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Federer's 17 Grand Slam record is facing the Djokovic threat: Marion Bartoli

Image Credit: Getty Images.

Image Credit: Getty Images.

Former Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli is pretty sure that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has an excellent chance of breaking Roger Federer’s record of 17 Grand Slams.

New Delhi: Former Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli is pretty sure that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has an excellent chance of breaking Roger Federer’s record of 17 Grand Slams.

The 31-year-old was in the Capital to launch the second edition of Rendez-Vous a Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines, a tournament for Indian boys and girls to earn a wild card for the junior French Open this year.

When asked about Djokovic's amazing run, Bartoli had no doubt in saying that Federer's record is under threat the way No. 1 from Serbia is playing.

"For sure, he is getting very close to it. Absolutely, he is going to give himself a chance which I feel no one could have felt when Roger won his 17th Grand Slam. But Novak is playing tennis at the level which is incredible and he will surely have a
chance to beat that record," Bartoli told IBNLive.

However, she was not that confident of Djokovic dominating in the French Open in coming years. It has been Rafael Nadal who has been dominating that circuit over the last few years but with knee injury hampering the Spaniard's progress, it is one of the best chances for Djokovic to complete his career Grand Slam this time around.

When questioned about whether Djokovic is all set to take Roland Garros by storm, Bartoli said: "Last year Novak lost to Stan Wawarinka. There is so much competition - it's not only about one player, and he can lose to anyone. That is the beauty of this sport.

"It's all about how well you prepare yourself and how do you perform on the given day. He can wake up and feel ill - so there are so many things to take into the account. For me I always feel like that media do not realize how much players are under pressure during the matches, how difficult it is to travel the world and perform, how well every individual is doing. They see different conditions all over the world and perform their 100 per cent. The performance and dedication the players go through - no one can realize that," she added.

The retired French player also feels Indian tennis is headed in the right direction even in singles and it's not all about the power game or which country you are coming from. Over the years, tennis has been seen as the power game but Bartoli feels at the end of the the day it is all about talent and how much hard work you are putting into it.

"India have four men in top 200 in singles, that is an amazing number. So there is no doubt Indian players in singles are massively improving and India is going in the right direction.

"The level in singles is very difficult and the court is very competetive. Even us in France are struggling in winning Grand Slam in men's nowadays - so it is very very difficult. India have the IPTL, so the country is surely going in the right direction," she said.

Asked what the Indian players need to do to be successful among the more stronger built players, Bartoli laughed off the suggestion that tennis is about coming from certain country and it's all about how your tennis association is helping the individual and how good training facilities are.

"Tennis is not about players from a certain country can dominate. Country that brings up talent or individual is likely to succeed, so this in not about whether you come from India or some other nation. What a country can do is support the individual and the sport - rest it's all about how talented the player is.

"It's also about where you train. Someone like Andy Murray has trained in Valencia in Spain. So there are lots of components needed to be put together to reach the heights. And I am sure Indian tennis will do extremely well in the coming years."

Along with AITA President Anil Khanna and Sam Primaut, Director, French Tennis Federation (FFT), Bartoli unveiled the newly-laid clay courts at the DLTA and also the French Open singles trophies.

The tournament will see the best U-18 Indian players (boys and girls) compete for a chance to enter the Roland Garros Junior draw in Paris in May 2016. The winners of the Indian leg will go on to face competitors from Brazil, Japan, South Korea and China in the playoffs in Paris and the eventual champions will get a wild card entry to the French Open Junior.

Bartoli feels that these type of tournaments are very important and massive stage for Indian kids to make their mark in the world of tennis.

"It's a massive stage. It's all about bringing the young boys and girls together and giving them the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Going to the Rolland Garros courts and play is a dream even for us in France," she told.

"For the youngster last in India, having luck to see the amazing trophies in real is massive. I dreamt it as a kid to lift this trophy one day but never had an opportunity. It is extremely special opportunity for them. They rarely travel abroad and this tournament is giving them the chane to travel to France - so this is a great opportunity for them. I hope the Indian kids realize how big a chance this is and they should grab this from both hands to play in Rolland Garros," she concluded.