Novak Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic, has backed the Serb as the overwhelming favourite to clinch this year’s Wimbledon title following his defeat at the hands of eventual champion Rafael Nadal at the French Open. Djokovic was beaten in four sets by the Spaniard in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros before the latter went on to lift the coveted trophy for a record-breaking 14th time with a straight-sets victory over Casper Ruud in Sunday’s all-important final.
Djokovic often fares better on grass than he does on clay, though, and will be hoping to respond by claiming the top prize at Wimbledon once the action gets underway at the end of this month. Ivanisevic is backing the 35-year-old to deliver the goods in SW19 and believes that he will have the edge over Nadal on his favoured surface over the course of this year’s tournament.
“Of course he can [recover quickly], and he does not have much of a choice, if we are being honest,” Ivanisevic told Tennis Majors when quizzed on Djokovic’s hopes of glory at the All England Club.
“He is the biggest favourite at Wimbledon, just like Rafa was here. Novak now needs to rest well and prepare for Wimbledon physically and mentally.
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“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.”
When asked if Djokovic will take part in any warm-up events in the weeks leading up to Wimbledon, Ivanisevic added: “Most probably not, we will see, but now the key thing for him is to recover mentally.
“As I have said in the past, Novak is a genius with a different mindset than most of us. Even though he needs less time than most to come back and to figure some things out, he still needs to do it.
“He has overcome tough losses in the past, and I am completely certain that he will be ready for Wimbledon.”
Djokovic came close to beating Nadal in the last eight at the French Open but ultimately came up short despite a spirited effort and was visibly frustrated throughout the contest under the lights at Roland Garros. Ivanisevic went on to reveal that he is yet to speak with Djokovic about what happened over the course of the match but admitted that he felt the Serb’s negative outlook played a major role in deciding the result.
“It was not a perfect match from either side,” said Ivanisevic. “Rafa did not play a spectacular match, but the body language decided, from the first point until the last, Rafa’s body language and Novak’s body language.
“Everyone noticed. 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, but that is just good old ‘what if’.”
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