Rafael Nadal Roland Garros 2021

Rafael Nadal ‘won’t look at Novak Djokovic position’ ahead of French Open, says top analyst

Alex Corretja believes Rafael Nadal will feel “fresh and ready to go” for the clay-court season – and he won’t be bothered by whether or not Novak Djokovic is able to play.

Now 21-time Grand Slam champion Nadal shocked the world when he came from two sets behind against US Open victor Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final.

After a near six-month-long absence with a chronic foot injury, Nadal returned in memorable and historic fashion as he stormed to a record-shattering 21st Grand Slam title.

All three of Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were tied on 20 Slam wins apiece, but with Federer missing out through injury and Djokovic being deported, Nadal made history at this year’s ‘Happy Slam.’

Producing another big clay season may be made easier if Djokovic’s vaccination woes continue to prevent him from entering tournaments.

However, speaking to Eurosport, Corretja said Nadal will be feeling in much too confident a mood to be too concerned by what is going on with Djokovic at the moment.

“After he won in Australia I think Rafa is in the mood, he’s feeling so fresh and so ready to go and enter the clay-court season,” Corretja told Eurosport.

“He’s someone with a lot of power, a lot of confidence. I don’t think he’s going to look at Novak’s position, because he knows that on clay he’s the toughest guy to beat.

“Of course if Novak plays or not, there are consequences. There are consequences in the draw, there are consequences when you enter the tournament.

“But I think they (Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) are so good that they really need to focus on themselves. And then see what the others decide. But neither of them need to look across at the other, or whether Roger [Federer] is back or not,” the Spanish analyst claimed.

“The most important thing for tennis is that all of them are playing. But of course, there are some other issues in the world that are impacting the situation. Hopefully all of them will be playing,” Corretja concluded.

Nadal will return to action for the first time since his Australian Open triumph at the Mexican Open in Acapulco. Meanwhile, Djokovic will makes his first appearance of the year at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

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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.