Tennis legend Roger Federer has been the flavor of the season in 2017 so far, boasting off a near-perfect win-loss record of 19-1. With three calendar titles under his belt, the 35-year old has added his record 18th major at the Australian Open in January this year. But despite these strong statistics, the Swiss maestro is not the favorite to win the title at Roland Garros. Federer’s arch nemesis and widely hailed as the ‘King of Clay’ – Rafael Nadal is still the top bet when it comes to the slow surface of Philippe-Chatrier court.
However, former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic believes that the Spaniard is beatable on clay and if one man who can do perform that improbable task it would be none other than former world number one Novak Djokovic. Djokovic's poor form in 2017 doesn’t really impact Croatian Ivanisevic’s thought who still believes that the Serbian star has it in him to outclass Nadal at the second slam of the year.
"Federer has extended his “Big Titles” lead against long-time rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal"
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— C Kristjánsdóttir ? (@CristinaNcl) April 4, 2017
Since completing his Career Slam in 2016 after winning the French Open title beating Andy Murray, the 29-year old Serb has suddenly lost his mojo, which made him the biggest bet in the tennis world in last three or four years. He suffered a third-round loss to American Sam Querrey in Wimbledon 2016, made a shocking first round exit in Rio Olympics and then lost his US Open crown to Stan Wawrinka.
The Serb suffered a second-round upset against wildcard Denis Istomin at his favorite hunting ground in Melbourne Park early this year. He then suffered losses in the Mexican Open and BNP Paribas Open, both came against next gen star Nick Kyrgios. The world number two didn’t participate in the Miami Open due to an elbow injury. But, the only wild card to win at Wimbledon – Ivanisevic still believes Djoko only needs one or two good results to regain his old form.
"It's difficult for me to comment," Ivanisevic said, as quoted on TennisWorldUSA. "Only Novak knows what's happening in his head, and only he can refind himself because he is a great tennis player. He needs one or two good results to come back where he belongs too."
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) April 7, 2017
Recently, the Serb has made a positive start after recovering from his elbow injury as he helped Serbia to register an easy win over Spain in Davis Cup group one ties. Interestingly, Djokovic has defeated Nadal in their last three meetings on clay. Despite an ordinary start of 2017 for Novak, the 45-year old Croatian is confident about Djokovic's future.
"Nadal will be the favorite at Roland Garros, but the only one who can stop him is Novak Djokovic!" he added. "[Roger] Federer won't play a lot of tournaments on this surface, Maria [Sharapova] is about to come back, there will be many younger players and so it will be interesting."