Novak Djokovic ‘ready to play 27 sets for 57 hours’ as coach fires Rafael Nadal warning

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Novak Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic has sent a fierce warning to Rafael Nadal, after revealing the Serbian is ready to play ‘27 sets for 57 hours’ in the quarter-final clash at Roland Garros. Djokovic and Nadal headline Tuesday’s French Open billing, as the pair do battle this evening.

Djokovic and Nadal have dominated the Parisian Grand Slam in recent years with the pair winning the last six editions of the event, Nadal having clinched four and Djokovic the other two. The pair faced off in a showstopping semi-final last year, which the Serbian won 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 on the way to his second French Open title.

The world No. 1 will no doubt be hoping for the same outcome this time around, and if the warning from coach Ivanisevic is anything to go by, Djokovic is certainly up for recreating his 2021 win. Ivanisevic told Serbian media: “There are always some new things, tactics. If this doesn’t work, try something else. Of course, there always is. 

I watched the match from last year then ten times from the year before last, and I will watch it tonight, and tomorrow. Yesterday I watched almost the whole match against Felix [Auger Aliassime. There always is, but Novak knows what to do, he is ready for it. If he wants to win, he must be ready to play 27 sets for 57 hours.

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“He was ready for last year, not the year before last, the result was as it was. They are both ready.” It seemed as if Djokovic had already been handed the upper hand before a ball had even been served on Monday, after it was confirmed the pair would face off in the evening session in France, something Nadal had campaigned heavily against.

Despite Nadal’s worries about playing under the lights, coach Ivanisevic believes the 21-time Grand Slam champion can not be taken for granted. He continued: “Although Nadal didn’t want to play in the evening, it doesn’t mean that he will not come out ready like never before.”

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Throughout their successful careers, Nadal and Djokovic have played out many blockbuster clashes down the years and therefore no doubt know each other’s game plan better than any other opponent. With the margins so small between them, Ivanisevic feels getting off to a good start in the match will be key if the Serbian is to come away with victory.

He added: “In my opinion, Nole must start strong. Because if we look at the last two years, two years ago it was 6-0 in the first set, last year 5-0 in two minutes, then 5-3, then 6-3. It’s important how the match starts, he must start concentrating immediately, as little talk as possible, he must focus, spend as little energy as possible, let’s say, not on nonsense, but on talking to me.”

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