Defending champion Novak Djokovic met the press for the first time in Paris today since he and wife Jelena Ristic welcomed their first child, baby boy Stefan, into the world last week. The top ranked Djokovic is in a fight for the No. 1 ranking this week in Paris, but he’s already on top of the world.
“Honestly, the way I feel right now, I feel like I’m already No. 1 with becoming a father last week,” said Djokovic. “For me, this is the most important moment in my life.
“It happened almost a week ago, and luckily I was there and it didn’t interfere with my tennis schedule. It was the most beautiful thing that ever happened in my life and [Jelena’s] life. I hope that it’s going to affect positively my career. In terms of my approach to tennis, nothing is really changing. I’m still out here, still fighting, competing, and then trying to be No. 1 in the world.”
Jelena and Stefan won’t be in Paris with Djokovic, but Roger Federer will be there hot on the trail of the Serb’s No. 1 ranking.
“He’s coming close in the rankings, and I’m sure that he’s going to be very motivated to fight for No. 1. It’s pretty much open,” Djokovic said. “I do defend a lot of points here and in London, but over the years I have been playing well in Paris and in London. I prepared myself well. In the circumstances, I tried to get as many hours on the court as possible. I will try to be with all my focus and attention in this tournament and take it one match at a time.
“Of course, the goal for both of us is to finish the year as No. 1 in the world. So we both are playing well, and that’s something that is definitely going to play a big role in the upcoming weeks.”
Federer will have to make the finals to hold any hope of passing Djokovic in Paris. The Swiss though has won 35 of his last 38 matches including 12 straight.
“Last year I think was his worst year in the past ten years of his career,” Djokovic said of the 33-year-old Federer. “He didn’t play as well and he had some unexpected losses. But this year he came out strong again, competing for Grand Slam titles. Now he is competing for No. 1 in the world, and I never thought that he wouldn’t be in competition for No. 1.”
Seeking a third Paris title, Djokovic opens play tomorrow against Philipp Kohlschreiber. Djokovic beat David Ferrer in the 2013 Paris final.
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