David Goffin shared what makes Novak Djokovic such a difficult opponent. Speaking before his straight-set loss at the Japan Open in Tokyo, the Belgian said: “He puts pressure on every point. He’s returning everything very long, just next to the baseline.
And then during the point, he puts pressure. He takes the ball early, he makes you run a lot, so you never feel comfortable when you play against him because he’s always playing really fast and really precise all the time.
It’s not like playing Roger when you feel like you receive winners all the time. But when it’s Novak, you have the feeling that it’s very solid. He doesn’t miss, he doesn’t give anything. [His shots are] long and he’s moving so well, so it’s tough to find a solution because you’re always in a bad position to play a shot.
So that’s why it’s not easy to play against him”. On how his Japanese language skills have improved, Djokovic added: "I need to study it more. I remember one or two more words every day. I hope to be able to speak it before the tournament ends.
I am happy that I came to Japan and play this tournament for the first time. There are not many events that I did not play on Tour, but Japan was one of those. I imagined that this day would have come. I hope to be able to spend a lot of time here and I am grateful for the crowd support.
I came here a bit earlier and I experienced several things, so there are only positives. Everyone is nice and I feel like a local hero here. I want to get good results in this tournament and play the Olympics in one year."