Tennis legend Serena Williams’ former coach Patrick Mourtaglou believes injuries of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal put them in a ‘strange situation’ ahead of the 2023 French Open. The 22-time Grand Slam winners are recovering from injuries owing to which they opted out of the ongoing Madrid Open. Though they are expected to make a comeback for the Clay Major, their injuries and not having a match rhythm may hamper their game.
Rafael Nadal sustained abdominal injury during this year’s Australian Open and since then, he has not played in any tournaments. On the other hand, Djokovic has been dealing with an elbow injury which saw him producing less effective performances in the tournaments he has played so far.
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“The fact that Novak, for the moment is not finding his tennis, is a little bit injured, the fact that Rafa is now injured for a long time and was supposed to come back to play these clay court tournaments before Roland-Garros and he is not able to play them, puts the two biggest players and the two best, probably of all time and the ones who are dominating so much on clay, in a very strange and unique situation and it opens the field to many others. So that’s why, first it’s as open as it can be,” Mouratoglou said on Instagram.
He then further named those players who are favorites to win the titles on clay. The likes of Carlos Alcaraz, Andrey Rublev, and Holger Rune are the contenders to lift the Roland-Garros, the French coach believes.
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Will Novak Djokovic play in the 2023 US Open?
Novak Djokovic couldn’t participate in the Sunshine Double owing to his unvaccinated status. The US government has previously banned foreigners from entering the country without getting the vaccine against COVID-19.
However, the White House announced on May 1 that the strict protocol will be lifted on May 11, meaning the Serb will now be able to mark his return to eye for his fourth US Open title at Flushing Meadows. Djokovic missed last year’s US Open due to the same reason.
The 35-year-old has so far won two titles this season, both in Australia (Adelaide International and Australian Open).
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