Toni Nadal Confident Novak Djokovic Will Challenge Rafael Nadal for Titles Despite Monte-Carlo and Belgrade Loss

Published 04/29/2021, 12:50 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his second round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


It is indeed a rare sight in tennis to see World No.1 Novak Djokovic on the losing side. Thus, his recent failures in Monte-Carlo and at his home turf in Belgrade have rightfully put his rest of the clay-court swing in question. However, Toni Nadal, ex-coach and uncle of Rafael Nadal, recently insisted that the Serbian will strike back soon.

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The 18-time Grand Slam champion currently has a shocking 3-2 record on clay this year. For the same reason, Djokovic agreed that there is much to work on ahead on the road to Roland Garros.

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Toni Nadal backs Novak Djokovic even after two defeats

Toni Nadal, also the tournament director of Mallorca Championships, reflected on Novak Djokovic’s recent slump on the clay surface. Although he stated that the comeback would be difficult, he is optimistic that the Serbian will make it.

“He [Djokovic] has had two defeats in Monte Carlo and Belgrade and will come with more doubts to the next tournament, but he is one of those players who can make a quick change if he has a good game,” Toni said. (All quotes are translated from Spanish to English via Google Translate).

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his second round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Moreover, the new mentor of Canadian aspirant Felix Auger-Aliassime claimed that Djokovic would continue to be a favorite for titles. Additionally, he called the Belgradian the arch-rival of 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal on clay.

“Maximum rival for Rafael and he will be with those who will fight for the titles,” Toni concluded. Even tennis fans desperately want a French Open 2020 final rematch in 2021.

Seemingly, the rematch will not take place in Madrid as Djokovic has pulled out from the Madrid Open 2021. Instead, he will play the Belgrade 2 tournament in his hometown a week ahead of this year’s French Open.

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What does Djokovic need to do next for Paris preparations?

Djokovic started his 2021 campaign by repeating history in Melbourne Park and winning the Australian Open for a record ninth time. Despite injuries and stringent conditions, he worked through and through to attain the glory yet again.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

The Serbian ace now has to find a way to bring that same Australian mentality on clay. Once he gets in the zone, it will become hard for his opponents to put any ball behind him.

Hopefully, Djokovic will regroup and come up with his best in time for Roland Garros. Let’s see if he gets successful this time around in winning his second French Open title.

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Purav Joshi

1222 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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