Novak Djokovic Roland Garros 2019

‘Clay is my least favourite surface,’ says Novak Djokovic ahead of French Open

Novak Djokovic has admitted that clay is his least favourite surface as he prepares for the French Open.

Djokovic is seen as the man most likely to break Rafael Nadal’s dominance at Roland Garros next month, and his record on the red dirt is pretty much as impressive as you would expect it to be.

However, despite clay being the surface he played on most as a youngster, he says it has actually become his least favourite due to the unpredictability.

“Although I grew up on clay, it is not my favourite surface,” Djokovic told reporters in Belgrade.

“I like to play on hard, then on grass, and then only on clay. But, that doesn’t mean that I recorded bad results on clay.

“Australian Open. Melbourne Park. Rod Laver Arena. 7 p.m. That is the most ideal.

“Clay is the kind of surface where it is unpredictable, and sometimes for my style of play, tempo, and rhythm it can be quite challenging.

“When there are a lot of bad bounces, when the quality of the surface is not the best, even the wind, what kind of balls they are.

“People on television think it’s not a big difference, but for us it’s a big difference when the balls change, when you play the evening match, when you play in the middle of the day, when the humidity is higher, the altitude, when it’s warmer… that for our sport makes a big difference.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.