Relieved Novak Djokovic Resumes Quest to Boost Grand Slam Tally at French Open PiPa News

Relieved Novak Djokovic Resumes Quest to Boost Grand Slam Tally at French Open

Novak Djokovic was ready to skip the Grand Slams instead of taking the Covid-19 vaccine after the Australian Open failure, but the world number one mustered steam to peak in a stop-start season to defend his French Open title. are building.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January after being relegated from the country, having initially admitted to the tournament despite not taking the vaccine.

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Djokovic started his season late in Dubai and slipped to the top spot before being knocked out of Indian Wells and Miami after losing to qualifier Jiri Wesley in the quarterfinals as he was unable to gain entry to the United States.

The Serbian was at risk of being pulled out of Roland Garros because of his vaccine stance, but was in for a breather when France lifted restrictions on almost all public places in March.

Claycourt swing in April produced mixed results as 34-year-old Alejandro Davydovich Fokina stunned Andrey Rublev in his Monte Carlo debut and Belgrade final before falling to red-hot Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid semi-final this month.

But after securing his first title in six months without losing a set at the Italian Open last week, Djokovic showed he was among the top contenders ahead of his bid for the 21st Grand Slam crown to move up with Rafa Nadal. were one.

Djokovic, who won his sixth crown in Rome, said it was “somewhat a relief because after what happened at the beginning of the year, it was important to win a big title.” Way.

“Especially with Grand Slams coming up, where I want to play my best and be at a level of confidence… a chance to win the title.”

‘Right Preparation’

After defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0 7-6(5) in the Rome final, Djokovic reiterated that he would use his hardship as fuel for the rest of the season in a difficult year.

Djokovic, who also defeated world number four Tsitsipas in the French Open title last year, said, “I found what I was really looking for in Rome.”

“It’s the perfect preparation and leadership for Roland Garros. I’m going to Paris with confidence and good feelings about my chances. With the rankings and the way I’ve been playing over the past few weeks, I find myself a favorite. would rate as one of the.”

Nadal’s foot injury ahead of the year’s second Grand Slam could corroborate Djokovic’s claims, but the Spanish 19-year-old Alcaraz – who beat both players for the Madrid title and looks set for great success – could be a hindrance. represent.

“I obviously don’t spend much time thinking about who’s going to win it or who might have the best chance,” Djokovic said. “I always think about myself.

“I go there with the highest of ambitions… Obviously the draw isn’t something you can influence, but it’s going to determine my trajectory in the later stages.

“Best of five sets, you play every other day. It’s a Grand Slam. It’s different… you have to look at it differently.”

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