Novak Djokovic believes that Rafael Nadal still has the highest chances in the remaining tournaments of the clay season despite having lost to Fabio Fognini in Monte Carlo and Dominic Thiem in Barcelona. "We're getting this question over and over again.
But my answer will be the same. He's always the No. 1 favourite to win any clay court event. It's not any different here in Madrid. Actually, even more here in Madrid because he's playing at home", said Djokovic.
Djokovic looks forward to competing in Madrid again. The Serb will make his debut at this year's event on Tuesday in the day session against Taylor Fritz. The 31-year-old held a pre-tournament press conference on Monday: "Good afternoon to everybody.
It is nice to be back in Madrid. I have had very good success and some good results here in the past. And I'm happy to be healthy playing Madrid because last year that wasn't the case. After surgery, I was on the way back and I still struggled a little bit with the elbow.
This year's quite different. So, conditions here are obviously different than any other clay court event. The altitude affects the play. The ball flies through the air quite quickly and it's not easy to control the ball.
But as I said, in the memories from the years when I won the tournament in 2011 and '16, I'm trying to relive these memories again and get obviously confidence from starting off the season well in Australia. I haven't been maybe playing my best in the last couple of months. But I'm slowly building and hopefully, I can manifest my best tennis here. Thank you."