Playing maybe at less than 100% this week, Novak Djokovic still had enough game to reach the final of the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters finale where tomorrow the Serb will face longtime rival Rafael Nadal.
After consecutive 3-setters, Djokovic has dominated his last two rounds beating both Jarkko Nieminen and today Fabio Fognini in very easy fashion. That will change tomorrow against Rafa who leads the Serb 19-14 in their rivalry. The last three meetings have all come on clay and all won by Nadal.
“Whenever you play Rafa, you know what to expect,” said Djokovic. “You expect the toughest challenge possible on clay. I’m ready for that. I’m very happy that physically, mentally, emotionally I have been improving as the tournament was going on. Each day I feel better on the court, more confident.
“Of course, I will have to be on top of my game. I will have to be focused and motivated from the start to the end in order to have any chance of winning against Nadal. I need to have a very optimistic mindset in order to get a win. I’m not going out there to play my best; I’m going out there to win. That’s how I’m going to feel tomorrow.”
Djokovic has never won the Monte Carlo title and he hasn’t captured a clay crown since 2011. But he does has 14 career wins over Nadal (most recently on clay at 2011 Rome) which he’ll have to draw from to have any chance Sunday.
Here’s his on-court interview after the 52-minute win over Fognini:
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