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Novak Djokovic 'getting back to old self' as Rafa Nadal fired another French Open warning

Novak Djokovic has been backed to be “ready” for his French Open title defence, days after Rafael Nadal was warned that the Serb would be a “beast” in Paris. The world No 1 is playing just his fourth tournament of the year in Madrid and is still looking for his top form but his ex-coach believes he will be back to his best by the end of the month.

Djokovic had a slow start to the year when he was unable to play the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami, going 2-2 in his first tournaments of the year in Dubai and Madrid. He then reached the final of the Serbia Open and is now hoping to build on his momentum at the Madrid Masters, with his French Open title defence looming.

And the 34-year-old has received a boost in his quest to find his best level in time for his first Grand Slam tournament of the season, as his former coach of 15 years said Djokovic looked set to be ready in time for the Parisian clay-court Major. “He was not in great shape because of the problems from the beginning of year,” Marian Vajda said of his former charge during a press conference in Bratislava on Tuesday.

“He doesn’t have enough matches under his belt, and that is why he is now trying to play everywhere he can. He is getting back to his old self, even though in Belgrade final he still wasn’t in best shape. He might be struggling a bit in Madrid and Rome, but I think he will be ready for Roland Garros”.

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