Lucas Pouille saw first-hand what Novak Djokovic is capable of but he reckons Rafael Nadal will still edge him at Roland-Garros.
Speaking to the French daily, Le Figaro, Pouille said he hasn’t seen Djokovic play at the levels he did at the Australian Open last week but that wasn’t enough for him to go past Nadal at the French Open.
Djokovic won his 15th Grand Slam title by beating Pouille in the semi-finals and then relegated Nadal to his first ever straight-set defeat in a majors final. His clinical nature of victory and the fact that he’s now won three Grand Slam titles in a row since bowing out early at the previous year’s French Open means there have been talks of the Serb going into the second major of the year as popular choice to stop Nadal.
Nadal still remains a bookmakers’ favourite too, but Djokovic looks to have edged closer and has had many fans putting their money on him to stop the Spaniard from making it another title on clay.
Pouille disagrees. He said, while he was amazed at the way Djokovic dropped just 14 unforced errors across those two final matches he played at the Australian, Nadal would remain a favourite.
Praising the world number one, Pouille said:
“Just after the match, there was a disappointment. But there was nothing to do. Djokovic was above all the others. He just hit 14 unforced errors between the semifinal and final, it’s just unbelievable. I had never seen him performing at that level.”
However, he also added:
“Nadal stays Nadal at the French Open. He is at home. On clay, he (Djokovic) is just behind Nadal to me.”
Djokovic will be gunning to become the first ever man to win two titles at each of the four Grand Slams, after Nadal had his chance to do just that at the Australian Open.