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Djokovic: "I Expect A Lot From Myself"

Paris, France

Djokovic © Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic will look to reach the Roland Garros final for the first time.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic states that he is at the “peak of his career” as he prepares to begin his bid for a fourth straight Grand Slam title this coming fortnight at Roland Garros.

“Mindset is always positive and I’m always expecting from myself a lot,” said the Serbian, who is looking to become the first player to accomplish the feat since Rod Laver completed the calendar year Grand Slam in 1969. “I had the best year-and-a-half of my career and I believe I’m at the peak of my career at this moment. I definitely want to use this confidence I have and try to make a good result here in Roland Garros.”

In 2011, Djokovic entered the clay-court Slam with an unbeaten season record and seven titles, including straight-sets wins over Rafael Nadal in the Madrid and Rome finals. This year, he has a 30-5 match record with titles at the Australian Open and Miami.

After winning seven straight matches against Nadal, including the last three Grand Slam finals, Djokovic saw his winning streak against the Spaniard end in Monte-Carlo this past April. He lost to the Spaniard again last week in the Rome final.

“He’s always the favourite for this tournament,” said Djokovic of the six-time Roland Garros champion. “He even was last year. He’s always the number one favourite because he just is what he is on clay courts. He’s the most successful tennis player ever to play on this surface.

“He played well in the Rome final. Even though it was a straight-sets win, I thought we played a close match but he was playing better. That’s what you expect from him. You can always expect him to be at his top, even at the later stages of Grand Slams and tournaments. Here he’s even going to be more difficult to beat because it’s going to be the best of five.”

The pair faced off at Roland Garros three straight years from 2006-08, once in the quarter-finals and twice in the semi-finals, matches won by the Spaniard in straight sets.

Djokovic reached the semi-finals for the third time last year, only to fall to Roger Federer. He is seeded to face the Swiss again in the final four this year, with a final showdown against Nadal potentially on the line.

But first up for the Serbian will be Italian Potito Starace in an afternoon match Monday on Court Philippe Chatrier. “Starace is a clay-court specialist so it’s not going to be an easy match,” he said.

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