Novak Djokovic Roland Garros 2021 Nadal

‘I do not copy Rafael Nadal – Novak Djokovic on potential French Open semi-final

Novak Djokovic insists he does not copy Rafael Nadal on clay, as their potential semi-final showdown became closer to reality after both players progressed through to the quarter-finals yesterday.

Djokovic has faced Nadal eight times at Roland Garros, winning just once. However, the Serb will be adopting his own tactics if the Nadal match comes to fruition.

“It’s always good to catch certain details from your rivals,” Djokovic said. “Rafa and I have a completely different style of play, so I don’t try to copy his game or anything like that on any surface.”

“I have my own authentic style that I have developed over the years, but definitely when you watch Nadal play on clay, there is always something you can learn from.”

“I consider myself a student of this sport. I can always learn something not only from him, but from any player on the circuit,” he added. “I always have an open mind every time I watch tennis.”

Djokovic holds a 29-28 lead in the head-to-head against Nadal, but the Spaniard has had the upper hand on clay in recent years, winning the last five meetings.

Both players will play their quarter-final matches on Wednesday. Djokovic faces Italian Matteo Berrettini, while Nadal will take on Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.