Novak Djokovic is likely to take motivation from Rafael Nadal's omission from the 2023 Roland Garros, according to John McEnroe.
Heading into Roland Garros this season, Djokovic and Nadal are tied on 22 career Grand Slams each. However, 14-time French Open champion and current title holder Nadal dropped out of the 2023 edition due to ongoing injuries and a lack of fitness that has hindered his season so far.
With Nadal officially out of the competition, Djokovic is among the current favourites to go all the way at Roland Garros and seal a 23rd major title - which would be the highest amount of any ATP player. Speaking to Eurosport about Djokovic's preparation for Paris, McEnroe said the Serbian player will use Nadal's absence as a key motivational tool.
"It’s his quest to be the best ever and win the most majors so right now it looks like he's the only guy left who could break more records, He's tied with Rafa so this is an opening. He's had a tough year and a half in a lot of ways and he's also done some incredible things. Novak, he's always looking for some inspiration, some fuel, and he's got some now and he's got a great chance.”
McEnroe still believes Djokovic has what it takes to lift another Grand Slam title. Although he admitted that the men's 'Big Three' of Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer has started to decline in recent times, especially with new payers coming through.
"We're approaching obviously the end of an era. I mean, this has been going on for 15 years, if not longer, so it's unbelievable, but everything at some point ends."
"Novak is 36 now and he seems to be incredible for the most part and his body still seems to be able to do what he wants, but at some point, you think in the near future, that's going to change."