Annabel Croft exclusive: It's Novak Djokovic's time to win French Open

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Novak Djokovic has been tipped to win the up coming French Open by former British No.1 Annabel Croft.

Croft, speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport, believes Djokovic is mentally tough enough to claim his first title in Roland Garros next month. With Boris Becker by his side, Djokovic will be desperate to continue his fine form and win the Grand Slam in Paris. 

And Croft certainly believes he has what it takes to go all the way, as she told GiveMeSport: "In my mind he's the favourite. He is so hungry for that title It's the one Grand Slam that has eluded him. He's shown us what he can produce on court. He's so mentally tough.

"He has had that arm injury, which I guess is the only question mark over his fitness. But it just depends when it really comes down to it if he really wants it and, if he wants it so badly, whether that pressure will overtake him.

"But he came so close to beating Rafa last year in the final. It was a wonderful match and I have to say he's definitely my pick for the title this year."

Croft, meanwhile, has suggested that there are a number of question marks hanging over Rafa Nadal ahead of the tournament. Despite Nadal's recent fine win over British No.1 Andy Murray, the Spaniard has struggled for form and consistency in recent time. 

Despite recently winning his first title on the European clay-court this season, Nadal has once again proved that he's a long way off his best after Japan's Kei Nishikori dominated him in the early stages of the match, before having to pull out through injury. 

Speaking about that match and Nadal's chances in the up coming tournament, Croft continued by saying: "That was an extraordinary match and I think everybody in the tennis world were in shock seeing who we consider to be the greatest player to have played the game on clay being utterly dominated and almost crushed in that final until the back injury kicked in. 

"There are definitely more question marks over Rafa coming into the French Open than there have been previously because of his form. 

"I think he's been very honest and has said he's struggled to have the right feelings on court this year. He's not been as confident and he definitely made it clear that what happened at the Australian Open where he would have felt that the back injury in the final against Stanislas Wawrinka really affected him emotionally, and it's taken him a long time to get over it even if he may not be over it yet because it really was a devastating thing that happened. And he just hasn't been able to have as much enjoyment on court in my opinion. 

"But he's really worked hard to put everything behind him and he did beat Andy Murray in three tight sets in Rome, and I just feel as though five sets gives him more of an edge."

Croft believes that Nishikori, the man who almost upset the odds against Nadal, has taken his game to the next level, but will be desperate to stay injury free over the coming months. 

Speaking about Nishikori's rise in recent time, Croft said: "He's been so impressive and is just so much fun to watch because he has so much fire power. He moves so well, he turns defence into attack. His serve has improved enormously. He's pretty small by today's tennis modern day standards, but he certainly isn't lacking for power.

"But I think his biggest opponent is the body. It's broken down a few times now. He's had many many setbacks. I just hope he can get his body functioning at 100% and not have to keep dealing with lots of injuries because he will be a great addition to the Tour at the top."

The French Open is set to begin this Sunday, with Djokovic, Nadal and Co. all gunning for glory. 

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