners than two or even four. It has helped to have Novak and Andy but…

Eric W. Says:

contador is absolutely correct that the past 10 years has been a very weak period of clay court specialists. Imagine someone of the caliber of Gustavo Kuerten, or Vilas, or even a healthy Ferrero stepping up to challenge Nadal during that stretch. The nine titles would be reduced to three or four. Federer can’t hang with him on clay because of the high bounce to his 1HBH, and Nole is too mentally fragile even though he should have at least two or three titles by now. So that’s a big factor in the King of Clay’s dominance…

jamie Says:

Well, in 2015 there will be a new Roland Garros champ but he will NOT be Djokovic..

His name is Del Potro.

Poor Djokovic….

Eric W. Says:

Could be Del Potro, but my pick for next year is Ernests Gulbis. Forget about Raonic, Dimitrov or talented but frail Kei — Gulbis is the real deal among the younger folk. Especially now that he’s committed to tennis and believes in himself against the top dogs…

gonzalowski Says:

Guga or Ferrero beating Rafa at RG? ahead of Nole? I don’t think so…
19 years old Nadal was chosen for Davis cup ahead of Ferrero; he beat Rafa at Rome, but Rafa being injured.

I don’t know past champions like Vilas, Lendl…

Goatexpert Says:

Ferrero? No chance. Guga? I think at his peak, Guga could have beaten Nadal at Clay. Guga was the ultimate clay courter – and a bit taller than Fed. Fed came close a few times, Guga was a better clay courter than even Fed, he would have beaten Nadal a couple of times. though his one-handed backhand would have been a liability. Same for Lendl.

FedExpress Says:

Coria was good at clay and nearly beat him at ROme 05 carlo (???), bageled him in the final of monte carlo in his four set loss.

Had he won the French open 04, we could have seen a real challenger for nadal

i still feel for cora, he served for the championship against gaudio several times and had two MPs and he one nearly made it. So sad, was never the same player after that. Only real champions can rebound after such kind of losses. Coria wasnt.

FedExpress Says:

Coria was good at clay and nearly beat nadal at Rome 05 (after being double break up ind the fifth set and having also game point he lost in the tie breaker), bageled him also in the final of monte carlo in his four set loss.

Had he won the French open 04, we could have seen a real challenger for nadal

i still feel for cora, he served for the championship against gaudio several times and had two MPs and he one nearly made it. So sad, was never the same player after that. Only real champions can rebound after such kind of losses. Coria wasnt.

the service yips destroyed it all, the match against ginepri at US open 05 where he double faulted to concede the match after having saved MPs was so dramatic

jonathan Says:

Nadal was but just 17 in Rome 05.

Until Gulbis shows consistency over a year or more, it is hard to believe he is no more than the next Safin.

He hasn’t shown the mentality or maturity required of a true champion.

This recent pocket of success is all novel to him but I fear the novelty will soon wear off just like a common dieter who loses weight but cannot keep it off.

No, the best bet to knock Nadal off his RG perch continues to be Djokovic and I believe he will do it eventually directly or indirectly as he has better longer term prospects in terms of health.

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