Serbia’s Novak Djokovic might be the only player on the ATP Tour capable of beating an in-form Rafael Nadal at the French Open championships, according to former netter Goran Ivanisevic.

The 2001 Wimbledon Open champion gave his opinion on the current pecking order in men’s tennis entering the clay-court season. Nadal, known by many as the King Of Clay, is still the top favorite to win his 10th Roland Garros title despite not winning any tournament this year. Still, Ivanivesic warned everybody that Djokovic is pretty much in the haunt for a back-to-back French Open crown.

Smashing more clay-court records

The 30-year old Spaniard is aiming to set more records during his clay-court campaign. Next week in Monaco, Nadal will attempt to win his second straight Monte Carlo Masters title and his 10th overall. He’s also set to chase history in the next three tournaments, as he guns for title no.10 in Barcelona, no.5 in Madrid and no.8 in Rome. Rafa’s clay-court season culminates at the Roland Garros, where he tries to end a two-year title drought and capture a 10th crown in the Grand Slam tourney.

Not on Djokovic’s watch

While Nadal is the overwhelming favorite heading into Roland Garros, Ivanisevic isn’t counting out a possible Djokovic revival run over the next 4-5 weeks. The Serbian tennis star has been inconsistent with his form the past 9 months, allowing Andy Murray to catch up and snatch the top of the ATP world ranking at the end of 2016.

Djokovic started his 2017 campaign on a positive note after capturing a title in Qatar last January, but another string of defeats dealt a major blow to his confidence.

The Serb suffered a stunning loss to Uzbekistan’s Dennis Istomin in the second round of Australian Open. His free-fall continued with a back-to-back defeats at the hands of Nick Kyrgios at the Mexican and Indian Wells Open.

Ivanivesic is aware that Djokovic needs more than Serbia’s 4-1 win over Spain in the Davis Cup to put him back in his top form. However, he also understands a player of Novak’s caliber only needs one or two good tournaments to regain momentum.

“Only Novak knows what´s happening in his head, and only he can refind himself because he is a great tennis player.

He needs one or two good results to come back where he belongs too. Nadal will be the favorite at the Roland Garros, but the only one who can stop him is Novak Djokovic!”

The Monte Carlo Masters could serve as the venue for the first Djokovic vs. Nadal match this year. With Roger Federer sitting out until the French Open, the road is much wider for both superstars to set up several showdowns starting on the red dirt of Monaco.

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