Novak Djokovic: Clay also requires mental and emotional energy

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has acknowledged that clay also requires mental and emotional energy, not only physical energy.

Djokovic, ranked at No. 1 in the world, is playing his third clay tournament this season. 

Djokovic kicked off his clay season at the Monte Carlo Masters, where he suffered a shock round-of-16 loss to Great Britain’s Dan Evans.

Djokovic then played in front of his home fans in Belgrade, where he made the semifinal, before losing to Aslan Karatsev.

Djokovic is now playing at the Rome Masters, where he beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to reach the quarterfinal. 

“Well, we all know the clay is a slower surface in the sport. As much it requires more physical energy from a player, but also I think mental and emotional energy as well. I think you have to train on clay more than any other surface really to get yourself comfortable playing on it,” Djokovic said. 

“It is also a very demanding surface in terms of tactics, in terms of just constructing the point. Sometimes it’s just really cat-and-mouse type of play where you have to fight for a better position on the court, sometimes use the shots that you would not normally use on other surface, like this looping forehand or backhand, trying to get back in play, build your position. I mean, it is the surface that probably requires from a player to defend better than on any other surface.”

Djokovic feeling well 

The French Open is two weeks away and Djokovic is feeling physically well. 

“But, look, I haven’t played a lot at all, so I don’t feel physically exhausted or worn out. I don’t think that’s going to be a case for me coming to Paris. I’m excited to come to Paris. That’s obviously the biggest goal of my clay court season. I’m hopefully going to get more matches here in Rome, then some more in Belgrade, then get in the top shape for Roland Garros,” Djokovic said. 

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