When Dominic Thiem won the US Open last Sunday, he became the first player besides Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to win a Grand Slam title since Stan Wawrinka who also won the US Open four years ago. Already in the past Thiem came close to achieving this title but was stopped on 3 occasions first by Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros and then by Novak Djokovic at the last Australian Open where he was really close to winning.
Novak Djokovic is happy that he is a part of 'one of the best generations in the history of tennis' Djokovic also said Rafael Nadal is the favorite for the French Open, followed by Dominic Thiem and himself.
Djokovic on the French Open
"In our sport, the number of Grand Slams and weeks as number one, I would say, are the two main goals throughout my career," Novak Djokovic said.
"We all (himself, Federer and Nadal) have our own paths and trajectories, we have unique careers, but at the same time we live a moment that allows us to be together. It is definitely one of the best generations in the history of tennis and I am grateful to be in this era with these two players," he added.
"Whenever we can play against each other, encounters are true classics. Yes, Roger Federer is injured now, I hope he will recover soon and now we also have younger players, a new Grand Slam champion like Dominic Thiem."
The 33-year-old maintained that Nadal would remain the favorite in Paris. "We know that Rafael Nadal is the favorite for Roland Garros, he has only lost two matches there and has an impressive track record," Novak Djokovic said.
"Thiem is also a candidate, he has already played two finals there," Djokovic said. "If I manage to prepare well, I also like my options. Clay is the surface that demands the most out of players physically and mentally on the tour, so I have to be very prepared."
Novak Djokovic moved one win away from a record-breaking 36th ATP Masters 1000 trophy on Sunday with a 7-5, 6-3 victory against Casper Ruud in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia semi-finals. The World No. 1 saved two set points in the first set and fired 12 aces to improve to 10-1 in Rome semi-finals.
Djokovic will attempt to break a tie with fellow 35-time Masters 1000 champion Rafael Nadal when he faces Diego Schwartzman or Denis Shapovalov in the championship match on Monday.