Defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal heaped pressure on Novak Djokovic Thursday, insisting the undefeated Serb is the favorite to win Roland Garros.
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World number two Djokovic has won all 37 matches he has played in 2011 and has defeated Nadal in the season’s four Masters finals, including on clay in Madrid and Rome.
"I think he is the great favorite. He hasn’t lost a match since the start of the year and he’s playing in an incredible way," said five-time French Open champion and world number one Nadal on a visit to the Champs Elysees in Paris.
"I do not fear Djokovic but you have to applaud his success since the beginning of the year. This will be very difficult to repeat. I admire what he has done."
Nadal also warned that his great rival Roger Federer, the 2009 champion and 16-time major winner, should not be ruled out as a contender when Roland Garros gets underway Sunday.
"The Grand Slams are his specialty," said the Spaniard, who is one title away from equaling Bjorn Borg’s record of six wins in Paris.
"There has been a lot of talk about the Borg record, but I am only thinking about winning the tournament," Nadal said. "The record will be a consequence of that. I can think about it afterward."