Novak Djokovic reacts to his recent media coverage
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Novak Djokovic has been warned he could be under “high pressure” by the time Wimbledon comes around this summer. Following the explosive visa saga which culminated in him missing the Australian Open, Djokovic was forced to sit back and watch as Rafael Nadal completed a remarkable triumph in Melbourne, beating the Serbian to an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam title in the process.
Nadal, 35, has since continued his good form down under, winning the Mexican Open, and he also reached the final at Indian Wells before being beaten by Taylor Fritz. In May, he will inevitably start as the overwhelming favourite to win the French Open at Roland Garros, a Slam he’s camptured 13 times before.
That would leave Djokovic, who has made no secret of his desire to go retire having won more Grand Slams than any other player, two behind his rival. He’s currently tied with another iconic player, Roger Federer, on 20.
And now legendary French tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou has warned the Serbian, 34, that he could face a do or die situation at SW19 this year if he’s to catch Nadal. Mouratoglou, who as well as Serena Williams works with the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Coco Gauff, also thinks the emergence of a new generation could scupper Djokovic.
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“Since the Australian Open, Rafa is back to a comfortable position [in the Grand Slam table],” he said, as quoted by essentiallysports.com. “He is leading in the number of Grand Slam titles with 21, one more than Novak and Roger.
“The next Grand Slam will be Roland-Garros and Rafa has won seven out of the last 10 French Opens. It’s still unclear if Novak [he remains unvaccinated against Covid-19] will be playing in Paris. If Rafa wins the French, Novak will be under high pressure at Wimbledon as he will feel that he has to win it.”
He added: “The emergence of new generation of players led by Medvedev, Zverev, and Tsitsipas also threatens Novak’s quest as he lost to Medvedev in the last US Open final.” What will be of further concern to the former world No 1 is his current lack of match practice.
Despite returning to action in Dubai in February, Djokovic has since had to withdraw from events in Miami and Indian Wells due to vaccination rules. He is however, set to play in France after the country relaxed its rules on Covid passports for sporting events.
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