Djokovic, aiming for 23 Grand Slam titles, says “I honestly don’t want to see Nadal at Roland Garros”

With clay-court sensation Rafael Nadal (Spain, World No. 15) having withdrawn from this year’s edition of the four Grand Slam tournaments at Roland Garros due to injury, the door is open for Novak Djokovic (Serbia, World No. 2) to become the first man to win 23 Grand Slam titles.

Djokovic played a one-set event match against Karen Khachanov on Court Suzanne Lalande at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France, to mark Yannick Noah’s Day (formerly known as Kids’ Day), a day ahead of the start of the main draw at Roland Garros, and easily won 6-3.

Djokovic spoke to the media after his event match and gave his thoughts on his chances of becoming the first man to win a 23rd Grand Slam title, Rafael Nadal’s absence and his favourite to win the title.

“It’s no secret that one of the main reasons I play and compete in professional tennis is to break more records and make more history in tennis, and that’s very inspiring for me. But I’m not in the same shape as I was 10 years ago,” he said.안전놀이터

Djokovic won 22 Grand Slam titles at this year’s Australian Open, tying him with Nadal for the most Grand Slam wins, but his path to the title was not easy due to an elbow injury.

“I know how to approach a Grand Slam,” Djokovic said. I have a very good team of people around me and so far everything is going well in the last week of training. To be able to break history is undoubtedly very pleasing and motivating,” he said.

Asked about Nadal’s absence, Djokovic said: “To be honest, I don’t want to see him in the Roland Garros draw (laughs), I haven’t had that much success against him at Roland Garros. I managed to beat him twice, but I know how hard it is to play against him.” Djokovic, who has played Nadal 10 times at Roland Garros, has won just twice, in the quarter-finals in 2015 and the semi-finals in 2021.

“It’s a great loss for tennis and for the tournament that Nadal is not here, because he is the most successful player in the history of this tournament,” Djokovic said, adding: “He is such an exemplary player. We still have a competitive spirit and he is one of the most influential people I have ever met.”

Djokovic picked Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) as his favourite to win the tournament. “Because he’s the world number one and he’s won big on clay this season,” Djokovic said. So right now, regardless of the fact that he has one Grand Slam and I have 22 Grand Slams, he is the strongest favourite,” he continued, “Grand Slams are a different sport in some ways. Experience is on my side, but we’ll see.”

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