“Never Seen Rafa so Powerless”: Novak Djokovic’s Coach Reflects on Rafael Nadal Clash at French Open 2021

Published 06/15/2021, 9:32 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 07: Novak Djokovic of Serbia looks on during a practice session ahead of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 07, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)


Novak Djokovic won the men’s singles final at the French Open 2021 and secured his 19th Grand Slam title, which leaves him one behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. His coach, Goran Ivanisevic, has suggested that the Serb could complete the calendar Grand Slam.

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Including the Australian Open earlier this year, the Djoker has already won two Grand Slam titles this year.

Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

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Djoker’s performance at the French Open

The World No.1 got a rather tough draw at the French Open. With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in his half of the draw, Djokovic had to work hard. However, his coach was of a different opinion when it came to the draw.

The Croat preferred to have Rafael Nadal in his half of the draw.

I was saying for some time that I think it would be easier for Novak to play Nadal in the semi-finals. The match started almost identically to last year’s final, but this time it was like if Novak reset himself when he was 0-5 down in the first set.

“He nearly clawed his way back into that set and I knew that we were going to see a very different match going forward. What happened in the second, third and fourth set… I have never seen Rafa so powerless at Roland-Garros. I feel like Novak could have won the third set sooner, but overall, his tennis was perfect,” said Ivanisevic in an interview with TennisMajors.

What is a Calendar Year Grand Slam and how can Novak Djokovic claim it?

When a player wins all four Major in a year, he or she wins the Calendar Year Grand Slam. The player can also claim a Golden Grand Slam if he or she wins the Olympic Games’ singles Godl Medal in that year.

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Novak Djokovic will have to take one step at a time, with the Wimbledon Championships beginning later this month. The Serb has a big chance of completing the Golden Grand Slam, as the Tokyo Olympics get underway next month.

This title is only going to make him more motivated. It was a long time ago when I said that Djokovic is the only player who can achieve a calendar year Grand Slam: will that happen or not, God knows, but if someone can do it, it is Novak,” said Goran Ivanisevic.

No one can match the grit and hunger that Djokovic possesses. His will to stay at the top and be World No.1 makes him such a strong character. He will be looking to complete his 20th Grand Slam title at the Wimbledon Championships, which begins later this month.

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Should he successfully defend his title there, his confidence to get all the major titles in his kitty will only grow.

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Suchit Halder

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