Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

McEnroe ‘leaning towards’ Novak Djokovic despite Rafael Nadal being ‘the favourite’ for French Open

Former French Doubles champion Patrick McEnroe has claimed that despite Rafael Nadal being “the favourite” for the French Open title, he “is leaning towards” Novak Djokovic to win in Paris.

The two Grand Slam greats have endured polar opposite starts to the season. Rafael Nadal had a scintillating start to the season, in fact after going 20-0 before losing in the final of the Indian Wells Masters, it was his best start to a season he has ever had.

However his red hot form was brought to a halt as he suffered a cracked rib at the Indian Wells Masters which kept him out for 6 weeks.

Nadal made his return at the Madrid Open earlier this month where he reached the last eight and then was knocked out of the last 16 at the Rome Open last week after his long-standing foot injury flared up again during the match.

It was the first time since 2004 that the ‘King of Clay’ had not won a clay court title before entering Roland Garros, therefore raising concerns over his potential fitness and form going into the French Open.

Alternatively, Djokovic, who was forced to miss the first quarter of the 2022 season due to his vaccination status, is coming into form as he reached the semi-final of the Madrid Open and won a record-extending 38th Masters 1000 title at the Italian Open last week.

Discussing who is the leading contender for Roland Garros, former US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe admitted it is a close call between the two Grand Slam legends, but believes that Djokovic has the edge and will defend his 2021 crown.

In a recent interview, the former doubles specialist told reporters, “Normally I would say Nadal is the favourite. Djokovic got him at the French last year, but I still think he (Nadal)’s the favourite, all things being equal.

“But, I think, I’m leaning towards Djokovic at the moment despite the fact that [Carlos] Alcaraz got him in Madrid. Altitude there, the ball jumping a little bit more, and Novak’s starting to find his range. Right now, I’m going Djokovic as the slight favourite.”

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