Marion Bartoli believes Novak Djokovic will finish with 23 Slams, hopes to see Djokovic and Emma Raducanu team up in Laver Cup

Marion Bartoli believes Novak Djokovic will finish with 23 Slams
Marion Bartoli believes Novak Djokovic will finish with 23 Slams

Marion Bartoli recently spoke at length about Novak Djokovic's US Open defeat to Daniil Medvedev, the Serb's Grand Slam future and the possibility of including women in the Laver Cup.

Bartoli reckons Djokovic will finish with 23 Majors to his name despite having fallen short in his bid for the Calendar Slam.

Djokovic headed into the US Open final against Medvedev, needing a win to become the first man since Rod Laver (1969) to complete the Calendar Slam. Given the Serb's superlative record in Slam finals in recent years, many expected him to easily douse the challenge of the Russian and emerge with the US Open title.

However, Djokovic looked a pale shadow of his usual all-conquering self and struggled to conjure his best tennis in the crucial moments against Medvedev. Many believe the World No. 1 was crippled by the immense pressure he has been under over the past month or so, and Marion Bartoli is of the same view.

Bartoli believes the pressure of winning the Calendar Slam got to Djokovic. The former Wimbledon champion pointed out that Serena Williams, too, had suffered the same fate during her Calendar Slam pursuit in 2015.

β€œIt was quite obvious, Bartoli said while speaking on Match Point for Tennis Majors. β€œIt was just the pressure. It was the same for Serena when she tried it, obviously it was one match earlier [at the 2015 US Open], when she lost in the semifinal to Roberto Vinci and no one expected that result."

The Serb admitted after the match that he could not summon the energy he needed to go toe-to-toe against a player like Medvedev. According to Bartoli, Djokovic simply ran out of steam.

"But for Novak, you can tell, and he said it himself, that he had no legs when he played that final," Bartoli added. "It was just not the Novak Djokovic that we’re used to seeing. … as much as he’s a superhuman, at some point it was too much, even for him.”

Bartoli was then asked if she thought Djokovic could achieve the Calendar Slam in the future. In response, the Frenchwoman said it would be "very difficult" for the Serb but at the same time, she backed Djokovic to win at least three more Slams before calling it a career.

β€œI think the Calendar Year Grand Slam will be very difficult but I think Novak will get to 23,” she said.

Shifting her focus to the Laver Cup, which is currently underway in Boston, Bartoli said it would be "nice" to include women in the event. The 36-year-old believes people would "pay" to watch mixed doubles matches between pairs like Novak Djokovic-Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez-Felix Auger-Aliassime.

β€œI think it would be great to incorporate women, I think it would be nice to be a mixed event, especially now when you have Leylah playing for the rest of the world, and Emma Raducanu playing for Europe,” Bartoli said. β€œI think it would be so interesting to see some mixed doubles between Emma and Novak against Leylah and Felix, for example, that would be something a lot of people would pay [to see].”

"I think in his mind Novak Djokovic wants 25" - Carole Bouchard on Novak Djokovic's Grand Slam target

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev with their respective US Open trophies
Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev with their respective US Open trophies

Reputed journalist Carole Bouchard was also part of the conversation on Tennis Majors and she, too, gave her thoughts on the possibility of Novak Djokovic completing the Calendar Slam in the future.

Bouchard reckons it is unlikely Djokovic will win the Calendar Slam, but pointed out that the Serb can never be completely written off.

With regards to the Grand Slam race, Bouchard feels Djokovic has set his sights on the magic number of 25. But Bouchard reckons the World No. 1 will finish with 23 Majors to his name.

β€œI want to say no [about the Calendar Slam], but I should know better with him (Novak Djokovic), so you never know, and the Grand Slam totals, I think in his mind he wants 25, but can he get to 25? That would be crazy. I would think three more," Carole Bouchard said.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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