Novak Djokovic: What World No. 1 Must Do to Claim 1st French Open Title

Jeff ChaseSenior Analyst IIMay 24, 2012

ROME, ITALY - MAY 21:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia serves in his match against Rafael Nadal of Spain in the final during day ten of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2012 Tennis on May 21, 2012 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic has had a ton of success over the course of his career, but he won't be able to truly move into the discussion of one of the greatest of all time until he claims his first French Open title.

Djokovic is still the No. 1 player in the world and is always one of the favorites coming into every Grand Slam event.

The problem for him is that he is coming off of a loss to World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in Rome this past week, which doesn't bode well for him heading to the dirt at Rolland Garros.

It remains to be seen who Djokovic gets in the draw, but he can only hope he will be given someone who can help him make it past the semis for the first time in his career.

Djokovic must just go into this tournament with a fresh slate. A win over Nadal would have given him some incredible momentum going into the tournament, but nonetheless, Djokovic is No. 1 in the world for a reason.

The problem is that he has struggled at times with his serve, which is the Achilles' heel in his game when it is off.

In last year's tournament, he couldn't win on his first serve against Roger Federer in the semifinals. He only won on 59 percent of his points—compared to Federer's 76 percent, according to the ATP's website.

He lost that match in four sets after dropping just one other set throughout the entire tournament. Not to mention, he didn't even have to play in the previous match—his opponent, Fabio Fognini, retired.

For Djokovic to win this title, he must simply continue playing his style and controlling the points, but he can't afford to lose on his own serve.

In this last match against Nadal in Rome, Djokovic only won on 37 percent of his second serves. That puts him in quite a hole, especially against the better players who will be able to take advantage of the situation.

Djokovic has all the tools to win his first French, but he must keep his game rolling against all different opponents.