Djokovic ‘big favourite’ to beat Nadal to GOAT status, says head coach

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Novak Djokovic ‘big favourite’ to beat Rafael Nadal to GOAT status, says top coach

Patrick Mouratoglou believes the French Open will provide a “key moment” in Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s run to retirement as the greatest player of all time.

While Nadal has the most Grand Slam titles with 21, his rib injury could allow Djokovic to even the tally at the upcoming French Open.

Due to not being vaccinated against Covid-19, Djokovic hasn’t played since the Dubai Championships in February, meaning he is significantly lacking in fitness.

As things stand, Djokovic is allowed to take part in French Open, but that could be reduced if Covid cases start to rise again.

In a social media post, Mouratoglou said: “I think the clay season is going to be amazing! There are so many things at stake.

“If it’s Rafa, he has two more Grand Slams than Novak. If it’s Novak, they’re tied and Novak has a better chance than Rafa on grass. This battle between these two for the number of Grand Slam titles is incredible, so Roland Garros can be a key in this season.

“Novak has the lead for me. He wins more Grand Slams than anyone every year, so he’s the big favorite to win more Grand Slams than anyone.

“But, because of Covid, he hasn’t been able to play most of the year, so he’s missing games. On the other hand, Rafa has gained so much confidence because as Novak wasn’t playing, he won almost everything.

“You had Novak who had a big advantage and with what happened Rafa had the advantage. But Rafa gets injured so he won’t be able to play enough this year. And then it comes down to a balance.

“Will Novak be able to win everything until Rafa comes back from his injury? It would be a game-changer, because then you would have Novak with confidence, ”questioned the Frenchman.

“So that’s a key, what’s going to happen in the next few weeks with Novak will give us a taste of Novak and Rafa’s chances at Roland Garros.”

“I think for Rafa it’s going to be difficult. The fact that he can’t play a lot of tournaments before Roland Garros is going to be a big obstacle.

“If you think of Roland Garros now, it’s the most open [it’s been] for 10 to 15 years,” he said.

“If Novak is able to win a lot between the start of the season on clay and Roland Garros, then it won’t be as open because when Novak is at his peak, even on clay, I think he is the best. world player.”

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