Six-time Grand Slam champion from Germany Boris Becker feels that Rafael Nadal is still a favourite to win the French Open even though the Spaniard has suffered injuries over the last few months.
Nadal’s latest hip injury saw him losing in straight sets to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open in January this year.
Nadal is the ‘King of Clay’, having won 14 Roland-Garros titles and several other wins on the clay court in his glittering career. On the other hand, Djokovic, who is level on 22 majors with Nadal after winning his record-extending 10th Australian Open title, has won two French Open trophies and also broke Steffi Graf’s legendary record for weeks spent at world No. 1 spot.
“I personally don’t think Novak is thinking about the golden slam,” Becker told Eurosport. “I think he 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. But Novak is on his heels. So let’s see what these two great champions will deliver for us.”
Speaking about the ‘Big Three’ of tennis — Djokovic, Nadal and the now retired Roger Federer — who have dominated sport for two decades and shared 64 majors between them, Becker said people will see their huge impact only when Nadal and Djokovic retire.
“I think Djokovic, together with Nadal and Federer, are not only sport icons, they are cultural icons. “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.
“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.”