He had to be at his gritty best to defeat Djokovic over five sets at the semi-final stage of that event, and Ivansevic believes only the Serb can rival Nadal on his favoured surface. “Only Djokovic can beat him on clay, and he came really close this year at the French Open, but that experience might make it more difficult for him in the future,” he added. “You have to put your body and mind through a lot to stay with Nadal on clay, and I’m not sure he will be able to do it again.” Having apparently overcome, for now at least, the knee problems that have plagued his career, Ivanisevic believes Nadal can become the first man to win all four grand slams in a calendar year.
“Nadal is the only player that can win all four grand slam tournaments in one year,” said the 42-year-old, who is set to play in London later this year at the Statoil Masters. “He has won all of them in his career, and even though he says it is impossible, he is the one man who could do the calendar slam. If he stays fit, who knows? He could even reach 20 grand slam titles. It’s possible.” Goran Ivanisevic will compete in the Statoil Masters Tennis with John McEnroe, Tim Henman, Pat Rafter and Stefan Edberg at the Royal Albert Hall, 4-8 December. Hospitality packages are available from £179. Call 020 8233 5854 or email email@example.com NADAL’S SLAMS Aus Open
2009 French Open
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Wimbledon
2008, 2010 US Open