Former World No. 2 and current tennis coach Goran Ivanišević has said that he regrets some of the statements he made before the final of the French Open this year. Ivanišević joined Novak Djokovic's box as one of his coaches alongside Marian Vajda in 2019. Before this, his greatest coaching achievement had come with Marin Čilić, who won the US Open title in 2014 under his guidance. Ivanišević has also coached Tomáš Berdych and Milos Raonic. He also has a great personal legacy behind him - to date, Ivanišević is the only man to have won the Wimbledon singles title as a wildcard.
Days before Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic faced off in the final of the French Open, Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanišević made a statement saying that the conditions at Court Philippe-Chatrier were overwhelmingly in favour of his student and that Rafael Nadal had no chance in the final. This was even before Djokovic had secured a place in the final and was yet to play his semi-final match against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
However, it was a completely different matter when it came to the King of Clay. While Ivanišević was not wrong in his claims about the conditions being more suitable for Djokovic, he greatly underestimated what Rafa can pull off at Roland Garros. Djokovic seemed to have no answers to any of Rafa's shots, going down 0-6, 2-6, 5-7 to give Rafa his 13th Roland Garros win. When asked about his claims by Sport Klub, Ivanišević simply said: “I honestly meant what I said. My right is to say what I think and to believe in my player. I thought it this was Novak’s year in Paris.”
He admitted that he was "too ambitious saying that Nadal did not stand a chance", adding that “Nadal has shown me that I was wrong, obviously. That is it. We move on.” Ivanišević continued: "Yes, it [Philippe-Chatrier] is Rafa’s living room and he can win at Chatrier even when he plays the worst," but praised him for playing a perfect match that drove Djokovic to the ground.
The Nadal vs Djokovic head to head stands at a close 29-27 in favour of Novak Djokovic. The Serbian leads the pair's meeting on hard courts, with 20 wins to 7 losses, while Nadal reigns supreme on clay with win-loss figures of 18–7. The two are tied 2-2 on grass courts. The pair's 5-hour 53-minute 2012 Australian Open final has been lauded as one of the greatest games of tennis ever played. The encounter was won by Djokovic in five sets.