Djokovic outlines aims as comeback continues

The world number one also commented on his disappointment at being knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters

World tennis number one Novak Djokovic has spoken about his preparations for the clay season and his ultimate goal of defending his title at the French Open.

The 34-year-old will continue his second comeback of 2022 on home soil at the Serbian Open on Wednesday, and spoke to reporters at a press conference regarding his current fitness and immediate plans.

"I'm excited," Djokovic said. "I need more matches to get to the desired level of tennis. I had four workouts yesterday – two fitness and two tennis – [and] I was a little tired.

"I use every free moment to prepare myself as physically as possible. This is especially important for clay," Djokovic added.

Knocked out by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the last 32 almost a week ago, Djokovic also spoke of his disappointment at the Monte Carlo Masters eventually won by Stefanos Tsitsipas for the second year running. 

"I wasn't ready in Monte Carlo, I was aware of that, but I still miss matches the most. I hope to have more matches than in Monte Carlo," Djokovic stressed.

"Roland Garros is the biggest goal on this surface, I want to be the most ready there. That does not change my approach to this tournament, I want to go as far as possible, and the title is always an ambition," Djokovic revealed.

Lastly, Djokovic discussed the Serbian Open and improvements the Belgrade-held tournament owned and run by his family has made while planning to become an ATP 500 Series event in the near future.

"We learn from previous experience, we know what everyone needs to make the experience as good as possible," Djokovic said.

"We try to ensure that players have all the conditions – gyms, courts, accommodation, food… We want to buy a tournament permit first, at the moment we are just renting it.

"When that happens, we can think about becoming a stronger tournament, from the 500 series," Djokovic concluded.

As Djokovic sets his sights on defending his 2021 crown at Roland Garros – something he was deprived of doing at the Australia Open due to being unvaccinated, which won't be an issue in France – he could be met there by generational rival Rafael Nadal who has a record 13 wins at the competition while widely dubbed the 'King of Clay'.

Read more
© Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Djokovic shocked in Monte Carlo return

Djokovic was forced to watch at home in Belgrade as the Spaniard overtook him in all-time Grand Slam wins when Nadal beat Daniil Medvedev in the final at Melbourne Park, but Djokovic could settle the score on 21 triumphs if he retains his title at Roland-Garros.

While Nadal was a slight doubt for Paris due to a rib stress fracture, he has teased a comeback on social media and wrote about "today’s first gentle workout after four weeks without stepping on a tennis court" to caption photos of himself back in training. "What excitement to step onto clay again!" Nadal added.

As for Djokovic's rival for the number one ranking spot Medvedev, the Russian is also recovering from his own injury – a small hernia which he has undergone surgery for – but could also be capable of lining up for the French Open on May 22.

Post a Comment