Ljubicic targets 'shaken' Nadal at French Open
Veteran Ivan Ljubicic hopes to take advantage of a "shaken" Rafael Nadal and send the five-time champion and world number one out of the French Open tomorrow.india Updated: May 29, 2011 16:24 IST
Veteran Ivan Ljubicic hopes to take advantage of a "shaken" Rafael Nadal and send the five-time champion and world number one out of the French Open on Monday.
Although the 32-year-old Croatian admitted the great Spaniard is still the man to beat on clay, he also knows that the intense squeeze being applied by Novak Djokovic is causing cracks in the top seed's armour.
"There is no question that his confidence is shaken. You see him in the locker room. He's saying it. He's not hiding it. He's just not feeling as comfortable as he was feeling last year," said Ljubicic.
"And even the matches he's winning, he's not dominating as much as he used to be."
Djokovic, on a 42-match winning streak, came into Paris having deposed Nadal as champion at the Madrid and Rome claycourt events.
Nadal also has the extra pressure of having to win a record-equalling sixth French Open title to thwart Djokovic's hopes of snatching the world number one spot.
However, Ljubicic, who has won two of eight career meetings with Nadal, believes it would be foolish to write off the champion.
"We all know that the more the tournament progresses, he's playing better tennis," he said.
"He's definitely still the man to beat on clay. But if they play the final, I think Novak will be slight favourite."