Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have played 42 times but not once since their French Open battle in the final a year. And Djokovic doesn’t mind that he hasn’t faced off against his main rival who he trails 23-19.
“Well, not so much, honestly,” Djokovic joked about missing RAfa. “We have played over 40 times. I’m sure that I’m going to play him more. Maybe it happens this week, maybe not. But, you know, he’s somebody that has made history in this sport. He’s probably looking at the amount of matches that we played against each other, my biggest rival. He’s an ultimate challenger on clay courts. This is where we are right now. We just entered the clay court season. I’m sure that, yeah, it would be very challenging for me to stay on the court with him and play against him again.”
With the seedings, Djokovic and Nadal could meet on Saturday in the semifinals. They last time they met in a semi was the 2013 French Open.
Djokovic had won four straight over Nadal until the French Open last year. Djokovic also just passed Nadal in weeks at No. 1 and this week he’s trying to become the first player to win the first man to win the first three Masters events of a season.
“I don’t think about all the possible records or milestones that I’m able to achieve,” Djokovic said. “Of course, the fact that I think I’m sixth on the all‑time list of weeks spent at No.1, of course it’s an incredible achievement. I’m very proud of it. No question about it that I’m aware of it. But, you know, the kind of mindset that brought me to where I am right now is a mindset of a player that is very committed, dedicated, disciplined, very much in the present moment. I don’t want to take my thoughts too far ahead because then I’ll lose the necessary focus that actually keeps me where I am.”
Djokovic will play Andreas Haider Maurer in the third round tomorrow.
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