Novak Djokovic: 'It's hard to deal with those balls'

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Novak Djokovic: 'It's hard to deal with those balls'

Novak Djokovic has repeatedly reiterated that he wants to be 100% for the start of Roland Garros, which kicks off on Sunday 22 May. The number 1 in the world has suffered a lot in these first months of 2022, thanks to his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus.

In addition to not being able to defend the title at the Australian Open, the Serbian champion also suffered serious damage to his image. As if that weren't enough, the 34-year-old from Belgrade had to watch helplessly as his eternal rival Rafael Nadal triumphs at Melbourne Park.

After premature eliminations in Dubai and Monte Carlo, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has given signs of revival in both Belgrade and Madrid. Nole beat Felix Auger-Aliassime at the BNL Internazionali of Italy and now she will face Casper Ruud for a place in the final.

During a long interview for the ATP website, Djokovic recalled his triumph at the Foro Italico in 2014. Novak, who has always had a special connection with Italy, has raised five trophies in the Eternal City.

Novak Djokovic is a tennis legend

"It is one of the biggest tournaments in the world, no doubt.

Of course, every time I get the chance to fight for a trophy there, it is always a thrill. I always had a lot of support in Rome. Center Court - one of the most stunning centre courts in the tennis world," Novak Djokovic stated.

"That kind of surface where it's unpredictable. It's that kind of surface where if you drop your serve, it's not that big a deal as dropping your serve on a fast hard court." He had a tough draw from the get-go and shed some light on the kind of challenges he faced right from the start of the tournament on the most demanding surface in tennis.

"Clay is kind of a surface in which you have to earn every single point and every single victory," he explained. "I had three or four three-set matches in the entire tournament. I remember the one against Kohlschreiber - claycourt specialist and a lot of top spins.

Just grinding my way through those matches, very physical battles." Facing Rafael Nadal in a final on clay is considered one of the toughest tasks in tennis, and the Serb admitted to the same. "He (Rafa) always comes very h*t off the blocks," Djokovic said.

"Most of his matches, particularly on clay, he gets an early break and just brings so much intensity to the court. Just full top-spins right from the start. It's hard to deal with those balls, it takes a little bit of time to adapt and to adjust to it."