Novak Djokovic's defeat to his great rival, Rafael Nadal, "will have hurt him", says Greg Rusedski ahead of Wimbledon.
Having arrived at Roland-Garros as the reigning champion and from enduring a nightmare time in ultimately being sent home from the Australian Open earlier in the year, Djokovic had been hoping to beat Nadal for the second year in succession on the Spaniard's favourite court, Philippe-Chatrier.
But it was Nadal who came out on top in a typically-bruising encounter between the legendary pair in Paris on this occasion, and he went on to secure a record-extending 14th French Open crown and 22nd Grand Slam singles title.
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According to former British tennis star Rusedski, it would have been a loss that must have really hurt the Serb given all the context behind it and the stakes that were on the line.
"The problem you have is, you have players who have the potential but winning is a totally different thing," he said on Amazon Prime Video.
"Making the finals is one thing, but you have to have this mindset that's absolutely insane these days because of the big three or four we've had over the generations.
"Djokovic is angry because he hasn't won a slam this year and the way he went out to Rafa in the French Open will have hurt him.
"Rafa's trying to go for the calendar slam. He wouldn't be showing up if his foot wasn't 100 per cent and he was ready to go and Berrettini has been by far the best.
"Hurkacz is a guy who can go deep - semis or final - but win? Not with those three. Those three guys at the moment have separated themselves from the pack."
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Eurosport analyst Alex Corretja, who is acutely aware of everything Nadal has gone through in his storied career, said that "only Rafa" could continue to recover physically with so little rest after the pounding his body has gone through and the injuries he has had to contend with.
"I feel like 2022 for Rafa, it's a miracle, since the very beginning of the year," Corretja told Eurosport.
"After winning the first tournament, then the first Slam, he then got hurt again and he didn't have that much time for preparation for Roland-Garros.
"He then ended up winning, and one week later, or two weeks later, I thought, 'okay, maybe he needs time to rest, he needs time to recover'. Again, now, he is ready to go and try to play at Wimbledon.
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"I feel like only Rafa can do that, honestly, because all the ups and downs physically that he had he overcame them. It shows how humble he is, and how much desire he has to keep on going.
"I don't think he feels like winning the Calendar Slam; it's not on his mind. He is just going there to practise from the first day, get ready, and probably have the best chance he can for the first round. This is his only goal.
"Then he will go little by little. This is why Rafa deals very well with these kinds of situations because he knows where he is and he just goes for it, just being realistic."
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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