Novak Djokovic is the French Open favourite “in my eyes”, reckons Mats Wilander, who also think the Serbian “can play until he’s 40”.
That was the three-time French Open champion’s view as he assessed Djokovic’s prospects at the 2023 French Open in conversation with Tim Henman and Barbara Schett on Eurosport’s ‘The Cube’.
The pair are forecast to face off in the semi-finals, and Wilander thinks the Serbian can make life difficult for the much-fancied Alcaraz.
“I think if Alcaraz plays his best tennis, I think that it would be very difficult for anyone to beat him,” Wilander said.
“But you have to make him play worse, and I think Novak Djokovic is one of the few guys that can actually, somehow, make Alcaraz doubt himself, make Alcaraz come up with unforced errors which he doesn’t do against other players.
“He [Djokovic] is going to get five matches before he runs into Alcaraz – that’s enough practice for Djokovic.
“Yes, it’s uncomfortable because you can be blown off the court by Alcaraz – that’s just the name of the game, that’s being 36 years old against a 20-year-old.
“That’s always been the case but Novak – I think he is the favourite in my eyes.”
Wilander, on site for the tournament, added: “When you talk to Novak, he’s so humble these days.
“I actually think that is the main reason why he is able to keep going, because he does take it day by day.
Novak Djokovic & Carlos Alcaraz
Image credit: Getty Images
“I think he can play until he’s 40 years old, he looks so young and is so fresh.
“He’s keen, he’s motivated – even in interviews with me!”
He said: “He doesn’t have to beat him [Nadal] now. It’s a great opportunity.
“Djokovic’s clay-court form is completely irrelevant coming into this event.
“Best-of-five set matches over two weeks here at Roland-Garros, he’s won before, I certainly have him down as one of the favourites.”
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Source: Euro Sports