Novak Djokovic has times where he looks ‘totally out of it’, according to pundit Patrick McEnroe. The Serb goes into his French Open tie with Stefanos Tsitsipas undefeated in full 2020 matches. And he’ll be eager to make it through to the final as he goes in search of a first-ever Roland Garros triumph.
Djokovic has won a glittering 17 Grand Slams throughout his career, with only Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal picking up more.
The Serb has enjoyed a fine French Open campaign so far, dropping just a single set on his way to the last four of the competition.
Djokovic hasn’t tasted defeat in a single full match this year. He would likely have won the US Open but was disqualified after accidentally hitting a ball at a line judge.
And, speaking ahead of Djokovic’s clash with Tsitsipas on Friday, McEnroe expressed a belief he was near unbeatable but ‘has moments where looks totally out of it.’
“It’s hard to see anything,” he told ESPN when asked if Djokovic had any weaknesses to exploit.
“But Novak does go through these periods when he looks totally out of it. I don’t know if it’s real, or just in his head.
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“There are also the minor injuries he seems prey to. But Tsitsipas can’t even look at that.
“He has to focus on playing an unbelievable, all-court match. He has beaten all the top guys, so he’s not intimidated by Novak.”
McEnroe does admit, however, that Tsitsipas’ athleticism could cause Djokovic issues on the court.
“Stefanos has enough athleticism and variation in his game to give Djokovic trouble,” he said.
“He has taken all the right steps to reach the next level.
“He came into the French Open off two very tough losses in the US Open and in the Hamburg final.
“Some young guys would have gone into a tailspin after both of those losses, but he didn’t. He looks determined.
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“I would be less surprised if Djokovic lost than if Nadal did.”
Meanwhile, speaking before the semi-finals, Rafael Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya expressed a belief that the current conditions in France suit Djokovic more than the Spaniard.
“Novak is playing at a great level,” he said.
“He played a very hard game against Karen Khachanov and he solved it quite well.
“He is a great player and I think that it is the player who benefits most from all these conditions of this Roland Garros.
“We are concentrating on our work for the semi-finals and if the moment arrives to face Djokovic it means that Rafa is in the final and that Djokovic has won his two matches. Nole has a complicated match today with Pablo Carreno so little by little.”
Moya also previewed Nadal’s showdown with Diego Schwartzman, adding: “It will be a very difficult duel as we saw in Rome.
“Diego’s match against Thiem yesterday was incredible and I think even Diego could have won more easily. It is true that he could also lose the match. A totally dramatic and very emotional match.
“The players have two days off to recover, but I always say that a Grand Slam is like a marathon.
“The less hours you are competing the better to face the final sprint.
“Even so, Diego is an incredible player and we don’t think that the physical factor is going to influence too much.”
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