Djokovic admits ‘Novak Slam’ is on his mind
Originally published on: 23/05/12 00:00
Novak Djokovic will try not to think too much about the possibility of completing a “Novak Slam” at next week’s French Open but admits that the thought of achieving it does cross his mind. The world No.1 already holds the Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon titles and would become the first man to wear all four Grand Slam crowns since Rod Laver in 1969 if he wins at Roland Garros.
“The facts are there,” Djokovic said when asked whether he would try to block out the idea of going for all four titles. “I cannot say it’s not present or whatever. That’s not true. It’s there. It’s a possibility for me to win a fourth Grand Slam in a row. But I’m going to Paris and preparing for a Grand Slam as I would prepare for any other event.
“Because it’s a Grand Slam of course you prepare with more focus and commitment because it’s two weeks long. It’s the most important tournament now on this surface for all of us and we all want to deliver our best game. Physically I’m good and this is something that makes me happy, that I feel good on the court. Obviously there are adjustments to make and some more practice before Paris, but I believe I’ll be in top form.”
When Djokovic went to Roland Garros 12 months ago he was unbeaten since the end of the previous year. This year he has suffered five defeats. Crucially, he has lost twice in clay-court Masters 1000 finals to Rafa Nadal, having previously beaten the Spaniard in seven finals in succession
“He is always the favourite whoever he plays against [on clay],” Djokovic said. “Even if I beat him seven times in a row, I think he’s the best player in the world on this surface. There’s no doubt about that. He’s so good. He’s really, really difficult to beat, especially over the best of five sets.”