Crowned for the fourteenth time at Roland-Garros, Rafael Nadal did not have an easy journey to final victory, he who notably faced Novak Djokovic in the quarters. In the Serbian team, the result of the meeting is still difficult to pass as recognized by Goran Ivanisevic, coach of the future ex-world number 1.
He did it. Despite a worrying physical condition and increasingly pressing rumors about his retirement, Rafael Nadal managed to win a 14th Roland Garros on Parisian clay. The Spaniard did not tremble against casper Ruud (6-3, 6-3, 6-0) on Sunday, logically winning in a one-sided match, but before that, Raphael Nadal showed more difficulty against Felix Auger Aliassime (3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3), Novak Djokovic (6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 ) then alexander Zverev, forced to retire while the German managed to stand up to the master of the place (7-6, 6-6). The latter can have big regrets, just like Novak Djokovic, far from his best level this evening of May 31 on the Philippe-Chatrier court. In the entourage of the Serb, this defeat is still difficult to pass as recognized by his coach.
“It was as if Novak lacked energy and as if he did not believe enough that he could win”
In remarks given to Tennis Majors, goran Ivanisevic does not hide his bitterness when he thinks back to the career of his protege. ” I have to be brutally honest to begin with – I’m in a slump and can’t sleep, admits the coach Novak Djokovic. I can’t say I’m disappointed, but I’m sad. It was not a perfect match on either side. Rafa didn’t play a spectacular match, but it was the body language that decided, from the first point to the last: Rafa’s body language and Novak’s body language. I warned him, I even told you (the journalists) that the start of the match could be decisive, but again, a bad start… And then, after the turnaround in the second set, it the way he played the third set is incomprehensible. It was as if he lacked energy and as if he didn’t believe enough that he could win. You can’t afford that against Rafa because it’s his tournament. » The attitude on the court of Novak Djokovic actually surprised him, who sometimes seemed to have his head elsewhere, allowing Raphael Nadal to believe in his chances until the end, an element still inexplicable for Ivanisevic : “ Everyone noticed it. I don’t know, we haven’t spoken yet. That’s why this game disturbs me so much, I can’t sleep. What would have happened if he had won the fourth set, no one knows, but it’s just a good old “what if”. He had two set points: the first was an easy backhand unforced error, the second he approached the net with the ball in the middle of the court, and Rafa passed him. Maybe it would have been different, maybe not, but I still don’t understand the body language and the lack of energy. Novak had too many ups and downs, while Rafa was consistent and he absolutely deserved to win this game.»
“It is totally absurd to say that Novak preferred to play the game at night”
Otherwise, goran Ivanisevic wished to recall the particular conditions in which this 4h12 long clash of the titans took place, disputed in night session. A decision that had caused controversy, nevertheless placing Novak Djokovic as the big favorite of the match in the eyes of the specialists due to the higher humidity, disrupting the game of Nadal. ” It is totally absurd to say that Novak preferred to play the match at nightchallenge Ivanisevic in his interview with Tennis Majors. If we go back two years, Nadal won Roland-Garros in October when the temperature was ten degrees. People were saying that Novak was the favorite in the evening, but there was no basis for that, I even think the night game suited Rafa. Because Novak needs to focus on himself. We were like ‘oh, Rafa’s ball is not going to bounce (high)’, but Novak’s ball wasn’t as effective either. Novak likes it when the weather is warmer, because he can get more points with his serve and because his ball moves faster continues the coach of Djokovic. Rafa used what Novak gave him – he’s the king and owner of this court, and he doesn’t allow you to miss, you pay for it immediately. If you look at the semi-final, Zverev played better the whole game before the injury, but he was losing. Like I say, Rafa’s energy was amazing and it’s like Novak doesn’t have enough confidence.»
Tennis: After Roland-Garros, the Djokovic clan announces the color for Wimbledon! https://t.co/43Gbut0C6s pic.twitter.com/35AeOy7GIM
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“The only thing I don’t like and which is really unfair is that the public booed Djokovic”
Seeking a 21st Grand Slam title to match Raphael Nadalwhich is now at 22, Novak Djokovic may have cracked under the pressure, while the Spaniard played at home in front of the Parisian public. A factor of which goran Ivanisevic. “Before the match, I said that 80% of the public would support Nadal, out of respect, but in reality it was 99.9% of the pro-Rafa public. The only thing that I don’t like and that is really unfair is that the public booed Djokovic when he entered the court. I mean, he’s number 1 in the world (for another week, editor’s note) and he’s won 20 Grand Slam titles. There is no reason to do such a thing. Whether you like it or not, you have to respect it. After, encouraging Rafa, of course we knew it was going to be like that adds the Croatian, however refusing to use this element as an excuse to justify the defeat. I don’t know if Novak was bothered by that or not – he learned to deal with that and that can’t be an excuse, in my opinion. ” From now on, Novak Djokovic is expected at Wimbledon to try to retain his title, a tournament he will enter as the favorite for goran Ivanisevic, who does not hesitate to put pressure on the Serb. “ Of course he can win Wimbledon, and he doesn’t really have a choice, if we’re being honest. He is the biggest favorite at Wimbledon, just like Rafa was in Paris. Novak must now rest well and prepare physically and mentally for Wimbledon. I’m sure he can do it and I think he will win Wimbledon, I have a good feeling about that. He has to focus on the grass now.” Waiting, Novak Djokovic should remain discreet and not appear on a court before June 27, the date of the start of Wimbledon. “We’ll see, but the main thing for him is to recover mentally. As I’ve said in the past, Novak is a genius with a different mindset than most of us. Even though he needs less time than most people to come back and figure things out, he still has to. He has overcome tough defeats in the past and I am completely sure he will be ready for Wimbledon.. The appointment is made.