Novak Djokovic recently downgraded the seriousness of his right wrist injury. Initially, he thought the injury might require surgery and keep him out for significant time. However, he expects to play in Madrid and Rome.
Still, this wrist injury could threaten what is possibly Djokovic's best chance to win the French Open.
Djokovic makes no secret of his deep desire to win the one Grand Slam that has eluded him. He's come so close, but something—or someone—has stood in his way.
Federer defeated Djokovic 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5). After the match Djokovic took the loss in stride. He told ESPN "A loss cannot feel good, that's for sure...But, look, I know what to do. I handle myself better off the court, on the court. I'll just accept it as another loss."
The following year Djokovic reached the final, but came up short again, this time to Nadal. Outplayed, Djokovic caved under pressure. He double-faulted on match point.
The post-match shrug from 2011 was replaced with marked disappointment. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Djokovic said, "He was the better player. I’m disappointed that I’ve lost the chance to make history."
This time, Djokovic entered the match as the top seed. It was a tough five-setter, but again, Nadal prevailed. "I wanted this title so much," Djokovic told reporters after the match.
With Nadal playing less than stellar tennis, Andy Murray still recovering from a back surgery and Federer working against Father Time, this may be Djokovic's best chance to take his first title at Roland Garros.
How big of an impact will this wrist injury be? Even when healthy and clicking on all cylinders, Djokovic has failed to win the French Open. Any ailment could chip away at his confidence.
Perhaps the noticeable chink in Nadal's armor will provide Djokovic with enough belief to overcome his past, play through his pain and finally win the French Open.