Rafael Nadal says he does not fear Novak Djokovic’s challenge to his French Open crown any more than usual, despite the world No.1’s incredible run of form.
Djokovic defeated Nadal in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters before beating Tomas Berdych in Sunday’s final, yet the Spaniard says the threat is no different to what he has faced before at Roland Garros, where he is the nine-time champion.
“Djokovic was good in 2011, in 2012, in 2013 as well as in 2015,” Nadal said. “Sometimes you win more and some you win less. It’s difficult to win everything all the time.
“Djokovic was good then in 2011 as he is now. He had an impeccable year in 2011 as well as he is having in 2015. I have to congratulate him.
“The rest of the players have to accept that at the moment he is the world No.1 with all he has achieved this year.”
Djokovic’s 17-game winning streak has further cemented his position at the top of the men’s rankings and the ease with which he breezed past Nadal on the Monte Carlo clay has cast doubts on the Spaniard’s ability to keep hold of the title which he last surrendered in 2009.
But Nadal, who has had a mixed start to the season, is working to rediscover his top form as he readjusts to his favoured surface.