Jim Courier: Novak Djokovic is less popular than both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

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Jim Courier has said that Novak Djokovic is less popular than both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

The former tennis number 1 Courier made the remark when working for ITV4 whilst discussing the Serbian's chances of winning this year's French Open.

About Djokovic, Courier said: “He’s been basically chasing them, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, his whole career.

“Even though he is top of the mountain, those guys are still widely known around the world. They are still a little bit more popular.

"It is something he’s had to deal with as someone who's been trying to get up to them even though he’s gotten over them in the rankings.

“I think that matters to him. And I think he wants to come out here and prove that the Rome final wasn’t the real Novak and that he is on the song and ready to go.”

The current number 1 is trying to win his fourth consecutive Grand Slam title, but he'll know that he faces a tough challenge in Spaniard Nadal - the 'King of Clay'.

Djokovic was drawn against Pole Hubert Hurkacz in the first round, who has been steadily climbing the rankings, but was dismissed with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

It’s the Serbian’s 22nd straight victory at a major, breaking serve six times to advance after one hour and 36 minutes.

2019 French Open - Day Two

Djokovic said: “I like the fact that I had a very good, quality opponent in the first round, because that gets me going with the right intensity from the start. I'm focused, I'm determined, and sharp from the blocks.

“Even though I never played him, never faced him in official match, I still felt he can be a great threat if I allow him to play his tennis. So I actually thought I played well. All the elements in my game worked well, so I'm very pleased."

Djokovic will face Swiss Henri Laaksonen in the second round of the French Open.

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