Djokovic aspires to be as ‘ready’ as possible for Roland-Garros

Novak Djokovic waves to spectators as he leaves the pitch after losing his second round match against Alejandro Davidovic Fokina at the Monte Carlo Country Club in France on April 12, 2022. – Reuters Photo

BELGRADE, April 19 – Novak Djokovic said on Monday he aims to be “as ready as possible” for Roland Garros as he prepares for his third tournament of the season in Belgrade this week.

The world number one was kicked out of Australia ahead of the Australian Open in January due to his Covid vaccination case, before also missing the Indian Wells and Miami Open in the United States.

In the Serbian star’s absence, Rafael Nadal won the No.21 singles title at the Melbourne Grand Slam, emerging from a tie with Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Djokovic is hoping to match his great rival’s tally at Roland Garros, which starts on May 22.

“Roland Garros is the perfect tournament on clay, and I’m already partly in my thoughts, in terms of preparation and everything I’m doing right now to be as prepared as possible,” Djokovic told reporters in Belgrade. . .

The 34-year-old also said he plans to play at the Madrid Masters and the Italian Open before Roland Garros.

“My current plan includes Madrid and Rome,” he added.

“It really depends on my score here and my form. We will decide then. »

Djokovic lost in his opener at the Monte-Carlo Masters last week to runner-up Alejandro Davidovic Fokina, after being knocked out in the quarter-finals in Dubai in February.

“I wasn’t quite ready for the Monte Carlo tournament and I knew that before the tournament started,” he said.

“However, I need to train for matches and it’s the (muddy) surface that requires a lot of time on the pitch during training, and even more during matches.

“I hope to play more matches in Belgrade than in Monte-Carlo. »

Djokovic won the ATP tournament in the Serbian capital last season, a week before the start of the French Open, which he won for the second time despite trailing Stefanos Tsitsipas by two sets in the final.

“I’ve never been to a tournament before the week before Roland Garros, but last year I decided to do just that.

“Because it was Belgrade and I needed to feel that the public was the wind under my wing. It came true, I won the championship and it turned out that I had made a good decision before Roland-Garros. »

Top seed Djokovic will face a compatriot when he enters the tournament in the second round – either Laszlo Djere or Hamad Medjovic.

He could face former US Open champion and two-time French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals, as the Austrian contests his first ATP event since last June after a string of injury setbacks. . – France Media Agency

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