Novak Djokovic: “I can’t allow myself to enjoy Roland-Garros victory too much”

The world No 1 is focused on Wimbledon as he tries to win the third leg of the calendar-year Grand Slam

Novak Djokovic

For Novak Djokovic, the job is only half done.

The Serb’s victory at Roland-Garros earlier this month gave him a 19th Grand Slam title and put him halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam, something last achieved by the great Australian Rod Laver in 1969.

“Winning Roland-Garros took a lot out of me”

Victory for the 34-year-old at Wimbledon two weeks on Sunday would give him the third leg of the Grand Slam and equal the all-time Grand Slam record of 20, shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

And though the joy of winning a second Roland-Garros title remains strong, Djokovic is keeping his mind on the job at hand.

“The level of confidence is pretty high,” he told reporters at Wimbledon on Saturday. “Obviously winning the two majors this year, playing very well at Roland Garros, that tournament took a lot out of me, I think, mentally and physically and emotionally. It also granted me with an incredible amount of positive energy and confidence that created a wave that I’m trying to ride, so to say.

“I did not allow myself, I cannot allow myself, to enjoy that victory too much because four days later after I won the title I was on the grass courts training. I didn’t have too much time really to reflect on what has happened in Paris. That’s how it is. That’s the tennis season and tennis schedule. I turn the next page.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to do as well here in Wimbledon as I have in ’18 and ’19. I’ve been on a run on these courts. I love being here. It’s the dream tournament. Has always been a dream tournament for me (since) I was a seven-year-old dreaming to win the Wimbledon. It always gives me goose bumps walking onto these courts and inspires me to play my best.”

Novak Djokovic
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 25, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during a practice session

Peaking at the Grand Slams

When he won the Australian Open in February, Djokovic said he planned to take more breaks, balancing family life with his remaining goals in the game. The only man to win all nine Masters 1000s and now, after his Roland-Garros win, only the third man to win all four Grand Slams twice, his focus is on slams, starting with Wimbledon.

“Well, I have 19 major titles, so I know what’s the perspective with 19,” he said. “With 20 I don’t know. Hopefully I can find out in few weeks, but let’s see.”

“Grand Slams are the biggest motivation I have right now at this stage of my career, he said. “I’ve been saying that before. I want to try to make the most out of Grand Slams as I possibly can. I’m trying to peak at the majors. I’ve been managing to do that throughout my career. I’ve had fortune to really play my best tennis when it mattered the most I think.

“Obviously nowadays I have to adjust my schedule a bit more with obviously the quality time with family that means a lot to me, reducing the number of tournaments, trying to adjust everything so that I could be at my top level on slams. That’s how my last year and a half looked like, and that’s how probably the rest of my career will look like in terms of scheduling the tournaments.”

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