ROLAND GARROS 2013
Djokovic Laying It All On The Line
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic declared it is his top priority this season to win the Roland Garros trophy. The Serb finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the 2012 final. Should he succeed, he would join an elite group of eight players in completing the career Grand Slam.
“This is the tournament that is the No. 1 priority of my year, of my season,” said Djokovic on Friday. “This is where I want to win, and I'm going to go for it. I think my game is there, and I'm very, very motivated.
“I know that if I win this tournament it's going to be a part of history,” added the Belgrade native, who won his sixth major trophy at the Australian Open in January (d. Murray). “I would be very honoured to be part of that small, small group of players that managed to win all four Grand Slams.”
If he is to win the Coupe des Mousquetaires, Djokovic could have to beat seven-time champion Nadal in the semi-finals as the pair find themselves in the top half of the 128-man draw. Djokovic trails their FedEx ATP Head2Head 15-19, but significantly defeated the Spaniard in the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April, ending Nadal’s eight-year winning run in the Principality.
It was a win that gave Djokovic the belief he could triumph at Roland Garros in two weeks’ time.
“I managed to play one of the best clay-court matches ever in my career, and that's an important fact prior to Roland Garros,” said Djokovic. “That win against him can give me that necessary self-belief prior to this tournament.”
First, though, the 26-year-old Djokovic will open his campaign against Belgium’s David Goffin. As a 21-year-old qualifier last year, Goffin went on a surprise run to the fourth round, where he was eventually halted by his tennis idol, Roger Federer.
“He's a dangerous opponent,” said Djokovic. “He's a young player who is part of this group of youngsters that is coming up and that can eventually be a top player. He has talent and he knows how to play on clay. He showed that last year at Roland Garros. It's the best of five, so I need to be prepared to give my best already from the first match.”