'It did not hamper my game until...', says Novak Djokovic

The Serbian tennis star has amassed numerous records in his career

by Simone Brugnoli
'It did not hamper my game until...', says Novak Djokovic
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason

Casper Ruud is one of the certainties of this Roland Garros. The Norwegian, who can already boast two finals here in Paris, in 2022 and 2023, will challenge Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals, who yesterday with tooth and nail won yet another battle, against Francisco Cerundolo, after having had a ‘night’ against our Lorenzo Musetti a few days earlier.

The 24-year-old from Baerum encountered some difficulties against the American Taylor Fritz. After losing the second set, Casper then got back on track by getting the better of his opponent. Now he will face the Serbian legend, who however raised the alarm after the match after the problems with his knee: “I don’t know if I’ll be able to play my quarterfinal match”.

While waiting to dispel the doubts about his next opponent, Ruud praised Nole’s latest feat with great sportsmanship: “I say clearly that for me he is the second best player in history on clay, after Nadal. I didn't see much of what happened in his match against Cerúndolo, but I heard that he was even down a break in the fourth set and was able to come back.

He's always up to a challenge and overcomes it when needed. He has all the shots. Maybe he doesn't play with the same weight as Rafa and his extreme topspin, but he doesn't need it. He has other qualities that are almost as good."

Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Novak Djokovic's conditions are worrying

In the last two matches, after playing more than four hours and after looking a little bit under the strength, he showed that he is capable of coming back.

I expect Novak Djokovic to be ready, he has two days of rest, I don't think he thinks too much if he played 9, 12 or 4 hours in the last two days. Novak is Novak. He will be ready no matter what. I will try to think that I am 25 and he is 37.

He played a couple of hours more than me and I hope that will have an impact at the end of the match. And then he concluded by saying: "I hope he can go on court: it would be a shame if he doesn't play the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.

It's his body, his decision; I think we will have to wait, but I will prepare like for any other match", he concluded. During the press conference, Nole reflected on his injury: "For the last couple of weeks, I had some discomfort (I would call that way) in the right knee but I haven't had an injury that would be concerning me at all. I was playing a few tournaments with it and had no issues until today," he explained.

Novak Djokovic