ROLAND GARROS 2012
Djokovic: "I Wouldn't Change Anything"
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic came up one match short of becoming just the second player in the Open Era to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time Monday, falling to second-ranked Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in the Roland Garros final that was played over two days. Despite the disappointment on the missed opportunity to make history, Djokovic was satisfied with his showing in Paris.
“It's beautiful. These matches make you feel like all the work that you put into it is worth [it],” Djokovic said. “You're living for this moment to play the final of any Grand Slam, and sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. I lost this time. But I believe that there are still many years to come, and hopefully I can come back stronger.
“We almost played four hours. I thought we played a fantastic match where people hopefully enjoyed yesterday and today, and I was even surprised with the number of people who attended this match today. It was a working day, but it was still a full stadium.”
The Serbian, along with Nadal and Roger Federer, have monopolised Grand Slam hardware over the past seven seasons. Since the 2005 Roland Garros final, when Rafael Nadal captured his first of a now record-breaking seven titles, the current Top 3 players on the ATP World Tour have collected 28 of the past 29 titles. Djokovic believes this is benefiting the game.
“I think the sport is experiencing some really good times now,” said Djokovic. “We're attracting a lot of attention to men's tennis because we have, these two great players, [Nadal and Federer], Murray, [and] myself. We really have some great players, some charismatic players, a lot of personalities. This is good for tennis.”
After clinching his seventh consecutive final victory over Nadal at the Australian Open in the longest major final in history, Djokovic has dropped three straight meetings to the Spainaird on clay, in the finals of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Monte-Carlo, Rome and Monday’s Paris title match. In 2011, his lone defeat on clay was to Federer in the Roland Garros semi-finals.
“He has won three finals against me. It's tough to be more consistent than that, on this surface,” said Djokovic. “Last year I lost only one match on clay. But look, things happen for a reason. I could have lost in this tournament earlier.
“I managed to get to the final for the first time, so I wouldn't change anything. I don't like going back and saying, ‘Okay, maybe this could have gone better.’ Everything in life is a lesson, and that's the way it goes. I hope I can come out stronger and better from this experience.”
Djokovic will take a week off before training on grass in preparation for his Wimbledon title defence. His victory over Nadal at the All England club last year saw the Serb become the 25th player to ascend to No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.
Both Federer and Nadal have also had chances to win a non-calendar Grand Slam. Like Djokovic, Federer saw his quest ended by Nadal at Roland Garros, in the 2006 and 2007 finals, while Nadal's bid was denied by David Ferrer in the 2011 Australian Open quarter-finals.