Novak Djokovic is in Paris aiming to do something just one player in the field has done before, but he isn’t fazed. It’s because that player is him.

Djokovic won the 2016 French Open to become one of the few players to hold all four Grand Slams at once, and is now in a position to do it again as he comes in having taken the title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. The only comparable feat is Rod Laver’s calendar Slams in 1962 and 1969.

The 32-year-old acknowledged the potential accomplishment during his pre-event press conference.

“There is an extra motivation and incentive to win Roland Garros because of the opportunity to hold all four Slams, something I did three years ago,” Djokovic said. “That gives me obviously enough reason to believe I can do it again.”

He’s also looking to get similar backing from the crowd as he did then, receiving loud cheers following three previous defeats in the finals at the event.  

“I love playing in Roland Garros always throughout my career, and especially four or five years I received a lot of support from the French crowd. Because of that support, I managed to win in 2016,” he said.

In 2018, a shaky Djokovic fell in the quarterfinals of the French Open before turning around his season on the grass. This season, he is coming off a title at Madrid and a final defeat to Rafael Nadal at Rome. 

Though Djokovic still calls Nadal the favorite for the event, he is pleased with his own level.

“Now I hold three Slams, and being No.1 of the world, obviously I have more confidence,” he said. “I felt like I had a fantastic couple weeks in Madrid and Rome, and I probably ran ‘out of gas’ a little bit in the finals with a couple of long matches and late-night finishes. Overall, very positive weeks, and it’s a great lead-up to what’s coming up here.”

The Serb is the top seed at Paris.

Back to top button