‘I’m heading in the right direction’ – Novak Djokovic feeling ‘100%’ in building to Roland Garros
Novak Djokovic feels he is now back to pretty much his highest level physically after his run to the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters.
The three-time Madrid champion was not able to add a fourth title to his cabinet after falling to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals.
While a tough result, Djokovic was not disappointed with his play.
The world number one said of his form ahead of his first match in Rome: “I think it’s closer to the desired level every week,”
“[In] Madrid, even though I lost in the semifinals, I still think I played really good tennis.
“[I] felt physically 100%, even after an almost three-and-a-half-hour battle against Alcaraz.”
Before Madrid, while Djokovic held a 3-2 win-loss record across the clay for the season, he had lost the opening set in all five of those matches.
In the Spanish capital he made sure to be more clinical, winning his first two matches in straight sets before his epic with Alcaraz.
He continued on how he felt after that match: “I recovered well the next day, was ready to go.
“That’s a positive and encouraging factor prior to Rome and also, of course, the big goal which is Paris.
“I think I’m [heading] in the right direction.”
Djokovic faces world number 35 Aslan Karatsev first in Rome, a third tour meeting between the two men, with the head-to-head split 1-1.
Karatsev won their most recent encounter in the semi-finals of last year’s Serbia Open in a three-set thriller that lasted nearly three and a half hours on court.
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