Novak Djokovic: 'Facing Rafael Nadal is the biggest challenge in tennis'


by   |  VIEW 15064
Novak Djokovic: 'Facing Rafael Nadal is the biggest challenge in tennis'

In a press conference at the Toronto's Rogers Cup, Novak Djokovic is back to speak about his rivalry with Rafael Nadal. The Serb defeated the Spaniard in the Wimbledon semi-final last month and now he admitted that appreciates epic matches with Nadal even more.

'We're not teenagers anymore,' Djokovic admitted. 'And I think we both are very pleased that we're able to play at this level. And Rafa being no. 1 in the world, deservedly so, is always probably the biggest challenge that you can face in sport, facing him on clay.

Any other tournament, but especially on clay. Wimbledon semifinals was definitely one the best, most exciting matches that I was part of, and that's not uncommon with Nadal. We had plenty of those in the past. It was so even that it really could have gone either way.

And until the last shot, I didn't know whether I was going to win. I believed I could, but yeah. It was a really thrilling match and just one of the matches that I'll never forget and carry with me for the rest of my life.' Asked what has been the biggest improvement in his game since he returned to the competition in January, Djokovic replied: 'I think it's consistency.

If I have to choose a shot, it would probably be serve. You know, I think I served very well in Wimbledon, the fastest surface in our sport, where a lot of the tactics are dependent on how accurately and how well you serve.

And I thought I did extremely well, especially against Nadal when I needed to, in that thrilling match, and then against Kevin (Anderson) in the finals. And I thought I served very well today, as well, except those double faults in the game when I lost the break.

But in general, I worked a lot on that shot. And I think just in general, consistency of playing on a high-level match after match, I haven't had that postsurgery for several months. I was struggling to play two or three matches in a row consistently well.

So that has changed and obviously feels good.' Commenting on his choice to play doubles with Kevin Anderson - they won the opening round match - Djokovic said: 'I must admit it was exciting, but it was also strange because he's a top player.

We faced each other less than a month ago in Wimbledon in finals. And now you are sitting next to him so close and then you're drinking water, sharing towels. You feel each other's breath and everything. I think it's quite an interesting experience for both of us and refreshing at times because we see each other mostly across the net.

To be on the same side of the net was great, and I enjoyed it very much so. I'm looking forward to another match with him.' ALSO READ: 'Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal': Tsitsipas reveals who admires the most .