Novak Djokovic Wimbledon 2021

Novak Djokovic ‘under huge pressure’ to win Wimbledon if Rafael Nadal wins French Open, legendary coach claims

With Rafael Nadal one of the favourites to win the French Open, Patrick Mouratoglou thinks Novak Djokovic will “feel like he has to win Wimbledon” should Nadal win a 22nd Grand Slam title.

After a shockingly successful return from a six-month-long injury lay-off, 21-time Grand Slam champion Nadal defied expectations and went 20-1 for the new season.

After winning the Melbourne Summer Set, the Australian Open and the Mexican Open, Nadal then reached the final of the Indian Wells Masters.

However, Nadal succumbed to a straight set defeat to Taylor Fritz as he was blighted by a rib injury which heavily impacted his breathing.

Nadal was set to miss the Miami Open regardless, but will now miss both clay-court Masters events in the Monte Carlo and Madrid Masters after being side-lined for four to six weeks. Although he should recover in time for the French Open.

Meanwhile, 20-time Grand Slam great Djokovic has only featured once so far this season as a consequence of his choice to remain unvaccinated.

Similarly, Swiss maestro Federer will be absent for both Roland Garros and Wimbledon as he begins to step up his recovery from a third knee surgery.

In a video detailing the race to become the most successful male player of all time, Mouratoglou said “Roger’s last Grand Slam title was back in 2017.

“He has played only three tournaments in the last two years and has already announced that he won’t play Wimbledon this year. He will most probably stay stuck at 20 Grand Slam titles.

“Until this last Australian Open, Novak Djokovic was by far in the pole position. He is the youngest of the three, he won an average of two Grand Slam titles per year over the last four seasons.

“He can easily play three to four more years as he is in a great physical condition. That could take him to 25 or 30 Grand Slam titles,” the French coach claimed.

“But since the Australian Open, Rafa is back to a comfortable position. He is leading in the number of Grand Slam titles with 21, one more than Novak and Roger.

“The next Grand Slam will be Roland Garros and Rafa has won seven out of the last 10 French Opens.

“It’s still unclear if Novak will be playing in Paris. If Rafa wins the French [Open], Novak will be under high pressure at Wimbledon as he will feel that he has to win it,” Mouratoglou believes.

“The emergence of the new generation of players led by Medvedev, Zverev, and Tsitsipas also threatens Novak’s quest as he lost to Medvedev in the last US Open final.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.