No surprise, faced with the biggest tournament of his life with a “Djoker Slam” at stake, Novak Djokovic said Friday that rival Rafael Nadal is the clear favorite at the French Open.
“Rafa is always favourite for this tournament,” Djokovic said. “He even was last year. Always No. 1 favourite because he’s just what he is on clay courts. He’s most successful tennis player ever to play on this surface. He played well in the Rome final. Even though it was straight set win I thought we played a close match, but he was playing better. That’s what you expect from him.
“You can always expect him to be at his top, especially at the later stages of Grand Slams and tournaments.”
Djokovic then talked about winning four straight Grand Slams, saying it “would definitely mean the world to me from that perspective, but I haven’t thought about that too much because I do not want to put too much pressure on myself.
“This is an opportunity that very few tennis players have in their lives. I’m aware of that, but I accept it as a challenge.
“It makes me even more motivated. It makes me feel good about it, rather than feeling pressured and worried if something bad is going to happen. So I’m looking forward to that.”
Djokovic is the World No. 1 but the Serb hasn’t played 2012 with the results of 2011, but he still feels he’s playing in peak form.
“My mindset is always positive and always expecting from myself a lot,” Djokovic said. “So I had the best year and a half of my career. I believe that I’m at the peak of my career at this moment. I definitely want to use this confidence that I have and try to make a good result here in Roland Garros.”
Djokovic, who has never been the French Open final, opens against Potito Starache in his first round match.
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