Djokovic: “I found the game” on clay

Novak Djokovic wasn’t good enough to win on Sunday in Rome, but he feels he has turned a corner this weekend, and bolstered his Roland-Garros hopes in the process.

Djokovic Monte-Carlo

Something clicked for Novak Djokovic in Rome this weekend. Never mind the difficult loss that the world No 1 suffered at the hands of Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final at the Foro Italico. For Djokovic, Rome was about discovery. Or should we say rediscovery?

Whatever one calls it, no mistake can be made about the fact that Djokovic took his clay game up a few levels at Rome after struggling in Monte-Carlo and Belgrade. It’s something that the Serb was keenly aware of after Sunday’s final.

“Overall almost three hours of high-quality tennis,” Djokovic told the press after the final. “Of course I’m disappointed not to win it, but at the same time I’m very pleased with the level of tennis that I managed to find in the later stages of this tournament. Going into Paris brings me good sensation. I actually now started to feel like I actually want to feel on clay. So I think if I manage to play the way I played last night and today, I think I have a good chance to go all the way in Paris.”

Next Stop, Belgrade: “I think I’m on the right way”

Djokovic says that he is excited to continue building his momentum with an appearance at the Belgrade Open, which will take place from May 22-29.

“This coming week I’m going to rest as much as I can, because I had enough time with the racquet on the court,” Djokovic said. “So I’m just going to rejuvenate, regroup, and then start training again some days before the start of the Belgrade Open. I’m hoping I can go all the way there, playing at home, most likely we are going to see the crowd in the stands, so that’s going to be fantastic to kind of feed off that energy, to go to Paris with good feelings on the court, off the court, spend some time with the family additionally which I wouldn’t get if I go earlier to Paris.”

Djokovic hopes to continue his progress so that he may arrive in Paris in peak form on the clay.

“I’m looking forward,” he said. “You know, I have to obviously keep the momentum going I feel with the quality of tennis. Do more training, of course, and some few more matches. I think I’m on the right way.”

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