In the week before Roland Garros, the ATP Belgrade 2 takes place, the second tournament in the space of a few weeks that takes place in the Serbian capital. After the sensational scalp with the defeat suffered by Aslan Karatsev in the semifinals and the victory of Matteo Berrettini in the final, the world number one and home idol Novak Djokovic participates in the event with the aim of winning and preparing Roland Garros in the best possible way.
After the recent defeats in Monte Carlo, in Belgrade and in the final in Rome, Nole wants to reach Roland Garros with at least one tournament won on clay. In this 2021, after the victory at the Australian Open, Nole continues the hunt for the two rivals of all time in the Slam fight: currently the Serbian champion chases with 18 titles while Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal lead this ranking with 20 titles.
Several times and several times both Nole and his father in the statements, have expressed the will to try to reach the great rivals by the end of the year, a very difficult but not impossible thing given that the Serbian will be the great favorite both at Wimbledon and at the Us Open.
From a certain point of view, however, it is a sensation that the Serbian tennis player participates in a 250 just the week before a Grand Slam tournament, his declared goal since the beginning of the season. After the Bye in the first round Novak Djokovic awaits the winner between a qualifier and the Belarusian Eran Gerasimov, but very few tennis players are competing for the title.
Accomplice to the upcoming Roland Garros there are very few major tennis players to participate in the tournament, the seeded number two is the Frenchman, in sharp decline in this 2021, Gael Monfils, who awaits the winner between his compatriot and Sinner's executioner in Lyon, Arthur Rinderknech, and a qualified.
Many Serbs on the draw, as it should be, and the world number one could face Miomir Kecmanovic in the quarter-finals in an intriguing Serbian derby. To the possible quarters another interesting match between Krajinovic and the winner between Mannarino and Lucas Pouille (in case of victory over the Spanish Verdasco).
Novak Djokovic on facing younger players
Speaking to the media ahead of his Belgrade campaign, Novak Djokovic explained why the match practice in his hometown event is so important for his Roland Garros chances. "I've been setting up everything to peak in Paris and here it's about matchplay and it's about working on certain specific details in my game that hopefully I'll be able to tweak them and to make them perfectly tuned in Paris," Djokovic said.
Shifting his focus to the debate over the number of sets in Slams, Novak Djokovic claimed that he sees himself faring better against younger players in the longer format due to his vast experience. "If I have to play against young tennis players I prefer to play matches to the best of five sets than to three," the Serb said.
"I feel that physically I am well and in matches of this type I have much more experience than them. Obviously that does not guarantee me victory, but I feel that I am a little ahead of them. The longer a game is, the more I feel that I can beat them."