Novak Djokovic: ‘I once beat Nadal at Roland Garros but…’

Having recently broken Roger Federer’s record for the most weeks at the top of the ATP rankings, Novak Djokovic now has his eyes on Roland Garros. The world number 1, who won the Australian Open for the ninth time earlier this year, has never hidden his desire to surpass Roger Federer’s and Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam numbers. His pursuit necessarily passes through the Parisian tournament, where he triumphed only once in 2016. The 33-year-old Serbian reached the final last year, but was overwhelmed by Nadal who inflicted one of the loudest blows of his career. The Belgrade veteran is still recovering from the abdominal injury he sustained in Melbourne and is expected to return to the pitch later this month for the Miami Open. During a lengthy interview with France.tv, Djokovic listed his priorities for the rest of the season. Novak has admitted that he will do everything possible to get 100% in the Grand Slam appointments.

Djokovic on his main goals in 2021

“Yes I can say it, it’s my biggest priority now to win as many Grand Slam titles as possible,” Novak Djokovic said. “I’m trying to organize my schedule around that, especially for Roland Garros this year.” Djokovic acknowledged that you have to be at your very best to beat the Spaniard at Roland Garros, which is widely considered to be the toughest challenge in tennis. “(The French Open) still has a big problem called Rafael Nadal! But we’ll try,” Djokovic added. “If you have any advice, don’t hesitate! You must be on top physically and mentally. I once beat Nadal at Roland Garros but I lost very, very often. And I think that’s the biggest challenge you have in tennis today. But I love challenges, it requires you to give your best.” Last month, Novak Djokovic lifted his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open 2021 against Russian Daniil Medvedev. Consequently, the easy win clarified that the next generations remain impactless on Tour. “New generation of top men’s tennis players are very tall, very powerful,” Novak said. “They have big serves and everything happens quickly on the court.” Despite that, the Serbian ace added that Roger, Rafael and himself, have adapted comfortably against the young force. Moreover, he praised his arch-rivals for motivating him to become stronger and better tennis-wise. “I think Rafa, Roger and myself have to adjust to that. I think that we’ve been able to do that very well,” Djokovic added.

Leave a Reply