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Djokovic braces for Nadal, Roland Garros demons

Novak Djokovic will renew his love-hate relationship with Roland-Garros in the knowledge that it’s himself rather than 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the…

Novak Djokovic will renew his love-hate relationship with Roland-Garros in the knowledge that it’s himself rather than 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest barrier to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown.

The only man to beat Djokovic in 2020 is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open.

Djokovic wins fifth Italian Open to make Masters history

Djokovic advances to Rome quarterfinals

Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland-Garros allowed him to become only the third man after Don Budge and Rod Laver to hold all four Grand Slams at the same time.

Not even Nadal, the holder of 19 majors, or Roger Federer, with a record 20 Slams, can match that staggering achievement.

Federer will miss the French Open as he rehabs his injured knee while Nadal has played just three matches since February, a ring-rustiness evident in his quarterfinal exit in Rome.

However, Djokovic refused to get carried away by his chances at Roland-Garros ahead of Sunday’s start.

“It’s Nadal,” insisted the world No 1 when pushed on who heads to Paris as the favourite.

“The record that he has there, the history of his results, you just can’t put anybody in front of him.”

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