McEnroe: Djokovic is not respected as much as he deserves
The legendary John McEnroe spoke about current affairs before the start of the second Grand Slam of the season, Roland Garros.Source: B92, M.T.
The main news was that Rafael Nadal, who won 14 trophies in Paris, decided to withdraw from the tournament after not recovering from an injury.
Now it is uncertain whether Nadal will continue his career at all.
"When he was there, he was only talked about as a favorite. Now there are eight who can win. It is true that Djokovic won twice. Ideally, Rafa would play at a high level and someone had to show that is better than him in those circumstances. That's what people wanted to see," McEnroe told Spain's "Marca" and added:
"I wouldn't dare say he won't be able to win at Roland Garros again after everything he did there. As long as you're playing, you have a chance. He reminds me of LeBron James, who continues to show he's a great player, but at the end of the game, everything is starting to cost him. There are too many expectations from him, he is already old. That will happen to Nadal too, the most is always expected of him. Let's see what happens, he turns 38 next year".
The question arises whether it will be easier for Djokovic in the absence of Nadal.
"I think he will face it in the same way, knowing that there are many more tennis players who can win the trophy. He will have rivals like Alcaraz, Rune... Medvedev is playing well, he won in Rome. The draw will also be important. I guess Novak will not be in Alcaraz's half. It's all the more interesting because of the fact that Medvedev arrives as number two."
Djokovic could again attack the Calendar Slam.
"There are options, of course. His challenge is to be the best in history and win more Grand Slam titles than anyone else. He seems to be the only one who is ready to break more records. In the last year and a half, he has had both beautiful and complicated moments."
For McEnroe, the main favorite is the world's number one, Carlos Alcaraz.
"Alcaraz first, then Djokovic. We are at the end of an era and other players like Carlos, Rune are coming. The Spaniard has shown that he is ready, the others from the younger generation are not ready yet".
In the end, the question arises as to who is under more pressure.
"It's hard to say, but Alcaraz is new, the one who brought freshness, electrifying tennis. He has such a personality that he wants to beat all. He is 20 years old and has already become an ambassador for our sport. Djokovic is not given the respect he deserves. You can agree with him or not," McEnroe concluded.
The draw is on Thursday, and the tournament starts on Sunday.