Rafael Nadal French Open claim involving Novak Djokovic made by Lucas Pouille | Tennis | Sport


Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the Australian Open final in January but Lucas Pouille, who lost to the Serbian in the last four, thinks the Spaniard will beat him in France.

Nadal hadn’t dropped a set before that Djokovic clash, but was comfortably beaten in just 124 minutes against his old rival.

Pouille, 24, who reached his first Grand Slam semi-final last month, reckons that Nadal will go on to claim an eleventh French Open title in June.

“Nadal stays Nadal at the French Open. He is at home. On clay, [Djokovic] is just behind Nadal to me,” Pouille told French outlet Le Figaro.

Despite predicting Djokovic will fall short at Roland Garros, Pouille still offered major praise to the world No 1 after losing to the Serbian in straight sets.

“Just after the match, there was disappointment,” Pouille said.

“But there was nothing to do. Djokovic was above all the others.

“He hit just 14 unforced errors between the semi-final and final.

“It’s just unbelievable. I had never seen him performing at that level.”

Nadal will go into the French Open as the favourite to win the title after winning it 11 times to date.

The 32-year-old revealed after the Australian Open that he is hoping to be performing better than ever by the time the next Grand Slam begins.

“I can only say one thing. I am going to keep working hard and fighting to be better,” Nadal said.

“I have been trying a long time and sometimes this tournament has been tough for me.

“I want to keep fighting and practicing and putting all the things the better to give myself better chances in the future.”

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