Tennis legend Chris Evert has not held back in her verdict on who should be hailed as the favorite to win the French Open, saying that Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal cannot be considered favourites.
By A Eurosport 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Carlos Alcaraz insists he deserves credit for lifting his first title at Roland-Garros later this month.
Accepting her comments, Evert argued that the evidence presented in court against tennis legends Djokovic and Nadal – who each hold 22 major titles in the tournament – was Alcaraz’s. Strong favorite to win in Paris.
«When I look at Novak and Rafa, there are question marks about their health,» Evert said.
“These two have been great clay court players for the past few years, but as they get older, they’re going to hurt a little bit and we don’t know what their shape will be.
“So I think Alcaraz is nominated for this title at the French Open.
“Like everyone else, I’m jumping with Carlos because we haven’t seen a player with so much passion and so much hunger in a long time.
«The guy has it all; the athleticism, the skill, he knows defense, he knows offense and he has no weaknesses.
«For me, if he himself is healthy and hungry, I think the title is his (in Paris).
“If Novak and Rafa hadn’t been injured, I would have had a different view and I wouldn’t have ruled Rafa out of winning the French Open at 80!
«So I don’t dismiss them, but I feel their preparation is not good, but Novak and Rafa have great experience.
«They know better than anyone how to go about their careers and how to control their emotions. They love swimmers more than anyone else.»
You can get out of the starting gate playing vintage tennis, but as it stands now, you have to favor Alcaraz a bit.
Evert went on to suggest that she hopes to see Alcaraz play Djokovic and Nadal in a best-of-five set match on the red clay, as the new star of the game looks to confirm his status as the king in waiting.
«It wouldn’t be good to see an Alcaraz playing a healthy Nadal,» Evert added.
“If you asked me what match I would like to see, I would say Rafa and Carlos, second only to Novak and Carlos.
“We could see some foreigners coming in. Jannik Sinner has come a long way and working with Darren Cahill has made him more professional and physically stronger.
«It’s gone toe to toe with Carlos for a while, but I’m still backing Alcaraz to go through and give him the title we’ve seen on the court in these first weeks on clay-court.
Alcaraz made it to the quarterfinals of the French Open last year, but has since taken his career to the next level.
After winning the US Open last September, Alcaraz has emerged as the dominant player in the men’s game and will have the chance to prove he is the new king of clay at the French Open.
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