Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

“I am sure Djokovic will be ready” claims top analyst

Former world number two Alex Corretja has claimed that Novak Djokovic “needs time” to return to his best form and fitness, but has stated that the Serb “will be ready” for his French Open defense in May.

Novak Djokovic has had a turbulent season so far in 2022, with the world number one being forced to miss out on both the Australian Open and the ‘Sunshine Double’ events in the United States last month due to his vaccination status.

He returned last week to play his first match in 47 days at the Monte Carlo Masters, however he was dumped out of the tournament by eventual-finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round.

With the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in France and Europe and Djokovic finally claiming his first win on clay this year with a battling win over Laslo Djere at the Serbia Open, things are beginning to look up for the 20-time Grand Slam winner.

Despite Djokovic’s difficult last few months, two-time French Open runner up Alex Corretja has claimed that with more match practice, the Serbian will be a contender in Paris but needs more time for to become accustomed to the red dirt.

Corretja said in a recent interview, “Novak, like everybody else, needs time. He needs to be patient because he hasn’t played for such a long time.

“And even if he was not injured, he’s [got a] lack of rhythm, he needs to play matches, he needs to be in those sorts of moments when you are break point down and you know how to serve in that moment.

“These situations when you don’t play, you miss these moments when you have everything automatic – all of a sudden you need to think again.

“So I think he will need matches, he will need to get through those kind of moments and rallies where he will feel like his heart is going out of his mouth [chest], but he will need to recover from that.

“I think physically he needs to make a big effort, your legs need to be stronger on clay, they need to get bigger because you need to slide from side-to-side.

“You need to play rallies maybe of 30 to 40 shots and you need to recover from that. So I think he will need to play at least maybe 10 or 12 matches before Roland Garros to really be ready and feel like he’s going to be one of the contenders.

“I’m sure that by the time Paris comes, Novak will be ready for that.”

Corretja also made reference to his deportation from Australia with the Spaniard believing that this would have taken an emotional toll on the nine-time Australian Open champion.

“We need to understand he’s been through so much pressure in the last months for many issues and it’s not easy for him to deal with all those situations.”

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