Former world No. 87 Olivier Patience was glad that he had a chance to play against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
At the 2007 French Open, wild card Patience took on Djokovic in the third round.
Patience put up a great performance against Djokovic but ultimately fell just short in five sets.
“It’s simple, six months later, he won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open. He was very young, although he had already achieved some results in the big tournaments. He was very young, but he already had a lot of experience for his young age,” Patience told Ouest-France.
Patience saw the signs of great talent in Djokovic but he could never imagine the Serb would go on to win 20 Grand Slams.
“I would not have imagined at the time that he was going to do everything he did. But we already felt that at 20, he was very solid. He then progressed technically, physically, in the head he became a killer. No one can predict 20 Grand Slams, it’s impossible,” Patience noted.
Patience tips Djokovic to break the all-time Grand Slam record
“No, I’m just glad I had such a good game against him, because for me he will be the one who ends up with the most Grand Slams in tennis history,” Patience said.
Djokovic failed to win a record 21st Grand Slam and capture a Calendar Grand Slam affter losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.
“Relief. I was glad it was over because the buildup for this tournament and everything that mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot. It was a lot to handle,” Djokovic said after the US Open final loss.
“I was just glad that finally the run is over. At the same time I felt sadness, disappointment, and also gratitude for the crowd and for that special moment that they’ve created for me on the court.”