Tennis

Novak Djokovic is the favourite for French Open: Rod Laver

Novak Djokovic is the favourite to win the French Open and become the second man ever to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously on two separate occasions, according to Rod Laver, the man he is trying to match.

Laver achieved the feat in 1962 and 1969 with perfect calendar-year Grand Slams that no male player has achieved since.

Djokovic held all four, spanning consecutive years, when he claimed his first French Open title in 2016.

Djokovic reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros yesterday with a straightforward 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff and will replicate his 2016 feat if he goes on to lift the title.

The world No. 1 and top seed has yet to drop a set and is on course for a likely title-decider against holder and 11-time French winner Rafael Nadal.

"I'm probably favouring Novak at the moment and then Rafa," said Australian great Laver, 80.

"Then it goes down the line."

Laver added that should Djokovic win the French Open, he could go on to match his own calendar-year Grand Slam.

He said: "I marvel at someone like Novak with his ability and his consistency," Laver said.

"The way he plays the game, he doesn't go bang, bang, bang, ace, volleys. He wins every individual point from the baseline.

"He's won all four at one time... so he's already done that portion of it. He's just won the Australian (Open), if he wins here, he's on line to win the (calendar) Grand Slam." - REUTERS

Tennis