Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic to be on ‘revenge mission’ at Roland Garros, says Mats Wilander

Grand Slam legend Mats Wilander says Novak Djokovic is the favourite this month’s Roland Garros as he suggested the world number one is out for “revenge.”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion is coming off an historic week where he beat Stefanos Tsitipas 6-0, 7-6(5) to capture his sixth Rome title in his 1001st match win.

The Serbian became the fifth man in the Open Era to earn 1,000 match wins when he defeated Casper Ruud in the semi-finals and he backed that up with a hard-fought display against Tsitsipas to win his first title of the season.

Djokovic put on an impressive display in front of a full house at the Foro Italico as he outplayed the Greek in the first set, before he showcased his typical grit and determination in the second set, rallying from 1-4 down to become the oldest Rome champion at 34 years, 11 months and 23 days.

It was a big win for the two-time French Open champion, who has had a turbulent start to the season following his deportation from Australia and being banned to play at the Sunshine Double events due to his vaccination status.

Discussing Djokovic’s season so far and his title credentials for Roland Garros next week, former world number one Mats Wilander has stated that Djokovic is the favourite for the title, with the events in Australia earlier in the season giving him extra motivation.

Speaking exclusively to Marca, when asked who he thinks is favourite for the French Open, the Swede told reporters, “For many reasons I have to say Novak [Djokovic]. First because he has just won Rome and that will give him confidence.

“Then because I think he has a feeling of revenge within him after everything that has happened to him in recent months… with him not being able to play the Australian Open.

“He is the defender of the crown. He has proven to himself that he can play long matches again despite the loss to Alcaraz in Madrid.

“In Monte Carlo he gave a bad impression at the end of his match with Davidovich, he looked tired. He is better now and he appears to be. He is the favourite in Paris.”

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