Novak Djokovic's surprise playing partner at the French Open is certain that the Serbian star will end his career with more men's singles Grand Slam titles than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Leo Bresson, a William Carey University senior, was given an opportunity of a lifetime when he was chosen as Djokovic's practice partner ahead of his semifinal showdown against Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic went to claim a second Roland Garros title with a comeback win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final, but he had to conquer 13-time champion Nadal in the semifinal. The world number one now has 19 Grand Slam titles and is just one behind his long-time rivals Federer and Nadal.
Bresson was delighted to be given the chance to practice and help Djokovic prepare for what was the most highly anticipated match of the French Open. It was post his practice that the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Rookie of the Year made his prediction on how the "Big Three" will end up when they eventually hang up their rackets.
"Not many people get to train with the No. 1 in the world in a Grand Slam Tournament like the French Open," Bresson said via a statement, as quoted on the Hattiesburg American. "He is 100% going to be a legend in this sport. He is already, but in the end, I think he will have more Grand Slams than Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal."
The rising star, who is a native of Virey City in Normandy, France, was chosen because he is a lefty like the Spaniard. Bresson's coach at WCU Marc Lux revealed that the nine-time Australian Open champion wanted to get the best preparation possible ahead of his match against Nadal, which was why Bresson was drafted in.
"Nadal is a lefty, so Novak was looking for a left-handed practice partner to get the perfect preparation," Lux said. "Leo is a lefty, too, and was chosen to be his practice partner the day before the semifinal.
"Novak Djokovic ended up beating Rafael Nadal and considered the match to be one of the best three he's ever played."