The world number 1 spoke at a press conference about his bottled table at Roland-Garros and the future French retiree.
Unvaccinated and deprived of the Australian Open in January, Novak Djokovic can’t wait to defend his Roland-Garros title, starting this Sunday. On Friday, in the middle of the day, the world number 1 shared his training session with the rising star Carlos Alcaraz who had beaten him in the semifinals in Madrid. The reigning champion, winner in Rome after being a finalist in Belgrade, patiently gathered feelings to defend his title. Cap pushing down on the head,nole“, in a press conference this Friday, swept away his news and mentioned the forthcoming retirement of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with whom he had shared the final of the Australian Open in 2008 (the first Grand Slam title for the Serbian).
The bottleneck at the top of the table (with Nadal, a possible rival in the quarterfinals and Alcaraz in the semifinals): “ It’s best to focus on the next game, because indeed, the top of the table will be very difficult, but we can’t help it, we know what it is. I will focus on getting the tournament off to a good start against Nishioka (94th in the world). Then we’ll see … When we talk about Roland-Garros favorites and clay, we always have to put Christmas first given its results. Alcaraz is the story of the last 4 or 5 months, it’s really amazing. He is making the leap to the rankings. It has phenomenal results for someone your age. »
Roland Garros 2021: “ When I think about last year’s final, it makes me goosebumps and motivates me to try to replicate it. Obviously, every year, every season is different. There are many players who would love to be able to lift this trophy. »
It takes a huge amount of mental, physical and emotional effort.
Novak Djokovic, on the specifics of playing on clay
The clay track: “ You have to tell yourself that we will have to play more times than on other surfaces due to the nature of the game, it is slower. It takes a huge amount of mental, physical and emotional effort. Players are adjusting their preparation routine for this demanding clay court season. It’s very rare that I felt good playing on clay from the first tournament or the first game. This year is the same. I reached the level in Rome. It really was a tournament that came at the right time for me. It was a good thing, a week before coming to Paris. It was a good time to find my way. »
The closed club of the aspirants to the title: “ Speaking of Roland-Garros favorites, Nadal must always be in the lead, for his records, especially in this tournament. And then there’s Alcaraz, which is obviously the history of men’s tennis for the last four or five months. He has come a long way in ranking and the results he has achieved are phenomenal for someone his age. »
Tsonga, the future retiree: “ I wish you the best possible retirement. I think he will get a lot of support from Central. It will be a moment of great emotion for him and for the French public. He was one of the most charismatic and energetic tennis players when he was in his best tennis. I remember playing the Grand Slam final in Australia (in 2008). I also know him well from our junior stage. We have always behaved well. I have a lot of respect for him. He is a very nice guy, great, who has drawn a lot of attention to this sport in his way of playing, his behavior. I think he can be proud of what he has done and what he has left behind in this sport. »
Statements made at a press conference