‘Novak Djokovic has taken me to another…’, says ATP ace

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has admitted that playing Rafael Nadal on clay stands out for him as he still remembers well the 2013 Monte-Carlo Masters final and an impressive win over the record 13-time Open champion. France. In 2013, Nadal arrived in Monte Carlo determined to win his ninth consecutive title at the tournament. After losing the Monte Carlo finals in 2009 and 2012, Djokovic was determined to go one step further in 2012. Djokovic and Nadal met in the 2013 Monte-Carlo Masters final and Djokovic put on an impressive performance to beat the Spaniard 6-2, 7-6 (1) and win his first Monte-Carlo title. “Yes, those matches against Rafa on clay have always stood out. I think the 2013 final that I won against him in straight sets was one of the best I’ve ever played on clay, against him obviously he’s been winning every single clay court tournament for more than 10 times. So of course it’s always a big challenge to beat him on this surface,” Djokovic said, according to Sportskeeda. Djokovic, who captured his second and last Monte Carlo title in 2015, hopes to have a good week and win his first Monte Carlo title of the season. “The clay court is the surface I grew up on in Serbia and I played many years only on that surface actually. Historically, it hasn’t been my most successful surface, but I’ve had great success on clay. [The] Roland Garros victory last year is still fresh in my memory, so I try to use that as inspiration to start the clay-court season [in] the best possible way,” Djokovic said. “I understand that I probably won’t be at my best at the beginning of this week. I’m still testing my engine, so to speak, and building my game, so obviously it’s going to take some time, a few matches to really get into a groove and find the competitive game that I really need.”

Jannik Sinner on facing Djokovic

During a recent interview with Italian daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Jannik Sinner reflected on his epic five-set match against Novak Djokovic. “I think about it, of course, and after a few days of bad temper, I tried to look at the positive side. Nole had to raise the level to the maximum, otherwise, it would have ended differently. In the end, it almost seems that I have collapsed, but no, it is he who has taken me to another dimension. I thought back to the defeat to Djokovic that I didn’t collapse, but he entered another dimension. I’m growing up. And in New York, I want to go all the way,” Sinner said.