Djokovic can win French Open and complete calendar Grand Slam, believes Rod Laver

Rod Laver thinks 2019 could see Novak Djokovic join him and Don Budge as the only men to win all four majors in the same year.

Novak Djokovic celebrates his French Open second round victory.   -  Getty Images

Novak Djokovic is the favourite to win the French Open and could go on to complete the calendar Grand Slam, according to Australian tennis legend Rod Laver.

World number one Djokovic is aiming to become just the second man in history to twice hold all four major titles at the same time, a feat only previously achieved by Laver. The now-80-year-old Laver won calendar Grand Slams in 1962 and 1969, the first year all four majors were professional, to write his name into the history books.

Djokovic, who first held all four when he won his maiden Roland Garros title in 2016, is hunting him down after adding the Australian Open trophy earlier this year to his 2018 Wimbledon and US Open titles.

Don Budge and Laver are the only men to have completed the annual sweep, but the latter thinks they could have more company in 2019 if Djokovic can beat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to glory in Paris.

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He said: "Federer's certainly in it and he's certainly playing well, but I don't know if anyone has really pushed him yet. He'll be pushed a lot more when it comes to some of the younger players coming up through the ranks.

"But only one thing is true: you only have to win seven matches. That's all you have to do. You don't have to win 128 of them.

"I think someone like Rafa is going to be tough [for Federer]. I'm probably favouring Novak at the moment, then Rafa and then it goes down the line.

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"I marvel at someone like Novak with his ability and his consistency. When you look at the way he plays the game, he doesn't go bang, bang, bang, ace, volley. He wins every individual point from the baseline. So he's quite an individual on his own ability.

"He's won all four at one time, so he's already done that portion of it. He just won the Australian [Open], so, now he's in line to win a [calendar] Grand Slam.

"Yes, it's a long way to go, he's only got one, but this is probably, for him, the toughest [major] because you've got so many great players, whether it be Nadal or Federer.

"There are so many good players out there that are playing on clay. So that's why today probably the clay court is probably one of the toughest ones for a player to win if they're in line for winning a Grand Slam."

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