It’s finally here. The French Open. And for Novak Djokovic it’s another chance at the only major title missing from his trophy cabinet and the one title that’s keeping him out of the GOAT conversation.
Djokovic has eyed the event ever since he lost in the final a year ago to Stan Wawrinka. So is he feeling the pressure? He says, no.
“I feel excited to participate in this year’s Roland Garros,” Djokovic said Friday. “Of course the expectations are big not just from my side but from people around knowing that this is the only Grand Slam I never won.”
Djokovic also isn’t worried about a sub-par week in Rome which ended in a 63, 63 loss to rival Andy Murray. In fact, he said things went perfectly.
“The preparation is going well this week,” he said. “I’m not going to change anything in particular. I’m going to keep the same, you know, kind of routine and program that I have been respecting for many years.”
“I got ten matches out of two weeks,” he said. “And it was a perfect way of getting the match play that I needed before French Open.
“I can comfortably say that in terms of match play I’m ready.”
Djokovic will begin play either Monday or Tuesday against Yen-Hsun Lu. But before then, he’ll celebrate his 29th birthday on Sunday.
“Age is just a number for me,” Djokovic said. “So I still feel like I have plenty of more years ahead of me, which gives me more comfort in terms of opportunities I’m going to have at the title of Roland Garros, which releases more pressure for me this year.”
And he’s not concerned if the French Open never happens for him.
“Even if it never happens, I need to be very humble and realistic and see my results and my career need to be satisfied with what I have achieved so far,” he added. “Even if my career was done tomorrow, I made some achievements that I must be proud of.
“So that’s how I approach things. I don’t try to approach them from a point of view of being obsessed with this tournament or with any other tournament, for that matter.”
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