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M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

Mats Wilander did a bumper Q&A with the media this week ahead of the French Open.

Here is the transcript.


How do you see both the men and women tournaments? What are the main key points you would like to underline regarding the coming French Open?

I see RG the same way as the Italian Open. Obviously Serena will be the favourite even if it’s on clay and even if she has only won two French Opens. I think that with the confidence that she has now and the way she won Rome, she is the clear favourite. Obviously Maria Sharapova is a danger throughout the tournament because of her confidence but we all know what has happened in the past between Williams and Sharapova. So Serena is the big favourite to me for the women’s side.

For the men, because Nadal has been losing to Almagro, Ferrer and now Djokovic in three sets in Rome I think Djokovic is the obvious favourite. To me, he has been the favourite for the last two years at the French Open but has not beaten Nadal. So this year I think he is the favourite. Djokovic has to survive the first week. If he does I believe he is going to be very difficult to beat until we see a very windy hot dry day in Paris and suddenly Nadal will most probably become the favourite in a potential final. But it depends on the weather. Otherwise Djokovic.

Any possible surprises?

It’s very difficult to say these days because, again, the last eight years the men’s side has been so dominated by the three Federer, Nadal and Djokovic... Obviously everybody thinks that they have a better chance this year because Nadal has been losing to some players. We’ve seen Djokovic a little more fragile in some matches. He obviously lost to Wawrinka in Australia, Federer in Dubai. There is a little bit of confidence for the players who played have against him. But 5 sets on clay against two super human beings like Nadal and Djokovic, it’s very difficult.

I can tell you 10 players that I think have a better chance to beat them than before, but to win the whole tournament it’s another story. It’s going to be one of the two unless something really strange happens. On the women’s side Serena is really a very heavy favourite. It’s again one of those tournaments that will be great. But the winner again will be somebody familiar I think.

What do you think about Fabio Fognini?

He is very dangerous. I don’t see any reasons why he should not cause an upset at the French Open. I think he can beat anyone. I think everybody is afraid of him. He has a good chance against any player. But I think Fabio Fognini is similar to some other talented players, like maybe Marat Safin where you cannot show your opponent how you feel all the time because they will really love it. It may be important to Fognini to get it out of his system, but to Nadal and Djokovic, they look at him like they would have looked at Marat Safin maybe or maybe Andy Murray in the past. They look at him and say ‘OK, this guy is angry,, I’m not going to go haywire, I’m going to try and try and try and eventually maybe I’ll have a chance to win because he’s too emotional’. With Fognini, what would you do? Try to get him to be playing poker, not tennis, with his expressions, and then he has a really good chance of being a great player. He’s a good player and when he plays well, he plays, but when he’s showing his emotions too much it’s not a good thing against the best players in the world.

What do you think about Dominic Thiem?

I haven’t seen him play that much. So I won’t be able to give you conclusive thoughts on him. I’ve heard he is very talented. I’ve heard people talk about him. I would not be able to predict anything with him. I know that he is mature. I know that he is dangerous. We have to wait until the next two or three years if we have enough… We had David Goffin from Belgium who is very talented and who we saw a couple of years ago. It’s too difficult today to predict somebody being a superstar. The young players overall need to show a little bit more maturity and young players sometimes need to show the best players in the world that they are ready, that they are willing to suffer the same way Nadal and Djokovic do for every single second they spend on a tennis court. I’m not sure Thiem is that person yet. To say who is going to make it is impossible to say.

More of transcript here:
https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/mats-wilander/serena-djokovic-favourites-roland-garros-202142465.html
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

What do you think about Fabio Fognini?

He is very dangerous. I don’t see any reasons why he should not cause an upset at the French Open. I think he can beat anyone.
Empirical evidence that you can be a dumb as a doorknob and still commentate tennis
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

Now I can bet all my money on Nadal in all conscience. Thanks Matz.
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

Fognini is going to get booed in Paris for throwing another match. You can take that to the bank.
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

Last year he predicted Nadal to win the USO.
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

Afraid of the Fogmeister, lol. How can Mats watch this much tennis and still be utterly clueless.
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

Thanks for the good LOL
Well, he is good looking, so those of us who are married should be scared of that playa'. But on a tennis court? nope. lol. He will tank one of these matches badly like he always does
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

To be honest this is the most decent stuff Trollander has said in years. I do not see anything wrong with his ideas.
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

Not exactly a bold claim considering every single bookmaker also has Novak as the favourite
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

lol ... Fognini is clown, he could beat TOP 10 (except Fed, Rafa, Nole, Murray) and lose to anybody
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

It's a big mistake for everyone thinking djokovic is the favorite, clearly he's better as an underdog.
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

That's actually shockingly decent analysis for someone who generally thrives on saying absurd things.
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

Fognini won ´t beat any of top players at best of 5, no chance, i am not counting Murray - he is joke on clay - and lost in straight sets to him in DAvis cup recently, but Fognini has no chance to beat Nadal, Djokovic or Federer - probably even Wawrinka at best of 5 at slam, even Ferrer should be to consistent for him - now i will look where he is in the draw
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

I love Wilander.

Just turns up twice a year on Eurosport, puts no effort in and says all sorts of nonsense. Living the dream.
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

I love Wilander.

Just turns up twice a year on Eurosport, puts no effort in and says all sorts of nonsense. Living the dream.
You know as well as I do he is doing it with that lady who wears the short dress. Annabelle or whatever her name is.
 

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Re: M. Wilander: "Djokovic is my favourite to win RG. Everybody is afraid of Fognini"

Annabel Croft?
Names don't matter. Faces and bodies do. You can quote me on that.
 
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