Q: You said on the court that playing Rafa at Roland Garros is the biggest challenge in sports. Can you explain why? What do you have to do to beat him on Sunday?
Novak Djokovic: Well, isn’t that clear? He’s won this tournament so many times that I don’t think any player has won that many times in any tournament. He lost twice throughout his career on this field. Conditions are clearly different from the conditions we are used to playing in May and June. I think this might be a better opportunity for me, the ball clearly doesn’t hopping over the shoulder as he usually likes it.
Yeah, I mean, look, no matter the circumstances, he’s still out there, he’s Rafa, he’s in the finals and we’re playing on the clay. The best five out of five that I have played with in the Finals at Roland Garros, I know that feeling. I lost against him on this field most of the games we played, but I also won one game in 2015 in straight sets in the quarter-finals. This is the match I’m going back to and obviously I’m trying to pull some positives out of it and use it tactically against him.
I’m not physically fatigued much after tonight’s match, obviously, it’s nearly four hours. It was a great battle. But I feel fine. I think a day and a half will be plenty of time for me to recover. I am really looking forward to having a great fight with Rafa.
Q: He will get his twentieth slam title. You are going to your eighteenth job. People say this is the biggest game I have ever played. Do you feel there’s more at stake this time?
Novak Djokovic: The Grand Slam Finals are always huge. This is what you work for all year, every season in hopes that you can put yourself in a position to fight for the Grand Slam tournaments. But I don’t think it’s the biggest game I’ve played in my life. I think there was some bigger.
By importance, I mean, if I had to compare, although I don’t like it, but it would probably be the first Wimbledon finals I’ve actually played against. Wimbledon was always the one I wanted to win as a kid and I dreamed of winning. Perhaps this is what stands out. The 2016 French Open against Andy Murray is here. Each French Open The final match I played was the match of my life before I actually won it.
Yes, I mean, there is one thing for sure that I would like to say important and different when I play the French Open Finals in any other Slam final. This is the least I won, so I am of course very excited to try to get another trophy.