“Our main goal is Roland Garros.”

“Our main goal is Roland Garros.”

Novak Djokovic will not be in Indian Wells and most likely not in Miami, the U.S. covid regulations do not allow it, so his mind is already set on the clay tour and in particular at Roland Garros, home of his eternal rival, Rafa Nadal. This is what he has confessed Goran Ivanisevicthe Serb’s coach, who has once again challenged the Spanish tennis player for the Grand Slam on clay.

“Our main goal is Roland Garros. Nadal is the favorite on clay, but if Novak is mentally prepared, he can beat anyone“, said the Croatian tennis player and coach, although more cautious than other years when sending a warning to Rafa.

The tennis player Carlos Alcaraz at a press conference.

Ivanisevic already knows that he cannot play with fire in his statements. He learned the lesson in the 2022 edition of the Grand Slam of brick dust, when he ‘heated up’ the preview of the final by pointing out that Nadal had no chance against Djokovic. before the Spaniard swept the Belgrade native in three sets.

“Last year (Djokovic) was bad in bed 10 days before the tour and he was getting better, but he Wasn’t mentally prepared to face Nadal.who deserved to win. The most important thing this season is to get healthy,” said the man in charge of Novak’s best tennis in the French capital.

The most awaited duel returns, with the ‘intruder’ Alcaraz

Beyond Ivanisevic’s words, the return of one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history. will be a reality in the next clay tour. And is that if Djokovic reinforces the preparation in these weeks of absence due to restrictions covid, Rafa Nadal also does so to return stronger than ever to his favorite stretch of the course after his injury at the Australian Open.

The “breakdown” in the psoas-iliac was worse than expected, so much so that the technical team ruled out the possibility of returning to play on hard court before Monte-Carlo, first stop on clay. Conservative strategy to come back with everything in Pariswhere he still hopes for the fifteenth crown.

Carlos Alcaraz's new shoes.

In this battle appears an intruder, Alcaraz, a tennis player who also did not fall short last season in terms of titles on the clay surface and who is only looking at the ATP number one. Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona and Madrid were his conquests in 2022 on clay, Roland Garros was left for the ‘seniors’, but this year the young man from El Palmar will not go out to speculate.

There, the pupil of Juan Carlos Ferrero could land as world number one, provided he takes advantage of the opportunity he will enjoy in the first two Masters 1000 of the year to overtake ‘Nole’ and keep the position in the carousel of tournaments ahead: Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.

Kayleigh Williams