Novak Djokovic tipped as ‘ biggest favourite’ for Wimbledon despite ‘troubling’ French Open

Novak Djokovic was beaten in the French Open quarter-finals by his great rival Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic has been tipped to recover from his defeat to Rafael Nadal in the French Open quarter-finals and has been named as the “biggest favourite” for Wimbledon by his coach Goran Ivanisevic.

Djokovic’s defence of his French Open title was ended by Nadal in an epic quarter-final match on Court Philippe-Chatrier that did not finish until after 1am local time and left Ivanisevic, the 2001 Wimbledon champion, unable to sleep.

The Croatian said he had been left “troubled” by Djokovic’s body language and lack of energy in the four-set defeat, in which the Serbian failed to capitalise on the momentum of winning the second set and could not convert two set points in the fourth.

It means Djokovic has now suffered significant defeats at the US Open final, Olympic final and at Roland Garros to go along with the saga over his deportation from Australia since his last grand slam title at Wimbledon last year.

Ivanisevic, though, has backed Djokovic to bounce back at the All England Club, where he is a six-time champion and has won the last three men’s singles titles. “He does not have much of a choice, if we are being honest,” Ivanisevic told Tennis Majors.

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“He is the biggest favourite at Wimbledon, just like Rafa was here [at the French Open]. Novak now needs to rest well and prepare for Wimbledon physically and mentally. I am sure that he can do it and I think he will win Wimbledon, I have a good feeling about that. He needs to focus on grass now.

Nadal went on to win a 14th French Open and move two clear of Djokovic in the all-time grand slam winners list with 22 major titles. But despite Nadal’s success at Roland Garros, Ivanisevic said he could not ignore how poorly he believed Djokovic played in the four-hour epic.

“After the turnaround in the second set, it is incomprehensible the way he played the third set,” Ivanisevic. “It was like he lacked energy and like he did not believe sufficiently that he could win. You cannot allow that to yourself against Rafa, because this is his tournament.

“Everyone noticed [Djokovic’s body language]. I do not know, we have not spoken yet. That is why I am so troubled by this match, I can’t sleep. What would happen had he won the fourth set, nobody knows.

“Maybe it would have been different, maybe it would not, but I still do not 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 that match.”

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