The Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic recognised after be champion of Masters 1,000 at Rome that Rafael Nadal “is the biggest rival” of his career.
Djokovic is clear, the Spanish tennis player is his biggest opposing, the only one who has more Grand Slams than him (21). The Serbian arrives to Roland Garros on a really great shape and he has shown it on Italian clay court, where he has not yielded a single set and he won Stefanos Tsitsipas (6-0 and 7-6) to raise his sixth tittle on the Italian capital.
“We are always competing. Federer and Nadal have always been there, but for me Nadal is the biggest rival of my career. I have grown as player because he pushed me to that” said on press conference after the final.
Also, he said that he is not thinking about a retirement at the moment. “I don´t feel near to the end of my career, the age is just a number”.
This victory has relieved the Serbian after a start of year where he has been more protagonist for other controversy things than for the tennis. “Win it is a relief, sincerely, after what has happened since the beginning of the year (when he could not participate on the Australia Open for not being vaccinated of COVID). Is important to win a big tittle before a `Grand Slam´ and recover like this the confidence to have chances to win at Paris“.
“Historically, I always find my strength here at Rome. I have not been able to have a better week. I trusted on the process, I did a perfect first set on the final and I have not given a single set on the tournament” added.
“On land I need more time, it has always been like this. Usually I reach the best shape here at Rome, always with good tennis weeks, something perfect with regard to the preparation of Roland Garros” explained.
Novak also talked about the sanction to the Rusian and Belarusians athletes, that they could not compete at Wimbledon. A decision that he does not share. “No one wins in wars, the athletes are here to do sport, is a tough decision and I am not agree. Undoubtedly, boycott Wimbledon is something very tough too and I am not agree that that. Personally, I think that there are situations in which you have to take a step forward and be together” expressed.