Coach Goran Ivanisevic said Novak Djokovic “just wasn’t mentally ready to fight Rafael Nadal” in their 2022 French Open meeting. Last year, Djokovic made the French Open quarterfinal before Nadal handed the Serb a 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6 (4) defeat.
Going into this year’s clay season and French Open, Djokovic is determined to be prepared much better and peak at Roland Garros. “To be honest, I still don’t know what happened there, I still find that match a bit odd.
Novak just wasn’t mentally ready to fight Nadal, who was the better player and deserved to win. So this year, the most important thing is to stay healthy and to prepare really well physically. Of course, our main focus is Roland Garros, he needs to be ready to give it his all there.
He can do it. Nadal is the favorite on clay as long as he can walk, but if Novak is mentally up for it, he can beat anyone,” Ivanisevic told Tennis Majors.
Ivanisevic on Djokovic’s biggest rivals on clay besides Nadal
Nadal hasn’t played since the Australian Open and it is unclear when he will be able to return to action.
But even without Nadal, coach Ivanisevic warns there will be some other players who could potentially pose a threat to Djokovic. “Carlos Alcaraz, first and foremost. (Alexander) Zverev played a terrific Roland-Garros last year until the injury.
(Stefanos) Tsitsipas is there as well, a former finalist. There are a lot of guys hungry for success, who want it badly and believe that they can do it, only to the point where they see that they can’t (laughing). It’s going to be an interesting clay court season, but for us the most important thing is to peak in Paris,” Ivanisevic explained.
Meanwhile, Djokovic was denied participation in Indian Wells and he will also likely miss Miami. If Djokovic gets the red light in Miami as well, he will turn his focus on the Monte Carlo Masters, which starts on April 9th.