Novak: I deserve to celebrate now, I will think about Tsitsipas later
Novak Djokovic admitted that he played one of the best matches of his career.Source: Z.K.
The victory in four sets over the eternal rival Rafa Nadal will be talked about for a long time, and the most important thing is that Novak is in the new final and that he will fight for the 19th Grand Slam on Sunday.
In a conversation with journalists, Djokovic managed to classify where this match was ranked in his career.
"Definitely the greatest match I've played at Roland Garros and in the top three I've played in my career, considering the quality of tennis, that I played with the biggest rival on the court and that he has had so much success here, he has been dominant here for the last 15 or more years. The atmosphere was electrified, for both players, strong support. Great. I'm happy there was no curfew at 11 p.m. I heard there was a special decision, so they let them stay. This is a night I will remember for a long time", Novak acknowledged.
He said he was not nervous at the start.
"Although I didn't have a great start, I wasn't nervous because I felt like I was hitting the ball well. It was all about adjusting to his balls which are different from anyone else's. The amount of spin playing from the forehand angle is amazing. Still, I was ready. I felt mentally good, I was motivated, I had a clear game plan and tactics, everything I needed to play better than in last year's final. The beginning was reminiscent of that final but I went back to the first set. Although I lost it, at those 3: 6 I found my game. I started with a break in the second and then it started nicely. I found the service after the break in the fourth set. In general, the service was not a strong weapon for me tonight. I was hoping to have a little more easy points or at least an easier shot after the first serve, but that wasn't happening until the fourth set. When I was at 0: 2 in that set, something clicked, I won six games in a row. There was that quality of serve that gave me a lot easy points", considers world number one.
He played the match for over four hours, the question is how long he will recover until the final with Tsitsipas.
"I'm not the freshest, but it's good to have a day and a half to rest, to regroup, to recover for the next match. I'll enjoy the victory a little. There's not much time, but I think I deserve to relax a little without thinking about the next rival although it is a grand slam final. I will think about it tomorrow, in the second part of the day. Now it's all about resting and getting ready for the match with a guy who is in good shape".
Impossible Achieved 👊@DjokerNole becomes the first player in history to defeat Nadal in a Paris semi-final, besting the Spaniard 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 to reach the title match.#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/Cfy4178lSW— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 11, 2021
Novak has had a lot of situations like this, he is experienced and knows what to do.
"It's not the first time I've played an epic Grand Slam semifinal and I have to play the final in less than 48 hours. My recovery skills are very good, so it has been throughout my career. The physiotherapist will do his best for me to be as fresh as possible. I've played a lot of tennis, I don't have to train too much. Now I have to do things slowly until the finals. I know what it takes, it's the first final for Tsitsipas, for him it's a great success, but I'm sure he doesn't want to stop there. He's in great shape, I think leads in the ATP race. He has the best results, he has matured, slag is perhaps his best surface. We played epic five sets last year, I know it will be another tough match. I hope to recharge my batteries as much as possible because I will definitely need a lot of energy”, the Melbourne champion clearly concluded.
This triumph of Novak is very important in terms of the eternal list in the number of Grand Slam titles.
If the Spaniard had won this evening, he would most likely have managed to cope with Stefanos Tsitsipas, which would have escaped Federer by one, and Djokovic by three of the biggest titles.
The psychological advantage is now completely on the side of the Serbian ace, who will fight for his second Roland Garros on Sunday, and the 19th overall Grand Slam.