Rafael Nadal - Roland Garros 2022

Rafael Nadal ‘still’ the Roland Garros favourite claims Novak Djokovic’s former coach

Rafael Nadal has been tipped as the favourite for a 15th Roland Garros title by Novak Djokovic’s former coach, and six-time Grand Slam singles champion, Boris Becker.

When questioned about his former pupils goals, Becker suggested that Djokovic is mostly focussed on the majors, “I think he [Djokovic] wants to win the 23rd major of his career, which would be the record. The next major is Roland Garros where, in my eyes, the favourite still is Rafael Nadal.”

Becker added, “But Novak is on his heels. So let’s see what these two great champions will deliver for us.”

Nadal has been out of action since the Australian Open, recovering from a ‘grade two tear to the iliopsoas muscle’, and has only recently been seen practicing on a tennis court again.

However, the Spaniard was training on clay and fans have assumed that he will be skipping the sunshine double to solely focus on his preferred part of the season in the build-up to defending the Roland Garros title.

If Nadal does miss Indian Wells and Miami, it will confirm that the 36-year-old will fall outside of the ATP top 10 for the first time since 2005, ending his record run that currently stands at 910 weeks.

Becker, who is a former No.1, also spoke about the legacy of the ‘big three’, Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer, “They have a following that goes way beyond their respective countries – Serbia, Spain and Switzerland.”

“The impact that they have on Tennis is huge. We will only truly understand how big they are once they all retire.”

He continued, “I hope that Novak and Rafa will play for another year or two because we will benefit from that. They are not only tennis icons, they are not only sports icons, they are cultural icons.”

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.